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Universalist Church, Macomb

This denomination has never made any special effort to evangelize in this county, and therefore do not number very largely, having only one congregation, which is located at Macomb. The first sermon ever preached in Macomb was delivered by the Rev. Gardner, in 1846. In 1853 a congregation was organized by Rev. I. M. Westfall. The following named persons were among the original members: R. M. Bonham, J. W. Westfall, J. M. Martin, John S. Smith, Orsamus Walker, J. L. N. Hall, William D. Penrose, F. L. Westfall, D. D. Roll, Green C. Lane, H. H. Burr, John Q. Lane, John L. Henton, and J. H. Baker. Services were held in the court house until 1855, when the present church structure was erected. It is located on east Jefferson street, near the square, and is a good frame building. It is 35x50 feet in size and cost including the lot, about $4,000. Those that have served as pastors for this congregation are: Revs. I. M. Westfall, Gregg, T. J. Carney, Wm. Livingston, John Hughes, S. S. Hebbard, T. H. Tabor, D. R. Biddlecome, Chas. P. West, B. N. Wiles, J. B. Gilman, Arthur Beavis, Edgar Leavitt. They have had no regular pastor since October, 1884, when Edgar Leavitt quit. The first officers of the society were R. M. Bonham, J. L. N. Hall, and William D. Penrose, trustees; J. W. Westfall, clerk. The membership at present numbers about 50, with the following officers: Thomas Farley, C. I. Imes, G. W. Pace, trustees; I. M. Martin, clerk.

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 482-483. Transcribed by Karl A. Petersen

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