McDonough ILGenWeb ILGenWeb

Methodist & Methodist Episcopal Churches

First M. E. Church of Macomb

Postcard submitted by Pricilla Alexander

In 1832, the famous pioneer of Methodism in Illinois, Peter Cartwright, preached the first sermon in Macomb, according to the tenets of belief of the Methodist Episcopal denomination. The same year he succeeded in organizing a society in that place, which is yet in existence.

Meetings were held in the old court house until 1835, when a very respectable brick building was erected on ground given by Hon. James M. Campbell, on the site of the present church edifice, on Lafayette street, north of Carroll.

In 1847 the church building blew down, when services were held conjointly with the Presbyterians, in their church building. A very earnest union revival was held by the two congregations, in this church, which resulted in bringing many into it. The church building was rebuilt in 1848.

In 1854, the circuit heretofore rather large, was divided, leaving Macomb only two appointments, viz: Wolf Grove and Spring Creek. During this year the church building again blew down, but the faithful members were not discouraged, only the more determined, and soon set about to erect another and larger building. One 40x70 feet was built this time and dedicated in 1857. T. M. Eddy, editor of the Northwestern Christian Advocate, delivered the dedicatory sermon. During the interval spent in rebuilding, services were held in the Christian church and in the court-house.

By 1858, the congregation had become so large as to require the undivided time of the pastor, and consequently Macomb was set off as a separate station.

The church building in 1875 was rebuilt and refitted at a cost of $4,076. A very tall and beautifully proportioned steeple towered far above the building, but not long after the new edifice had been dedicated--Bishop Simpson preaching the dedicatory sermon--and during a most violent storm the spire was blown down, causing some damage to the front walls. Immediately the debris was cleared away, and a cupola of less pretensions was erected. The value of the church building, which is a neat and commodious brick structure, is $10,000. A large bell is swung in the cupola.

On the corner of Lafayette and Calhoun streets, and just to the north of the church, is the parsonage, a good frame residence worth $1,200. The following gentlemen have served as presiding elders in this circuit since the organization of the church: Revs. Peter Cartwright, Michael Taylor, Peter Atkins, N. G. Berryman, John S. Barger, R. Haney, John Morey, Milton Bourne, H. Summers, A. Magee, W. H. Hunter, W. D. Underwood, Henderson Ritchie, G. M. Irwin, B. E. Kaufman, G. J. Luckey, J. G. Bowlin, and the present incumbent, M. C. Bowlin. The following is the correct list of the various pastors who have had charge of this church: Rev. H. Summers, T. N. Ralston, P. R. Boring, William Window, D. B. Carter, Enos Thompson, John R. Richmond, Chauncey Hobart, E. Tracy, John Morey, R. W. Clark, William Hindall, Freeborn Haney, Samuel Pillsbury, H. Hadley, George Whitemore, Seth Ford, B. Courtwright, B. C. Swartz, B. H. Courtwright, J. B. Quinly, William M. Clark, S. S. Robinson, W. H. Jackson, James Taylor, C. P. Brooks, Allen Head, W. S. Smith, W. J. Beck, Milton Bourne, Benjamin Applebee, Andrew Miller, P. T. Rhodes, William Wilson, G. R. Palmer, A. D. McCool, William Watson, J. H. Rhea, J. C. Rybolt, Henderson Ritchie, Peter Warner, Mr. Zimmerman, B. D. Dennis, L. B. Kent, M. A. Head, G. W. Arnold, C. W. Ailing and H. A. Tullis, the present pastor. The present officers of the church are the following mentioned: S. Smith and Alexander M'Kown, class-leaders; R. H. Broaddus, J. T. Adcock, P. McClellan, H. K. Smith, James Venable, C. W. Slade, D. H. Hampton, G. E. Kelley and Amos Scott, stewards; James Venable, secretary; H. K. Smith, treasurer; Alexander Holmes, A. T. Vawter, B. D Ingram, A. K. Lodge, A. Munger, S. Smith, and C. W. Slade, trustees.

In connection with this church is a large and thriving Sabbath school, of which the following is a list of the officers: M. Kennedy, superintendent; A. K Lodge, assistant superintendent; Mrs. G. E. Kelley, lady superintendent; Sadie Knapp, secretary; S. Smith, treasurer.

Second M. E. (Colored) Church, Macomb

This society was organized in September, 1876, by Rev. Jacob, of Galesburg, with the following members: Alexander Garner, Mrs. Shoots, Miss Rachel Anderson, Miss Walker and Milton Daniels. For some time meetings were held in the old Baptist church on North Lafayette street.

Prairie City Methodist Church

Postcard submitted by Priscilla Alexander

This class was organized in 1856. Services were held at first at the residences of Thomas Brinks and John Griffin. Then a school house was erected just south of where the Presbyterian church now stands. Rev. George Havermail was the first pastor who preached in this place. The flock at first consisted of the following members: David, Catharine and Margaret Griffin, Thomas and Nancy Brink, Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Goldsmith, Ebenezer and Sarah Sanford, D. K. Hardin and wife, Rufus and Samantha Benedict, Mr. and Mrs. Elijah Hoyt, John Carrier and wife, Erastus Carrier and wife, Andrew Burr and wife, Sylvester Davey and wife, and James Dickinson. Rev. Havermail, the first preacher, was a young man, who took his tools with him when he went to college, and worked at his trade of carpenter while gaining his education. From 1856 to 1860, besides Havermail, Revs. Alexander Fisher, William Watson, N. Lewis and Jesse Craig served as pastors. Mr. Fisher was a popular minister, but he did not remain long in the pastorate. Mr. Watson was a young man, a faithful worker, and was much respected. Mr. Lewis did not serve long. Jesse Craig was a pleasant agreeable man to all. He is now in Vermont, Fulton county. William Underwood came in 1861. He was well known in this part of the country. He was followed in October, 1864, by John C. Rybolt. He served one year, and was followed by A. Bower. He is still in this conference. He was a pleasant man, and a logical speaker. W. J. Beck came in 1867. He was a good preacher, and well liked. He is now connected with the Des Moines, Iowa, conference. He was succeeded by J. D. Heckard. Mr. Heckard was probably the most eloquent preacher who ever presided over the congregation, and was, besides, a very jovial man. While at Watseka, afterwards, he was kicked by a cow while milking, and died from his injuries. D. S. Main took pastoral charge in 1869. He is still in this conference. He was succeeded by A. Magee, in October, 1872. A sketch of him will appear in the history of Prairie City. A. S. Atherton was next, coming in 1875. He has since retired from the ministry, and is farming in Missouri. G. Wiley Martin came in 1877. He is now a presiding elder in a thinly settled portion of Nebraska. The next pastor was E. C. Wayman. He is now in Kankakee district, and has Zion and Verona churches in charge. J. H. Sanders became pastor here in October, 1881. He is now engaged in farming near Iowa Falls, Iowa, having been incapacitated from preaching on account of throat troubles. S. P. James, the present pastor, succeeded Mr. Sanford, coming in October, 1883. The church building was erected in 1858, at a cost of about $1,500. The amount was raised mostly by subscription. Among those donating: Moses Hand gave $200; D. K. Hardin, $200; David Griffin, $200; Alexander Fisher, $200; Rufus Benedict, $150; Ebenezer Sanford, $200; Sylvester Davey paid, in work and money, about $50. The amount first raised was not sufficient, and the donors increased their subscriptions, Mr. Hand giving altogether about $400. The ladies also raised money by holding entertainments and giving suppers, and paid a great deal towards the furnishing of the church. The parsonage was erected in 1859, at a cost of about $800. It is located across the street from the church. The tax-title to the land on which it stands, was donated to the society by Moses Hand. The first trustees were: Moses Hand, Andrew Burr, L. I. Washburn, D. K. Hardin and Alexander Fisher. The officers at present are: A. Mead, Milton Hay, S. Davey, John Kreider and J. N. Belleville, trustees; A. Mead, A. Magee, John Kreider and S. Davey, stewards; A. B. Cooper, class-leader. The church has hardly as many members as formerly, though a good degree of interest is manifested. A. Magee and A. Mead are local preachers, and speak alternate Sundays, the regular pastor only preaching at night. A Sabbath school was organized a short time after the building of the church edifice. Ebenezer Sanford was its first superintendent. A. Mead now holds that position, and has for a number of years. He has the school in good condition.

Rev. S. P. James, who now fills the pulpit at the M. E. church, of Prairie City, was born in Baltimore county, Maryland, November 9, 1842, and is a son of A. F. W. and Rebecca C. (Price) James. His father removed to McDonough county in 1869, and died in Sciota township in 1880. S. P. spent his boyhood days in Maryland, and in 1861 went to Washington, and was engaged in the quartermaster's department of the army. He was thus employed until 1864, when he came to this county, where many of his relatives resided. He located at Bushnell, and commenced the study of dentistry with his brother, J. A. After becoming proficient in the profession, he formed a partnership with his brother. In January, 1866, he went to Vermont, Fulton county, and operated a dentistry office. He became a local preacher there, and decided to give up his profession. He was a local preacher from 1870 to 1875, and in the latter year served as supply to the Macomb circuit. His ordination as elder occurred on October 4, 1880, at Fairbury, Bishop Hurst presiding. His first charge, after filling the supply on the Macomb circuit, was at Pleasant Mound, this county. He was next assigned to Rarita, Henderson county. After this he served at Good Hope until coming to Prairie City, in October, 1883. He was married in Baltimore, Maryland, on July 12, 1866, to Martha E. Lynch. They have two children--William A. and Walter G.

Greenwood Methodist Church, Macomb Township

The people of this denomination in this vicinity first met for worship at the Scottsburg church, in 1857. At that time they were under the supervision of Blandinsville circuit. In 1858, they were taken into the Pleasant Mound circuit, and began to hold meetings in the school house of District No. 2. Services were held in that building till 1875, when the church of the United Brethren was erected. They worshipped in that edifice until their own was completed, later in the same year. On Sunday, December 19, 1875, the dedication sermon was preached by Rev. J. G. Evans, president of Hedding college, Abingdon. The building is 32x48 feet in ground area, and was erected at a cost of $1,836.07. The first trustees were: Abram Switzer, D. Chidester, J. B. Bieber, A. C. Ford, H. H. McElvain and L. H. Shriver. The first preacher was Rev. Benjamin F. Applebee, a minister of good ability and highly esteemed. He formed the class, consisting of 15 members, and labored one year with the flock. Since his time the following have preached: C. Springer, George Havermail, William Underwood, William Frizzell, Peter Warner, H. H. Crozier, --Mark, Jacob Mayhews, D. S. Mains, A. Bowers, B. C. Dennis, J. Ferguson, J. W. Frizzell, B. E. Kaufman, H. K. Metcalf, J. Pugh, J. E. Taylor, Peter Garrison, Thomas J. Pearson, J. A. Sandess and Melton Haney. T. P. Henry is the present minister. O. M. McElvain has taken the place of J. B. Bieber as trustee.

M. E. Church, Emmet Township

The building of this congregation is located on the northeast corner of section 19, and was erected in 1865, at a cost of $2,500; size, 26x50 feet in ground area. The church was dedicated in February, 1866. The society was organized and held regular meetings in groves and school houses some 15 years previous. The land on which the present building is located was generously donated to the society by George Guy. The first regular pastor of the congregation was Rev. Stephen Brink, who staid about two years. The following were among the first members: George G. Guy and wife, James Guy, Catharine Duncan, David G., B. F., Martha, Rebecca J., Harrietta and A. E. Guy, Eli Murray and wife, John B. Murray and wife, Ingabo and Martha Carmack, Riley P. Pennington and wife, James Bradley, Francis Atkinson, James Griffith and wife, Mrs. Emily Wilson and Mary J. Newell. George G. Guy was the first class leader, and held that position for a number of years. He resigned in 1876, since which time his son, B. F., has been class leader. The present pastor is V. C. Randolph. A Sunday school has been carried on during the summer seasons, until recent years, since which time they meet both summer and winter. George G. Guy was the first superintendent, who was followed successively by Eli Murray, William Knight and the present incumbent, R. T. Ballew.

Stickle Methodist Episcopal Church

The congregation In Emmet township known by the above name was organized in 1845, with the following members: Abram Stickle, Sr., Susan Stickle, Jacob Stickle and wife, George Stickle and wife, William Stickle and wife, Abram Stickle, Jr., and wife, William Twitchell and wife, Nicholas Post and wife, Andrew Wyatt and wife, George Eyre and wife, Robert Fleetmiller and wife, Mrs. Mary Henley, Mrs. Elizabeth McCrary and Robert Stickle. They worshipped for about ten years in the school house, near the site of the present church edifice, which was erected in 1854 or 1855, on the southwest quarter of section 11. The building is 30x45 feet in ground area, and was erected at a cost of $1,700. It was named in honor of Abram Stickle, Sr., now deceased, who was the prime mover in the organization of the same. There is a present membership of about 50.

Blandinsville Methodist Episcopal Church

The first religious services of a public character that occurred in what is now Blandinsville township were held at the Hays school house, three miles east of the city of Blandinsville. Peter Akers, John S. Barger, Chauncey Hobart, John Morey, David Oliver, J. Kirkpatrick, J. B. Quinby, W. J. Smith, U. J. Giddings and others held services here at various times. The first preaching in the town of Blandinsville was in a school house, since moved, and now occupied as the post office. It was at the Hays school house, however, that the first society of this denomination was formed. The following is a list of the various pastors who have filled the pulpit of this charge, from the organization of the church, in 1854. J. S. Cummings, 1854; W. J. Beck and J. Cowden, 1855; B. E. Kaufman, 1856; H. Presson and B. E. Kaufman, 1857; H. Presson, 1858; G. W. Miller, 1859-60; B. B. Kennedy and V. M. Dewey, 1861; B. B. Kennedy, 1862; H. H. Crozier, 1863; S. Brink, 1864-65-66; J. C. Millington, 1867; John Luccock, 1868-69; B. E. Kaufman, 1870; B. E. Kaufman and T. J. Pearson, 1871; B. F. Tallman, 1872; B. F. Tallman and G. N. Dorsey, 1873; B. F. Tallman and A. C. Calkins, 1874; G. B. Snedaker and W. B. Alexander, 1875-76-77; T. P. Henry, 1878-79-80; B. C. Dennis, 1881; C. W. Ayling, 1882; W. W. Carr, 1883; C. Springer, 1884-85.

There is a membership of nearly 300 at this time connected with Blandinsville charge. The church edifice in Blandinsville is a beautiful structure, in good repair, and refects credit upon the congregation and community.

M. E. Church of Bardolph

This church was first known as that of Wolf's grove, and was organized at the house of Jacob Kepple, in the spring of 1837, by the Rev. Mr. Thompson, through the influence of William H. Jackson, a local preacher, one of those sturdy pioneers who not only desired to open up this beautiful country for settlement, but to sow the good seed of the Gospel in the hearts of his neighbors and friends. The church or class, as originally formed, contained but five members: W. H. Jackson, Ann Jackson, Margaret Kepple, Elizabeth Kulp and Harriet Vincent. Mr. Jackson was elected class leader. Preaching was held at the log cabin of Jacob Kepple, once in four weeks, on week days, as the circuit was so large that the preachers had to preach every day in the week, and often twice a day, to make their rounds in four weeks. It was very often a very long time between appointments, but these self-sacrificing circuit riders rode horseback or traveled on foot, carrying their saddle-bags containing their library and wardrobe. Their salary was very small, $100 being the usual salary allowed them, and often half of this was never obtained.

Religious services were held at the cabin of Mr. Kepple for some two or three years, and after that for six or eight years at the house of Wm. H. Jackson. After that, services were, at first, held in the school house, about a quarter of a mile south of the present site of Bardolph. After a few years the meeting place was removed to the school house on the southwest quarter of section 24, in Macomb township. Here it remained until about 1855, when Bardolph being laid out, the church was removed to the newly erected school house in that place, where it remained about a year or so. Its name was changed about this time to that of Bardolph Methodist Episcopal society. The school directors, having objections to the holding of services in the building, a room in the village was rented by the society, for the purpose of having services. This they held for a few months, when the members of the Presbyterian church tendered them the use of their church building, which they gladly accepted.

In the autumn of 1866, the Cumberland Presbyterians and this congregation united in the erection of a church edifice, which was known by their united names, in which services were held on alternate Sundays. For 10 years this continued, and finally, in 1883, the Methodist congregation purchased the interest of the Presbyterians in the structure, and now own and occupy it themselves. The building is a neat and commodious specimen of church architecture. Like all other old churches of this denomination, they have had a number of pastors, but it is believed that the following is a complete list, with the date of service, the first, however, being circuit preachers, with appointments at this place. Beginning with the first, we have Rev. Mr. Thompson, who served one year; Rev. Mr. Mobley, one year; Rev. C. Hobart, two years; Rev. Mr. Pitner, one year; Rev. Mr. Troy, one year; Rev. J. Walters, one year; Rev. C. J. Houts, one year; Rev. T. J. Oliver, one year; Rev. B. F. Applebee, one year; U. J. Geddings, two years; Rev. Mr. Hindle, a part of a year which was finished out by Rev. Freeborn Haney; Rev. W. J. Beck, one year; Rev. B. F. Swarts, one year. The next was Rev. Barton Cartwright and Rev. J. B. Quimby, who together had appointments on this circuit. They were succeeded by Rev. John Morey, who served one year; Rev. Milton Brown, one year; Rev. James Taylor and Rev. John P. Brooks, one year; Rev. W. H. Jackson and Rev. Sharrod Robinson, one year; Rev. Mr. Hadley, one year; Rev. W. J. Beck, one year; Rev. Mr. McCool, one year; Rev. B. F. Applebee, one year; Rev. W. F. Steward, one year; Rev. John Windsor, one year; Rev. Creighton Springer, one year, and Rev. Mr. Brown, one year. This brings it down to the building of the church in 1867. From that time forward the pulpit has been filled by Revs. B. E. Kaufman, D. S. Main, James Ferguson, A. P. Hull, Jacob Mathews, John Reed, P. S. Garretson, J. W. Frizzell, T. J. Pearson, H. K. Metcalf, J. A. Souders, B. C. Dennis and T. P. Henry, the present pastor.

Special revivals have been held at various times with wonderous results, among which may be mentioned some of the principal ones. One was held in the school house south of the site of Bardolph, in the winter of 1851, by Rev. James Taylor, the pastor, assisted by Revs. John P. Brooks and W. H. Jackson. Some 50 or 60 conversions were reported. A union revival was held therein shortly after the erection of the church building, by Revs. H. C. Mullen, John Windsor and W. H. Jackson, which resulted in some 70 making a profession of faith. In 1872, a revival held by Rev. Jacob Mathews resulted in adding 75 more to the fold. In 1880, a powerful wave of religious feeling swept throughout the community, and a revival at that time, under the direction of Rev. T. J. Pearson resulted in the conversion of 130 souls. A revival in 1883, also, resulted in 30 more coming into the church. The officers of the society are at present, the following mentioned: J. E. Hendrickson and George Switzer, class leaders; J. E. Hendrickson, John W. Booth, Mrs. J. Knapp, John G. Smith and John M. Jackson, stewards; Dr. J. B. Knapp, A. Hanson, H. A. Maxwell, J. W. Jackson, J. W. Booth, J. E. Hendrickson and J. M. Jackson, trustees. John M. Jackson, superintendent of Sabbath school. The church is in an excellent condition, and has a membership of 105 at the present writing (1885.)

Scott's M. E. Church, Bethel Township

The congregation of this name was organized in 1837. Rev. Tray, deceased, was the first pastor of the church. The first church edifice was erected in 1836, on the southwest quarter of section 30, and was also used for school purposes. It was a log structure, 12x15 feet in dimensions. The growth and prosperity of the church has been gradual and substantial, and at present there is a membership of 50 or 60. Rev. Powell, the present pastor, has been laboring in the work and interest of the church at different periods for the past 30 years. There is also a flourishing Sunday school in connection, with a membership of between 150 and 200.

Methodist Episcopal Church of Bushnell

During the year 1856, although the people of the village were but few, the place having but just started, still there were some that wanted to found a church of this denomination. After some discussion, in that year, a class was formed of the following members: J. Cole and wife, E. Aller and wife, Herman Diltz and wife, Jacob Miller and wife, and Isaac Tharke and wife. This little knot of christians formed a nucleus around which gathered quite a congregation. They worshipped for a time in the building erected by the German Methodists, in harmony with that body, but in 1863, they felt convinced that they should have a house of their own, so set to work and built one of frame, 36x56 in ground area, at a cost of $3,000. This they used until the spring of 1883, when it was demolished, and on its site was erected the present stately edifice they use for worship. This beautiful building is brick, 58x70 feet in dimension, well and substantially fitted up. Its cost was about $12,000, and it was dedicated to sacred uses in May, 1884. The present membership is about 250.

German Methodist Episcopal Church of Bushnell

In July, 1857, a congregation of this denomination of christians was formed at the rising town of Bushnell, with the following members: Henry Weiser and wife, Michael Miller and wife, George Ludwig and wife, Andrew Ludwig and wife, Henry Bertz and wife, Henry Wilmasshans and wife, Christ. Wiseman and wife and John Ewald and wife. The first minister was Rev. Peter Hehner. No sooner was the society formed than they began to look around for means with which to erect them a house of worship, and with this end in view elected the following gentlemen, a board of trustees to urge the matter: Henry Meiser, George Ludwig, Michael Miller, Andrew Ludwig and Henry Bertz. They at once set to work and before cold weather set in had the church in which they now meet, erected and finished. It is of frame, 25x40. Rev. Mr. Hehner was succeeded in the pastorate by Rev. C. Johnson, and he by Rev. John Saiser. There is now a membership of 60, in full communion, under the ministration of Rev. John C. Rapp, the present pastor, and a great good is wrought by their work in the community. The present officers are: Henry Rogers, elder; C. Nessel, deacon; C. Goeppinger, John Oblander and Frank Kramer, trustees. There is a flourishing Sabbath school in connection with the church, which was organized at the same time as the church, with Michael Miller as its first superintendent. The present membership is about 70, with C. Nessel as superintendent, and John Oblander as secretary.

Jacob Miller, former pastor of the German M. E. church at Bushnell, wa a native of Clayborn, Alsace, born January 13, 1815. When he was small his parents died, leaving him under the guardianship of his grandparents. He was brought up under religious influences, and when his grandfather died, the latter asked Jacob to lead a good life. In his 17th year he came to New York. He was married in 1835 to Magdalena Walter. Twp years after that he came west, stopping in Quincy, Illinois. There he joined the Lutheran church in 1843. He afterward joined the Congregational church, but finally became connected with the Methodist Episcopal church. In 1848 he obtained license to preach. Two years later he was sent to Pekin, Illinois. There he remained one year. In 1850 he went to Jackson, Missouri, where he remained two years. His next appointments were Alton, Red Bud, then Staunton, Vandalia and Highland, Illinois. His health failed him in 1857, and he was superannuated. He then retired to his farm, where he lived seven years. He next took up religious work near Staunton. In 1860 he had charge at Alton. In 1868, he had charges at Alton, Vandalia and Staunton. Thence he came to Bushnell, this county, where he was stationed and built a house. He was sent out again in 1869, and worked in Petersburg one year. He was then sent to Bushnell again, where he worked in the Lord's vineyard six months, before his death occurred. A few days before he died he talked about his soul's condition. The maiden name of the wife whom he left behind was Magdelena Walter. The names of their children were--Jacob and Joshua and the wife Henry Rogers. The funeral services of Rev. Miller were held in the American M. E. church at Bushnell, conducted by Rev. David Huene.

Industry Methodist Episcopal Church

This society was organized by Rev. E. Montgomery in 1855, with the following members: John Reed and wife, Henry Robeley and wife, M. Merrick and wife, Mrs. Vance, Fannie Bridges and Polly Shannon. The church edifice is situated on the northeast corner of Main and Sullivan streets. It is a frame building, and is 32x50 feet in ground area. Before the church building had reached completion, Rev. John Wiarson preached to the congregation. The edifice was dedicated, in July, 1866, by Rev. Reuben Andrews, of Quincy. It cost about $2,000. The first trustees were: J. C. McLetton, J. W. Leach, M. Merrick, John Blazer and B. F. Botchlett.

Linn Grove M. E. Church, Walnut Grove Township

This society was organized in September, 1865, by Rev. Peter Warner, in the grove in Jesse Hageman's dooryard. The following were among the original members: Jesse Hageman, William M. Hageman, Samuel Arthur and wife, Asa J. Tiger and wife, Thomas Foster. Asa J. Tiger was the first class leader. The church house stands on the northeast corner of section 24, and was erected in 1868, at an outlay of $2,400. It is a good frame building, 32 feet wide by 48 feet long. The first pastor was Rev. M. C. Bowlin, which the present minister is Rev. J. N. Clarke. They only have a membership of 22 at present, but have numbered as high as 92 members. The present officers are: Amanda Chidster, leader; Asa J. Tiger and Mrs. Porter, stewards; A. Chidster, A. J. Tiger, J. O. Porter, Clinton Gossard and Mary J. George, trustees.

Good Hope M. E. Church

Good Hope was formerly a part of Blandinsville circuit, but in the fall of 1878 Good Hope circuit was organized. It is composed of Stickle's, Linn Grove, Burnsville, Maple Grove and Spring Creek. The succession of pastors are: G. W. Miller, S. P. James, David Lasker and the present minister, V. C. Randolph. The church building was first erected one mile northwest of the village, but when the town was started, it was removed to its present location at Good Hope. Upon its removal it was thoroughly reparied, the steeple constructed and a bell purchased; it is now valued at about $2,500. The parsonage is well located on a good lot in the village, and is valued at $800. The membership at present numbers 55, and about 145 in the entire charge.

M. E. Church, Chalmers Township

The building used by this denomination is situated on the southwest quarter of section 14, and was completed in July 1872 by the Methodist and Lutheran societies of this township, who erected and own it jointly. The size of the building is 28x40 feet; it was completed at a cost of $1,600. The Methodist congregation was organized by Rev. Lyman B. Kent, in July, 1872. The first members were: John Saffell and wife, Samuel Scroggs and wife, George A. Cover and wife, Mrs. Saul, Mrs. William Barrett, Duncan Lyons and wife, Nathaniel Dicker and wife. The ministers who have presided over the church are: Revs. James, Head, Freland, Frizzell and Bowlan. The present pastor is Rev. Tullis, of Macomb, who preaches every other Sabbath. The present membership numbers about 30. S. A. Cover is class leader.

Methodist Episcopal Church, of Tennessee

The first meetings of this denomination held in the neighborhood of Tennessee, were at the residence of James Fulkerson, near Hill's Grove, in 1832. This locality is known as "Old Methodist Stamping Grounds." These meetings were held by missionaries, Rev. Carter, Levi Springer and Henry Summers. In 1851, a society was organized south of Tennessee, at what was called the brick school house. The Revs. James Taylor, J. P. Brooks, William Smith, and J. B. Quinby, served as preachers.

The following are the names of the original members: John Jarvis, Mrs. Jarvis, Garrett Jarvis, William Delay, Absolam Parker, Mary Parker, C. L. Davis, Maria Davis, William Clayton, Louisa Clayton, L. C. Bacon, Honor Bacon, Lewis Mourning, Ann Mourning, and Sarah Lawler.

After a few years, the society was transferred from the Macomb district to that of Blandinsville, and the following ministers preached to this little flock, during the succeeding years: Revs. Joseph Cummings, G. W. Erwin, James Cowden, John Beard, B. E. Kaufman, and H. Presson.

In 1857, the class at the school house was moved to Tennessee, and about the same time the class at Hill's Grove, also, moved to the same place, both uniting, Rev. B. E. Kaufman preaching the first sermon there in the school house. The church is now a part of the Colchester work, and is presided over by the minister of the latter place.

The church structure was erected in 1864, under the supervision of John McElroy, William Clayton, and William Latimer, building committee. It is a good frame building, 28x40 feet, and cost $2,000.

The trustees were John McElroy, William Clayton, J. Jarvis, William Latimer, and Thomas Fulkerson.

Rock Creek Methodist Church, Hire Township

The congregation, which is known by the above appellation, was duly organized during the year 1850, with some 22 members, among whom were several members of the Hainline family. These met in the various school houses in the district, in the vicinity, until 1875, when they erected the neat church building, which they now occupy, on the southwest quarter of section 17, in Hire township. This edifice, which is 30x46 feet in size, was put up at an expense of $2,000, and is substantially built, and well furnished.

Friendship M. E. Church, Tennessee Township

This is among the oldest religious organizations of the county. As early as 1833, Rev. Cord, a missionary, preached to the congregation at the house of John Hunt, now owned by John J. Kirk. During the winter of 1835-36, a class was organized at the house of John Kirk, by Rev. Carter, and services were held there for about two years, when a school house was erected on section 5, where their church now stands. The house was a small affair, 16x20 feet in size, of frame construction, and was used by this denomination until it was replaced by the present church, which was erected by the society in the spring, or early summer, of 1852. It is 30x40 in dimensions, and has a seating capacity of 250 persons. The lumber for the building was cut and sawed on Crooked Creek, in Hancock county, some six miles distant. The original members were Robert and Nancy Cook, Mrs. Penny and daughter, Esther Hunt, Malinda Hunt, Mr. Justice and wife, John and James Hammer, John and Nancy Kirk, John and Margaret Lyon, Vandever Banks and wife, James Renshaw and wife. Mrs. Banks is probably the only surviving member of the little band, who assisted in the organization of this society. The ground on which the church stands, was deeded to the society by Dodson Siebalds, for a Methodist camp meeting ground, and originally consisted of two acres, but in 1874, John B. Eakel deeded half an acre for cemetery purposes. The first camp meeting held in the Military Tract was at Friendship, in 1833. People came from Quincy, Jacksonville, Beardstown, Burlington, and other points equally distant The present pastor of the church is H. C. Cady, of Colchester, who preaches every two weeks. The membership at present numbers about 30, with the following officers: Arthur Chapman, George and Clarence Bartlett, R. W. Lyon, Sherman Kirk, trustees; Sherman Kirk and Clarence Bartlett, stewards.

Maple Grove Methodist Church, Emmet Township

This society was organized about the year 1850, and for many years worshiped in the groves, and school houses, in primitive style. In 1865, they erected a neat, substantial church edifice on the northeast quarter of section 19, Emmet township. The building is 26x50 feet in ground area, and cost in the neighborhood of $2,500. Among many of those who have been prominently identified with this church, have been Eli Murray, B. F. and G. G. Guy, James Griffith and D. T. and J. C. Guy.

Mound Chapel Methodist Church, Mound Township

This society was organized in 1854, at the residence of E. Dyer, with eight or ten members. They continued to worship in the dwellings of the members, school houses, etc., until in 1868, when they erected the church edifice which they now own. This is 35x55 feet in size upon the ground, and was built at an expense of $3,200. It is situated upon the northwest quarter of section 22, of Mound township. The building is a handsome, substantial frame, and the site and its surroundings are truly beautiful. Prominent among its members have been John Holmes, Joseph Melvin, J. Gardner, Edward Mitchell, Amos Hippskey, Ross Manly, J. Manly, Cyrus Head, A. Flemming, John and Isaac Sheely and William Anderson.

Pleasant Grove Methodist Church, Industry Township

A church with the above title is located upon the northeast quarter of section 26. The edifice was erected in 1857, at a cost of $1,200, and is 36x40 feet in ground area. Among those who have been prominent in church matters here, have been John Bennett, Marion Skiles, Joseph McLean, M. Springer, George Bennett and George Meadors.

Liberty Methodist Church, Blandinsville

The congregation who worship in the building which bears the above name, have one of the best rural churches in the county. It is a beautiful structure which stands upon the southeast quarter of section 13, Blandinsville township. It is valued at something like $2,500.

Colchester Methodist Church

A church society of this denomination was first organized at this place on the 1st of February, 1858, under the direction and through the instrumentality of the Revs. H. Presson and B. E. Kaufman, with 21 members, whose names were as follows: Joseph Taylor, Mary Taylor, Abraham Pearson, Elizabeth Pearson, Richard Musson, Rebecca Musson, James Roberts, Cecilia Roberts, A. B. Doan, Sarah Doan, Mary Bechtel, Margaret Musson, John Pearson, Abraham Newland, Jr., Thomas Pearson, William Cowan, David Sherbine, Mary A. Sherbine, Sarah E. Biell, Philip Lawrence and John Level. Meetings were held in school houses and other buildings until the year 1861, when a neat brick edifice was erected, at a cost of $1,200. It is 32x46 feet in ground area, and has a good seating capacity. Among those prominent in this church, have been Abraham Newland, Jr., James Roberts, John Pearson, Richard Williams, James Underhill, William Hulson, David Reece, John Parnell, Richard Musson and John James. The growth of the church was for many years very great, but of late has decreased in numbers on account of so many removals and numerous deaths; but still they are prosperous, and have a good active membership. The value of church property is $2,000. A most excellent Sabbath school is attached to this church, which is well attended. The present pastor is Rev. Charles T. Cady, who has occupied the pulpit since October, 1884.

Rev. Charles T. Cady is the son of Curtis and Abegail Cady, and was born April 30, 1855, in Brimfield, Peoria county, Illinois. His early education was received at the Brimfield high school. At the age of 18 he taught school, continuing in this occupation for two years. In the fall of 1876 he was enrolled as a student at Hedding college, Abingdon, Illinois, and graduated in the spring of 1881, receiving the degree of A. B., and three years later the degree of A. M. He was married to Eunice A. Hiner, of Abingdon, Illinois, on the 9th of March, 1881. One child, George Raymond, is the fruit of this union, born February 6, 1884, at Raritan, Henderson county, Illinois. Mr. Cady was admitted on trial as a minister in the central Illinois conference, in the fall of 1881, and was stationed at Vermont, Fulton county, Illinois. The following year he removed to Raritan, Henderson county, Illinois, where he remained two years. In the month of October, 1884, he was appointed to the church at Colchester, Illinois, where he is now in charge as pastor of the Methodist Episcopal church.

Willow Grove M. E. Church, of Hire Township

A class with the above name was organized during the year 1864 or 1865, and for some years worshipped in what was called Prosperity hall, in Emmet township, but now meets in the church owned by the Willow Grove United Brethren, on section 1, of Hire township, meeting on alternate Sabbaths. It has a membership of about 40. Among those prominent in this church have been W. B. Alexander and S. B. Davis.

New Hope Methodist Church, of Bethel Township

In this neighborhood about 50 years ago, Bethel Methodist Episcopal church was organized, and about the year 1845, a building was erected on the southeast quarter of section 7. This house was burned in 1863, being set on fire by an incendiary. For a few years the church ceased its existence, but in 1866 a new organization was formed under the name of the New Hope Methodist Episcopal church. The following year the present church structure was erected. It is a good frame, 32x45 feet in size, and cost $1,600. The membership at that time was near 70, at present but 40. Rev. James McElroy was the first pastor. The annual contribution is about $700. Among those prominent in this church have been James C. Archer, George Barclay, James Depoy, J. N. N. Horrell and Thomas Hanthorn. The building is on the northeast quarter of section 4, Bethel township.

Adair M. E. Church of New Salem Township

This society was organized in 1875, and the same year the present church structure was erected and dedicated in October. It was built by general contribution, of all the denomination, at a cost of $2,000. It is a good, neat, frame edifice. The original members were Washington Williams, Lafayette Williams, Jacob Ready, Mrs. Wm. Lance, Josephine Porter and Martha Epperson. Rev. J. E. Taylor was the first pastor. Among those prominent in church affairs, besides those mentioned above, have been Stephen Blackstone, Thornton Randolph and Joseph E. Porter. The church is located on the northeast quarter of section 11, New Salem township.

Pleasant Mound M. E. Church

Pleasant Mound church is situated upon section 6, of Prairie City township on the McDonough and Warren county line, at the corners of Swan Creek, Greenbush, Walnut Grove and Prairie City townships. The first record of this church bears the date of July 6, 1859, and is as follows: "Pleasant Mound church was built in the spring and summer of 1859, and dedicated July 4, 1859. The building cost $1,500. The money is all secured and the church has no indebtedness." This is signed by the following members of the board of trustees: William McMahill, John W. King, Thomas King, Giles F. Livingston, William Young and H. H. Hewitt. From what can be gathered from the records and from information gathered from the church fathers, these persons who composed this first board of trustees, were the men who were foremost in its organization and erection. The Rev. F. M. Chaffee, of the Central Illinois conference aided materially in its organization. The church was dedicated by one of the leading pioneer preachers, the late Henry Summers. The parsonage was built in the summer of 1865, at a cost of some $400, all of which was in hand at the time. A most efficient board of trustees has always had the control of matters here, as is evidenced by the church never having any debt hanging over it. There are four out of the seven original trustees living at the present: Thomas King, William Young, H. H. Hewitt, and Burris A. Reed; and three dead: John W. King, G. F. Livingston, and William McMahill. Thomas King has been a member of the board of trustees since the organization, or for the last 26 years. The church edifice is 32x48. Rev. N. G. Clark is the present pastor and J. R. King recording steward.

Mound Chapel M. E. Church, Mound Township

This society was organized in 1854, at the residence of E. Dyer, with eight or ten members. They continued to worship in the dwellings of the members, school houses, etc., until in 1868, when they erected the church edifice which they now own. This is 35x55 feet in size upon the ground, and was built at an expense of $3,200. It is situated upon the northwest quarter of section 22, of Mound township. The building is a handsome, substantial frame, and the site and its surroundings are truly beautiful. Prominent among its members have been John Holmes, Joseph Melvin, J. Gardner, Edward Mitchell, Amos Hippskey, Ross Manly, J. Manly, Cyrus Head, A. Flemming, John and Isaac Sheely and William Anderson.

Pennington’s Point M. E. Church of New Salem Township

This is one of the oldest organizations of the Methodist church in McDonough county. The class was organized in 1836, by Rev. David Carter, at the house of John Greenup, on the northeast quarter of section 30. The first pastor who officiated here was Rev. Francis M. Chaffee. They had no regular church building until 1856, when one was erected at the Point, and dedicated in that year by Revs. Jesse B. Craig and William Rutledge. That structure was used until 1876, when a new one was built, and dedicated by Rev. Evans, in the fall of that year. The cost of the new church was nearly $3,000. In the fall of 1881, the building was badly wrecked by a tornado, and the damage done necessitated an outlay of about $300 in repairs. It is located about the center of the west line of section 30. The present pastor is J. H. Shover.

Centennial M. E. Church of New Salem Township

This class was organized in 1871 by Rev. C. Atherton. They met at the school house on the southwest corner of section 25 until their church was erected. It was built in 1876, at a cost of $1,800, and dedicated on July 2, of that year. Rev. William Rutledge preached the dedication sermon. The building committee was J. M. Wilcox, Josiah McDonald, Solomon Ritter and George E. Porter. Solomon Ritter was the first-class leader, and Robert Jeffrey was the first steward, Rev. Henry is the present pastor. The trustees are John Wilcox, Solomon Ritter and George E. Porter.

Methodist Church at Tennessee

This organization erected a church edifice in the village of Tennessee, in the spring of 1864. It was 24x60 feet in dimensions, and had a seating capacity of over 300. Rev. B. Frazell held the first services in the building, the organization having a membership of about 45. The first trustees of the church were Thomas Fulkerson, L. C. Bacon, and James Jarvis. Those who have served as pastors of the church since its organization, are as follows: B. Frazell, two years; S. D. Main, two years; William Haney, one year; T. Poole, one year; Mr. Thalman, one year; George Luekey, one year; Mr. Atherton, one year; T. P. Henry, three years; Mr. Alexander, two years; Mr. Smith, one year; J. A. Souders, one year; Mr. Calkins, two years. Rev. Cady is the present pastor, and resides at Colchester. Since the organization of the church, services have been held every two weeks. In 1876, Rev. S. D. Main held the first revival in the church, and 70 converts were the result of his labors. Rev. T. P. Henry held a very successful revival in 1875, converting 26. Rev. Calkins held two revivals during the year 1884, and converted, in all, 32. At present, the church has a membership of 35. The present trustees are F. F. Meir, J. A. Jenkins, and B. F. Thompson.

Source: The History of McDonough County, together with sketches of the towns, villages and townships, educational, civil, military and political history; portraits of prominent individuals, and biographies of the representative citizens, 1885, pages 446-461. Transcribed by Karl A. Petersen

McDonough County ILGenWeb Copyright