Chapter XIV
















By Mrs. Emily L. Douthit













THE earliest preaching in Shelby county, of which we have any account, was at Cold Spring previous to 1825, by Joseph Foulks, who was then on the Shoal creek circuit. Mother Sallie Turner came from Kentucky in the fall of 1825, and settled on Robinson cr eek, and immediately threw open her house for preaching. In 1826 a sermon was preached in her house by Joseph Foulks, and closed with prayer by mother Turner. This service was followed by a class meeting led by brother Hall. Joseph Foulks was followed in this work, in 1827, by Thomas Randall, a cousin of Barton Randall, now of the Illinois conference. In 1828 came Samuel H. Thompson and Wm. L. Deneaue, who preached all over the County. They were followed in 1829 by Lorenzo Edwards, and in 1830 by Milo Huffaker. Nov. 12, 1830, Rev. Hiram Tremble came to the county, and settled on Robinson creek; found the society flourishing under the pastorate of Mr.Huffaker, to whom he gave his church letter. Two years later, having been licensed to preach, he deliv ered his first sermon in a log house in the vicinity, taking for his text these words: "The wicked shall be turned into hell with all the nations that forget God." Such was the power of the word that he had not proceeded far until the cries of the peniten t were heard on every side, and a number were converted to God. A good society still exists in the neighborhood.

Selby Chapel.--A number of Methodist families had settled in this vicinity; and in 1839 a good class of eighteen was found to exist, of which Rufus Imnan was leader. In 1845 a church was built with the following as trustees: Thomas Hardy, R. Imnan , Alex Boyce, John Selby, Jacob Moyer. In 1873 the church was moved from this to its present location; the house then being valued at $500. A Sabbath-school was organized in 1843 with Jesse Hardy as superintendent. At the present time the society is in a good condition with a membership of sixty-three.

St. Mary's M. E. Church.--Societies had existed in this neighborhood for over thirty years. In 1875 the classes from Union and Rosebud school-houses united, forming the present St. Mary's society. In this year a beautiful frame chapel was erected at a cost of $3,000, and dedicated by Dr. Wm. Stevenson. The present membership is sixty. A good Sabbath-school is connected with this society. The members of the first class were Thomas Carter and family, James Davis and wife, Martin and Nancy Dutton, William and Susan Doyle, E. S.and Julia French, Joseph and Mary Foster, Harriet Hendrick, Elizabeth Strump, Emily Starkey, and Sallie Ward. The society at present has a membership of sixty.

Sanners M. E. Church.--The society was organized in 1875 at Maple Grove, by Rev. E. Howard, L P. A revival of religion took place, resulting in some fifty acessions to the church. This was followed by the building of a house of worship, costing $1 200, under the labors of A. G. Graham. The society now numbers twenty-five.

A Sabbath-school was in exisitence before the organization of the society. The first board of trustees was: E. B. Sanners, John W. Sanners, Hiram Johnson, Wm. Ryker, Orson Smith, Lenis Cooper.

Mount Carmel.--As early as 1830, a good class existed in the neighborhood of Mt. Carmel church, called "Galigher's class," meeting at the house of Wesley Galigher. The members were: Wesley Galigher and wife, Wm. Carnes and wife Madilla, Thomas, P. Malinda Workman, and others.

The house of Wesley Galigher was the home of the early ministers, and long a place of public worship.

From this class sprang the two societies, Mt. Carmel and Wesley Chapel. The Mt. Carmel church is beautifully located, four miles south of Shelbyville, was erected in 1872, at a cost of $1200. Present membership is 103.

A Sabbath-school has existed here since 1850.

Wesley Chapel.--This church was commenced in 1875, under the labors of Rev. J. N. Lapham, and completed under the ministry of J. C. Burkett, at a cost of $1200. Dedicated by Dr. James Leaton. As early as 1855 a class, led by Wm. Carnes, met at t he Salem schoolhouse.

This society has now about twenty-five members. The church is a nice frame building, situated in a beautiful grove, six miles southeast of Shelbyville. They have an excellent Sabbath-school.

The Second (Moulton) M. E. Church was organized in the school-house situated in the south-west part of Shelbyville, Oct. 19, 1878, by Rev. M. C. Galeener. The class at first consisted of six members, with Moses Flanders as leader. After the seco nd meeting the leader leased a vacant store-room, in which services were held every Sabbath. But this room becoming too small to accommodate the congragations, about Jan. lst, 1879, a subscription was started to build a new church. Work began on this ho use about June lst, and it was completed in the fall, and dedicated by Dr. W. H. H. Adams. The church will seat 300 persons, and is valued at $3,000.

The first board of Trustees consisted of Moses Flanders, G. L. Gowdy, John Cutler, John Malone, and R. B. Reeve.

In 1880 Rev. M. C. Galeener was followed by Rev. W. R. Howard. A Sabbath-school was organized some time previous to the society.

The present membership is 150.

Cowden Circuit.--This circuit has three preaching places within its bounds, viz: Cowden, Lakewood, and Pleasant Grove.

At Cowden Methodism developed from occasional neighborhood preaching, into a permanent organization some 21 years ago, in an old log building known as Torrence School-house which still stands at the edge of the town under the ministry of Rev. W. Aneals. The class consisted of 18 members, many of whom are still resident in the county. These were Caleb Torrence and wife, James Christy and wife, Daniel Galigher and wife, and others. From this beginning Methodism has steadily grown until it has attained it s present standing. Among the ministers who have served this charge, are T. C. Lapham, S. Munsell, T. S. Johnson,--Malicoat, B. W. T. Corley, I Villars, J. W. Warfeld, T. M. Dillon, -- Gale, P. Swartz, -- Rhodes, and Stubblefield.

In 1875 the present church building was erected at a cost of $2,500, and dedicated by Dr. Wm. Stevenson.

Present membership, 65. Parsonage built in 1878. Sunday school organized 12 or 15 years ago.

Pleasant Grove.--At this place Methodism dates back 40 years or more. Before the day of school-houses, Wm. Petty, David Austin, R. Elijah Bankston, a L. P., and others, had services at their homes. Afterward the school-house and grove were used as places of worship, until 1868 a chapel was built costing $1,200, dedica-

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ted by Dr. H. Buck. Trustees were James Frizzell, N. T. Pinkley, Levi Cochran, J. Kesler,and Peter Neff.

Sabbath-school dates back many years.
Present membership, 42.

Lakewood M. E. Society.--Here we have a class of 53 members but no church building. It has been a preaching place for some years. All this circuit, for a number of years, was a part of the Tower Hill work. At the Conference of 1877, it was set off as Cowden circuit, since which time its pastors have been W. H. Gannaway, A.Rusk, S. H.Huber.

Tower Hill has four appointments; Tower Hill, Knobs, Zion, Williamsburgh; at each of these places is a church building. The society in Tower Hill was formed in the summer of 1865, bv Rev. W.M. Bone, who preached the first sermon. Before this the M etbodists about Tower Hill belonged to Knobs appointment.

The first reaching was in the schoolhouse. There had been Sabbath-school before but no society. The church was built in 1866, cost $1,625; dedicated by H. Buck.

Zion church was commenced in 1869, completed in 1870, cost $1,200; dedicated by C. P. Baldwin.

Oconee Church.--Oconee was at first in the Pana circuit; there had been preaching in the timber east of the town, in private school-houses from an early day, but no society was the village until 1855. It remained connected with 1866, when it was m ade the head of a circuit.

The most prominent minister was Rev. W. A. Milner, for years a member of the New Jersey and Illinois Conferences, who lived a short distance south of town. He was a faithful and laborious preacher. Among those who have traveled the circuit are Revs. G. Miller, A. H. Whitlock, P. A. Swartz, R. A. Hutchinson, T. S.Johnson, E. Galagher, P. T. Gay, There is now a flourishing society and a comfortable church.

Windsor Circuit.--Methodism prevailed in this vicinity in the early settlement of the county. Preaching was furnished chiefly by the local preachers, sometimes visited by the itinerant from abroad. Dr. H. Buck, W. S. Prentice, Daniel Davis, Col. J. R. Reuben Ewing were among the pioneer preachers.

The first M. E. Church was erected in 1840, near Sulphur Springs, dedicated by Daniel Davis, L. P. It was a log house, 30 x 40 feet, door in side with a box pulpit in the opposite side, and a fire made of clay, walled with brick, without flue or chimney. Charcoal furnished by the members serving for fuel; the house was thus warmed for seven years. In 1870, the church now standing was built at a cost of $1,900, and dedicated by J. L. Crane. One of the earliest campgrounds was in connection with this appoi ntment.

Richland.--Richland society was formed by John W. Morgan, in the summer of 1855; it was then in the Sulivan circuit.

In 1874, the church of Sand Creek was built by Rev. J. W. Lapham, at a cost of $1,800, dedicated by J. W. Morgan. There was no collection taken at the dedication. Previous to that time they had worshipped in a log meeting-house, built by J. W. Reynolds in 1860.

The first sermon preached in Windsor was delivered by J. W. Morgan in a cabinet shop, in 1855. The church in Windsor was erected in 1863, at a cost of $2,000. There are members in this circuit: Windsor, 102; Sand Creek, 96; Sulphur, 35. A parsonage valued at $1,000.


The exact date of the organization of Methodism cannot be learned, but it is believed to be about 1849. This society was first formed at the house of M. Snyder, Sen., then living one-half mile west of the first plat of the town, in the edge of Christian c ounty. The first formation of members into a class was by Rev. Peter Ketchum, and the first leader was Father Trober. Father Snyder and his wife--an excellent old lady--still live at the same place. He has been an efficient member for a number of years .

Rev. Wm. Owens preached frequently at the house of Mr. Snyder, and held a protracted meeting there, which in its results tended greatly to establish Methodism in this community. The first regular pastor was J.C. Baker. Moawequa circuit was formed in 185 4. The first class-leader was Hiram Sears. A frame church was built in 1854-5, costing $2,000. This soon became too small to meet the wants of a rapidly growing society.

In 1868, under the labors of J. H. Dickens, was begun the enterprise of building a more commodious house of worship. After a delay of five years, the efforts of the society were renewed vigorously under the labors of Ira Emmersen, and in 1875 the house wa s dedicated by Bishop Bowman, having cost $7,500--Rev. William Murphy, P. E. It is a fine church, with tower and turret, stained windows, with a lecture-room with sufficient capacity for prayer meetings, infant class, etc. The present membership of the charge is one hundred and seventy-five, which includes a small society in Christian county and the society at Galessa.

The M. E. Germans have a good society and preaching place 41 miles southeast of Moawequa.

The church sustained a severe loss in the death of the late Mr. J. E. Hyers. He was a man of means and marked liberality and loyalty to the church; his piety was unquestioned and his influences and usefulness acknowledged by all.


Grove Society.--The first M. E. Society (within the present bounds of Stewardson circuit) was organized by Rev. Levi Lowery in 1838, at the house of John Thompson, who lived ten miles south of Shelbyville, within the limits of a "laid out" town na med Royalton, which has now passed out of existence. Mrs.Thompson was a woman of extraordinary, intelligence and piety, and was class leader, being the leading spirit in the church. In 1839 Mr. Thompson moved out of, and Wesley Galligher moved into, the house, where services were still maintained, as also they were during a succeeding period, during which Daniel Galligher occupied the house.

When this house was vacated, the services were moved to the residence of Charles Reber, and there held until a schoolhouse was built in the neighborhood, to which services were removed and it was for years known as the Daniel Galligher Society. Here, in the spring of 1857, was organized--with Bro. McMillen as superintendent--the first Sabbath-school in this section of the country. The name of this society was changed to "Grove," and continued to be so called until it united with Bethal Society, and built what is now known as Mt. Zion Church.

Bethal Society.--About 1842 this society was organized by Rev. Thomas Ross, L. P., at the residence of William Middlesworth. John Adams succeeded T. Ross, its pastorate being the same as Shelbyville.

Wesley Galligher was the first, and for many years, leader. After three or four years the place of meeting was changed to Isaac Wortman's. In 1848 it was again changed to the house of Wesley

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Galligher, remaining there about ten years, when a school was built in the neighborbood, to which services were removed, the name being changed from the "Wesley Galligher Class" to Bethel. The first Sabbath-school was organized in 1857, with Josef Westen haver as superintendent. In 1858 Grove and Bethel were changed to the Windsor circuit, until in 1866 they united and built Mt. Zion Church, a brick edifice 35 x 40 feet, costing $3,300 dedicated by Dr. H. Buck. The first trustees were J. D. Allen, W. Ga lligher, H. H. Allen, Jacob Galligher, Jonathan Compton, E. Westenhaven, D. Mechlin, with Allen Gaskill, P. E.

Stewardson, M. E. Church.--In 1871 E. S. Warnsley began preaching, and formed a society in a school-house near "Dead Man's Grove." The members of this class were William Mitchell and family, Michael Strouse and family, Michael Dappert and family. A Sabbath-school was organized about the same time.

In 1873 a church was built within one mile of the Grove, costing $1,700--dedicated by G. E. P. Baldwin, T. S. Johnson, P. E., with the following as trustees: Michael Strouse, Wm. Mitchell, James Patrick, Michael Dappert and John Silvers.

In 1877 this church was moved into Stewardson, where it now stands. The first M. E. Society in Stewardson was organized by G. J. W. Lapham, September 24, 1875.

Olive Branch M. E. Church.--On April 5, 1875, J. W. Lapham organized a society on the south line of the county, in Holland township, where a church was built the same year, known as "Olive Branch," costing about $1,800, dedicated by Dr. Wm. Steven son. Hugh Butler, Dickson Reynolds, S. M. Locke, Jacob Zeigler and Salem Lantz, were trustees. A Sabbath-school was organized the same year.

March 25, 1875, J. W. Lapham formed a society at what is known as Washington School-house, thirty-one miles west of Stewardson. Sabbath-school was organized there the same year. Stewardson circuit has a parsonage in Stewardson, valued at $500. Membership as follows: Stewardson, 95; Mt. Zion, 47; Washington, 32; Olive Branch, 24.

First M. E. Church, Shelbyville.--As early as 1827 Shelbyville was supplied with preaching by the itinerants from Shoal Creek circuit, following each other in the following succession: 1827, Thomas Randall; 1828, Samuel H. Thompson and William Dene aue; 1829, Lorenzo Edwards; 1830, Milo Huffaker.

In 1828 a class was organized and services were held at the house of Barnett Bone; a camp-meeting was afterward held on his farm, just south of the present town. Services were first held in the present city limits, in the house of Nelson R. Jones, and th en in the old log court-house. After this it was held in the house of Amos Prentice, on the ground now occupied by the clothing house of M. Cottlow, Mr. Prentice's house being store, post-office and church at the same time. Among the members of this clas s were Leah Prentice, Nancy Bivins, Betsy Patterson, Thomas and Beulah Pugh, who are still remembered for their piety and sweetness of life.

In 1830 a lot near the present residence of Auntie Graham was secured, and a small frame church began under the labors of Amos Prentice, and completed under the ministry of Rev. James Woolard.

In 1834, so far as we can learn, Shelbyville circuit was formed, and Shelbyville was the head of the circuit. About this time the church became prosperous, and many accessions to the church were made, among whom was Wm. S. Prentice, now of the Illinois C onference; some of these remain. Auntie Graham is now the oldest living member, having united with the church in 1830. Her house was long the home of the earliest preachers. Joseph Oliver still lives, at the advanced age of eighty-six, who at the above da te was holding all of the county offices, because a devoted follower of Christ. In 1865 the society had grown too large for the house, and a new house of worship--the present brick edifice--was begun on West Main St., under the labors of S. S. Maginnis, and completed under W. N. McElroy, and dedicated by B. F. Crary, having cost $10,000. The board of trustees were, W. J. Henry, James Durbin, J. B. Vosberg, Adam Klare, William Eddy, Hiram Sears, H. M. Hickman. The society numbers among its members many devoted Christians and men of large experience and liberality, who have succeeded in making the charge one of the best in the Illinois Conference. We have here a flourishing Sabbath-school, numbering 333, under the superintendence of E. J. Scarborough. T he membership of the society is 250.

There are at the present time in the county 1,738 church members; churches 21, valued at $38,700: parsonages 5, valued at $5,200.

Shelby Male and Female Seminary.--The members of the M. E. Church and citizens of the county early felt an interest in the subject of education. A building was commenced in 1852 and opened in 1854. The institution was known as the "Shelby Male an d Female Seminary," and was understood to be under the management of the M. E. Church and care of the Illinois Conference. The enterprise was carried forward under the labors of C. W. Munsell, itinerant preacher, and H. Buck, Presiding Elder. Charles Sev ill was president of the board of trustees C. W. Jerome was principal of school. The school continued in successful operation about fifteen years. During its existence 37 teachers were employed and 1,084 pupils enrolled. Many of these are filling impor tant places in church and state. In 1869 the institution and property passed into the hands of the Shelbyville school district, and was merged into the Shelbyville graded school.

The M. E. Church was the pioneer in ecclesiastical affairs in opening places of worship for the early settlers. In l827 the county, which had been a part of Fayette, was organized into Shelby county, and the Methodists of the county commemorated the even t by holding two camp-meetings, one on the farm of Mrs. Sallie Turner, and the other on that of Barnett Bone. At these gatherings many were converted, who returned to plant the Church in their own neighborhoods, and now there are more M. E.churches than of any other denomination in the county, and more M. E. preaching places in Shelby than in any other county in the Illinois Conference, many of them yet being new societies, meeting in school-house until churches can be erected; almost every society being the outgrowth of a class held in school or private houses.

Some of the local preachers of the early day were Wm. Addison, John Apperson, John Clarage, Daniel Davis, Jonas Graham, Clemie Gore, Milo Hart, Samuel Hughes, G. M. Hanson, J. W. Jackson, Amos Prentice, Thos. B. Ross, J. T. Swafford, H. M. Tremble and D r. Williams, father of Auntie Graham. Of this noble band Rev. Hiram Tremble alone remains, looking with great pleasure on the growth of the county, and the church for which he so long labored.


Evangelical Lutheran St. Paul's Congregation of Shelbyville, Illinois.--A small number of Lutherans, who had come to Shelbyville and vicinity, from Germany and the Eastern States, organized themselves into an Evangelical Lutheran congregation in 18 44, under the pastoral care of Rev. Daniel Scherer, residing in Hillsboro, Ill., who was the first Lutheran minister in Shelby County.

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This congregation is known by the name: "The Evangelical St. Paul's Congregation of Shelbyville and vicinity.".

The first election of church officers was held August 17th, 1844. Solomon Stilgebauer and Jacob Lumpp were elected as elders, and John Bieler and George Wendling, as deacons. They held their services in school-houses and private residences.

In the autumn of 1844, Rev. D Scherer moved to Mount Carmel, Ills., and consequently could not serve the congregation any longer. Soon after this Rev. Ephraim Mueller was called to the pastorate of the congregation. He served it until the autumn of 184 7, when Rev. Jacob Scherer, son of Rev D. Scherer, became the pastor of the congregation. Under the administration of these two ministers the congregation increased.

In 1851 they built a church in union with the German Reformed congregation. This church was erected near Robinson's Creek, about five miles from Shelbyville, on the road leading to Springfield, Ills. The cornerstone was laid April 24th, 1851, before the church was completed. The Rev. J. Scherer died in the autumn of 1851. The next minister was Rev. G. Wolf. He served the congregation about one year. During this time the Lutheran and German Reformed congregations dissolved their co-partnership in the church-building, the Lutherans selling their part to the German Reformed for $100. After this the congregation held their services again in the school-houses and private residences.

In the summer of 1853, Rev. William Hunderdosse was called by the congregation. In February, 1854, election of officers was held again. The following were elected: Christian Roessler and Jacob Wendling as elders; and Edward Roessler and Jacob Muths, as deacons. Rev. William Hunderdosse resigned, having served the congregation for two years.

In 1835 Rev. Elias Schwartz was called by the congregation. He left the congregation in the sprng of 1857, having served it about two years. After many efforts, and by the assistance of Professor Springer, of Springfield, Ill., the congregation finally succeeded in getting a minister in the person of Rev. Swaney of Nokomis, Montgomery co., Ills. He served the congregation only provisionally for half a year, for upon his advice the congregation called Rev. J. T. Boetticher of Vandalia, Ills., July 18,1 858, who took charge of it without delay. Soon after Rev. J. T. Boetticher had commenced his labors, the constitution of the congregation was changed, in some parts, and pursuant to it the following full vestry was elected as elders, Jacob Wendling and S olomon Stilgebauer; as deacons, Christopher Bauer and Edward Roessler; as trustees, John Wendling, Jacob Wendling, Andrew Roessler, Andrew Dagan and Edward Roessler; as treasurer, Edward Roessler. After this time a full vestry was elected annually.

In 1859 Michael D. Gregory donated two lots to the congregation, situated in the town then called Moulton, which since has bacome part of Shelbyville. These lots were thankfully received of Mr. Gregory, and another lot adjoining these, was bought of him for fifty dollars. The congregation has a legal Deed for them. On these three lots a church was built. The corner-stone was laid on Easter Monday, 1859. It is a brick building, 54 by 31 feet. At this time the congregation numbered about 95 communicants.< P> Shortly after the church was erected, a parsonage was built by the congregation on their three lots. This is a one-story frame building, 28 by 26 feet. The church cost about $2,300, and the parsonage about $700. There is also an organ in the church. The l ots, church and parsonage together, are now worth about three thousand dollars. Besides this property, the congregation now owns a grave-yard of about three acres.

Rev. J. T. Boetticher was pastor of the congregation only about two years. Rev. S. L. Harkey was pastor of the congregation from 1860 to 1864. About a year and a half, however, be was not with the congregation, having accepted a chaplaincy in the army. In 1864 Rev. J. F. Probst became pastor of the congregation, and served it until the beginning of 1866. November 3,1867, the congregation extended a call to Rev. P. A. Peters, who accepted it. On the 22d of Nov., 1868, he resigned his office as minister of the congregation. From this time on the congregation had preaching occasionally by students of the Evangelical Lutheran Concordia Seminary, in St. Louis, Mo., until the summer of 1870. At this time the Congregation gave Rev. J. D. Kothe, a student o f said Seminary, a call, and he accepted it. He was minister of the congregation up to Sept. 15, 1872, when be resigned. The congregation was now again without a minister for nearly two years. During this time there was preaching now and then by ministe rs when upon request, visited the congregation.

August 11, 1874, Rev. G. Mochel, of Canal Winchester Franklin county, Ohio, took charge of the congregation, having received a regular call from it April 19, 1874. In November, 1880, when this short history of the congregation was written, he was still the pastor of it. August ll, 1874, the congregation numbered 28 voting members, and about 60 communicants. Since that time, 19 names were added to the list of voting members. Of the whole number, some died, some moved away, and some left the church. At the present time the congregation consists of 34 voting members, and 125 communicants.

Services are held every Sunday, alternately in the German and English languages. The Sunday-school is also conducted in the two languages. The congregation has no regular parochial school, but the youth are diligently instructed in the Christian religio n according to Dr. Martin Luther's Small Catechism, during the year, except some months in the summer.

The members of the present vestry are: Elders, Jacob Wendling and Dr. Joseph Boromann; Deacons, Edward Roessler and George Ruff; Trustees, Andrew Roessler, August Schwenker and Philip Roessler; Treasurer, Aug. Schwenker.

Evangelical Lutheran St. John's Congregation.--In 1860, about twelve Lutheran families residing 5 and 6 miles north-west from Shelbyville, Ill., united for the purpose of holding divine services. They held their meetings in school-houses and priva te residences. The first minister who preached for them occasionally was Rev. F. W. Richmann, of Schaumburg, Ill. He continued his visits until June, 1863, from which time one Rev. H. W. Rincker, minister in Terre Haute, Ind, preached for them occasiona lly.

Feb. 14, 1864, the congregation was regularly organized by adopting a constitution, and calling themselves "The Evangelical Lutheran St. John's Congregation, in Shelby county, Ill." At the same time they elected a full vestry. This has been done every ye ar since. On the same day they gave Rev. H. W.Rincker a regular call, who accepted it. After he had moved from Terre Haute, Ind., to near Strasburg, Ill., in the same county, he served this congregation regularly, preaching for it every second Sunday i n German language, from August 14, 1864, till July, 1866. From this time on Rev. F. W. Schlechte, pastor of the Lutheran congregation at Strasburg, Ill., preached for it every third Sunday in German; this congregation having called him in connection with the one at Strasburg.

In 1867 Jacob Kircher donated one acre, in the south-west corner of his land, to the congregation, to be used as a site for a church and for a grave-yard. This donation was thankfully received by the congregation. On this land a church was erected in 1870 . On Pentecost of the same year it was dedicated. Rev. H. W. Rincker,

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by request, preaching in German, and Mr. Kuegele, candidate for the ministry, student of Concordia Seminary, in St. Louis, preached in English. The church is a frame building, 30 x 24 feet, and cost $800. The value of the entire property at present is a bout $1,000.

In 1871 the Lutheran congregation of Strasburg, Ill., expressed the wish that their minister, Rev. F. W. Schlechte, should devote his entire time to serving them and preach for them every Sunday. In consequence of this he resigned his office as pastor of this congregation. On the 10th of April, 1871, they extended a call to Rev. J. D. Kothe, pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran St. Paul's congregation in Shelbyville, Ill., who accepted it, and served this congregation in connection with the one he had alre ady. He was their pastor until the spring of 1873. From this time until Aug., 1874, the congregation had no minister, but Rev. F. W. Schlechte preached for them provisionally now and then. From Aug. 1874, to March 12, 1876, Rev. M. Claus was minister of this congregation, preaching German every Sunday.

February 27th, 1876, Rev. G. Mochel was called by this congregation to serve it in connection with his St. Paul's congregation of Shelbyville, Illinois. He accepted the call and preached his introductory sermon March 26th, 1876. In November, 1880, when this short history of the congregation was written, he was still the pastor of it. The services are now conducted in the German and English languages.

The congregation numbers now twenty-three voting members, and about sixty communicants. The members of the present vestry are Elders, John. Th. Pfeiffer and Godfrey Kircher; Deacons, Christian Kull and William Th. Ruff; Trustees, Philip Heinz, Jr., Ernst Schmid and Jacob Pfeiffer.

German Evangelical Lutheran St. Paul's Congregation, Strasburg, Illinois.--This congregation was organized in 1863. A number of Lutherans who had come to this part of Shelby county, assembled from time to time at first in private residences and hel d divine services, one of their number reading a sermon from a Lutheran sermon book. But they felt the need of a minister of the holy Gospel. Hence they wrote to Rev. H. Wunder in Chicago, asking him to request one of the ministers nearest to them to co mmence missionary work in their midst. Rev. H. Wunder wrote to Rev. H. W. Rincker, pastor of the congregation in Terre Haute, Ind., to visit these brethren and to preach for them. This he did. At a later period he received a regular call from this con gregation, which he accepted, and having moved into their midst, he served them regularly.

The number of Lutherans in this part of the county increased rapidly, others coming in from Chicago, Ohio, and Madison county, Illinois. The congregation soon increased to such an extent that they became able to build a church. One acre and a half, situ ated about one mile and a half south from Strasburg, was donated to the congregation for a building site and grave-yard. On this a church edifice was erected, thirty by twenty-four feet, which cost about five hundred dollars.

Rev. H. W. Rincker served the Congregation about five years.

At this time a number of the members, residing south from the church quite a distance, asked for an honorable dismissal from the congregation, in order to organize a new one in that part of the county. Their request was granted, and a new congregation wa s formed of which Rev. H. W. Rincker was minister. The St. Paul's Strasburg congregation called Rev. F. W. Schlechte as their pastor, who had just finished his theological studies in Concordia Seminary of St. Louis, Mo.

One year after this, the congregation bought a number of acres of land and erected a parsonage thereon near their church. The cost of the land and house was about eight hundred dollars. The congregation increased so rapidly that the church had to be enla rged not long afterwards. In 1875 a new church was built by this congregation in Strasburg, this place being more convenient for all the members. A part of the land on which the new edifice was erected was donated and the rest was bought. The building is framed sixty by thirty-two feet, with a gallery on three sides, and a steeple eighty feet high with a bell in it. The land that was bought and the church cost the congregation four thousand, six hundred dollars. Rev. F. W. Schlechte was called away, after having served the congregation ten years. Rev. J. Dunsing was then called, who entered upon his labors as pastor of the congregation in October, 1876.

The old parsonage is sold, and a new one erected near the church in Strasburg. It is a frame building. The entire property of the congregation is worth about $6,000. The congregation numbers seventy-six voting members. It has a parochial school with o ne hundred and twenty-five scholars, kept in the old church building. Teacher, H. Dablow. The congregation contemplates the building of a school-house near their church in Strasburg. Rev. J. Dunsing is still pastor of the congregation.

German Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Congregation of Prarie and Big Spring Townships, Shelby County, Ills.--This congregation was organized in 1868. About nine members of the Lutheran congregation at Strasburg, residing quite a distance from the ch urch, asked for an honorable dismissal for the purpose of forming a new congregation, and to erect a church in their midst. This request was granted. These and six other Lutheran families, residing in the same neighborhood, organized themselves into the German Evangelical Lutheran Trinity congregation of Prairie and Big Spring townships, Shelby co., Ills. They bought the church built by the Swedes close to the line of Prairie and Big Spring townships in this county. They paid $300 for it. It was not finished on the inside. In 1870 the congregation moved this church to where it now stands, about two miles northeast of Stewardson, and finished it. It is a frame building, 50 by 30 feet, and is worth about $600.

At first the congregation could not support a minister alone. From July, 1868, to 1869, Rev. Th. Buszin of Champagne, Ill., preached for them every four weeks. After this, Rev. Grupe of Champagne served it for about six months, preaching for them every six weeks. After this, Rev. H. W. Rincker, who lived in the midst of the congregation, served it nearlv two years. From 1872 to 1876, Rev. F. W. Schlechte, pastor of the Lutheran congregation in Strasburg, preached for it every third Sunday. In 1876 t he congregation extended a regular call to Rev. F. W. Schlechte, who accepted it, and moved to Stewardson. Since 1876 the congregation has a parochial school taught by the minister. It numbers about forty scholars. The congregation consisted of thirty- three voting members; and there is prospect for an increase, as there are many Germans living in the vicinity of Stewardson.

German Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Sigel, Shelby Co., Ill.--This congregation was organized in 1865, beginning with fifteen voting members. In the same year a church was erected. It is a frame building, 40 by 26 feet, with a steeple fort y-two feet high. A good bell, made by Mr. H. W. Rincker, was put into it in 1875. The church and lot are worth about $1,200.

Although the church was built soon after the organization of the congregation, they were nevertheless compelled to hold their services in private residences for some time, because the unionists, and those of the German Reformed persuasion, would not let t he Lu-

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therans make use of the church. But finally the Lutherans finished the church, paid for it, and now own it.

From 1865 to 1870, the congregation was served by the neighboring ministers in the following order: Rev. H. W. Rincker, Rev. C. Meyer, Rev. F. W. Schlechte, Rev. Th. Buszin, Rev. H. P. Grupe, and Rev. H. H. Holtermann. In 1870 the congregation called Rev. R. Koehler as their resident pastor. He served them until 1872. Then Rev. W. Dahlke was called by the congregation; he left it in 1874. After this, Mr. C. Schroeder, student of theology in the Lutheran Seminary in Springfield, Ills., preached for them and taught a congregational school. In 1876, when he had completed his studies, the congregation gave him a call, and he commenced his labors as their minister in August of the same year. He served it until January, 1879. From this time on Rev. H . Kowert of Effingham county preached for them now and then to November, 1880. In the first week of December, 1880, Rev. A.C. Th. Ponitz commenced his labors as their regular minister, having been called by them. Since 1870 the congregation has a paroc hial school taught by the minister. This school has now thirty scholars. At this time the congregation numbers twenty-six voting members.


The religion of any country forms a large part of its history. In a new country it is one of the strongest formative elements of society, and in later years determines the liberty worth and happiness of the people. Out of due regard to the will and wisdo m of the Creator, grows the greatest benefit to the creature. Industry, honesty, frugality, intelligence, civility and morality, are the legitimate fruits of the Christian religion. This religion is from God, was delivered by our Lord Jesus Christ and h is holy Apostles, and claims by divine authority to be able to thoroughly furnish the man of God unto all good works. Its field is "All the world;" its teaching for "Every creature," and its promises for "The life that now is and that which is to come."< P> The divine principles of Christianity, submitted to us in the New Testament, made unprecedented progress during the first centuries. Fortunate would it have been for the human race, had no man thought to be wise above what is written. But the political- religious power of assumed infallibility changed the laws of God and sought to improve upon the counsel of God. The holy Scriptures were wrested from the people and primitive Christianity soon beenne engulfed in the superstitions, traditions, speculation s and commandments of men. The enormous results of such deeds of ruin, in clouds of ignorance and sorrow hovered over the human race in "The Dark Ages" which followed.

Such was the condition of the world in the 16th century. Luther, a fearless Catholic monk, began the immense work of the restoration of primitive Christianity, the magnitude of which, probably, he and many of his successors never knew. But under divine providence he began at the right place, and restored an open Bible, in the language of the people, to a benighted world. This was but the beginning of the restoration of all its teachings, in spirit, form, precept, example and life. How slowly do m en break away from old theories! All true science and reform have been met by multitudes of opposers. Men have preferred popular error to unpopular truth, the traditions of the fathers to the words of the Apostles, and the counsels of men to the teaching of God. Theories, venerable by age, and dear association, have been preferred to new truth however well authenticated by the "Law and the Testimony." Even the reformers saw the truth slowly, and devoted much of their energies to single elements of truth, and in exposing a few errors. Yet, under the circumstances, it is strange that they saw and accomplished so much. Can we appreciate their efforts too highly.

The permanent volume of their work is not in what they reformed but in what they restored. The greatest blessings from Luther were not from any reformation of the Catholic Church, nor the formulating his peculiar views into articles of faith , but in the restoration of the Bible, the counsel and standard of all true religion. Calvin's work was not in the reforms which he attempted nor the doctrines he so ably discussed, but the restoration, to the Word of God, of the divine authority w hich had so long been conferred on the Pope. Wesley's effort to reform the Church of England was a failure, but what he restored to primitive piety and devotion will live to bless humanity long after the creed that thought to formulate them shall have passed away forever. The Christian religion is a great reformer, but it is not itself reformed. It may be deprived of some of its elements, and thereby shorn of its virgin strength. It may be loaded with traditions and dogmas, and the reby hindered in its progress. Therefore it becomes the duty of Christians in this and all ages to maintain the purity of Christianity as it came from the lips of Christ and His inspired Apostles.

At the beginning of the 19th century much had been done and much remained undone. Among other things, the Bible, though acknowledged to contain all things necessary to life and godliness, had been practically superseded by human creeds. Religious people, although claiming one God, and to be one body, were practically rent in fragments bickering in bitter strife. The comparative usefulness, strength and happiness of any community, state or nation, depends on the unity of its people. Therefore the Master taught that, "A house divided against itself cannot stand," and He prayed that all His disciples "might be one" and the apostles preached, saying "Let there be no division among you." These and many similar sentiments, constantly ringing in the ears of a ll Bible readers, met a cordial response in similar prayers and teachings, by many of the most pious of modern times. Prominent among them were A. Campbell, of Virginia, a student from Glasgow; Walter Scott, of Pennsylvania, a graduate of Edinburgh, and W. B. Stone, of Kentucky, a Presbyterian minister of learning and piety. About 60 years ago, but without each other's knowledge, they began with remarkable unanimity to urge the importance and necessity of the union of all Christians, on the Bi ble alone as the rule of Faith and Practice. It was not long till many more of like learning and piety became their companions in labor and trials, tending to so glorious a consummation. That such a restoration of primitive union, practice and life, should meet the opposition of any God fearing-people, is a little remarkable. But the strong cry of "Heresy" and "Campbellism," was heard long and loud, and has scarcely ceased to be heard along the lines of the hard contested battles for the truth. Th ey did not shun investigation, but submitted their principles to the investigation in private and public discussion of the most learned opponents of nearly every branch of Protestantism, as well as to Catholics and Infidels. All this opposition seemed on ly to loosen the rubbish, and settle the divine structure of primitive days more firmly upon the foundation of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself becoming the chief cornerstone. These people, under the blessing of God, have been pushing their hea venly claims for nearly 60 years, and it may be a subject of interest to the readers of this book to know something of their present condition. The membership in the United States is about 600,000, besides a considerable number in Canada, England and Aust ralia, and with mission in France, Denmark, Sweden, New Zealand and Turkey. The mission fund, home and foreign, last year was about $113,000. The publications

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of the church, besides many books, are ten well edited weeklies, eight monthlies and a large circulation of Sunday School literature for the children. There are twenty-six colleges and universities, with an aggregate endowment of $1,182,320, and college property worth $1,700,000. These institutions have educated in part or wholly, 46,744 students, and 3,226 last year in school.

The principles of the church began to be urged in this county in 1833-34 by Elder John Storm. He was joined by Elder B. W. Henry, in 1836, and the same year by Elder Tobias Grider from Indiana. Elder John W. Tyler, now of Decatur, then of the southern p art of Macon county, greatly assisted the pioneers of this county. They labored together and separately, publicly and from house to house at manual labor for the support of their families, and in the ministry for the good of others. Their claims for the Bible alone as the rule of faith and practice provoked great opposition from the defenders of human creeds. Their plea for the union of all God's people in one body and under one Lord, greatly displeased the lovers of party. But believing the truth wort hy of a fair hearing all opposition was met with an open Bible, appealing to the law and to the testimony. They taught that to become a member of the church now, no more and no less should be required than in the primitive church. That to be a Christian the apostles required men to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ with all their heart, repent of their sins and obey the gospel, believing that if man did what God required him on the human side, He would perform all that He promised on the divine side. Suc h persons accepting Christ as their Saviour and leader were called Christians, disciples, etc., and any other than Scripture names would be dishonorable to their Leader. They were often called "Campbellites," but as often rejected it, reasoning that huma n things might be called by human names, but spiritual things by divine names. They further plead that the Church of Christ is not a sect but a divine institution, authorized by Jesus Christ, the living Head, and established by His inspired apostles. If man can submit to a human creed he can to a divine creed. If men can be united by human bonds of fellowship, much more can they by the Scripture bond of fellowship. They urged that to be religious it is not necessary to be partizan, and that man can be a Christian without being sectarian. The offices in the Church area so designated by the Scriptures, with careful description of the qualifications and duties of the officers, They were inclined to reject the speculations of Trinitarians and the dogmas of Unitarians, holding, that upon a subject so far beyond man's comprehension it became him to speak in the language of the Holy Spirit. They urged the disciples to meet on the first day of the week to break bread as was the custom of Christians un der apostolic teaching, and that they should faithfully observe all things that the Lord or His apostles have commanded, maintaining unity of faith with the utmost liberty of opinion. This people by no means reject the great work done by Luther, Wickliff e, Calvin, Wesley, and other men of God, who have done so much to render it possible for us to occupy and enjoy so much of the pure gospel of apostolic days. Nor should it be thought that every error has been dismissed or that all truth has been gained, b ut the appeal should ever be to the divine standard as God our Father gave it in the open Bible.


This eminent minister, said to be the first Baptist preacher in Shelby county, and who preached longer in it than any other man, was born in Culpepper county, West Va. February 4, 1805. He united with the Regular Baptist Church at the age of nineteen, an d soon after began preaching. About two years later he moved to Rutherford county, Tenn., united with the Free Will Baptists and continued to preach. He came to this county in 1830 where he endured the hardships of the new country, laboring with his hand s, through poverty, to provide competency for his family, and preaching as occasion offered. During his first six years' preaching he organized several churches. Among his converts were Willis, Whitefield, Col. Vaughan, and Silas Rhodes, who became emi nent preachers among the Batptists. In 1836 he became convinced of the necessity of more closely adhering, in preaching faith and practice, to the teaching of Christ and His apostles than was usual among the Baptists; consequently he immediately became a devoted advocate of the restoration of primitive Christianity.

He kept no record of the number of sermons preached, churches organized, or additions under his labors; but no doubt he did greater work with more telling effect than any other minister in this region of the country. He gave himself chiefly to holding me etings rather than to regular settled work. At a meeting held at Whitley's Point, Moultrie county, 1859, there were about fifty additions, among whom was an orphan lad, the writer. Father Henry was a man of great energy and firmness, of commanding appea rance in the pulpit, and logical in reasoning. He was pre-eminently a man of faith, earnestness, and patience. He died August 20, 1879. The funeral services in the Christian church were attended by at least 600 people, desiring to respect and honor the faithful servant of God. "Blessed are they that do His commandment, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city" (Rev. xxii. 14). This was a favorite passage with Father Henry, and was the basis of the memorial services by the writer. He was a faithful citizen, devoted husband, conscientious Christian, an earnest and faithful preacher for fifty-five years, and died as he had lived, in the Christian hope, at the good old age of seventy-four.


This zealous preacher was born in Monroe county, Ky., November 23, 1800. He married at the age of twenty, and moved to Indiana, when he obeyed the gospel and began preaching, which he continued with great zeal until his death, November 11, 1880. In 1836 he moved to this county and settled on Sand Creek, where he died. He labored under many disadvantages in early life, but chiefly from poverty and want of education. By strong will, constant perseverance and industry, he supported his family and gained a good knowledge of the Scriptures. His early associates in the ministry in this county were John Storm, B. W. Henry, John Harris, John and Thomas Goodman, John Nantz, M. and Job Combs, and Elder Hughs, the memories of whom are still dearly cherished by the survivors of early days.

Many hundreds, if not thousands, were brought into the fold of Christ under his ministry. His honesty and purity of purpose were never questioned. He was not regarded eloquent by the world, yet if stirring exhortation, full of Bible logic that moved men' s souls and lives to the claims of Christianity, be power, then few men were more powerful than he. He and his early companions in the gospel soon became accustomed to the most bitter opposition on every side. The few churches and school-houses were clo sed against them, so that their labors at first were chiefly in private houses, groves, and barns, yet they never faltered in their efforts nor became discouraged as to the final results. They believed the cause was from God and must prevail. Elder Grid er's funeral services were conducted by Elder P. P. Warren, to whom I am chiefly indebted for these facts and also for the history of Sand Creek Church. This discourse to the vast assembly was based on 2 Tim. iv. 7, 8, "I have fought a good fight," etc., appropriate words in regard to a veteran of such earnest warfare for more than fifty years in the ministry. May the

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memories of his love and labor be cherished by the people of his pasture. These short biographies seemed necessary to properly understand the work of the church in this county. Elder John Storm was here earlier than either of the above, and did great an d lasting good in a long ministry, but the particulars of whose history I cannot give.

Cochran's Grove.--Here was the home of John Storm, the first Christian minister of Shelby county. The familiar name of "Jackie" Storm, and the memories of his fruitful preaching, are dearly cherished by the people of other days. He organized the Church in what is now Ash Grove township, in 1832. The entire enrollment of church members is about seven hundred and eighty-five, with a present list of two hundred and seventy. The Elders are William E. Bennett, G. J. Curry, James Veach, and Wm. R. Sto rm. The first has served the church in this capacity for twenty-eight years. The regular preachers for the church have been, John Storm, B. W. Henry, Thomas Grider, John Nantz, Father Sweeney, Al. T. Smith, and P. P. Warren. The last mentioned has been preaching for the church once a month for three years, and continues his labors as formerly. The occasional ministers have been John and Thomas Goodman, Zachariah Sweeney, and a host of others. The church sustains two Sunday-schools. The present meeti ng-house was built at a cost of two thousand, five hundred dollars, and seats six hundred. No doubt this is the most wealthy as well as the largest congregation in the county. If its liberality and zeal are equal to its ability, a glorious work will be a ccomplished in the name and for the honor of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Sand Creek.--The congregation of Christians meeting on Sand Creek, in Windsor township, was organized by Elder John Storm in 1834. It consisted of the following eleven members: Benjamin Weaks and wife; Joseph Baker, wife and son; Ashley Baker and wife; Louis Leadbetter and wife: Sarah Bougher, and Rachel Wallace; all of whom are dead. The entire enrollment of memters of the church since its organization is supposed to be twelve or fifteen hundred. Several congregations have been organized with ch arter members, chiefly from Sand Creek. Its present membership is about eighty-five, with J. K. Rose, Peter Robison, and James T. Warren, Elders. Father Grider was its regular minister for forty-four years, and Elder P. P. Warren has been associated wi th him in this capacity for thirty years. Elders Warren and A. J. Nana each preach once a month for the church at present. Prominent among the occasional preachers were B. W. Henry, A. D. Northcutt, Isaac Mulkey, John and Thomas Goodman, Samuel Peppers, Levi Fleming and John Harris. The church has raised up of its own members the following preachers: Isaac Miller, Nathan Rice, P. P. Warren, A. A. Loomis, and L. P. P. Phillips. Among these the name of P. P. Warren is probably the most familiar. He was born in Tennessee, came to this county when a boy, obeyed the Gospel in 1848, and was ordained to the ministry in 1850. Throughout this and adjoining counties his labors have extended, spreading the gospel, in the love of it, having a "thus saith the Lord " for what he preaches, making no effort to be wise above what is written. He has organized several churches and added many souls to be saved. He also labors on the farm for the support of his family. While this is as honorable as any way, it is not good economy to the Church. He is worthy of his hire. "They that preach the Gospel shall live by the Gospel," and the sooner the churches so situate such ministers that they can give themselves wholly to the work, the better it will be for the cause.

T. V. Rose is the Sunday-school Superintendent. The church occupies its fourth meeting-house, a neat brick, which was built in 1874, at a cost of about twelve hundred dollars, and seats three hundred persons. The church has faithfully survived the diffic ulties and changes of nearly fifty years, and if the members are faithful to what the Lord has appointed them to do, a great and good work can be accomplished in the fifty years to come.

Shelbyville.--The Free Will Baptist Church in Shelbyville in 1836, numbered about thirty-eight members, and Elder B. W. Henry was their minister. After much investigation and prayer it was decided to drop the name "Baptist" and organize the Church of Christ, according to the apostolic order and practice. In reference to the first meeting, I copy the following from an old church record. "In the good providence of God; we being citizens of a state (Ills.) whose constitution and laws permit men to worship the only true and living God according to the dictates of His Holy Spirit, as revealed in the Bible, and in the enjoyment of this inestimable blessing; about thirty persons, (baptized believers) met in the town of Shelbyville, Shelby county, State of Illinois, in the month of March, A. D., 1836, who then and there resolved to organize as a worshiping congregation of Christians, having and holding Jesus Christ, the Lord, as the Sure Foundation and only, Saviour; and the Bible alone as their infalli ble rule of faith and practice; and proceeded to organize the Church of God in Christ at Shelbyville, Illinois, by self acting and setting apart as Elders (or Bishops) of the congregation Bushrod W. Henry and J. J. Page."

Next to Father Henry, the chief burden of the work rested upon J. J. Page; and truly work never found more willing hands nor devoted heart. For more than 35 years he was an efficient Elder, cheering, admonishing, and blessing, sick and well; and being hi mself a worthy example of life, purity, and patience, till his death in 1872.

Reuben Wright, the father of the large Wright family in Shelbyville, was a charter member, but died the year after the church was organized, leaving his estimable wife, Martha, to seek the temporal and spiritual welfare of a large family of children. Few women have been more devoted than she,and, in a good old age, she died in 1875, as she had lived, in the triumphs of the Christian faith. Another original member was Mrs. Enfield Tacket, the worthy Christian mother of our fellow citizens Messrs. John A. , and William Tacket. She often prepared her house for the meetings of the little band of disciples more than 40 years ago. Aunt "Polly" Smith was the last charter member. She had previously heard the primitive Gospel in Ky., by Elders John Rodgers and Barton M. Stone. She was thus prepared for the organization on the "Bible alone," and eagerly worked for the church Her life was plain, pure, industrious, intelligent and devoted. She died Jan. 30, 1880.

"Elder B. W. Henry continued to labor for the congregation from 1830 through a series of years, and by his efforts added many souls to the church. His labors also extended throughout Shelby and adjoining counties with great success in planting the good s eed for many congregations."

In about 1843 Elder McVey, from Ind., held a meeting by which the church was greatly strengthened. The meetings, during those early years, were held in private dwelling-houses, the old courthouse, and sometimes in a school-house which stood near the prese nt residence of Mr. Charles E. Woodward. About 1845 the meeting-house was built which stands diagonally across from the present brick church. In this house the disciples met for more than 20 years, and enjoyed many a glorious meeting. In 1848 Elder A. D. Northcutt, from Ky., was employed to labor as evangelist under the direction of a co-operation of the churches of the county. By his untiring energies he added more than 300 to the church in one year. The following year he labored for the church in Shelby -

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ville, which prospered under his preaching. About this time Wm. Brown and Elder Lewis of the M. E. church held a friendly discussion in the Christian church, in which General Thornton was chairman. It resulted in greatly strengthening the church, and i n removing much prejudice from those who had not correctly informed themselves of the teachings of the church. The regular ministers, in order, after this discussion, as far as known are as follows: Elders, B.,W. Henry, Ethridge, N. S. Bastion, T. V. Gai ns, Brinkerhoof, Dr. A. L. Kellar, James Long, John Harris, 0. F. Lane, J. W. Allen, T. Brooks, A. P. Stewart, and in the fall of 1877 the writer came and is beginning the fourth year of his ministry. The present meeting house, on the corner of Broadway and South First street, was completed at a cost of about $15,000, and was dedicated by Elder W. J. Moore, then of Cincinnati, Ohio, now of Liverpool, England. It seats about 600, and the basement was used for a place of worship long before the house was completed.

The present membership is 240, with the following Elders, viz: T. P. Bryan, Wm. Chew, W. F. Turney, and J. G. Waggoner. The Sunday-school numbers about 200, with 20 teachers. Mr. T. T. Bryan has been Superintendent for the last five years, and Mr. D.. F . Hendricks is chorister. The church, by the grace of God, has endured many trials, and overcome great difficulties. It seems to be enjoying peace and prosperity. If every member will fill his place, using the ability and means as the Lord has prospere d, with devoted lives to the Giver of all good, and to the grand principles of the Church of Christ, eternity will reveal a glorious work accomplished, and to many the Judge will say, "Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of the L ord."

Bethel.--About 1837 Elder Henry organized a congregation near his home, on the west side of Okaw township. Two or three years later a log house was built for the double purpose of school and church, and was so occupied for about 20 years. Here the people enjoyed the ministry of Elders Henry, Grider, Fleming, the Goodmans, Storm, Mulkey, Sconce, and others. David. L. Sconce and Michael Freyburger were, for many years, the Elders. There is no organization at present, but most of the few members le ft in the community hold their membership at Antioch. It is still an occasional meeting place, and Sunday-school is usually held in the summer.

Green Creek, Mount Pleasant.--There was a Congregation organized in Big Spring township, about the year 1850. This church enjoyed reasonable prosperity, until the year 1865. Elder Thomas Goodman organized a church in Prairie township. The members of the Green Creek church identified themselves in the latter organization, which was called "Mount Pleasant" Church. The meetings were formerly held in the Baker school-house, later in the Forrest schoolhouse. The church numbers 89 members, and has Da niel Baker and George Shumard Elders. Elder James Carr has preached for the church most of the time for 30 years. Only a few weeks before this writing he died in a good old age, loved and respected by all. Elders Tobias Grider and Wm. Colson assisted i n the early church work, and the following ministers have preached occasionally of later years: Thomas Goodman, A. A. Lovins, J. I. Seward, J. M. Morgan, Isaac McCosh, and others. The church is not rich in this world's goods,. but we trust rich in faith and heir of the promises.

Prairie Bird.--Father Henry and others did considerable preaching in school-houses in the neighborhood, on Mud Creek, many years before they organized the church, Sept. 30, 1850. There were twenty-three charter members, and Lindsey McMorris, Chatte r Kelley, and Elijah Waggoner, were elected the first Elders, and John T. and Wm. Smith, Deacons. They built the meeting house in 1857, at a cost of probably $1,500; it seats 300 people. The principal preachers for the congregation were Elders B. W. Henr y and his son Jas. O. Henry, Edward Evey, Tobias Grider, A. D. Northcutt, ____________ Ethridge, John Harris, J. W. Sconce, __________ McCullum, I. Mulkey, N. S Bastion, J. M. Morgan, J. A. Williams, B. R. Gilbert, and at present J. H. Hite. In 1869 Elde r James Blankinship, of Indiana, held a meeting at Prairie Bird, resulting in about fifty-five additions to the church. It was here, August 7, 1858, that J. O. Henry was ordained to the ministry by Elders Tobias Grider, J. W. Sconce, and B. W. Henry. He immediately entered the work with earnestness, laboring chiefly at Prairie Bird, Blacklog, Rocky Branch, Pana, and Locust Grove. The present Elders of the congregation are H. C. Robertson, O. S. Carr, and Samuel J. Downs. The present membership is 127. It controls a good Sunday-school. Perseverance in well doing will lead to great usefulness here, and eternal life when our work here is done.

Windsor.--The church was organized at Windsor some time prior to 1859. Only four of the charter-members are known to be living. The present list shows a membership of one hundred and nineteen, with J. Henry Price, George Storr and Thomas N. Henry , elders. The following preachers labored for the congregation: John Brinkerhoof, J. M. Morgan, Z. T. Sweeney, P. P. Warner, John Ellis, B. W. Henry, A. L. Kellar, Thomas Edwards, M. T. Smith, H.Y. Kellar, and during the last year J. H. Hite. Prominent among those who have held protracted meetings for the church are Ellis Zound of Charleston, I. Mulkey, W. F. Black, Wm. Patterson, __________ Conner, E. J. Hart, John Friend, and others. A. D. Filmore, a sweet singer of Israel, made several visits to Wi ndsor, preaching and singing as few others could. Dr. Jesse Yoar, before his death, bequeathed $1,000 to be invested permanently for the church.

The church edifice was erected in 1859, and completed at a costof $2,500. It seats five hundred, and was dedicated by Elder John S. Sweeney of Paris, Ky. The church takes great interest in Sunday-school, which has on the roll one hundred and fifty-six s cholars and nine teachers. James A. Moberly is superintendent and Charles E. Storr secretary. The congregation has an excellent field of labor, with talent, and means to do a great work. May it still more consecrate its life to the service of God and t o the good of men.

Antioch.--In 1860 Elder B. W. Henry organized a congregation of about thirty-two members in Ridgetownship, with C. L. Scott, John and J. T. Barrickman, elders. The regular preachers for the congregation in the order of their labor are as follows: J. Sconce, J. M. Morgan, John and S. V. Williams, B. R. Gilbert, W. Avery and J. H. Hite. The latter is about entering his second year of successful work. The following have been occasional ministers: B. W. and J. O. Henry, James Blankenship, Jas. Marit y, Father Sweeney, P. P. Warren, M. T. Smith, A. P. Stewart, J. Roberts, T. Brooks, John Boggs, W. F. Richardson, Preston Week and others. The present elders are Michael Freyburger, Nathan and I. L. Killam. About twenty of the original members are still living. The entire enrollment is about three hundred and one with a present membership of one hundred and thirty-eight. The Sunday school has seventy-five scholars, with seven teachers and J. W. Killam, superintendent. The present meeting-house was co mpleted in 1868 at a cost of about $2,400, and seats four hundred persons. The church is in fair condition, and with proper energy and devotion and liberality, is able to do great good.

Welborn Creek.--April 28, 1860, elder John Sconce organized

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a congregation in a log school-house near the northeast corner of Todd's Point township with fifty-eight members, which is known as Welborn Creek church. The members were scattered over a very large territory of country, in which afterward were organize d several churches, greatly weakening the first. It is usually far better to have fewer churches, but strong ones, than so many that are scarcely able to maintain the work. The church completed a good meeting-house in 1871 at a cost of $1,200, which seats two hundred fifty. The entire enrollment since the organization has been one hundred and fifty-six, with a present membership of only twenty-five. Samuel H. Wright is acting as elder. The following have preached regularly for the church: John Sconce, L. P. Phillips, M. T. Smith, J. M. Morgan and Joseph Hostetter. And occasionally elders P. P. Warren, Tobias Grider, John W., and his son B. B. Tyler, Father Sweeney, J. A. Williams, Thomas Edwards and others have preached for the church. It is expected that elder J. M. Morgan will preach the following year. The loss of so many members has been the cause of great discouragement to the faithful few who remain; but if elder Morgan or any other good preacher prosecutes the work with commendable zeal, and has the faithful co-operation of every disciple, there is good reason for believing that success will crown their efforts.

Bethany.--Elders Grider and Warren held a meeting in a schoolhouse in the community of what is now the Bethany congregation in Windsor township in 1860. In this meeting, many heard, believed and were baptized, who took membership at Sand Creek. I t continued to be a regular preaching point under the direction of Sand Creek Church till 1871, when elder P.P. Warren organized a separate congregation of fifty-three members. Only fifteen of the charter-members are now living in the community. The ent ire enrollment has been one hundred and thirty-four, with a present membership of fifty-seven. The elders are Wm. Quick and A. J. Nance. Elder Warren has preached once a month for the church ever since it was organized, and more recently elder Nance, a devoted young man, whom the church has raised up, also preaches one-fourth of the time. Occasionally the church has enjoyed the labors of elders G. Steele, M. T. Smith, B. W. Henry, __________ Vanhooser and L. P. Phillips. Elder A. J. Nance was the last Sunday-school superintendent. The meeting house was built in 1871 at a cost of $1,200, and seats three hundred. The church at present is in peace, and moving along quietly in the Master's work. God has given the church grace for its many trials and diffic ulties; and if it is faithful to the commandments of Christ and His apostles, with a loving and devoted spirit, it will certainly prosper under the kind providence of God.

New Liberty.--About forty, years ago, a log house with two chimneys and no floors, was built for the meeting purposes of the community in the north-east corner of Windsor township. In this house the few disciples and citizens of the vicinity in tha t early day listened to the preaching of the Gospel by Elders Tobias Grider, B. W. Henry, John Storm, Levi Fleming,, John Goodman and others. The members formed a part of the Sand Creek congregation until 1871, when it was thought best to organize a separ ate congregation. The church held its meetings in the Dodson and Baker school-houses, and was known as the Wolf Creek congregation. In 1874, the meeting-house was completed near the location of the old log church, at a cost of $1,100, and seats three hund red. The church was then called "New Liberty."

Since the organization of the church by Elder P. P. Warren, it has enrolled about two hundred and thirty, with a present membership of eighty. Elders P. P. Warren and R. J. Nance are the regular ministers each preaching once a month. W. K. Baker, Jacob We ger and Randolph Miller are elders. The following ministers have preached regularly for the church: M. T. Smith and Thomas Edwards, with the occasional help of Tobias Grider, Thomas Goodwin, N. S. Bastion and others. The church set apart to the work of t he ministry, Jesse Baugher, whose early death deprived the church of a useful man. Let every member become a zealous worker, seeking the prosperity of the church and the glory and of God, and great good can be accomplished in the community.

Union--This little congregation was organized at the Hidden School-house, on the line of the Okaw and Shelby township, by Elder Grider in 1873, with fourteen members; only three of these now live in the community. Since the organization seventy-ei ght have been enrolled, and the present membership is thirty-four. Elders Tobias Grider, Wm. G. Steele, L. M. Linn and A. J. Nance have been the regular ministers for the church, and the two last named preach regularly now each once a month. Elders Goodm an, Franklin Smith, Father Henry and others have preached occasionally. The summer Sunday-school enrolled forty scholars and four teachers, and was superintended by Mr. J. J. Barker. The church is at peace, the members zealous, but the losses by death an d removal of some of the best members greatly impaired the organization; but it is hoped they will soon be replaced by other devoted workers.

Rocky Branch.--In Rose township, thirty years ago, Elders B. W. Henry, M. R. Chow and Edward Evey held meetings--sometimes in a school-house known as Black Log--sometimes in a grove near by, and frequently in private houses. At one of these meetin gs held by Father Henry, there were more than fifty additions. Probably no congregation in the county has been subject to so many trials as this one; and much of the time there has been no organization. The church at present owns a neat little house, bu ilt at a probable cost of $900, and seats three hundred. The Sunday school, last summer, was under the superintendency of W. T. Cozart and six teachers. At the time of the last organization, in 1875, there were nineteen members, since which the enrollme nt has reached sixty-five, with a present membership of twenty-two. The community at Rocky Branch very, much needs the influence of a good Christian congregation. With the large number of well-meaning people there, it is hoped that the future will bring a brighter day. Let the honer of God and the good of men be first sought, and may our good Father grant grace and wisdom for every time of need.

Zion.--In the vicinity of the west side of Todd's Point township there lived a number of disciples, whose church membership was held at Antioch. Meetings, however, were held by Elder Gilbert and others in this community for several years previous t o the final organization by Elder Gilbert and the writer in 1878. There were thirty-two charter members. The entire enrollment has been fifty-nine, and the present membership is fifty-one. John Pogue, Charles and C. P. Robertson are the Elders. The regul ar preachers for the church have been Elders B. R. Gilbert and L. M. Linn, with Elder Clayborn Wright, the present minister. Elders Thomas Edwards, A. W. Avery, J. H. Hite and others have preached occasionally for the church. C. P. Robertson is superinten dent of a Sunday-school of forty-five scholars and five regular teachers. The meeting-house was completed at a cost of $1,200, and dedicated by the writer, October 6th, 1878. It seats about two hundred and seventy-five persons. Though the church has preac hing but once a month, it meets on the first day of the week, according to primitive custom, to break bread and exhort one another. This, with the social meet-

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ing every Wednesday evening, greatly conduces to the good of the church. The church is in good condition. A little more zeal, forbearance and brotherly love would conduce to the happiness and prosperity of the church and add to its usefulness.

Oak Grove.--In Jan. 1880, Elder L. M. Linn held a meeting at Oak Grove, in Shelby township, resulting in bringing together, including a few additions afterwards, thirty-six members. Of these, some have moved elsewhere, a few have gone back into th e world; but twenty-nine remain steadfast in the good work of the Lord. Mr. John Smith was superintendent of the Sunday-school of thirty scholars and three teachers. The church building is a union house, of which the Christians own one-half. It has been built about twelve years, and at a cost of about $800. It seats about one hundred and fifty. Those who have continued faithful are doing a good work, and, if steadfast to the end, will be a great blessing, and in the world to come receiving the crown o f life. May the Great Shepherd protect the little flock and keep them to the end.

Mode.--In an early day there was some preaching by the Christian Church, and a number of disciples lived in Holland township, near Mode. But many years passed on and the few scattered or died. In the winter of 1880 a good meeting was held by Elde r D. M. Linn. This energetic preacher had devoted most of his life to school-teaching, was ordained to the ministry by Elder A. D Northcutt in 1872. and moved to this county in the fall of '80. The county co-operation assisted in bearing part of the exp enses of the meetings at Oak Grove and at Mode. The church was organited with fifty-one, and now has fifty-three members. Elder Linn has continued to preach one-fourth of the time since the church was organized. Samuel Wallace is superintendent of the Sunday-school, which has six teachers and sixty scholars. The meeting-house was built as a union house for the use of the community, at a cost of about $1,800, and seats three hundred and fifty. By stability of purpose, constant study of the Scriptures, and faithfulness to the work, the church will grow into great usefulness. It will be seen by examination that there are fifteen churches in the county, with a little more than one thousand four hundred members; fourteen Sunday-schools, with about one tho usand scholars and ninety-four teachers. The church property consists of thirteen meeting-houses, which cost about $31,000, and seats about four thousand five hundred and twenty-five persons.


The Catholics dispersed over Shelby county, though few in number, represent their mother church very creditably. They have well organized congregations with handsome church buildings at Shelbyville, Sigel and Oconee.

The Shelbyville congregation was occasionally visited, and services held in private houses as late as 1862, at which time under the direction of Rev. A Vogt, they (about fifteen families in numher) built a little frame church on South Fifth St., the grou nds having been donated by the late Mr. Daniel Earp. In 1877 the old church was considered too small, and all the people showed a disposition to have a better and more commodious house of worship, the present rector, Rev. J. Storp, called for contributio ns for that purpose, which call was most liberally responded to by both non-Catholics and Catholics. On the, 27th of August, 1879, the new church, situated on North Washington St., was completed and dedicated to the worship of God by the Rev. P. J. Baltes , Bishop of Alton, Illinois. In connection with their church, the catholics of Shelbyville, in 1879, opened a parochial school, which under the able management of sisters of the order, "Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ," is in a prosperous condition, and we ll patronized by both Catholic and non-Catholic children, the average attendance about fifty. The number of Catholic families belonging to the congregation at present is thirty-five.

The congregation at Sigel was organized and a church built in the year 1867, under the direction of the Franciscan fathers of Teutopolis, Effingham county, Illinois, with about sixty families. They have ever since been under the zealous care of the Sons o f St. Francis. In the early part of the year 1879 their church, which was insured for a small amount only, burned, to the ground, and scarcely had they recovered from this loss, when their fine school building, together with the house of the Sisters who conducted the school, were also destroyed by fire. This, no doubt, was a great misfortune to the congregation, leaving them materially at the very same point whence they started thirteen years ago; but the zeal and liberality of which they have given evi dence in the past warrants the hope that ere long from the ruins of the old buildings a magnificent church and commodious school-house will rise, and give testimony of the good spirit of the people of Sigel.

Oconee, in the south-west corner of Shelby county had no Catholic church building until 1872, but the place was visited and service held private houses by various clergymen. Their present little frame church was erected in the year 1872, under the manage ment of Rev. Father Stremler. The number of families belonging to the church was then and is still about sixteen, nearly all of whom are Germans.


One of the first church denominations founded in Shelbyville was of the Baptist persuasion. The founder and first pastor was Rev. Bushrod Henry. Before coming to this state he had lived in Virginia and Tennessee. Laboring here with all the zeal of an apo stle, and being a person whom the multitude personally liked, he soon had the satisfaction of seeing an earnest congregation of his faith gathered around him. He baptized seventy or eighty, and organized his followers into a church, under the style of th e First Baptist Church of Christ of Shelbyville. This was in 1832; he began preaching here, however, as early as 1830. In due time a house of worship was built, such a one as bespoke the simplicity of the times, and the plain taste and moderate means of the builders. For a time it proved sufficient in all respects, and the people were content. In a short time, however, dissensions arose. The pastor and preacher developed views of faith and practice which were not in accordance with the Baptist standa rds. Presently be showed himself a staunch advocate of the doctrines which Alexander Campbell and his associates had introduced into, and propagated in Virginia, nine or ten years before. In short, he felt bound to give all the influence of his position , talents and labors to the Current Reformation. At his instance, and without very grave opposition, the word "Baptist" was stricken from the style of the church, and the body was ever there after known as "The Church of Christ, in Shelbyville." < P> As we have already intimated, almost the entire membership was found ready to follow the pastor in his departure from the Baptist fold. A few, and only a few, regarded the movement with strong displeasure, denounced it with vehemence, and utterly refused to give their adhesion to the new order of things. The few Baptists who remained, however, had no pastor, only occasional preaching, and seemed to have failed to maintain their visibility as a church for a considerable time. Mr. Henry, better known to hi s late

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acquaintances as "Squire" Henry, lived in high repute for many years, and died August 27, 1879. Meanwhile, some very reputable Baptists came and settled in the town; but if they found any existing church of their order in the place, they found nothing th ere sufficiently attractive to induce them to come and cast their lot with its members. Prominent among this class, was Mrs. Ann Thorton, wife of Gen. W. Fitzhugh Thornton, who had some years previously come into the state from Kentucky. She worshiped f or some years with an Old School Baptist Church, some three miles from town; and as she was a Baptist of means, generosity and stability, we may be sure that she helped the cause in other ways than by attendance, in their assemblies. She is still living, and a general supporter of the sacred cause.

In 1864, a second Baptist Church, claiming no parentage from any previous organization, was formed in the town. Rev. William Stillwell, of Kentucky, appears to have superintended the work of formation. He became the pastor; and the vine grew with consid erable vigor. Members were added in the modes known to Baptist policy; by baptism and by letter. The house of worship was a building at the south east corner of Long and North First Streets, now owned and occupied as a residence by Mrs. Martha W. Bivins . Mr. Benjamin Hall and his wife, were active members of the church. He was the assiduous clerk of the body; and himself and wife zealously served the church as sextons and general care-takers. In addition to this, they contributed liberally of their w orldly means to the support of the church. A history of the church would be incomplete without an appreciate mention of them and their works.

But like the church in the wilderness of which the Scripture gives account, the church in Shelbyville was destined to undergo painful trials. We have already mentioned that in the early settlement of the town and in the formation of the churches, the Sou thern element was very observable and was very influential. In the present case, the pastor of the church, as we have seen, was from the South. A pretty large proportion of the members had their nativity south of the Ohio River. The ministry of Mr. Sti llwell began in the city, it will be seen, right in the height of the war, and of the consequent civil, ecclesiastical and martial excitement. That a difference of political views should sometimes manifest themselves in the church was natural. Indeed, i t was inevitable. At a distance of sixteen years we can well afford to smile at some of the little things which betokened that difference.

The present Shelbyville Baptist Church was organized on the 17th of September, 1868. Rev. W.H. Steadman was called as pastor, April 3, 1869. His ministry continued for a little more than two years, during which time the church appears to have enjoyed a season of reasonable tranquility. Mr. Steadman resigned the pastoral care in June, 1871.

Before this time, the church recognized the necessity of providing a more commodious house of worship. The present church edifice was built in the year 1870. The cost amounted to $8,600. The house, a neat edifice of brick, is located at the south-west corner of Wood and North Second Streets. The dedication was celebrated on Christmas day, of the above year.

The church did not remain long without a pastor after a resignation and departure of Mr. Steadman. They obtained a new under-shepherd in a singular way. A young lady, Miss Eliza A. Duncan, came from Baltimore on a visit to a relative, Mrs. Dr. A. S. Sea man. The Seamans were devoted and prominent Methodists; but the visitor was an intelligent Baptist, and a teacher by profession. Finding a Baptist church comprising a good proportion of intelligent and progressive members destitute of a pastor, she info rmed the leaders that she had lived for many years in the family of a good Baptist minister who was at that time without a charge, and who, she thought, would afford them good satisfaction as pastor. Accepting her account as reliable, the church by unani mous vote, elected Rev. J.H. Phillips, of Baltimore, as their minister. Mr. Phillips is a native of Maryland. He had acquired a good education, had rendered highly acceptable service in the ministry at Edenton, North Carolina, Baltimore City and other p laces. Meanwhile, like many clergymen in the South and in the West, he had felt constrained to join the work of a teacher to that of a minister. He had conducted successively several female seminaries of a high order with great ability and success.

Having arrived in Shelbyville, he entered at once with characteristic devotion on the duties of the office to which he had been chosen without any seeking on his part. By his work he soon justified the expectations of his friends. At the same time, ther e occurred a vacancy in the superintendency of the Graded School. Several leading citizens showed great earnestness in their efforts to place Mr. Phillips in the vacant office. After a brief consideration, however, he firmly declined to be a candidate f or the position.

The new pastor found his work, though honorable and pleasant, an arduous one. The obstacles to the progress of the church were of a very grave character. The pastor's salary was not promptly and regularly paid; and this circumstance occasioned great emb arrassment to the worthy minister. In addition to this, the church was afflicted with a serious and exceedingly troublesome debt, on a portion of which they were paying as high as 15 percent interest. Another portion of the debt was finally placed in th e form of a mortgage, of course bearing a more moderate interest than the floating debt to which we have referred. Despite these troubles, the pastor and a part of the members still toiled on, never remitting wholly their zeal, their faith and their effo rts, and were rewarded with some tokens of good.

Mr. Phillips continued his pastoral work till the 31st of October, 1874, when he took his departure for Missouri. He soon afterwards established himself at St. Louis as Missionary Secretary of the Missouri Baptist Sunday School Convention.

For about nine months after the removal of Mr. Phillips, the church remained destitute of a pastor? when they obtained one in the person of Rev. A.L. Seward. He began his labors for the church in the month of June, in 1875. No notable event marked the h istory of the church during the short period of his ministry. The term of that ministry extended only over six months. He resigned his place in the month of December, 1875, and left for another field of labor.

The next year, 1876, the church, wearied with toiling on, destitute of a preacher and spiritual guide, recalled Mr. Phillips, who ultimately accepted the call. In common with the better part of the membership, he entertained an earnest desire to see the b urden of debt removed from the church. Unable to discover any feasible plan for accomplishing the object, however, he was constrained to content himself with persistently keeping the good object before the eyes of the Church, and in token of his sincerit y, proffered to devote a liberal percent of his salary as a contribution to the liquidation of the debt, provided the Church and her friends would make up the entire requisite amount. Not a sufficient number were found, however, who had both the ability and the will to accept and fulfill the proffered condition.

Mr. Phillips submitted his second resignation early in the autumn of 1878. The Church evinced her reluctance to part with the pastor, but finally yielded assent. His second resignation was effected on the 24th of September the same year. He still has h is residence in Shelbyville, enjoying the respect and esteem of all sects and all parties.

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For nearly two years after the second withdrawal of Mr. Phillips, the church continued with only occasional supplies of the pulpit. After an interval, Rev. H.W. Wilson, who had formerly been employed at Stewardson, came to the city, and commenced a protr acted meeting in the church. There was a good attendance; the meetings were characterized from the first by a calm seriousness; some of the members especially the ladies, showed a fitting zeal in cooperation with the evangelist; Rev. W.C. West, pastor of the Presbyterian Church, came in and performed a part of the exercises; ministers and members of other churches came in a participated in the services; and signs of decided and effectual interest were not long wanting. Several Baptists who had worshiped with the congregation for years, but had forborne to ask for membership, came forward, presented their letters, and were received into full communion.

The church, however, seemed unprepared to settle a pastor. Mr. Wilson went to Mount Vernon in this state, and engaged for a time in evangelistic labors at that place and in the adjoining region. He has since bestowed his efforts on several other points of more or less interest and importance, and was for a time engaged as an instructor in the Ancient Languages at Ewing College, in this state.

The year 1879 brought a most valuable benefit to the church. That benefit was the liquidation of the church-debt. I have already noticed this obstacle to the progress of the church -- the oppressive incubus on her energies. The burden grew heavier and heavier. Interest, of course, was increasing on the church's obligations; nothing was doing to cancel these obligations; while the little sums to meet current expenses even were collected but tardily, and with great difficulty. The church sadly needed a pastor, a really good live, working man; but whenever the business of calling or procuring a pastor was mentioned, all aspirations for obtaining the labors and care of an under-shepherd were forthwith repressed by the consideration that no pastor could b e procured without the means to give him a support; that is, no efficient, faithful one, such only as would meet the imperative wants of the church. Connected with the congregation, too, was a large and flourishing Sunday-school, numbering a hundred and fifty members, but books, papers, and other supplies for the school could not be procured without funds; and of these the church was destitute. The prayer-meetings commanded but a slim attendance; and only a faithful few appeared to retain their confiden ce in the great Head of the Church, and their Christian zeal.

While the church was in this depressed condition, Rev. I.N. Hobart, D.D., General Superintendent of the State Board of Missions, appeared in their midst. He came to ask for a subscription for the State Missions, when he was promptly informed that the chu rch was not only unable to give him a collection, as heretofore, but was in most pressing need of means to carry forward her own work. Moved by sympathetic zeal, after consultation with the church, individually and collectively, the good doctor determine d to make a strenuous effort to free his brethren from the burden of debt. Part of the members, he found ready and willing helpers; and this class not only made liberal subscriptions themselves, but aided in bringing others to give assistance in the good cause. Some engaged to pay on account of the debt double the amount which they had annually given for the support of the ministry. The benefactions of others were on a still more liberal scale. Dr. Hobart canvassed the members with a subscription pape r, in which it was proposed that every signer should give the amount opposite to his name, only on the contingency that the whole amount required should be secured by the signatures of responsible parties. After a short time it became evident that "the p eople had a mind to work;" and the friends of the cause were filled with joy.

Here, it would be unjust to omit the statement, that some of the friends of the church who were not within the pale of membership were found among its most zealous and liberal benefactors. First, among these should be mentioned Thomas M. Thornton, Esq. He was and is, we believe, a worshiper with the Episcopalians; but the fact that his venerated mother was staunch and devoted Baptist, in conjunction with other causes, naturally drew him into relations and sympathy with that people. From the stand-point of a business man, he depicted to the church in striking colors, the vast evil of an incorporated religious body sinking into bankruptcy, and averred that there was no need of suffering such a catastrophe.

He declared himself not only willing to aid in freeing the Church from debt, but also in the support of a pastor when she should obtain one. He hoped then, to see her doors opened to be closed no more forever. Other parties outside the Church, he knew, viewed the matter in the same light with himself. They would help the Church members only when the members would take hold of the work with due zeal and energy to help themselves. He knew the men of Shelbyville; and he knew that they were ready to lend a helping hand wherever they would witness the Church making proper effort to relieve herself from embarrassment. As the matter stood, the Church was liable to suffer a foreclosure of the mortgage which rested upon the Church property, and ere long to lo se possession.

He enjoined the Church, however, in making the effort which he hoped they would promptly make, to include all their debts in the estimate of their wants, mortgage, interest, floating debt, arrearages due their late pastor, Rev. Mr. Phillips, and all. Thi s last item amounted to $300 or $400. The whole amount which it was deemed necessary to raise was stated to be about $3,000. Mr. Thorton had proved his friendship to the Church in too many and too grave instances, to leave any ground for doubting his si ncerity or his perfect reliability.

It was not long after this that the visit of Dr. Hobart occurred, and that a subscription was commenced with a view to liquidate the Church's debts. The work went bravely on. Mr. Thornton headed the list with the pledge of $200; others, endowed with hum ble means, made offerings that were truly noble if considered in view of their ability. The first solicitations were made to members, as was fitting; so when Dr. Hobart, having effected the canvass of the Church, extended his efforts among the citizens a t large, and the latter ascertained how much the Church had done, there appeared a marked illustration of the old adage, God helps those who help themselves. The work was prosecuted with sustained vigor; and after a moderate interval a report that the Church had reached the goal of their hopes with regard to liberating themselves from debt was in general circulation.

A special meeting was called to hear the report of the executive committee, and of Dr. Hobart, the Superintendent of State Missions, who had the strongest title to their gratitude for his kind and effectual services in the matter. Dr. Hobart himself pres ided. The meeting was one of profound interest. After a good time spent in devotional exercises, a report of the collections was made. It appeared from this document that there was wanting only about $223 of the entire amount proposed in the subscripti on. As nearly every one of the subscribers had made pledges to the extent of his ability and duty, as he viewed the matter, the situation became a trying one. All the subscriptions had been made on the condition that they should be binding and payable o nly in the contingency that the whole amount should be raised and paid. Unless the small balance required should be subscribed and collected the cherished enterprise of paying the debt, even after so much toil and sacrifice, would prove a total failure. This would be like a rich ship filling

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and sinking in the very sight of the harbor, after a long, weary, and stormy voyage.

But the universal sentiment of the members was, that they could not give up the long desired object. The Ladies' Sewing Circle connected with the congregation had already contributed one hundred dollars as an offering which was the fruit of their pious a nd untiring labors. With evident solemn feeling, they now doubled their subscription. Mr. Thornton, knowing the slenderness of their resources, and the costliness to them of the sacrifice which they had made, offered to pay the money, and trust the Soci ety a year for its, charging no interest. Dr. Hobart offered to lend them the money for the same time. They declined both propositions. The people had now almost reached the goal of their hopes. In this exigency, Mr. Thornton, in their name, pledged h imself for the balance, and filled the hearts of the people with the liveliest joy. Most fervent thanks were expressed to Mrs. Thornton, to Dr. Hobart, to Mr. Thornton, and to all who had aided in bringing the church out of debt.

The subscriptions made were promptly paid, and thus the church was freed from debt in a day. After some time, efforts to procure a pastor were renewed. At first, there were not successful; but after a time, a call was voted to Rev. William M. Barker. T his was in the autumn of 1880. After some delay, he accepted the proffered charge, and entered on his work. The church is united and fervent in the prayer, that his labors among them will prove effectual and useful in a very high degree.

Dr. I.A. Sumpkin is clerk of the church. Gabriel W. Abell is Superintendent of the Sunday-School. The church is pursuing the even tenor of her way, enjoying on the road the comforts of faith.

Moawequa Church. This church is located in the town of Moawequa, in the north-western part of the county. It reports 166 members, and enjoyed for several years the acceptable and efficient labors of Rev. W.C. Roach, as preacher and pastor. For a considerable time Mr. Roach ministered to the two churches, at Moawequa and at Assumption, in Christian county, respectively; but in the Moawequa church, realizing the grave importance of having the exclusive labors of an efficient minister, persuaded hi m to relinquish his charge at Assumption, and give himself wholly to the church at Moawequa. With characteristic devotion, he plied his work at the latter place, but has since resigned, and the church is left without pastor.

Moawequa is located on the Illinois Central Railroad, about 25 miles from Shelbyville by the highway, 33 miles by railroad, and 114 miles from St. Louis, At last accounts, R.I. Smith was the clerk of the church.

Stewardson Church. Stewardson is situation 16 miles south-east of Shelbyville by the common highway, and 20 by railroad. The town, which lies on the Chicago and Paducah Railroad, is of recent origin, and is rapidly increasing in population, busin ess, and importance. The Baptist Church in this place originated about the year 1875, in a very common manner. A prominent citizen, Mr. S.B. Fisk, one of the early settlers, had removed to the place from one of our cities. In his former place of living , himself and family had been accustomed to the weekly enjoyment of attendance on the services of the sanctuary. At their new abode they found themselves destitute of these privileges. They felt the privation to be a severe one. Very naturally and just ly, Mr. Fisk applied himself to remove the trouble at the earliest possible day. There was not a male citizen of his faith in the village in which he lived; but, being by occupation a farmer, he found three or four families in the adjoining districts who were engaged in his own primitive secular calling, and who were Baptists. In the village, also, a few of Baptist sentiments were found. After a moderate time, the Baptists were enabled to secure the occasional ministrations of a public servant of Chris t, of their own faith and order. In the early winter of 1877, Rev. D.P. French, a right zealous and efficient minister, missionary of the Illinois Baptist Association for the southern section of the state, visited the place, and commenced and sustained a protracted meeting with the little church that had been constituted. It is pertinent to mention that before and after this period the congregation had enjoyed the occasional labors of Rev. Mr. Griffith, a truly faithful and evangelical clergyman, living near Strasburg. Rev. J.H. Phillips, pastor at Shelbyville church, had also assisted them by preaching for them, and by procuring aid in building their house of worship. In addition to these Rev. I.N. Hobart, D.D., superintendent of missions of the Gene ral Association of Illinois, visited them, labored for them, and gave them most effectual aid in both spiritual and temporal matters. The singular inclemency of the weather, the bad condition of the roads, the great difficulty of procuring preachers at t he time, with other causes, united to prevent any considerable visible success of the protracted meeting referred to above. The writer preached on four successive dark and stormy nights at the meeting, when he was obligated to leave, owing to prior engag ements. The people gave good attendance, and eager attention, despite the storm, the mud, the darkness, and the cold. A year afterwards, through the intervention of Rev. Dr. Hobart, Rev. H.W. Wilson was sustained as a missionary of the General Associati on at Stewardson for several months. he labored zealously, held a protracted meeting, was prospered in his work, and received a good number into the church by baptism. At present the church has a good pastor in the person of Rev. J.H. Phillips of Shelby ville. In 1877 they built a neat, substantial and commodious house of worship, their own liberal efforts to build a house for the Lord having been supplemented by the generous aid of friends outside the limits of the congregation. The number of members is reported to be about 50.


THE churches at Shelbyville, Moawequa and Stewardson, of whom sketches have now been given, belong to the class which is often called, for the sake of distinction, Missionary Baptists. With the possible exception of the Methodists, reckoning the n orthern and southern divisions of that people as one, they are far more numerous than the communicants of any other church in the United States. In addition to these, there are in the county a considerable number of Baptists bearing other distinctive nam es, as the Separate Baptists, the United Baptists, and the Primitive Baptists.

In 1879, the Separate Baptists, at the meeting of the Association held at the Bethel Church, Christian county, reported eight churches in this county, as follows:

Union -- N. Corley, pastor. Fourteen members. Post office, Shelbyville.

Fellowship -- E.O. King, clerk, Beck's creek. Forty-five members.

Providence -- N. Neil, clerk, Tower Hill. Sixty-two members. Rev. S.B.N. Vaughan, of Decatur, is the worthy pastor.

Okaw -- J.P. Hudson, pastor. D.M. Hudson, clerk, Shelbyville. Thirty-six members.

New Hope No. 1 -- C.P. Roberts, pastor, Lakewood. Sixty-six members.

New Hope, No. 2 -- William Barton, clerk, Shelbyville.

Little Flock -- Fifteen miles northwest of Shelbyville. Twelve members. Rev. Barnett Smock is pastor. Post-office, Assumption, Christian Co.

Little Flock -- S.R. Throne, pastor, Robinson creek.

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THE churches of this order in the county are stated to have been gathered and organized in great part by the labors of Rev. Nathan Corley. I am unable to present their statistics.


OF this worthy people, also, I have almost no information. A church of this order exists four or five miles from Moawequa.


Union Church, in Penn township, is the only denomination of this order in Shelby county; situated a few miles east of Moawequa. It has about fifty members, with Rev. Benjamin Mahon as pastor, whose home is near Vandalia, Fayette county. Nearly for ty years ago there existed a church of this denomination about three miles from Shelbyville; but their pastor died, and the society became scattered, and soon passed out of sight. Rev. Mr. Gordon was their minister, and a very worthy and useful man it is said by those who knew him best.


THIS church was first organized near Tower Hill in 1832 by the Rev. Newton Coffey. Rev. Willis Whitfield was for many years a zealous worker for the cause in the county.

By Mrs. Emily L. Douthit

THERE are only four of these congregations, and they have all been organized within the last twelve years. Their origin and history are no inseparably connected with the life of the present pastor that, in giving an account of their rise and histo ry, some brief personal allusions may not be out of place. Jasper L. Douthit is a native of this county, and his mother was a native of the state. She was born in a fort in Franklin county, Ills., and came to this county with her father, Francis Jordan, about the year 1828, when the Indians still roamed these prairies and lighted their campfires. His father, Andrew E. Douthit, emigrated from East Tennessee with his parents in 1832. The Regular Predestinarian Baptists, known as "Hardshell," were the pr incipal sect in the eastern part of the county then. For the first sixteen years of his life J.L. Douthit scarcely ever heard any other kind of Gospel, excepting an occasional discourse from the Disciples, commonly called Campbellites. His mother being a devoted Christian and member of the "Hardshell" Baptist Church, he wished to believe and live in church fellowship with her. But the more he thought upon the subject, the more he found it impossible for him to believe the doctrine; neither could he in good conscience unite with any of the churches in the vicinity. He was beset with doubts and misgivings, and began to suspect that all sects were more or less in error. He longed for the fellowship of Christians, but felt that they imposed burdens of cr eeds contrary to the Gospel. From his earliest recollections he was longing to find some Christian people who would receive members into their fellowship on the simple basis of a solemnly avowed purpose to be good, to get good, and do good, without subsc ribing to any creeds that were difficult to understand or believe. This longing desire for a larger and simpler Christian fellowship, which resulted in his taking the lead in the formation of these societies, seems to have been born with him and prompted not of his or any human will. As this longing increased, a thirst for knowledge and greater usefulness also increased, until at the age of seventeen Mr. Douthit left home to attend the Shelby Seminary. While connected with this institution he was induc ed to unite with the Methodist Episcopal Church, though with some protest, and not fully assenting to the Articles of Faith of said church. In 1857 he was married to Miss Emily Lovell, of Abington, Mass. About the year 1860, being twenty-six years old, and still dissatisfied with all the churches around him, and knowing no people in the world who would receive him into their fellowship on the basis he desired, he began without the sanction or authority of any body of believers, to speak out in public wh at he believed, and to declare against slavery of body and against slavery of mind and soul.

Receiving little sympathy in his opinions, and meeting with much opposition, he yearned more than ever for a closer Christian fellowship. He accordingly, in 1861, wrote a letter to Rev. T.W. Higginson, of Worcester, Mass., who he supposed from what he ha d read and heard of him, belonged to an independent and liberal church. Mr. Higginson responded very kindly, informing the inquirer of the existence of just such a body of people as he had been longing to meet for so many years. For further information, Mr. Higginson referred him, among others, to Rev. Robert Collyer of the Second Unitarian Society of Chicago. Through Mr. Collyer, Mr. Douthit was led to attend the Western Unitarian Conference, held at Detroit, Mich., and there, June 22d, 1862, he was f ormally ordained to the Christian Ministry; Revs. M.D. Conway, now of London, C.G. Ames, T.J. Mumford, Geo. W. Hosmer, D.D., Rev. Robert Collyer and others taking part in the ordination service. The newly-ordained minister, with fresh courage, returned t o his birthplace and continued to preach in school-houses, groves, and private houses, wherever he could get a hearing. His watchwords were: Union, Liberty, Charity and Progress in Civil Government and in Religion. But the storm of civil war beat heavi ly, and absorbed all other interests, and the Unitarian preacher made slow progress. Greatly needing a better preparation for the ministry, by the direction and assistance of generous brethren and friends, he was led to take a course of three years instr uction in the Theological Seminary at Meadville, Pa., graduating from this school in June, 1867. After a brief ministry at Princeton, Ill., with some people to whom the Hon. Owen Lovejoy had once been pastor, Mr. Douthit could not resist the impulses to resume his labors in the region of his birth. There was no church to extend him a call, give him welcome, or promise a salary. He had no income, and there was no assurance of support for himself and family, excepting what he might make by cultivating a little farm, and his wife earn by teaching a subscription school. Aid had been given heretofore by Unitarian Missionary Societies, but as he had taken this step contrary to the advice and wishes of friends who had influence with these societies, he could not now hope for further aid. However, it was not long before the American Unitarian Association of Boston, Mass., made an appropriation for his partial support, which has never been since entirely wanting.

The first preaching in 1867-8-9 was mostly at Log Church, (an old building, three and a half miles east of Shelbyville, and first erected for the use of Predestinarian Baptists) and at Salem Schoolhouse, about three miles south of Log Church, and near the residence of Mr. Jacob Sittler. The only material aid that the preacher received the first year from those with whom he labored in the Gospel, was one big jug of sorghum molasses, and this was given by a foreigner who had been reared to the custom of su pporting religious institutions. The Baptists who had mostly occupied this ground after the Indians left, believed that all missionary effort was of the devil, and that it was wrong to educate a man and pay him for preaching the Gospel. Of course such t eaching was

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not without its influence on the old settlers and natives who were not Baptists. The next year, 1868, the local contributions reached about ten dollars. In this year a large Sunday-school was organized at Log Church and did good work, notwithstanding so me bitter opposition and riotous disturbances. The Boston Sunday School Society and other friends in the East donated one hundred and fifty or more volumes of valuable books for the Sunday-school library. Some were suspicious of all books from Boston, a nd were opposed to receiving this donation. However a public meeting was called, a vote was taken, and the books were thankfully received by a vote of forty-two to twelve, several not voting. The books were by such authors as Miss Sedgwick, Mrs. Childs, T.S. Arthur, and Fanny Gage; and were eagerly read and did much toward improving the manners and morals of the neighborhood. Horse racing and card playing were less frequent on Sunday, and the dram shops grew less popular and began to feel the penalty o f violating the law. The keepers and some of the customers were enraged so that the Superintendent of the Sunday-school was assaulted one Sunday while the school was in session. But it all worked together to create a greater interest in the work begun. Elder John Ellis, a liberal preacher of the "Christians," rendered Mr. Douthit efficient service during this year.

Oak Grove Church of Liberal Christians. On Sunday, June 1st, 1868, Salem, (now Oak Grove), church of Liberal Christians was organized by the following persons making a public confession of the Christian faith, and covenanting together in church fe llowship; namely; Jacob Sittler and his wife, Sidney; Wm. G. Buckley and his wife, Martha J.; Mr. Beverly Milligan, George W. Douthit, Jasper L. Douthit and his wife, Emily L. This first congregational church covenant was entered into at the old Salem Sc hool-House. The weather being pleasant, and the house being too small to accommodate all present, the service was held out of doors, in the shade of an old elm tree, since cut down. Elder John Ellis preached the sermon on the occasion, and formally welc omed the little company to the Christian brotherhood. On Monday, July 6th, 1868, a meeting was held near the Griffith graveyard about three and a half miles south-east of Shelbyville. This meeting was held in the woods on the spot where in early days a log school-house stood. Dr. A.L. Kellar of Shelbyville and J.L. Douthit being present, stated that it was proposed to erect a house of worship there, to be held jointly for the use of Liberal Christians and "Christian," (Campbellite) congregations, said house to be free to all other Christian people when not used by either of these two congregations. Jacob Sittler, in addition to subscribing liberally volunteered to superintend the carpenter's work. On Monday, the 16th of November, the trustees met on the ground and decided to begin to build. A deed to the site was given by Edwin Martin. The people who could not give money had a mind to work, and the building was completed in time for dedication, September 29th, 1870. Robert Collyer, of Unity Church , Chicago, was present, and preached an eloquent sermon, which will long be remembered by those who heard it. The first trustees of this building were Jeremiah Southers, John C. Coconower, Jacob Sittler, and J.L. Douthit.

On January 16, 1870, at a meeting held in the unfinished Oak Grove chapel, the declaration of faith, covenant and constitution of the Liberal Christian Church of Shelbyville township, Shelby county, Illinois was adopted. The following are extracts from t he declaration and covenant:

"We believe that all duty is embraced in the following precepts of Jesus: 'All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.' 'Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy str ength, and with all they mind, and they neighbor as thyself.'***

"Our only test of fellowship shall be Christian character - 'By their fruits ye shall know them' - therefore, any one evincing an earnest purpose to lead a pure and upright life before God and man, may become a member of this church by signing its covenan t and constitution, - 'for in every nation he that feareth God and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him,' and shall be with us. * * *

"We covenant with one another, and we bind ourselves in the presence of God to walk together in all His ways according to the best of our knowledge and ability. * * *

"We promise to remember mercy and do justly to all, not dealing oppressingly or cruelly with any one. We resolve to be temperate in all things; diligent in business; 'fervent in spirit; serving the Lord' in our special avocations, - shunning idleness as the bane of any people or state. We promise to give of our substance as God prospers us for the benefit of the poor and needy, and for such other purposes as have for their object the spreading of the gospel and the upbuilding of God's kingdom or righteo usness on earth. We promise to walk with our brethren with all watchfulness and tenderness, avoiding jealousies and suspicions, censurings, provokings, secret risings of the spirit against them; but in all offences to follow the rule of our Master and to bear and forbear, give and forgive, as He has taught us. All this we sincerely promise to try to be and to do; and while remembering that we are weak; and that to err is human, we are resolved, by the help of God, as often as we do in any way fail and fa ll, we will arise and try again."

This covenant is mostly in the words of the covenant of the first church organized in the colony of Massachusetts Bay, at Salem, in 1629, two hundred and fifty-one years ago. That old covenant was drawn up by Rev. Francis Higginson, the pastor, who was o ne of the first ministers ordained in New England, and the ancestor of Col. T.W. Higginson. The latter, in alluding to this covenant, calls it "Puritanism's original declaration of independence in America," and well says that "it proves the essential gre atness of the founders of New England society that those who claim to hold the most advanced outposts of thought have got so little beyond even the letter of this covenant, and not at all beyond its spirit."

Over sixty members have entered into this church covenant at Oak Grove, but part of these have moved away, and part of them have transferred their membership to the First Congregational Church in Shelbyville.

Christian Union Church, near Mode. - In April, 1872, an attempt was made to raise funds to build a house of worship at the graveyard between Jacob Elliott's residence and the village of Mode. But the attempt failed, because by the terms of subscr iption to the building fund, the house was to be only open to all orthodox and evangelical Christians when not used by the German Reformed Church. The people had got their eyes open to the fact that the holders of church property on such conditions claim ed the right to exclude the Unitarians and any others whom they had a mind to judge as not orthodox. Only a small sum was subscribed on this plan, when it was abandoned and a subscription started which made the church open to all Christian people when not used by that religious society, which should take care to keep the building in order and repair. Mr. Thaddeus Elliott most diligently solicited funds on this plan, and very soon about $1,500 was pledged. The stone foundation of the church was laid in 1 872. J.H. Worley did the stone work and John Root & Bros. the carpentering work. "Granny" Elliott, the aged wife of Jacob Elliott, with her own

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hands, generously cooked for the workmen. She has since gone to her reward. Many others lent a hand, so that the edifice, capable of seating five hundred or more persons, was neatly finished, and dedicated July 20th, 1873. Robert Collyer preached the s ermon, and was assisted in the services by Rev. William Boone, of the M.E. Church, Mr. Robert Tyson and J.L. Douthit. In 1874 an Independent Christian congregation was organized here. The Rev. James F. Brown is identified with this congregation. He was ordained to the Christian ministry at a Conference of the Fraternity of Liberal Religious Societies of Illinois, held in Shelbyville April, 1877, with Rev. John H. Heywood, of Louisville, Ky., presiding. Mr. Brown occasionally preaches to congregations in the vicinity of Mode, the village of his home, though he is prevented by physical disability from very active duties. The trustees of this Christian Union Church are Jacob Elliott, Abraham Gollagher, John Warner and George Williams.

The Log Church Society. - The Log Church above mentioned, was first built for the "Hardshell" Baptists, and stood near where Thomas Dobins now lives. It was removed to the present place to make room for the Indianapolis and St. Louis railroad. I t became the school-house for Liberty school district until the district became so populous that two school-houses were required, and then, ceasing to be used for public school purposes, by the terms of the original deed the property reverted to Mr. Thoma s Rice. Mr. Rice was of the Roman Catholic faith, but seeing the good that the house had done, and there being no other to accommodate the religious interests of the neighborhood, he determined that it should continue to be held for that purpose. On Jan uary 4, 1871, Mr. Rice gave a deed for the property to the following persons and their heirs forever, namely: Bayless M. Davis, Levi N. Douthit, Christian Peterson and Jasper L. Douthit; said parties of the second part to have and to hold the same in tru st, "for the use of the religious societies of the neighborhood." A Sunday-school is kept here during part of the year, and Mr. Douthit preaches here frequently. No other religious body uses the house regularly.

The Unitarian Society of Sylvan. - During the years 1871-72, Mr. Douthit held services in the Methodist Chapel, Mt. Carmel, four miles directly south of Shelbyville. While preaching here, the nucleus was formed out of which grew the society of Un itarian Christians, which now worships at Sylvan School-house. Joseph Reid and his wife Eliza, were the first members. The officers of this church have failed to furnish the writer with exact data. It must suffice to say that it is composed of about fi fteen members. It supports a lively Sunday-school a part of the year, with an attendance of from fifty to seventy-five.

First Congregational (Unitarian) Church of Shelbyville. - On February 15th, 1874, regular preaching was begun by Mr. Douthit in the old court-house, Shelbyville. Several unsuccessful attempts had been made to hold services in this city. The foll owing record occurs in the minister's diary for "Monday, Feb. 22, 1869. A muddy disagreeable ride to the court-house and back last night. About two dozen were present. They listened suspiciously rather than kindly to what was said about Liberal Christi anity. Some acted as if they had got into the wrong pew and were ashamed of it. Next Sunday I shall try again in the day time."

Accordingly on Sunday morning, February 28, 1859, Mr. Douthit walked from his home, four and a half miles from Shelbyville court-house, to preach per appointment which was made the week before and thoroughly advertised. A short time before the hour for s ervice, one man who had been on a drunken spree the day and night previous, and who, it was supposed, was just out of the lock-up, came and peeped in at the court-house door and inquired what was going on. When told that there would be preaching if any o ne came to hear, he remarked "Wal, mebbe I'll be around by meetin' time," and turned away. The lonely preacher waited till nearly twelve o'clock, but this man not returning and no one else coming, he turned his steps homeward somewhat cast down but deter mined to try again. Occasional efforts were made during the next five years that were not very successful. But now, (1874), it was determined that if the audience averaged no more than one dozen, and if the minister had to be his own janitor, and pay al l incidental expenses, and receive no word of encouragement, he would nevertheless stick to it regularly for one year and leave results to God. At the first meeting there were about two dozen persons present, and the audiences gradually increased. Unexp ected friends arose. A small Sunday-school was organized in the spring of 1874, and rapidly increased in numbers and interest. The Church of the Disciples, Boston, Dr. James F. Clark pastor, sent us a donation of books for the Sunday-school library. Mr . Jacob C. Smith, of Marshall, Illinois, added interest to the mission by teaching one of his popular singing schools in the court-house, during May, 1874, closing with a jubilee concert, and giving part of the proceeds for the purchase of an organ for th e society.

On Thursday evening, May 13, 1875, at a meeting held in the court-house, thirteen persons united in church covenant by signing the following articles of agreement: "We, who have here subscribed our names, do unite ourselves together as the body of commun icants, in the First Congregational Church, of Shelbyville, Illinois. By so doing we profess our faith in Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, and the Saviour of men, and acknowledge the Bible as the Divinely authorized Rule of Faith and practice to which it is our duty, as Christians to submit. By thus uniting ourselves together, we claim no right to exclude any one from this Communion on account of difference of doctrinal opinions, nor for any reason except undoubted immorality of conduct."

November 1, 1875, the members had increased to twenty-one persons. At this time a constitution for the government of the church was adopted and the following officers and trustees were elected: President John C. Jones; Secretary, R.E. Guilford; Treasure r, W.A. Cochran. Trustees: B.A. Mansfield, W.A. Cochran, W.B. Jackson, John H. Worley, Robert E. Guilford.

In the year 1875, Hon. George Partridge visited this congregation, and was impressed with the need of a fitting place of worship. In order to encourage such an enterprise, in a letter to the pastor under date of November 8, 1875, Mr. Partridge offered to give $500 to aid in building a suitable church edifice, stipulating among other conditions, that the cost of the church and seating should not exceed the amount subscribed, and that it should be free of debt when completed. On this proposition th e citizens of Shelbyville were appealed to for assistance. The response was prompt and cheerful. The work on the building soon began. The corner-stone of the church was laid on Monday, November 21, 1875. Rev. Benjamin Mills, pastor of the Presbyterian Church, Rev. Theodore Brooks, pastor of the Christian Church, and Elder John Elis, assisting Mr. Douthit in the ceremonies. (It may be mentioned here that Elder Ellis labored zealously with the Liberal Christian congregations of this county during this and the following year, and his wise advice and cheering words will long be held in grateful remembrance.) Mr. Ellis assisted Mr. Douthit in a protracted meeting at the court-house, continuing every night with unabated interest during the months of Febru ary and March, 1876. During these meetings nearly seventy-five members were added to the church. In the meantime, the work on the church edifice progressed rapidly, so that

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it was completed and dedicated May 8, 1876. Mr. Jedediah Silvers superintended the brick work, and Mr. W. B. Jackson superintended the carpentry work. Rev. James Freeman Clark, D.D., preached the dedication sermon in the morning; and in the evening of the same day, (Nov. 13, 1876), Rev. J. L. Douthit was formally installed as pastor of the congregation, Rev. W. G. Eliot preaching the sermon. Revs. John H. Heywood, P. L. Hosmer, Elder John Ellis and Rabbi Sonnenschein were also present and assisted in the ceremonies of dedication and installation. Agreeably to Mr. Partringe's stipulation, seconded by most of the contributors to the building fund, the building was dedicated free of debt and of right must ever remain so. The church building is situated on th e west side of Washington Street, two blocks north of the court house. It is a neat brick structure, nicely frescoed within and seated with chairs. It will comfortably seat four hundred persons. The present actual membership is about a hundred and twenty- five. Unity Sunday-school, connected with the church, has about one hundred and fifty teachers and pupils enrolled.

In conclusion, it may be of interest to mention that during the rise of the foregoing congregations the following discourses expounding the principles and doctrines of Liberal Christianity have been preached by the minister in charge, and printed in pamph let form for general circulation, to wit: "How I became a Unitarian, and Why I am a Unitarian? in two letters, addressed to the Rev. R. K. Davies, D. D., of the Methodist Episcopal Church" (1872). "Bishop Edwards' Mistakes, being a reply to some charges m ade by Rev. David Edwards, Bishop of the United Brethren Church, against Unitarian Christianity" (1873.) "The Creeds or Christ, and a Plea for Religious Honesty" (1879.) Also, to be published about this time (Dec. 1880): "Must we be dipped Under the Water in order to be Christians and enter the Kingdom of Heaven? What saith Alexander Campbell, and what saith reason and the Scriptures?" Also several memorial sermons, and tracts of a practical character have been printed from time to time. Perhaps the most interesting incident in the history of these churches is related in a narrative sermon by Robert Collyer, published by the American Unitarian Association, Boston, Mass., entitled "A Story of the Prairies." This touching story has been widely read in Ameri ca and England, and is translated into another tongue. It is mostly a literal report of the impressive speech which John Oliver Reed, a native of the county, made at a Basket Meeting held at Oak Grove Chapel, in October, 1872. In this speech this man gave his experience of a wonderful and radical conversion, and made a public confession of Christian faith, which those who knew him believed to be sincere, and which by his after life proved to be quite real! Although an humble farmer, and unlettered man, ye t his words on this occasion seemed inspired, and they kindled a warmth and light that like all true words continue to burn in the hearts of men, and are destined to shine on forever.


The Presbyterian church in Shelby county, so far as can now be ascertained, has consisted of but seven organizations. These, in the order of their organization, are as follows: Shelbyville, Unity, Prairie Bird, West Okaw, Moawequa, Tower Hill, and Bethany .

Previous to the organization of any church of this denomination in the county, a traveling Presbyterian minister from Kentucky visited Shelbyville, first in August 1834, and collected the names of twelve Presbyterians, preaching at various times in the ol d court-house. Who this man was does not appear, nor is it now known how often he visited the place in his itinerant labors.

Ten years after his first visit, Revs. Joseph Platt, of Paris, Ill. and J. S. Reasoner, organized the first Presbyterian church known in the county. This church consisted of fourteen members, the organization taking place in the old court-house in Shelbyv ille, on the 31st day of July, 1843. David Ewing, now of Shelbyville, and James Elder, were chosen and ordained as ruling elders. This church was organized under what is known as the Old-School body, and was supplied with occasional preaching for several years by the two ministers who organized it, and occasionally by a few others. But at length it was left without ministerial care, and was finally disbanded by Presbytery, April 2, 1852.

The present church at Shelbyville was organized, not in the town, but in a barn at Prairie Bird, about eight miles N. W. of town, but was called, however, "The Shelbyville Presbyterian Church." This organization was effected June 30, 1851, by Rev. Bilious Pound and Elishia Jenny with fifteen members, three others uniting with them the same day. The church was organized as a new school church, and held its connection with that body up to the time of the reunion of the old and new school assemblies in 1870. During all its history it has enjoyed a good degree of prosperity, being the leading church in the county, and among the first in the Presbytery. The following elders have been elected to serve the church: David Ewing, at its organization, June 30, 1851; George Hill, February 7, 1852; John D. Amlin, February 23, 1857; John Hunter and George Griggs, November 21, 1858; George Hannaman and Robert Carnes, April 7, 1860; Ebenezer Cheney, April 10, 1864; Lindsey McMorris and Thomas H. West, March 11, 1866; and James D. Hunter, January 4, 1872.

Rev. J. M. Grout took charge of the church at its organization, and continued as its pastor till his death, by cholera, August 1, 1855. Joseph Wilson succeeded him in 1856, and continued till 1859. After him, Rev. H. K. Baines, of the German Reformed Chur ch officiated for a time; then Rev. M. P. Ormsby for one year, till January 1860; and Rev. James B. Sheldon during the year 1861. In 1862 Rev. Timothy Hill, D.D., now of Kansas City, Mo., became pastor, and continued until August 1865, when he was superse ded by Rev. Dr. Dimond, now of Brighton, Ill. Rev. R. D. Van Deursen, D.D., now of Paris, Ill., became pastor in March, 1867, and remained until September, 1871; he being succeeded in November of the same year by Rev. L. J. Root, now deceased; and he, for three months, by Rev. A. W. Williams, now of Philadelphia, Pa. In May, 1874, Rev. B. Mills, D.D., assumed the pastorate, and continued until September, 1877; and was followed in April, 1878, by the present incumbent, Rev. W. C. West. The church now numbe rs about 120, with a Sunday-school of 150. It is under good organization, and enjoys complete harmony, and is in all respects in a prosperous and hopeful condition. The present house of worship, erected in 1856 and 1857, at a cost of $6, 000, and since, t wice repaired at an outlay of about $2, 000, is a brick building, neat, substantial and commodious, with an audience-room, Sunday-school and lecture-rooms, and pastor's study.

Next in the order of its organization comes the church of Prairie Bird. This church was formed out of members from the Shelbyville church, under the following circumstances: During the first pastorate of the later church, the minister, Mr. Grout, took up his residence in Shelbyville, where a portion of his congregation also lived, and preached alternately here and at Prairie Bird. This arrangement continued for some years, until the portion of the congregation living and worshiping at Prairie Bird became dissatisfied, and finally were organized into a separate church of twenty-six members under the name of "The Presbyterian Church of Prairie Bird, " while the town portion, twenty-five in number, remained

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under the old organization and name. This new church was organized by Rev. George C. Wood, missionary of the Presbytery of Ill., on the 8th of April, 1860. The elders elected at the organization were David Ewing, George B. Hill, and George Griggs, and its present elders are George B. Hill, M. D. Lane, Jno B. Smith, and Anderson Hunter, Mr. James Moore having also served the church in this office at one time. Rev. J. S. Walton preached for the church in 1862, and Eli. W. Taylor during 1863 and 1864. Rev. G . A. Pollock next assumed the pastoral care of the church, preaching here and at Tower Hill on alternate Sabbaths for some years, until 1869. Then came Rev. J. D. Jenkins, for about one year. Rev. Adam Johnston is the present pastor, having served this ch urch in connection with Tower Hill since 1877. Its present membership is about thirty, with a Sunday-school of near the same number. The house of worship is a frame building located in T. 12 N., R. 3 E. S. 19 S. E. quarter, and was erected in 1857, at a c ost of about $1, 000.

Of the third Presbyterian church organized in the county but little is now known. It was called "Unity" church, and was located in T. 10 N., R. 6 E. It was organized by Rev. Samuel Ward, of Indiana, in the fall of 1851, and was disbanded by Presbytery in session at Tolono, Ill., April 4, 1870. Its ruling elders were D. D. Cadwell and Thomas McMellen. So far as is known, it never possessed a house of worship.

Next after "Unity" comes the organization at Prairie House, known as "West Okaw Presbyterian Church." This church was organized by Revs. H. R. Lewis, now of Neosho Falls, Kan., and T. M. Oviatt, now of Gilroy, Cal., in Friendship school-house, on the 20th of October, 1860, and consisted of twenty-six members.

The following Elders have at different times served this church: Gardner M. Thompson, John J. Freeland, Samuel G. Travis, Henry Berg, F. M. Chamberlain, William Bard, James G. Marshall, James L. Neil, Nelson V. Stine, William McBurney, Frederick Orris, J. McNawl and Mr. Shoefler. From the time of its organization till September, 1862, Rev. H. R. Lewis, above named, preached for the church. Following him came Rev. Clark Loudon, 1863-1869; Rev. J. D. Jenkins, 1873-1874; Rev. Julius Spencer, 1875-1877; and R ev. Wm. E. Lincoln, 1878, and part of 1879. For many years this church enjoyed great prosperity; and in 1876 it numbered over 150 members. But since that time it has suffered from internal dissensions and other causes, until now its roll shows less than 1 00 members. This time of trial and discouragement, however, seems now to be nearly ended; and a brighter happier day dawning upon her. The congregation have lately repaired and beautified their house of worship, and called Rev. Mr. Jenkins, of St. Louis, to labor among them as pastor. The latter has accepted the call, and is just entering upon his new and hopeful field, consisting of this church, and that of Dalton City, 8 miles north. The church is located in one of the richest and finest farming distric ts in Shelby county; and has at its command material for a strong and wealthy church, and a fine, large Sabbath-school. The house of worship is frame, situated in the S. E. corner of N. E. 1/4 of Section 34, T. 14 N., R. 3 E of 3 P M. It was 40 by 50 feet ; was dedicated April 24, 1869, having cost about $4000, including recent repairs and improvements. The church also owns a parsonage; a two-story frame building, 30 by 40 feet, erected in 1875, at a cost of near $1000.

In the month of May, 1867, another organization among the Presbyterians of the county was effected. This was at Moawequa. The church was established by Revs. S. W. Mitchell and Clark Loudon, and elder S. H. Wilson, under the authority of Sangamon Presbyte ry; and consisted of thirteen members. The elders then appointed were Lewis Long and F. M. Chamberlain; and those elected since are Samuel G. Travis, George M. Stein, Thomas Hudson and R. B. Wilson. The church, since its organization, has been under the p astoral care and labor of Revs. Charles Smoyer, J. D. Jenkins, J. Payson Mills and Wm. E. Lincoln, successively; and is at present supplied in preaching by Rev. Mr. Cecil, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Macon. The roll at present shows a membership of 45, with a Sabbath-school of 70. The church edifice was erected in 1872, at an expense of about $3, 500.

Tower Hill Church -- The Presbyterian Church in this place was established in 1867, by Revs. A. T. Norton, D. D., and Wm. Titsworth, of Alton Presbytery; and was composed of sixteen members. For the greater part of the time since its organization it has b een supplied with preaching in connection with Prairie Bird. The names of the ministers may be found above, in connection with this last named church. The names of its ruling elders are not known to the writer. The church now numbers about 35, with a Sabb ath-school of 40; and is under the ministerial care of Rev. Adam Johnston. Its house of worship is situated in the town of Tower Hill, on the line of the I. & St. L. R. R.

The last church to be noticed in this article, is known as "Bethany Presbyterian Church." It is located in Flat Branch township, S. 26, W. 1/2, S. W. 1/4. It was organized by Rev. Washington Maynard, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Assumption, Christ ian county, during, or about the year 1875; and has been under his care ever since. It now consists of 35 members; and supports a Sabbath-school of 85. Its church building is of brick, built near the time the church was organized; and is a neat and substa ntial edifice.

We have thus given the merest and briefest outline of the organization and history of the seven Presbyterian Churches of Shelby county. What influence they have exerted upon the county, no one can tell; certainly it has not been insignificant. For all the se churches have been largely constituted of those elements of strength and influence which belong to Presbyterianism the wide world over; viz.: thorough organization, government and discipline, sound, and clearly defined religious views, coupled with the broadest and most catholic liberality toward all who love the Lord Jesus Christ, a thoroughly educated ministry, and membership gathered by the principle of natural selection from the most industrious, intelligent and influential classes of society. Thes e and other elements possessed by Presbyterianism, once combined in a church, while it may be less of a pioneer than others, will not soon become extinct, nor fail to influence and mould surrounding society. And so we are safe in asserting that Shelby cou nty is indebted in no small degree to the influence of the Presbyterian Churches within her borders; and safe, also, in predicting that her future history will be affected in a corresponding or greater degree by the same influence.

The writer of this article here acknowledges his obligation for assistance to Rev. A. T. Norton, D. D., in his "History of the Presbyterian Churches in the State of Illinois;" and also to Rev. B. Mills, D. D., in an historical discourse delivered in Shelb yville July 2, 1876.


Church at Windsor. -- A petition was sent to the Presbytery of Vandalia at her spring session of 1850, signed by Benjamin Walden, David Robison, Joseph Davis, James Davis, Elvira Rose, Jane Weeks and Patience Davis, praying to be organized into a Cumberla nd Presbyterian Church, which petition was granted, and Rev. A. M. Wilson -- now of Kansas -- was sent and did organize the above-named persons into a congregation known as the "Plea-

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sant Grove congregation of the C. P. church." This was done in June, 1850. The church was first organized on Sand Creek, where a log house was erected for a place of public worship.

After the town of Windsor was located, the congregation built a large frame church-44 by 60-in town. A lot was secured from Messrs. Huggins and Ryder, and the house begun in 1857. Messrs. William Laughlin, Elisha Robison and James Robison were the first t rustees. At the time of the organization (June, 1850) Benjamin Walden and James Davis were chosen and ordained elders in the congregation. In the spring of 1859 the name of the congregation was changed from "Pleasant Grove" to that of "Windsor." Soon afte r the organization Andrew Gammill was received by letter from "Muddy Point" congregation as an elder and served as such till his death. In the year 1856 R. C. Russell was elected and ordained elder, and P. A. Vanosdell came from Kentucky, and was received as an elder.

Judge Walker, an O. S. Presbyterian, having united with the congregation, was chosen and filled the office of elder for a number of years. On Dec. 25, 1858, G. L. Robison and Samuel Renner were chosen and ordained as elders. May 26, 1866, Z. B. Ellis was elected elder, and on the 8th of July following was set apart to the office. Feb. 22, 1868, Dr. C. H. Brunk and W. M McIntosh were elected elders, and on the 23d Dr. Brunk was set apart by ordination, and Mr. McIntosh having been an elder in another congr egation his orders were recognized. Aug. 19, 1874, Levi Wilkinson was elected elder, and on the 30th of the same month ordained to the office. The first deacon that was chosen by the congregation, according to the records, was J. S. Robison, which was don e on Dec. 25, 1858. It is no doubt true that the elders did all the work up to this time, usually done by the deacons. On Feb. 6th, 1864, Z. B. Ellis and George Renner were chosen deacons, and Aug. 19, 1874, Thomas Cavins and W. H. Rodgers were chosen dea cons, and on the 30th of the same month set apart to the office by ordination.

Mr. Laughlin and Mr. E. Robison ceasing to act as trustees, having moved out of the bounds of the congregation, on Nov. 7, 1868, R. C. Russell and W. H. Rodgers were elected by the congregation to fill the vacancies. After the congregation was organized, Rev. T. A. Bone (now dead) served the church as minister. After him, Rev. J. S. Freeland (now dead), founder of Sullivan Academy, served as minister for some time. The next minister was Rev. S. W. Goodnight (now of Coles Co), who settled in the bounds of the congregation, and served a number of years. After him, Rev. Joel Knight, who died in the eightieth year of his age. Then Rev. W. W. Brown, who was at the time, 1859, one of the editors of the "Ladies Pearl" of Alton, Ill. After him, Rev. S. R. Rosebor o served about one year. Then Rev. G. W. Montgomery came into the bounds of the congregation from Missouri in the fall of 1862, and served as minister for two years at the rate of $100 per quarter, which is the first record of the amount given to any mini ster.

On the 1st of Nov., 1865, Rev. W. W. M. Barber moved into Windsor, and became pastor upon the promise of $400 per year. This latter-now 1880-has served the congregation 15 years-not having served every Sabbath however.

In the spring of 1863, there being a lack of co-operation and a defective record, the Presbytery granted a reorganization, and 96 names were found upon the list. There are now 40, since the organization of the Richland congregation. The church has met wit h many reverses. During the war party spirit ran high, and some left the church; and since such has been the emigration west, that at times it appeared as if the church would become disorganized; but God in his providence has brought others, who have led the church along.

The congregation feeling that their church house was uncomfortable, and not such as suited, determined to build a new one, which was completed and dedicated to the service of God by Rev. J. B. Logan, D. D., pastor of Taylorville congregation, and editor o f Our Faith, on the 21st of Nov., 1875, costing $2, 000.

The new house is on a different lot from the old one, and the congregation elected a new board of trustees, which was done the 18th of August, 1875, and R. C. Russell, E. M. Mooberry, and J. H. Gilpin were elected, and constitute the Board at present. C. H. Brunk and R. C. Russell are the only elders at present. Thos. Cavins and W. H. Rodgers are deacons; the latter not serving at present. E. M. Mooberry was elected deacon on the 19th of Sept., 1877, but has never been ordained. Rev. W. W. M. Barber is st ill pastor.

Services are held twice a month -- Sabbath-school every Sunday -- and prayer meeting Wednesday evening. The church has the elements of success, and in time will stand among the flrst for its good works.

Richland Congregation. -- For a number of years there have been Cumberland Presbyterians living in Richland township, and holding church connection with the Windsor congregation. Most of the ministers who have had charge at Windsor have preached in Richla nd, and there has been regular preaching there by Cumberland Presbyterians for the last twenty-five years, more or less.

The place of worship was a school-house, until the neighborhood built a union church-house about the year1867, and Samuel Renner, an elder in the Windsor congregation, was elected by the builders of the house, as one of the trustees, to secure the interes t of Cumberland Presbyterians in the house, and they were given one-fourth interest. The house cost about $200.

Rev. W. W. M. Barber has kept an appointment there most of the time, within the last fifteen years. The members of the church feeling that they could accomplish more by having a separate organization there, their desires were granted, and Rev. W. W. M. Ba rber organized the following named persons into a congregation, on the 18th of August, 1878, viz: Samuel Renner, Elvina Renner, Lizzie Barker, Henry Linebaugh, Sarah Linebaugh, Phil. Hawk, Emma Hawk, Michael Hawk, Elizabeth Hawk, Mag. Hawk, Belle Hawk, A. Richman, Lucinda Galino, Jacob Durst, Mary A. Durst, Mary A. Gill, Elizabeth Balch, and Susan Stewardson -- 18 in all. Samuel Renner, Phillip Hawk, and Henry Linebaugh, were chosen elders, and the two latter ordained; the former having been an elder. The congregation now numbers 26. The name they assume is Richland Congregation of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Rev. W. W. M. Barber is pastor, and preaches one Sabbath in the month for them.

The church is surrounded with difficulties, but with Divine guidance good can be effected. The interest the congregation has in the Union house, is perhaps worth $300 or $400.


There were, doubtless, persons among the first settlers of Shelbyville and of the vicinity, who held to the faith and practice of the Protestant Episcopal Church; but this class, if it existed in the pioneer community, had no visibility till thirty-seven years after the first formation of the county.

In the year 1864 an organization was made in the town, according to the prescribed order and customs of the Protestant Episcopal Church. This organization, according to the information given by W. W. Thornton, Esq., one of the wardens, was called "Trinity

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Parish, " while a prominent and devoted lady communicant has given me the information that "Grace Church " was the style adopted. I conjecture that the name first mentioned was the first assumed, and that the other was substituted at a later day.

The organization was made with the Rev. John Baptiste Pedelupe as Rector; Matthews Riffle, Esq., was senior warden; W. W. Thornton, Esq., was junior warden.

The Vestrymen were as follows: Hon. Anthony Thornton, T. M. Thornton, and M. Chittenden, Esqs.

I have been able to obtain only meagre notices of the parochial and pulpit labors of Mr. Pedelupe. He seems to have kept on the even tenor of his way, doing good as he had opportunity, laboring in his sacred vocation with fitting zeal and fidelity. All th e reports of his ministrations and teachings which have been preserved are creditable to him as a true teacher of the beneficent Gospel. Doubtless, his heart was sometimes animated with a lively hope that the congregation to which he ministered would prov e true branches of the vine of which our Father is the husbandman. For a time, twenty-two communicants were on his list of parishioners. For a period of three years he toiled on; but it appears that the time had not yet come for the establishment of a sta ble and prosperous Protestant Episcopal Church in Shelbyville. In 1867, Mr. Pedelupe left for some other field of labor. Inability to sustain the worthy rector is the only reason which I have heard the worthy Episcopal worshipers assign for permitting his departure. In connection with this cause, it was stated that some of the most reliable and efficient supporters of the church had been lost by removal. It will be remembered, moreover, that the year 1867 was distinguished as a year of drought in many por tions of the state;, and the supposition that the failure of the staple crops of the adjoining country was one cause, and not a slight one, of the temporary failure of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Shelbyville, is a very reasonable one.

Since the departure of the first pastor, Trinity Church has been without a rector. A few of the communicants and worshipers have sought membership in Christian congregations of another name; but it is understood that these will return to their first love whenever a fitting occasion shall present itself. Others stand aloof from any open affiliation with other denominations of Christians, waiting for the happy day which shall witness a revival of their own organization, under more favorable auspices than an y previous ones, with a permanent establishment of divine service under forms and according to an order which they so highly prize.

Meanwhile, they are not without a prospect of the fruition of their hopes at an early day. In the summer of 1880 the Rt. Rev. George P. Seymour, D. D. Bishop of the diocese of central Illinois, conceiving a lively interest in the cause of the church at Sh elbyville, through his intervention the services of the Rev. Mr. Tomlins, rector of the Episcopal church at Mattoon, were secured for the benefit of the congregation in the above city, the Mattoon minister making weekly visits to Shelbyville, and performi ng divine service at night. These ministrations afforded great satisfaction to the faithful band of communicants, and to others who attended them. The main hall of the old Seminary was the place engaged and occupied as the place of worship.

Signs of interest appeared; and on the night of the 28th of July, pursuant to previous notice, the right worthy bishop, assisted by the minister in charge, performed divine service in the Presbyterian church, the use of which had been kindly tendered and gratefully accepted for the purpose. After the performance of the liturgical service the bishop delivered an animated evangelical discourse, which was listened to by a good audience, including numbers of the leading citizens, and appeared to afford rich s atisfaction close, the bishop administered the rite of confirmation to two candidates, sons of W. W. Thornton, Esq., the presentation being by the minister in charge. He made a most solemn and impressive address to these youths, which, it is to be hoped, they will remember with gratitude and benefit throughout their lives.

I understand that the Episcopalians of the county capital cherish the purpose of building a church in the city at an early day. The number of their adherents is not large; but it comprises a fair portion of the solid men and noble women of Shelbyville. As auxiliary to the piety with which we must credit them, they can command pecuniary resources, business talent, and social influences not inferior to those possessed by any other class of religionists in the community.

Last, but not least, we are told that the good bishop has his heart set on the object of establishing an Episcopal church in the city; and he will give his zealous and powerful aid in accomplishing the work. With good reason, then, it may be hoped that su ccess will crown the effort.

There is no other Protestant Episcopal church in the county than that at Shelbyville.


Windsor. This church was organized Aug. 19th, 1880, with the following membership: Moderator, J. L. B. Turner, and W. C. Simper, and T. P. Frazer, deacons. Clerk, T. P. Frazer., and Mrs. L. S. Baldwin, treasurer. The membership is as follows: T. P. Frazer, Mrs. Sarah E. Frazer, Ella Frazer, J. L. B. Turner, Mrs. Hannah Turner, Nettie Turner, Mrs. M. J. Laughlin, Mrs. L. S. Baldwin, Mrs. J. B. Brisben, Mrs. H. H. Aldridge, Hattie Aldridge, Geo. M. Moore, W. C. Smyser, Mattie Carney and Francis Roche .

There are services every fourth Sunday, Rev. S. P. Gibb officiating. The society propose to build a church during this year, when they will stand on a footing with the surrounding church societies in the county. The church, as yet, is in its infancy; but hopes to be, in time, among the first for good in the community.


In the organization of the Lovington Congregation, first called Okaw Church, the following is a true copy of the covenant.

We, whose names are underwritten, having met together at the house of Nathan Stevens, in Macon county, Illinois, for the purpose of entering into a social compact as a church of God; mutually declare and agree to take the Holy Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments, as it stands in the general connection, as the only infallible rule of our faith and practice, according to which we mutually agree to try to live, and wish finally to die. On the above being mutually agreed to this seventeenth day of November , Anno Domini, eighteen hundred and thirty-two, we sign it with our respective names. B. R. H. Kellar, Joseph Hostetler, Solomon Hostetler, chosen Elders; James Carter, Abram Souther, Catharine Souther, Rebecca Stevens, Elizabeth Hostetler, Mary Hostetler , Nancy J. Kellar, Elizabeth Stuart, Mary Snyder, Jacob Hartman, George Baxter, Louisa Baxter, Mary Carter, Katie Black."

The three elders named were all preachers of more or less ability. B. R. H. Kellar was from the regular Baptist, Joseph and Solomon Hostetler from the Dunkers, or German Baptists. There do not often occur cases where the number of persons incidentally thr own together in an association have the peculiar characteristics that manifest themselves in this congregation. There were three

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preachers, two of whom practiced medicine, and all were farmers with large families. Elizabeth Stuart, another member, was a descendant of the Stuart family who once ruled the realm of Great Britain. Katie Black, as shown on the record, was a manumitted n egro woman who had been a slave for forty years. Joseph Hostetler, was a preacher of rather more than ordinary ability, and established the Christian Church in Decatur, Illinois, and in many other places in the state, beside having labored largely in Kent ucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin. From the year 1832 to 1835 there were several additions to the church, mostly under the labors of Elder Joseph Hostetler. All except two of the charter members had been members of the church before they came to Illinois . During the winter, spring and summer, following the organization of the church, there were several added from the neighborhood, viz., George, Richard, and Joseph Thomason. Up to 1835 the number had more than doubled itself. Joseph and Solomon Hostetler had moved away with their families. From 1833 to the close of 1840, there were forty additions.

From 1840 to 1850 there were 120 additions.
From 1850 to 1860 there were 165 additions.
From 1860 to 1864 there were 41 additions.
From 1864 to 1870 there were 190 additions.
From 1870 to 1880 there were 237 additions.
Making a total of additions 812 + 17 = 829.

In 48 years there had been eight hundred and twelve added to the Congregation, making an average of 16 per year. These have been added through the labors of the following preachers. Joseph Hostetler, B. W. Henry, J. W. Tyler, A. D. Northcutt, W. P. Bowles , Christian Hostetler, Wm. Black, J. W. C. Covey, Wm. Patterson, S. B. Lindsley, J. J. Lockhart, J. W. Perkins and H. Y. Kellar. The elders of the church at its organization were A. H. Kellar, Joseph and Solomon Hostetler, Deacon Abram Souther. A. H. Kell ar was elder of the church to the close of his life. The Hostetlers having moved away, the care of the church was in his hands until 1841, when William Wood and James Rolley were elected to assist in the work, and Allen Clore was elected deacon. In 1848, James H. Kellar was chosen elder, and E. J. Hikes and Wm. R. Lee deacons. In 1849, John H. Wood, John H. Kellar, and A. B. Lee were appointed deacons. September 1, 1850, H. Y. Kellar was ordained evangelist. In 1853 John Rhodes and Mark Newlan were electe d elders, and P. M. Porter and E. Wingate deacons. In 1855, H. Y. Kellar and F. M. Porter elders. In 1856, the church was reorganized, A. H. Kellar being dead and H. Y. Kellar having moved to Sullivan to take charge of the Moultrie county academy. In the new order of things, Christian Hostetler, John Rhodes, Mark Newlan and F. M. Porter were elected as elders. Abram Souther and Wm. Underwood deacons. In 1858, H. Y. Kellar having returned to the church, was re-elected elder. In 1864, the congregation revis ed its eldership, and H. Y. Kellar, A. Thomason and Wm. Rhodes were chosen elders. Wm. Underwood, G. W. Lockhart and J. Simons deacons. The present eldership, 1880, are Christian Hostetler, Arnold Thomason, M. Porter, J. Clore and C. M. L. Hostetler; deac ons, F. L. Hostetler, Wm. Weakly and Joseph Newlan; deaconess, Mrs. S. L. Hostetler. The congregation has ordained four evangelists: H. Y. Kellar, Wm. Rhodes, A. H. Carter and R. M. Houck. Since the organization, the church has at no time been without a m inister, and sometimes has three or four. The pastoral work of the congregation has been done by the resident preachers and elders, excepting the work of S. B. Lindsley one year, J. J. Lockhart five months, in the years 1878, '79, '80. The only trouble, of any importance, that the church has had to contend with, was that arising from the inroads of Mormonism. The story of the Golden Plate revelation had been known and discussed as early as 1833. These ideas generated contempt in the min ds of the more enlightened against the Mormon faith. The people had seen enough of the Mormons in their transits to and from Missouri, in the years 1833 and 1834, to form some ideas of their vagaries. Not until 1842 did they get any hold in the Lovington congregation. It is true there was a family or two who had stopped in the neighborhood and remained a short time, who were believers in the doctrine, but being rather illiterate they commanded no attention. In 1843, one of their preachers stopped at the h ouse of Andrew Love over night, and being zealous in the faith, he engaged Love's attention to such a degree that hopes were entertained of his early conversion, as also of Geo. Best, Wm. Cazier and family, Charles Bryant and wife, most of whom were membe rs of the Christian Church. These having embraced the new faith, became zealous defenders of its dogmas.

The consequence was the unsettling of the minds of many and the actual conversion to the faith of the persons named above. (For further description of Mormonism see note A.) The church has

NOTE A.-The excitement created by the Mormons in separating husband and wife, and the incidents connected therewith, at the desire of parties, I will give. Andrew Love was a man of considerable intelligence and influence, who had taken up with the new rel igion from what was believed to be sinister motives. He had traded his property for property in Nauvoo, and had gone there with other families that had embraced the faith, most of whom had left unsettled business in the neighborhood. They had gone in the fall or winter of 1845 and 1846, intending to return in the spring, finish settlement, and take with them some property which they had left behind. Among those who went were John Cazier and wife. Mrs. Cazier wrote to her sister-in-law, Mrs. Lamaster, abou t the time Love and Cazier started for Moultrie county, that Andrew Love was coming to Moultrie county, and that he said he was going to bring William Souther's wife, and that there were some who would not live long. On the receipt of this letter by Mrs. Lamaster, who lived in Macon county, south of Decatur, she gave it to her father, Uncle Jack Turpin, who came immediately to A. H. Kellar's and showed the letter. Souther was sent for and informed of its contents, but he was incredulous, and did not belie ve that his wife entertained any idea of such an act, as he had not heard her express any desire to go with the Mormons for some time. Since her sister, Mrs. Love, had left he supposed she had abandoned all ideas of Mormonism. He said he would speak to hi s wife about the matter when he went home, but did not do so, but concluded to arouse the neighborhood and drive the Mormons out. He went through the whole neighborhood to arouse the citizens to aid in driving out the Mormons. When he returned home, to hi s surprise, his wife informed him of her intention to go with the Latter Day Saints. At his request, his mother came and tried to dissuade her daughter-in-law from such an unwise step; she was, however, unsuccessful in changing her purpose. Mrs. Souther's answer to all entreaties was, "I must go with the Lord's people." Mr. Souther decided at last to let her have her will, but told her she could not have her child. The child was an infant, a few months old, but so great was the infatuation of the mother that she said, "I will go if I have to leave my child." The child being placed in the care of her mother-in-law, she interposed no objection.

The mother-in-law, taking the child, turned to the mother and said: "Catharine, tie the bonnet on Angie's head, and take the last look at your child." She did so without an emotion, while the mother-in-law was almost overcome with grief. It was not that s he was wanting in natural affection, for she was both a good wife and an affectionate mother. It was simply the influence of the perniciuos teaching she had imbibed that for the time had seemingly obliterated those noble qualities which she exhibited when not influenced by Mormon fanaticism. The indignation of the people was almost uncontrollable, when it was known that Mrs. Souther had determined to leave him, and it required considerable effort upon the part of the more deliberate to prevent a resort to violence. The citizens met at James H. Kellar's, organized and appointed a committee to give the Mormons notice to quit the country in two days. While things were transpiring Mrs. Souther had left her husband and was making her way on foot to the house o f a Mormon by the name of Abbot, some three miles away, in opposition to the wishes of her husband, who desired her

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about 125 members in full fellowship at the present time. It has from its membership organized several different congregations, or parts of congregations, all of which will appear in proper order. Many preachers have labored for the congregation, beside t hose already named; among whom were Michael Combs, A. J. Kane, Geo. Owen, John O'Kane, Levi Fleming, J. J. Saddler, A. Brown, W. Osborn, S. T. Calloway, John Wilson and others. The church held its meetings from 1832 to 1846 in private houses and in the sc hool-house on Allen Clores farm. In 1846 it commenced worship in the new house on A. H. Kellar's farm, where the church had erected a frame building 24 x 30. This house, which is still standing, was used until the house was built in Lovington where the co ngregation now meet. The first house was built

to remain at John Love's until the Mormons were ready to depart. When he learned of her departure he started in pursuit, carrying a gun and overtaking her west of the Okaw timber. A. H. Kellar, being at the house of E. J. Hikes, near by, first seeing Mrs. Souther pass, and in a short time Souther, he followed him, fearing that under the excitement of the moment he might do some act of violence. He saw Souther overtake his wife, saw her stop and step back where the fence screened her from view. He hastened forward and heard Souther say: "Did I not tell you not to go to Abbots?" He failed to understand her reply, but hastened forward and addressed her, saying: "Why, Catharine, is it possible you can believe there is any religion in such conduct?" She answer ed abruptly: "You know nothing about it, sir." Seeing her condition of mind, he said nothing more. Her husband then informed her that he had decided she should not go. He commanded her to take her place upon the horse behind him, which she at first refuse d to do, but finally acceded to his wishes, and they returned to Mr. Souther's fathers, where she manifested no discontent or ill feeling, saying: "She had tried to do her duty, but was prevented, and she knew the Lord would accept her." Some three years after she did escape and joined the Mormons.

Her husband visited her at Salt Lake, and she went with him to California, where she died. On Tuesday, the day appointed for the Mormons to leave Moultrie county, the whole neighborhood for ten miles up and down the timber came to see them depart. The pri ncipal part of them were to start from the house of John Love, where the citizens had assembled. Andrew Love was talking to his brother, when Souther came up and spoke to some one in the company, saying: "Boys, I want the best gun you've got." William Ste vens handed him a gun, assuring him it was as good as could be found in the county. He took the proffered gun, raised it to his face, taking deliberate aim at Love. When John Love saw Souther's act, he said: "See that rascal," which gave his brother the t imely warning that saved his life. He sprang behind the house and escaped the intended shot by mounting his horse and riding for dear life.

J. J. Hudson, brother-in-law of James Cazier, who had left his wife for the new faith, was in the company, and had decided that he would give Cazier a new coat, one that would enable him to get as many new wives as he desired, said coat to consist of tar and feathers. Cazier, getting word of the honor intended him, fled, and, being vigorously pursued, ran into the house of a German by the name of Westafer, and begged of the good housewife to secrete him, who upon learning the cause of his trouble, refused him any assistance and bade him get out of her house. He was caught by his pursuers and would have received the intended coat had he not begged with tears and many protestations to be spared the punishment, asserting his innocence of any desire to go wit h the Mormons and promising to return and live with his wife and family. He did return, and remained one night, but proved so disagreeable that his wife was glad to be rid of him. He left the next day and returned to the Mormons. Some three years after th is he came back, pretending that he had left the Mormons and was farming near St. Joe, Mo., and desired his wife and family to go with him. He told his story so well, that his wife believed him and consented to go with him, and also to the selling of the farm, which she had before refused, it having been purchased with her means.

He sold the farm to his brother-in-law, who was also deceived in him, and took the money and family and departed. Pen cannot picture the wife's astonishment and regret, on reaching her destination, to find he had another wife, and that she must take up he r residence in a shed attached to the dwelling occupied by the favored wife. Cazier's treatment of his wife and family was such that she, by the aid of a friend, informed her relatives, who sent two men, L. J. Berry and E. D. Cleveland, and rescued her, a nd brought her and her children to their friends. He had accomplished his purpose, and gave no trouble, as the money was his only object.

by contributions of work and material, so that its cost cannot be accurately determined. The house in Lovington has cost (including all improvements from the time of its construction) over three thousand dollars. The building is 36x54, with belfry, bell a nd vestibule. A Sunday-school has been associated with the church the greater part of the time since its organization. The connection of the Lovington church with the Moultrie County Academy will be noticed at the close of the chapter.

Sullivan Church. Previous to the laying out of the town of Sullivan there was an organized congregation on Asa's creek, at the house of Levi Patterson in 1840. It was organized by Levi Fleming. The elders were Joshua Patterson and Frederic Hoke. It had not exerted much influence until reorganized by B. W. Henry in 1846. This organization worshiped in the school-house in Sullivan, which was also used for a court-house. The elders of this organization were F. Hoke and D. Patterson. Internal discord a nd the want of a suitable and permanent place of worship regarded the success and growth of this organization until 1842, when A. H. and H. Y. Kellar again organized the congregation, many joining it from the Lovington church. Shortly after the church pro cured the use of the Methodist meeting-house for the purpose of holding a protracted meeting, which was commenced by John Wilson, of Mechanicsburg assisted by Eld. Manning, T. Smith, and continued by B. W. Henry to its close with 50 additions. The congreg ation proceeded to build a house of worship which was completed in 1853, after which they procured the services of J. S. Etheridge and B. W. Henry, both of whom had moved to Sullivan. In 1856, H. Y. Kellar moved to Sullivan and preached half the time for the church. Dr. A. L. Kellar, who had also become a resident, divided the remaining half of the time, during this year, with B. W. Henry. From the spring of 1856, to the fall of 1858, beside the regular preaching, there were five protracted meetings condu cted by as many different preachers.

First, A. J. Cane; second, Wm. Mathes; third, W. M. Brown; fourth, Milton Hopkins; fifth, A. I. Hobbs. Three of the above were from Indiana, and two from Illinois. From 1838 to 1864 the care of the church was chiefly in the hands of Dr. A. L. Kellar and B . W. Henry. In October, 1864, elder William Black held a meeting which resulted in eighty-seven additions. In 1865 J. R. Lucas became pastor of the church, and continued his labors to 1867, when elder N. S. Bastion, in conjunction with L. P. Phillips cont inued the ministerial charge to 1874; after which elder Avery was in charge for a short period. James Hyatt was next in charge who labored for one year for the congregation. At the beginning of the second year of his labors the church was divided, one par t meeting in Elder's Hall, and the other in the church. After the division, Elder Germane was in charge of the old church, and Elder Tomlinson presided over the congregation meeting in the hall. In 1879 the two congregations were united, since which time J. M. Morgan has been the only salaried preacher until the present year. They now enjoy the labors of N. S. Bastion. The intervening time has been occupied by Dr. A. L. Kellar, resident in the church and the eldership.

There have been several protracted meetings held during this time by persons not named in the foregoing list. In 1866 J. W. C. Covey held a meeting with ninety additions. Elder Wm. Patterson has held two very successful meetings. Sullivan congregation was organized in 1846 with fourteen charter-members. At the union of the two congregations there were one hundred and eighty-eight members; since which time the church has lost by death seven, dismissed by letter twenty-eight, leaving at this date, November, 1880, one hundred and fifty-three. Present eldership, A. L. Kel-

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lar, J. H. Waggoner, Dr. T. Y. Lewis and W. P. Hoke. The congregation met in the school-house and court-house until 1853 then in their new building, which was a neat frame house 40 by 60, with belfry, bell , and vestibule. Worth of building about $2,500. There has been a Sunday-school in connection with the church since its organization.

Whitley Creek Church--The following is the report from Whitley Creek as given by A.H. Edwards. The Christian church at Whitley creek was constituted in the year 1837 by Tobias Grider. The number of charter members two, John Hendricks and his wife C ynthia. Samuel M. Smyser joined the church immediately after its organization. His wife soon followed, and not long after John W. Edwards and wife from the Baptist, and Nancy Drain, Joseph Lilly and wife from the world. All these united with the infant ch urch. Thus the congregation gradually increased for a few years under the labors of elder T. Grider. About the year 1841, he being engaged elsewhere, the congregation called elder Levi Fleming to preach for them, and in that year a meeting of three or fou r days was held, brethren John Goodman and Samuel Pepper being present. During this meeting there were eight or ten additions to the congregation by baptism. In those days breathren Bushrod W. Henry and John Storm visited the congregation frequently. In A ugust, 1843, elder Henry assisted by brethren Fleming and Pepper, held a meeting of three days, which resulted in the addition of five or six members by baptism. The whole number of members at that time, including the new converts, was "about twenty-five, and of that number two only remain in the congregation, A. H. Edwards and Nancy Davis, widow of Allen Davis. A few others have membership in other congregations; most of them have gone to their homes "over there." In 1855 B. W. Henry held a protracted me eting, at which a goodly number made good confession. He held another in 1857 with the same results. In 1862, '63 and '64, J. M. Morgan preached, in the course of which time he baptized a great many. A meeting was held in November, 1870, by Paul Bagley, w hich resulted in the addition of fifty or more by baptism, beside many reclaimed. The meeting lasted three weeks. Since that time elder P. P. Warren has held some successful meetings, and in the fall of 1877, elder F. Wall held a protracted meeting, at wh ich twenty or more were baptized. The exact number that have been added to the congregation since it was organized cannot be known; but it is certain that over three hundred have been enrolled. Many have died, and moved away, and some have gone back to th e world, so that the number of members at this time is not more than one hundred and twenty. The number of elders is five; deacons, three. At present the church has a good frame house, and has had Sunday-schoo1 associated with its work a large part of the time.

Stricklin School-house.--The church at Stricklin School-house was organized in September, 1880, by Elder Haulman, of Macoupin county, Illinois. Charter members, thirty-six; one added since. Elders -- Alexander Rose and J. F. Hoke.

West Hudson.--The church at West Hudson School-house was organized by Elder Orgot in 1875. At the time of organization there were, including the officers, nine members. Elders, John Hyland and B. F. Taylor; deacons, Ewing Baylis and A. H. Morgan. P resent elders, A. H. Morgan, Wm. Lenox and Thomas Lansden; deacons, Wm. Hakle and James Hudson. Elder Orgot preached for the congregation one year. December, 1877, David Campbell was called to the charge of the church for one year. At the expiration of El der Campbell's time, Elder Thomas Edwards was engaged, and has continued in their service. Elder Lynn held two meetings for the church in this year (1880), with thirty additions. From the time the church was organized until David Campbell began his labors , there were no additions to the church. During his ministry there were two or three additions per month. The present number of communicants is eighty-five, with Sunday-scbool in operation most of the time.

Pleasant Hill Church.--The Pleasant Hill Church was organized March 21, 1880, by Elder J.C. Haulman. The number of charter members was eighteen; since, eighteen more, making a total of thirty-six. Officers at organization--Elders, D. C. Frantz, A. D. Gilbert. Deacons, Jacob Pea, Alfred Rhodes. Officers at present date--Elders, Jacob Pea, D. C. Frantz. Deacons, Alfred Rhodes, C. Davis. Elder Haulman has been preaching for the church since its organization, twice per month. The church is held in Plea sant Hill School-house.

The Church at Summit.--This church has been organized some twenty years. They have a good house, and have enjoyed the labors of many efficient preachers at different times. Who the officers are and what the membership to date, the writer cannot giv e. The following are the names of some of the preachers who have labored for them: Tobias Grider, P. P. Warren, Elder Colston. M. T. Smith and J. A. Morgan. The church being in the south-east corner of the county, the members are largely from other counti es.

Jonathan Creek Church.--The above is one of the first congregations of the county; in fact, the first church on the creek, and antedates the county itself.

It was instituted by Levi Fleming, who lived in this vicinity as early as l840. It has suffered many vicissitudes in its history, sometimes prosperous and again unprosperous. James Mathers is one of the elders at present. The church generally maintains a Sunday-school. They have a very good house for a country building; the house is in Section 33. There is a cemetery close by. This church has at different times enjoyed the labors of many preachers, among whom are the following: Levi Fleming, B. W. Henry, Tobias Grider, Michael Combs, Thomas Goodman, James Conner, Sen., Dr. A. L. Kellar, J. M. Morgan, Christian and Joseph Hostetler and more than all others, David Campbell and J. W. Perkins.

Union Prairie Church.--The above named congregation has a good frame building on Section 12, in Jonathan Creek township. This organization dates back twelve or fourteen years, and has wielded great influence for good at different times, but at othe rs has been torn by internal dissensions, the principal cause of trouble being the Woman's Rights question. They are at peace at the prevent time. The elders are James Powell and Cephas Haney. They have a Sunday school most of the time. They have had the labors of elder Bour, James Conner, Sen. J. W.Perkins, J. M. Morgan, elder Humphries, elder Miller, Thomas Goodman and David Campbell. The last named owned a house and small tract of land near the church, the gift of the congregation, as, a token of their love and esteem for his labors of love among them.

The Church at Dalton City.--This congregation was organized by elder Garvin, of Ohio, about the year 1872. He held a meeting in the village by which many were added to the church. These, with others who had been members at other points, he organize d into a congregation. As soon as organized they proceeded to build a house, in which they received a very great aid from Thomas Dalton, who was not a member of the church. The house is very neat frame structure, about 34x35 feet, with all modern applianc es for comfort in a village church. Elder John Sconce, a resident minister, devoted much time to the church in its infancy, and since his

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removal, elder Thomas Edwards and many others have labored for them. They usually have a live Sunday-school. Clerk of the church, David Ingraham.

Bailey School House, Lovington township. This congregation was organized by Joseph Hostetler, in the year 1869, with twenty members. T. C. Wood, elder; Joseph Freeman and John Howel, deacons. They have had several additions since their organization . The present officers are, elders, T. C. and J. H. Wood; deacons, John Howel and William Bailey. These last deacons have had much of the pecuniary work of this church to sustain. They have Sunday-school, and enjoy the labors of Elder J. W.Tyler at presen t. Elder John Mathes has labored for them in the past.

Lake City.--This church was organized by Elder E. Jay Hart, in 1877, with about twenty members. The elders who were elected having moved away, and the church having no certain place of meeting and being unable to build, is not prospering. They have had the labors of H. Y. Kellar one year, one-fourth of the time, also Elders J. W. Tyler, Weakley and S. B. Lindsley.

The Christian church of Moultrie county, has since her organization been the friend of education. As early as 1853 she engaged in the work of building the academy in the town of Sullivan. A wing of the building was erected in 1854, with the intention of f inishing a good-sized building in the future. The canvass for funds was made by Dr. J. L. Etheridge, who met with good success. When the wing was completed a school was commenced, but the death of Dr. Wm. Kellar and other circumstances interferring with t he progress of the work, it was abandoned and the building sold. For many years the churches of Macon, Shelby, and Moultrie kept an evangelist in the field. In 1862 and '63 Moultrie county alone sustained an evangelist. There have been several congregatio ns organized in the county beside those whose history is given, but from various causes they have ceased to meet. The total number of members in the county at present is between one thousand and twelve hundred. There are five resident preachers, only one of whom, N. S. Bastion, gives his entire time to the work. The others follow secular occupations and preach occasionally.


Bethany Congregation was organized by Rev. David Foster, May 14th, 1831, in the dwelling-house of Captain James Fruit, Shelby county, Illinois, (now Moultrie).

The following named persons were the first members of said organization, viz: Thomas D. Lansden, Peggy Lansden, Nancy E. Lansden, (now Ashmore), Susan A. Lansden, Andrew M. Bone, Lucinda Bone, Elias Kenedy, and Abby Kenedy, eight in number, all of whom ar e now dead except Nancy E. Ashmore, who now lives in Bethany, and still holds her membership with Bethany congregation. The organization is nearly fifty years old. Thomas D. Lansden was received and elected Ruling Elder at the organization of the church. In September, 1832, Andrew M. Bone was elected Elder by the church, and ordained by Rev. David Foster. In June, 1834, George Mitchel and Benjamin Simms were elected and ordained Elders. July 9th, 1836, James Fruit, George Mitchel, Benjamin Simms and Thoma s D. Lansden were elected Trustees for said Organization.

August 10th, 1836, James Fruit, Damiel Pound and Elias Kenedy were ordained Elders for Bethany congregation, by Rev. Joel Knight. Soon after the organzation of the church there were thirty members added, which, with the eight original members, made thirty -eight in all. At two other meetings(dates not known), there were fifty-two members added, which made a total of ninety.

August 11th, 1845, we find a re-organization of Bethany congregation, and the following persons were elected and ordained Elders: Robert Crowder, E. M. Lansden, William Foster, Alfred Ashmore, and James Freeland. In the year 1856 the membership was one hu ndred and fifty-three. In the year 1859 the membership was three hundred and sixty-two, showing an increase of over two hundred members from 1859 to 1872. The following are the names of the ministers who have had charge of Bethany congregation from its or ganization to this date: Revs. David Foster, Cyrus Haynes, Daniel Traughber, Joel Knight, J. S. Gordon, James S. Freeland, Thomas A. Bone, Robert Hill, J. J. Kenedy, Abner Lansden, G. W. Montgomery, C Y. Hudson, J. M. Bone, J. W. Wood, J. C. Crisman, J. M . McPherson, and J. N. Hogg. The longest time occupied by any one of these men does not exceed five years. Under their ministry there have been many precious revivals of religion, and many additions to the church; these additions running from 60 to 75 mem bers. Among those who have professed Christianity, and joined Bethany church, are the following who have become ministers of the Gospel in the C. P. church, viz: Revs. J. M. Bone, Thomas Bone, James Freeland, A. K. Bone and William Bankson. Her members, o r those who have been members in other years, are scattered in all the western states.

The above history as given is only what may be deemed a mere sketch, as I find that the church records, covering a period of years from about 1836-7 to 1858-9 are lost, except the transfer of names. We have now four ordained Elders, four Deacons, and 307 members enrolled, many of whom are gone to other states, leaving us an actual membership of 257. The church pays a yearly salary of $700 for pastoral work, with parsonage, etc., and have made a donation to their pastor of $65 in the past year. In a word I regard the church in good working condition. A part of two other organizations have been taken from Bethany congregation, viz: Newhope and Sullivan. Many incidents might be given occurring all along Bethanys history, which if we thought would be admissib le, we would take pleasure in writing. We find, in looking over the records, there have been over 1,000 names recorded on the rolls.

The influence growing out of Bethany congregation, for good, is almost boundless. Many good men and women have fallen asleep in Jesus, who were members of this church; some of these have been great friends and supporters of the cause of religion and human ity. We would like to write of them but must forbear; they are dead, yet speak; yea, their empty seats in church seem to speak for them. Oh that all who are in this world would so live as to leave a good influence behind. We have a church house, frame bui lding, and a parsonage, and $3,000 in the treasury; no debt of any kind hangs over the church. The present membership is united and in harmony so far as my knowledge extends. The first Sunday-school was organized at Andrew Bones dwelling, in April, 1832, by John Barber. David Strain was elected superintendent, and Andrew Bone, Sen., Thomas D. Lansden, James Fruit, Elias Kenedy and Larkin Beck were teachers. The school adjourned to an unoccupied cabin, about three-quarters of a mile south of Bethany, where it met during the summer and fall of 1832. The school was discontinued during the winter; except that the larger scholars met at the house of their respective teachers during the winter for instruction. In this year, there was a gracious revival, in whic h all the Sunday-school scholars professed religion who had reached the years of accountability.

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In the spring of 1833, the school was reorganized in a log schoolhouse, about one mile south of where Bethany is now located. Andrew Bone was elected superintendent, and the above-named persons were elected teachers, with the addition of Daniel Pound. Her e the school continued for two years. In the year 1836, the school was held in the log church, built on the grounds where the present C. P. Church-house now stands, and where the village of Bethany is located. A habit was formed and continued for some tim e of the school going into winter quarters. But this habit was finally broken up, and the school has continued from year to year with little cessation. I will here give an incident out of many that might be given. Soon after the organization of the school , a minister came out to Illinois to see his relatives. He attended the school, and while sitting in his seat, the bare-footed boys and girls kept coming in, and seeing so much interest manifested by all, he wept profusely; and said to those present, "I h ave wondered many times why it was that you left your church in Tennessee and came out here to this wilderness; but it seems to me, I can now see why you came; it was God who sent you here to engage in this good work."

The school at this writing is in a flourishing condition. It has sixteen teachers, with the other officers necessary. The school numbers in summer as high as 225; in winter it runs down to sometimes less than half that number. It runs all the year around, and never lacks for means to buy all necessary supplies, in the way of papers, lesson leaves, quarterlies, etc. The young and old are alike engaged in this good work. Our house is getting too small, and we shall soon have to build again or enlarge the pr esent house of worship. Our membership as a church and Sunday-school, extends over a large scope of country; and those attending come in wagons and carriages with their families. All are seemingly eager to engage in the good work of Sunday-school and chur ch.

Sullivan Congregation.--The Sullivan congregation was organized at Sullivan, Illinois, on the third Sabbath in November, 1848, by the Revs. Joseph M. Bone, Joel Knight and A. M. Wilson. The number of members at the organization was nine; and at pre sent numbers thirty. The elders are Robert H. Sharp, John A. Freeland, Addison McPheters and John M. Ashworth; one elder, P. B. Knight, has moved to Lincoln, Illinois; the other elders still live in Sullivan.

Rev. A. M. Wilson was pastor of the Sullivan congregation part of his time for two years. Thomas A. Bone from October 1, 1850, until his death. James S. Freeland from the fall of 1851, until the spring of 1855. Joel Knight from the spring of 1856 until th e fall of 1865. G. W. Montgomery part of his time in the years 1865 and 1866. Robert Hill in 1868; Stephen Goodknight for the year 1872; John W. Wood three months in the winter of 1872 and 1873; W. W. M. Barber for the years 1874 and 1875; A. B. McDavid i n 1876; P. M. Johnson, 1878; G. W. Montgomery supplied at two other periods, dates not now known.

The Sunday-school has continued nearly all the time, results not given, and we have no means of ascertaining what has been the results of her labors for the years it has existed. They have a church-house 40x50 feet, worth about two thousand dollars.

The above data was furnished by John A. Freeland.

Summit Congregation.--The Summit congregation was organized at Summit, Moultrie county, Illinois, January 24, 1872, by Revs. J. P. Campbell and James Whitlock, of Foster Presbytery. Twenty-three persons went into the organization. W. J. Langston, E . W. Rouse, S. F. Gammill and Theophilus Manson were the elders; the latter two acted as deacons for a few months. Rev. J. P. Campbell served as pastor three and a quarter years, Rev. G. W. Montgomery one year, Rev. W. W. M. Barber one year, Rev. A. B. Mc David one year. Then W. W. M. Barber two and a half years, to date December 30, 1878; Samuel G. Frost, Robert S. Ball and George A. Domblazer were elected trustees. February 2, 1879, G. N. Snapp joined by letter as an elder, and was by the congregation el ected an elder. There are now thirty-six members, and three ruling elders.

The church takes a leading part in a Union Sabbath-school, but have no school under their exclusive control, but furnish all the teachers and part of the officers of the Union school. They have no church property that they control, but worship in the Chri stian Church building. The above was furnished by Rev. W. W. M. Barber.

New Hope Congregation.--New Hope congregation of the C. P. Church was organized by Rev. C. Y. Hudson on the 2d day of July, 1871, with a membership of thirty-seven persons. The following named persons were elected Elders of the congregation, viz: S amuel D. Freeland, Alexander H. Craig, Joseph Bankson, and David Stark. Mr. Stark died a short time after he was elected, and James T. Hill was elected to fill his place. The following persons have been elders since in this congregation, viz: J. R. Wear, Edmund Widick, W. S. Bates, James M. Moor, A. S. Freeland and W. R. Rouse. The following named persons are now Elders: C. W. Cloud, S. D. Freeland, A. S. Freeland, and W. R. Rouse. They compose the session at present. Brother Wear resigned; Bates moved to Nebraska without taking a letter; Hill moved west soon after he was elected; brothers Craig Bankson, and Widick are still Elders of this congregation, but seldom attend to any of the duties of their office, so the church had to elect others to fill their places. The deacons elected at the organization of the congregation were brothers A. S. Freeland and John Burg. These both went west, and their places were filled by the election of the following persons, viz: W. H. Doner, Michael Ekiss, M. R. Rouse and Lewis Elliott; two of whom still serve the church as Deacons, viz: Brothers Ekiss and Elliott. Rev. C. Y. Hudson is the only minister that ever had charge of this congregation from its organization, in 1871, until June of the present year, 1880; at this t ime he became unable to labor. He resigned his charge, and Rev. J. M. McPherson has been supplying the congregation since that time. Rev. C. Y. Hudson had preached in this neighborhood about twelve years, but is now unable to preach from hoarseness; other wise he is in good health for a man of his age. The congregation has had a Sabbath-school through the spring and summer seasons but generally closed out in the fall, before cold weather. The attendance has generally been small, ranging from fifty down to a dozen, or less. There have bcen a great many superintendents in this school. J. B. Knight, now dead, was the first superintendent; S. D. Freeland acted for several terms; J. M. Moor, J. N. Shelton, C.W. Cloud, Joseph Bankson, J. F. Knight, J. L. Yeakle, Lewis Elliott, and perhaps others have been superintendents at different times. There has been rather an increased interest in the school for the last two years, except a while during last fall. At that time the interest seemed to subside for a time, and the school was suspended. Soon after its suspension there was a meeting called for the purpose of reorganizing. J. L. Yeakle was elected superintendent, and B. F. Grindol assistant. The school has been running a few weeks very well. There are about five or six classes, with as many teachers, and about thirty scholars; and it is to be hoped that the interest will increase instead of diminish. New Hope Church has been organized over nine years; the number of professions during the time has been about two h undred; number of members received into the church, one hundred and ninety. The real strength of the church at present is

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not much over one hundred members; some have died, and many have moved away, and a few have been discontinued for various reasons. Quite a number are scattered around too far to attend church services, but still hold their membership. There are about thir ty of this class, making the total membership one hundred and thirty members. Since its organization there have been fifty-six adult baptisms, and thirty-eight infant baptisms.

Several years after its organization, they were very liberal, and paid more for the enterprises of the general Church than any other congregation of its financial strength in the Presbytery. But by emigration, death, etc., they have become weak financiall y, and discouraged; and the financial pressure set in, and there has been a manifest decline in this particular with many of the members, but not so with others. No trial, be it ever so hard, caused the faithful to relax their efforts in the least financi ally. There is in the Church an element of strength that will stand the storm. May we fondly hope that when the Son of Man cometh, He will find a faithful few worshiping at old New Hope.

The congregation needs a larger and better house of worship than the present one. This house was an old dwelling, moved out and enlarged, which was given to the congregation by Bro. S. D. Freeland. It is now too small for the neighborhood; the people are able to build a better, and ought to do so. To do this, and support a good pastor, would insure success for the Lord.


Church at Dalton City.--This society was organized May 25, 1872, by the Revs. C. Louden and Nathaniel Williams, who were appointed for this purpose by the Presbytery of Mattoon. They have a very neat and commodious house, erected in 1873, at a cost of $3,200. The present Elders are, J. A. Roney and C. W. Freeland, and the present membership is thirty. This is the only church of this denomination in Moultrie county.


A traveler once entered Moultrie county by the lower road, one mile south of Dalton city. As he wended his way east from that point where the roads, east and west, north and south, intersect one another, which is also the dividing line between Macon and M oultrie counties, he could notice at once a difference in the color of their soil; that Moultrie county looked blacker in its earth and richer than Macon county. Journeying on he was struck with the beauty of the hedgerows, green waving fields of corn, he rds of cattle, boundless prairie far as the eye could reach. Thus absorbed, thus delighted in eyes and mind and heart at the goodness of God to His creatures, as seen in the book of nature around him, he plodded on his way till four miles from the county line. The Catholic church loomed up before him. He approached, and as he saw everything in good order and cleanly about the church, and a parochial house in process of erection, uncovering his head he said, "Thanks be to God."

"Thanks," he said, "for here I have a key to the prosperity of Catholicity in Moultrie county, for wherever all over the States I have found good churches, well equipped for divine worship, there I have invariably found a prosperous Catholic people; but w herever I have found a miserable structure, black and dirty, unworthy of the God of glory who is worshipped, there too I have found a drunken, a degraded people. Here, removed from the din of the city and the panting of the engines, and the ceaseless roll of machinery, where all is peace, man can compose himself for prayer, and pray without distraction, to the God of peace." The good-morning of a sturdy farmer started him from his reverie. His brilliant eye, elastic step and sprightly manner, told him pl ainer than words that he was one of Ireland's sons. To the stranger's inquiries how they came to have a church on the prairie, he said, Father A. Voghl, God bless him, was our first priest. He celebrated the first mass on this then unfenced prairie, at th e house of Mr. Edward Brendan, on the 14th of August, 1863. During that year, he, in his great wisdom, took up a subscription and bought and paid for forty acres of land from The Illinois Central Railroad Company, at $.5 per acre. That you will readily se e was a good investment--the same land is worth now $40 per acre. We had then only sixteen families, not one hundred persons in all, plenty of ground to build upon, but yet had no church structure. One morning, after celebrating mass and breakfasting at a farm-house, the good priest took his office book and went to recite the divine office. At his return be was greatly surprised to find that his little flock had voluntarily raised the means wherewith to build a little church. The first Catholic church edi fice in Moultrie county, was erected then in the fall of 1861, in Dora township, at a cost of $200. It was a frame building 20 x 40 feet. The names of those subscribers, our forefathers in the faith, deserve to be emblazoned in letters of gold on the temp le of time, that posterity may learn what their ancestors did for the holy faith, and learn to follow in their footsteps. These are their honored names: Edward Bresnan, Patrick Smith, Timothy Sammon, W. Cronin, Patrick Burns, sen. Daniel Tueth, Wm. Fogart y, Patrick Neilan, John Kinney, Jas. Nolan, Francis Ryan, Richard Delauaunty Patrick Griffin, John Dunne, John Hickey, Nich. Bahan. Number of members at present, 500. Strange, too, that one-fourth of the names I have mentioned to you were Patrick. Rev. M. Kane succeeded Father Voghl, in 1873, and enlarged and beautified the church, to meet the growth of the congregation. It is now a cruciform, 60 x 60 feet, worth about $2,000. Rev. Edward M'Gowan succeeded Father Kane, October, 1875, and ministers to our spiritual wants ever since. He was born at Draperstown, county Derry, Ireland, on the 9th of March, 1842. He received a thorough English education at the old homestead, and no less thorough classical education at Cumber Claudy, in the same county. Enterin g All Hallows College, Dublin, Ireland, by competitive examination, on the 3d of September, 1867, be passed through his classes with distinction to himself and satisfaction to his professors. He had the consolation, during his college course, to be called to all the orders regularly every year, and was crowned with the crowning glory of the priesthood on the 24th of June, 1872. In August of that year he bid a tearful farewell to home and friends, and native land, and sailed for the diocese of Alton, where , after a happy voyage, he arrived on the 26th of the same month. Speaking of his arrival at New York on the 20th of that month, The Irish World newspaper said of him: "The Bishop of Alton is happy in acquiring a man possessed of Father M'Gowans energy, a nd Father M'Gowan is happy in having in Bishop Baltes a kind and gentle father." The bishop assigned him on his arrival to the pastoral charge of St. Patricks church, Grafton, Jersey county, Ills., where, during his stay of three years, he built a beautif ul parochial house, redeemed the fallen credit of that church, and endeared himself in many ways to the hearts of his people. Thence he was transferred, with his own consent, to Macon, a larger field of labor, which he has attended alternately with Dora t ownship, for five years. He is now engaged in building, and has just got roofed in younder beautiful parochial house beside the church. Its estimated cost is $2,000. He has made it his cardinal point to make every one bear the burden in this, and every co ntribution, according to his means.

For, while our people are, in the main, very liberal, some drones

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there are who hold back from doing their duty, and nevertheless arrogate to themselves the right to complain of the work that is done and the manner in which it is done. The priest instructs the children in the principles of faith, sees to it that they ar e prepared for first confession and first communion; for children brought up without religion are a curse to their parents and to society. He knows that one of the most powerful means of preserving the faith and of leading a virtuous life is to receive th e sacraments of the church often and worthily -- knows, too, that if they don't receive them when they are young they will scarcely ever receive them -- that if you would bend the tree you must bend the twig; hence he gives so much attention to the childr en. He has, too, a reward even in this world; his people grow up religious, honest, industrious, sober, and gain for themselves the respect of all their neighbors, without regard to creed or nationality. It must, too, be consoling to him to see non-Cathol ic masters and mistresses come to Dora township for Catholic servants, and who will have no others but Catholics, and who comply with the duties of their religion. For well they know that while stealing is fashionable, from the highest to the lowest in th e land steal, practical Catholics cannot steal and keep, they must restore. We have no parochial schools; we have our fair quota of school directors and school teachers. Catholics and the public schools work here very well. But, excuse me, said the speake r, it is noon time, come and have some dinner, and they picked themselves up and went off together.


Oak Grove.*--This church was organized in 1868, by Rev. Joseph Perryman, now deceased, at the town of Dunn. It had a membership of about forty members, among whom were Joseph Perryman and wife, James Baggett and wife, Geo. Hoggett and wife, L. T. D aizy and wife, Geo. Lee and wife, with others of their family, March Rhodes and wife, and many others. The church has prospered from its organization, and at this writing has over a hundred members. Rev. Joseph Perryman was pastor until a short time befor e his death, which occurred in 1878, since which time, Rev. Nathan Corley of Shelby county, and S. B. N. Vaughan of Macon have presided. In 1870, the church with the assistance of the citizens of Dunn and vicinity, built a very substantial brick house, ne ar the village of Dunn; the site of which was deeded to the Baptist church by Samuel Brook. The members are very liberal in their views, and extend the use of their house to all other Christian denominations, when not used by them for public service.

* For data pertaining to this church, we are indebted to G. W. Vaughan.

The Old School Baptist Church of Whitley was organized about fifty years ago, and was the first established in this part of the county. The first pastor was William H. Martin. The following were the first members: Isaac Waggoner and wife, Caleb Sha w and wife, Rachel Smith, William Walker, and John Edwards and wife. The only early members now living are Margaretta (Peggy) Shaw, and Narcissa Waggoner.

The Freewill Baptist Church of Whitley township was organized in 1843 by elder John Webb. It had a small membership, and only existed a few years. A small log house was built to hold church service in, but has long since gone with the things that w ere. Elder James Vaughan often preached to this congregation.

The Missionary Baptists organized a society about fifteen years ago. Elder Willis Whitfield was their early pastor. They now have a frame structure, 26 by 36 feet, a very neat and well-finished house, which is familiarly known as the "Whitfield Chu rch."

Linn Creek Church is one of the oldest of Whitley township, it having its origin nearly fifty years ago. A log structure first served for a place of worship. This was replaced in time and is now standing, by a frame building, which is commodious an d convenient for its congregation.

The Arnish Church was organized in 1866, at Moses Yoder's house, in Douglas county; since which time it has spread over considerable territory; a portion of the members being in Moultrie county. Their first minister was Joseph Keim, now deceased. P rominent among the first members, were D. P. Miller, D. D. Otto and others. The first members in Moultrie county were I. S. Miller and Samuel Miller, with some others; it has increased now to about twenty-five. The society has no church-house, but hold th eir meetings at the private houses of their members. Daniel Shrock, T. Yoder, I. Miller, and C. Hershberger, are their present preachers.

There is also a congregation of Baptists at Lake City, and in Lowe township, but as no data have been given of these churches, we are unable to give their condition in detail.

The Seventh Day Advent Church.--There is but one congregation of this denomination in the county, which is located in the town of Lovington. They erected a building in 1873, at a cost of about $700, including the grounds upon which it is situated, and it was dedicated the same year, by the renowned Rev. C. H. Bliss, who stands as one of the leaders of the denomination in the West. It started with a membership of seventeen, and has made some accessions since. The building is situated in the southeas tern part of the village and is a neat, comfortable house.


Methodism is one of those peculiar institutions which from their very constitutions, are enabled to live, flourish, and increase in all climes, among all nations and with all classes of people. Having within itself the means of propagation so thoroughly d istributed that whenever one member becomes isolated from the great body, howsoever far, he does not have to await directions from the head, but with the commission of the great Master, "Go, preach the gospel unto every creature," he at once enters upon t he work, collecting together as many as may desire to join in some kind of public worship, and either expounds to them the Word of God, or leads them in a service of prayer. Thus, in the vast majority of instances, have the seeds of Methodism been sown in the newly settled parts of these western states. Small groups of these people meeting together at stated periods in private dwellings or school-houses, where there were any, formed the nucleus, around which, in after years, gathered large, and often weal thy congregations. These small bands of worshipers at this early day seldom saw a minister save the local preacher, who, borne westward by the tide of emigration, came with his Bible and hymn book, preaching and singing the gospel of Christ free to all; l iterally without money and without price. These local preachers often formed these scattered bodies into what they then called small circuits, but which in reality were much larger than our largest ones at the present day. These they supplied so fa r as they were able with regular services at stated times, until they could be reached by the regular itinerant, when they were regularly organized into Classes and Quarterly Conferences.

Methodism in Moultrie county was no exception to the rule. Long before it was separated from Shelby county and dignified by the title it now bears, there came among the emigrants, a "goodly sprinkling" of Methodists, who settled in various parts of what i s

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now called Moultrie county, and around them soon gathered others of the same persuasion, for they were then a social people and longed for the society of each other. As soon as they could they usually formed a society, and prosecuted the work so diligentl y that they often grew with great rapidity. Almost the first Methodist preaching must have been by local preachers, among whom we find the following. Rev. H. M. Tremble, who resides at present (1880) near Paradise, Coles county; Rev. R. B. Ewing, George M . Henson, of Whitley Point, and Rev. Prentice, who was a partner of Ewing's in business at one time at East Nelson. As early as 1835 all the societies in Shelby county had been organized into one grand circuit, extending from Vandalia to a point somewhere in what is now called Douglas county. This vast district was traveled around once each month, and the preacher usually preached every day in the week except Monday. He was compelled, of course, to travel in all kinds of weather, and often forced to swim his horse through swollen streams amid great danger. Sometimes leaving his horse tied in the woods on the bank of some mad torrent, he commended his life and soul into the hand of his Creator, after which he plunged boldly into the boiling waters with ful l determination to meet his next engagement or die in the attempt. Gradually, however, this huge circuit was diminished until it contained in 1837 about what now lies in the bounds of Shelby and Moultrie counties, and this year we find that it was to be t raveled by Moses Roberts, but he had not been long on the work when death interposed, and he breathed his last at the house of Charles Sawyers, at Wabash Point, Coles county. Barton W. Randle was then Presiding Elder of the district which contained the ci rcuit, From 1839 to 1845, our information seems unreliable, as there are too conflicting statements, but during this interval the probability is that Wm. C. Brundle, Joseph H. Hopkins, and H. Buck, each traveled the circuit one year. In 1846 Sullivan circ uit was formed from Shelbyville circuit, and Rev. C. W. C. Munsell was appointed preacher in charge, this being his first work. N. S. Bastion was at this time Presiding Elder. The circuit then contained the following preaching places, all of which were in this county, viz: East, Jonathan, E. Grahanis, East Nelson, Julia Ann, Richard Nazworthys, Jacob McCuins, Hewitt's Grove, Ewing's Grove, and James Camfield's. Nazworthy's was probably the oldest society in the county, and had been formed years before by Rev. R. B. Ewing, who was a local elder and preached extensively in those days in various parts of the county. Beside the appointments named in Moultrie county, there were some in Shelby, and one or two in Coles county; but at this time there was not a ch urch edifice belonging to the Methodists in all this county. There was one, however, in the bounds of Sullivan circuit, but it was situated at Sand Creek in Shelby county, and was built of round logs with the cracks daubed with mud. There were eighteen ap pointments and two hundred and fifty-two members in the entire circuit. Mr. Munsell's salary was fixed at two hundred and forty-five dollars; of this he realized about fifty dollars.

1847, Rev. J. H. Hopkins became pastor, N. S. Bastion, P. E. There were 334 members this year.

About this time Ewing and Prentice, who were in business at East Nelson, invoiced their goods and sold out to Thornton and Elder; their store house thus becoming vacant was bought by the society at this place as a house of worship. This was perhaps the fi rst house of worship ever owned by the Methodists in the county, though not originally designed for that purpose. Nelson society was the most flourishing in the circuit and continued so for many years; it became the home of the preachers, and we have been informed that at one time there was a parsonage there.

1848, C. Arnold was appointed pastor and G. W. Fairbank, P. E. who remained upon the district four years. At this date it is perhaps impossible for us to conceive the hardships that these pioneers of Methodism were called to pass. Mr. Fairbank's district extended from Danville to Hillsboro, and he was compelled to travel over this scope of country, upon horseback, destitute as it was in many places of roads and bridges, and it is related of him that on one occasion he made the complete round of his distri ct and, returned home, having received the sum total in cash of seventy-five cents. His good wife remained at home during these long journeys, and at one time Dr. H. Buck, then a young man stationed in Danville, visited her in the absence of Elder F. -- a nd being desirous of learning how she fared, asked permission to look into her harder, where he found only a few bones from which almost the last vestige of meat had disappeared. "Why Mother Fairbank!" said he, This seems to be the valley of dry bones! "O h!" said she, "There's some meat on those bones."

But Dr. Buck's sympathies were aroused, and departing from the house he soon returned with something, if not more substantial, at least more palatable than "dry bones."

1849, C. J. Tolle was appointed pastor. This year the Methodists constructed the first church they had ever built in the county. It was at Hewitt's grove about two miles northeast of Lovington, built of logs neatly hewed, and the congregation was so arist ocratic that they had the cracks daubed with lime and sand and the walls white washed. By some this was no doubt considered a useless expense, but we see that the tastes of the people were changing. In Sullivan also this year, a new frame church was compl eted and dedicated; it had been commenced in 1847, during the pastorate of Rev. J. H. Hopkins, but from some cause was not completed for forty years. The cost of this edifice was about one thousand dollars, and it was constructed by R. B. Wheeler. The, fi rst board of trustees consisted of Wm. Purvis, James Elder, R. B. Ewing, James Camfield and Elijah Bridwell. The deed to the lot upon which it stands bears date June 13th, 1859, and was signed by James A. Freeland. This was the first church ever built in Sullivan. It is now occupied by Pifer's carriage shop. In 1850, Rev. G. W. Bennett became pastor, and was succeeded in 1851 by Lewis Anderson, and he in 1852 gave place to Rev. J. H. Dolson, who only made one round of the circuit when he died; and R. B. E wing who has been mentioned before supplied the work until the conference met in 1853, when A. Don Carles became pastor and A. Bradshaw Presiding Elder.

1854, J. W. R. Morgan was pastor, R. C. Norton P. E.

1855, J. W. Aneals was pastor. 1856, A. Buckner was pastor, and continued two years. J.S. Crane was P. E.

1858, W. H. McVey became pastor. During the decade from 1849 to 1859, but little progress was made. A gain of sixty memhers had been made in the whole circuit. No property had been acquired, and so far, we know none lost; affairs were in an easy condition , and the church seemed to make no special efforts.

1859, I. Groves became pastor and remained two years, during which time there was a slight loss in the membership, but two new churches were projected, one at Lovington completed this year and one at Sullivan, but not completed until 1862.

In 1861, C. Y. Hecox became pastor and W. D. P. Trotter, P. E. who remained on the district four years. 1862, David Gay was appointed pastor; on coming to the work he found an unfinished church at Sullivan, which he finished the same year; it is the one o ccupied at present by the society as a place of worship. It cost about $2,000, and was dedicated by President Cobleigh of McKendree College. The first board of trustees consisted of James Elder, S. H. Morrell

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J. R. Duncan, E. H. Hunt, A. B. Shortess, John Millizen, and William Elder. 1863, J.C. Baker was pastor; 1864, Thomas Riley, who left the work after about six months; 1865 M. W. Everhart was appointed pastor and R. W. Travis Presiding Elder, who continued until 1867. When Mr. Everhart reached the work, he became so discouraged that after preaching once, he mounted his horse and, without informing any one of his intentions, he rode away fully resolving never to return. He went to Ohio, where he remained ab out four months, or until February 1866, when he returned and remained until the ensuing conference appointed his successor, who was Rev. T. C. Lapham, now in business in Shelbyville, Ill. His administration was a prosperous one.

In 1867 T. C. Lapham was succeeded by Rev. J. B. Wolfe, who managed to enlist his people in the work so much that the membership increased this year from 214 to 399. This was, perhaps, the most prosperous year, spiritually, in the annals of Sullivan circ uit. At the end of the year, Sullivan and Lovington, so long united together in the same circuit, were divided, each becoming the head of a circuit. Mr. Wolfe returned to Sullivan, and did efficient work, being succeeded in 1869 by Rev. A. Waggoner, who s eems to have lost some ground; for he reported nearly one hundred less members than his predecessor left at the close of his last year. He was followed in 1870 by Rev. Arthur Bradshaw, who reported fifty members less than his predecessor. Rev. A. M. Pilch er became pastor in 1871, and this year there was a decrease of thirty members. During the year a neat chapel was dedicated a few miles southeast of Sullivan, known as Graham's chapel. For the years 1872, and 1873, Rev. R. L. Robinson was pastor, and repo rted a slight increase in membership. 1874, Rev. I. H. Aldrich was appointed pastor, but on account of his age was forced to retire, and Rev. E. A. Hamilton completed the year. 1875 Rev. B. F. Rhodes became pastor, but left the work in about six months, a nd Rev. A. H. Rusk completed the year. 1876 and 1877, Rev. M. B. McFadden was pastor. During this time there was a revival, and several conversions were reported. 1878, Sullivan became detached from all other appointments, and Rev. E. S..Wamsley was made pastor, in which capacity he served the charge two years, during which time no material progress was made, neither any essential loss, save the removal of a few families of influence. Altogether, remained about as when be found it.. In 1880 C. Galeener became pastor, the history of whose pastorate remains to be written by another historian.

Thus far we have traced the history of Methodism in Moultrie county, but confining our attention principally to those events which could be narrated in connection with those relating to the society in Sullivan; but there are also good societies existing at other points in the county, and we will briefly survey the history of Lovington and Bethany.

Lovington.--The history of Lovington M. E church is almost identical with that of Sullivan until 1868, when the Sullivan circuit was divided, since which time they have employed different pastors. This society probably had its birth at Hewitt's Gr ove in 1845, and Dr. Hiram Buck was its father. The people met at first in private houses to listen to the gospel, until 1849, when the hewn log-house which we have before described was built; this they occupied until 1858, when the edifice at present use d was built at a cost of $2,500. The architects were A. A. & G. M. Williams, and the first board of trustees, John Foster, Alex. Porter, George Hewitt and Jacob Murphy. The following have served as pastors since 1870, soon after the circuit was divided: 1 870, N. S. Buckner; 1871 and '2, J. W. Lapham; 1873, I. N. Bundy; 1874-5, J. C. Kellar; 1876, Abner Pottle; 1877, Peter Slagle; 1878, W. A. McKinney; 1879, E. Gollagher; 1880, J. W. Warfield. The church is at present in a flourishing condition, with good prospects of future usefulness.

Bethany.--There had been Methodist preaching at Marrowbone, in the vicinity of Bethany, at a very early day; but no permanent society seems to have been organized there. In 1860 Rev. I. Groves, who was then on Sullivan circuit, preached there; but he seems to have failed in organizing anything of a lasting character. The first permanent organization was effected there in 1870 by, Rev. Joseph Shartzer, who remained pastor two years. In 1872 Rev. J. M. Boone became pastor, during whose term the pres ent church there was built. It is constructed of brick, and cost $3,000. This is the only brick church owned by the denomination in this county. The first board of trustees consisted of Jacob Scheer, John A. Strain, A. H. Bliss, Daniel P. Warren and Rober t Crowder. The following have been pastors there: 1873 and 4, D. C. Burkett; 1875, A. Y. Graham; 1876, Abner Pottle; 1874, W. P. Shoemaker; 1878 and 9, A. Y. Graham; 1880, A. H. Rusk. The church is in a flourishing condition, out of debt, and money in the treasury.

Besides the churches mentioned, there are also the following, from which we have failed to receive any facts, though we have tried again and again, and also searched through the clerk's office for old deeds and certificates of incorporatio n, but in vain. Summit has a respectable frame-structure; Graham and Cadwell's chapels also of frame. Further than this, we know nothing in regard to the time of organization. In conclusion we may say that Methodism is on a pretty firm basis, and intends to do all she can in furthering the interests of Christianity in Moultrie county. She also extends the right hand of fellowship to all sister denominations, and wishes them a hearty "God-speed."


There is a goodly number of this denomination scattered through out the county; but as yet no church building has been constructed for church purposes. Service is held at various school-houses in the county, where t he members enjoy the preaching and services, as rendered by the teachers of the faith.

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