Church History: Townships


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Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Volume I, pages 191-201, submitted by Janine Crandell


     Some of the records of this church having been destroyed it is not possible to ascertain to a certainty the earliest date at which Methodist ministers preached at Chillicothe, but September 29, 1851, John Chandler was appointed presiding elder and R. H. Moffitt pastor of the circuit to which Chillicothe was attached and it is said there was then quite a flourishing class, and that the church organization was formed about 1850 with about twenty members. Services were at first held in a schoolhouse. In 1852 the congregation purchased a lot on the corner of Beech and Fourth streets upon which a parsonage was at once erected. Later they erected a church, which was dedicated December 28, 1856, Rev. Milton L. Haney preaching the dedicatory sermon. The parsonage continued to be used in its original form until 1892, when it was remodeled. The first church building continued in use until 1898, when during the pastorate of Rev. D. B. Johnson, the present church was built on the corner of Chestnut and Sixth streets, at a cost of about $8,000 and at the time of building, was the largest and finest church in the city.
     While it is uncertain as to just when the earliest services were held, and consequently the names of pastors prior to September, 1851, cannot be ascertained, since that time the following have served in that capacity: R. H. Moffitt, William Atchison, I. B. Craig, James Cowden, A. J. Jones, J. S. Millsap, D. S. Main, S. L. Hamilton, Benjamin Applebee, J. A. Windsor, J. C. Price, W. B. Frazelle, M. H. Shepherd, G. I. Bailey, J. H. Sanders, H. I. Brown, J. A. Windsor, Thos. Chipperfield, E. N. Bentley, G. M. Webber, R. W. Ames, Wm. Crapp, A. R. Jones, A. M. Lumkin, O. M. Dunlevy, B. E. Kaufman, D. B. Johnson, T. A. Beal, John Rogers, B. F. Eckly and the present pastor W. D. Benjamin, who is now, January, 1912, serving his second year.
     The church is in a prosperous condition, the number of members reported to the conference of 1911 being one hundred eighty-five; Sunday school officers and teachers sixteen and scholars, two hundred seventy-eight, with an Epworth League of fifty members, and a Junior League of fifty members.
     In connection with the Chillicothe church and served by the same pastor is the...[next section]


     This is probably the most peculiar church in the Central Illinois conference. To the conference session of 1911, it was reported as having eight members with a Sunday school consisting of ten officers and teachers and forty scholars. Nevertheless, it is an old organization which has been maintained for more than seventy years. In 1841, a schoolhouse was built in the north part of Hallock township, a short distance southeast of Lawn Ridge, and a revival service was held in it, which resulted in forming a Methodist class, and Blue Ridge has been an appointment in the conference ever since.
     On April 14, 1849, John Ferguson, Isaiah Nurse, Jacob Booth, George Nurse and William R. Will were elected trustees and empowered to secure funds and build a church. They secured in cash and labor $787.80 and the church was enclosed and used for worship, but was not completed and dedicated until 1856, when it was dedicated by John Chandler, P. E. This structure served the people more than forty years when on February 22, 1898, a farewell service was held and the time worn and weather beaten old building was torn down. A new structure was built by the combined energy of Rev. D. C. Martin and the loyal people and was dedicated September 4th, 1898, by F. W. Merrill, P. E., now of the Rock River conference. John Chandler was the first preacher and W. D. Benjamin the present pastor.
     In the summer of 1856, a church was built on the land of David Shane, Sr., about three miles south of Lawn Ridge, and was dedicated under the name of Mount Hedding Methodist Episcopal church, by Rev. Henry Summers. The principal movers in this project were, David Shane, Sr., Isaac Weidman, and John Ferguson. Some years later it was decided to move the building to Lawn Ridge, which was done in the spring of 1871, and it was re-dedicated July 22d of that year, and was afterward known as the Lawn Ridge Methodist church. For some reason this church seems to have ceased to exist, as no mention is now made of it in the conference minutes. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)



     This church is in Hallock township at the village of Northampton a few miles west of north from the city of Chillicothe. A Methodist class was organized here in 1851 and services held in a schoolhouse until 1871, when a church was built. The circuit relations of the church were changed quite often and no records are available.
     Services are not now held in the church building, which is controlled by the trustees of Chillicothe church, and the people probably worship with the members of that church. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)


Seventh-Day Baptist Church, West Hallock
Atlas of Peoria County, Illinois (1873)
submitted by Janine Crandell




     From the days of the early '30s Princeville had the preaching of the circuit riders. In those days, known as Prince's Grove, it was on the Peoria circuit, which extended to Lafayette, Princeton, and near to La Salle and back to Peoria.
     Stephen R. Beggs states that the first preaching service was in 1833 by T. Hall. However, there must be an error in the name and it must have been Zadoc Hall who was on the Peoria circuit at that time. However there was no class formed at that time.
     On the 2d of April, 1838, Rev. John Hill came from the state of New York to Illinois and arrived at Princeville. At the time of his arrival he found but one Methodist sister in the neighborhood. He found here a great opening for ministerial work and commenced work in good earnest and preaching in the neighborhood, he soon formed a class of nine persons.
     In 1841, William Pitner was appointed to Peoria circuit and held a camp meeting at Princeville. At the first the circuit riders preached in Aunt Jane Morrow's fine log cabin, on the northwest quarter of section 30, of Akron township; then in the old log schoolhouse; then in the stone schoolhouse. In March, 1842, at a two days' meeting in the house of Ebenezer Russell, a boy a little less than ten years old was converted. That boy matured into the grand old minister Joseph S. Cumming, now, January, 1912, pastor of the Second Methodist Episcopal church, Moline, Illinois, at the age of about eighty-one.
     The first Methodist church building was commenced in 1853 and completed the following year on lots 1 and 2 block 16 and was later sold to the Seventh Day Adventists. The next church was built in 1867 on lots 7 and 8, block 24 (Edward Anten's Academy building) and used until the erection of the edifice corner of South and Clark streets in 1889.
     The preachers, many of whom were circuit riders, have been Z. Hall, J. Hill, Pitner, Whitman, William C. Cumming, Beggs, Chandler, B. C. Swartz, T. F. Royal, J. W. Stogdill, John Luccock, U. J. Giddings, J. B. Craig, H. N. Gregg, C. B. Couch, P. T. Rhodes, J. B. Mills, J. S. Millsap, Ahab Keller, W. J. Beck, G. W. Brown, S. B. Smith, John Cavett, M. Spurlock, G. W. Havermale, E. Wasmuth, J. Collins, W. B. Carithers, W. D. H. Young, Stephen Brink, J. S. Millsap, M. V. B. White, H. M. Laney, F. W. Merrill, Alexander Smith, R. B. Seaman, J. D. Smith, J. E. Conner, J. Rogers, R. L. Vivian, L. F. Cullom, N. J. Brown, T. A. Beal and the present pastor J. W. Pruen. Princeville was made a station in 1889.
     The membership of the church September 1st, 1911, was two hundred eleven; of Sunday school, eighteen officers and teachers, and one hundred thirty-five scholars; Epworth League, thirty. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)


Brimfield Episcopalian Church
Submitted by Sandy MacDonald



     On November 1st, 1836, Rev. Zadoc Hall organized the first Methodist class in the village of Brimfield. The members of the first class were: L. L. Guyer, who remained a member of the church continuously until his death a few years ago, Isaac Harrison, Francis J. Hoyt, Ephraim Hoyt, Benjamin F. Berry and Polly W. Berry, Sarah Harrison, David Stansberry, Susanah Stansberry and Susan Stansberry, Martha Johnston, Margaret Johnston, Catherine Johnston, Jacob Snider, Catherine Snider, Samuel Snider, Eliza Martin and Susan Wills. Samuel Snider was chosen class leader.
     At this time the circuit was called Kickapoo Mission with twenty-eight preaching points, and embracing the entire northern part of the state requiring three hundred miles' travel to get over it, which traveling was usually done on horseback. In consequence, Rev. Hall reached this place once in four weeks.
     In the year 1848, a new church building was commenced and the corner stone was laid in August of that year, the Rev. A. E. Phelps officiating. The following year the building was completed and paid for. This building was of brick, 28 by 44 feet in size, well finished and seated, being a very great improvement over the log cabins and barns which had previously served the people as places of worship.
     In the year 1876 an addition of brick was built, new pews and furniture procured, and the church carpeted, at an outlay of about $2,200. Thus improved and enlarged, the building satisfied the needs of the church until the year 1910, when it was torn down and a new and modern church edifice erected, with modern conveniences, and carpeted throughout, at a cost of $7,000. Within the year ending September, 1911, $1,417 had been expended in betterments and improvements, so that with the lot the church property was valued at $10,500, while the congregation also own a parsonage valued at $3,500.
     Owing to the loss of certain records, it is not possible to give fully and correctly the succession of preachers, but commencing with the fall of 1857 the following is practically correct, the dates being from conference session to conference session.
     J. S. Millsap, 1857-58; John Luccock, 1859-61; S. G. J. Worthington, 1862-65; Peter Warner, 1865-68; A. Bower, 1868-70; 1870-74, no record; Rev. F. Smith, 1874-77; William E. Stevens, 1877-78; T. J. Wood, 1878-79; W. K. Collins, 1879-81; Stephen Brink, 1881-83; James Ferguson, 1883-86; G. W. Arnold, 1886-88; D. S. McCown, 1888-90; W. J. Minium, 1890-92; C. L. Davenport, 1893-95; W. H. Clark, part of 1895; John W. Denning, 1895-98; J. E. Mercer, 1898-1903; G. F. Snedaker, 1903-05; M. P. Lackland, 1905-09; R. W. Ames, 1909-10; and E. J. Sellard, present pastor from 1910.
     This church was made a separate station at the session of the Central Illinois conference held in Peoria, September, 1911.
     Membership, two hundred; Sunday school officers and teachers, twenty-eight; scholars, two hundred twenty-four; members of Epworth League, seventy-four. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)

click on thumbnails...
Methodist Episcopal Church M. E. Parsonage
submitted by Sandy MacDonald


Other Brimfield Churches

click on thumbnails...
Baptist Church and Parsonage Congregational Church
submitted by Sandy MacDonald

Brimfield United Methodist Church
submitted by Janine Crandell





     Like almost every other Methodist church, in early days, this church began with a class, organized some time prior to the year 1850, in the home of Absalom Kent, who then lived a short distance to the southwest of the present location of Elmwood near a grove known as Harkness' Grove. In this vicinity most of the early comers had settled and here were located the homes, and probably a shop and store.
     Of the first members of the first Methodist class, there is record of Absalom Kent and wife, Abner Smith and wife, Eliza Smith, David Morey and wife, John Jordan and wife, and Rufus Kent and wife. This preaching point seems to have been at first designated as Kent, and was connected with the Canton circuit. Later it was in the Farmington circuit. At first, the people here, as elsewhere, worshiped in private homes; afterwards in an upper room over Mr. Snyder's store. David Morey was the first class leader.
     In September, 1854, such an adjustment was made of circuits as to form the Elmwood circuit, with Jervis G. Evans assigned as preacher in charge, the preaching place having been removed, the previous spring to the village of Elmwood, then consisting of but few houses. The circuit at that time had the following points, or preaching places: Elmwood, Gould's about where Yates City now is, Remington's school house, near Maquon, the Stone house, near Spoon river, north of Elmwood and French creek. Rev. Jervis G. Evans was later, for some years, president of Hedding College.
     In the spring of 1855 the congregation began the erection of a church building on Silock street which was completed and dedicated in the fall of the same year by Rev. Silas Bolles, of Chicago, who had recently been for two years, pastor of the First church in Peoria.
     This first church building served the people until 1893 when a new building was erected on Main street at a cost of $10,000.
     The first distinctively Methodist Sunday school was organized in the first church building shortly after its erection, with Francis Minor as its first superintendent.
     The pastors who served Elmwood circuit were: J. G. Evans, 1854; A. Magee, 1856; A. Magee and George R. Palmer, 1857; Milton L. Haney and J. W. Stewart, 1858; M. L. Haney and P. Spurlock, 1860; B. C. Swartz and George W. Gue, 1861; A. Magee and C. B. Couch, 1862; William Watson, 1863. In 1865 Yates City was joined with Elmwood with J. H. Sanders as pastor. Martin D. Heckard was appointed in 1866; T. C. Workman, 1868; T. E. Webb, 1869; W. B. Frazelle, 1871, T. S. Falkner, 1873; James Ferguson, 1876; J. T. McFarland, 1879; R. B. Williams, 1880; E. P. Hall, 1882; R. R. Pierce, 1883; W. B. Alexander, 1884; J. W. Denning, 1885; H. K. Metcalf, 1888; O. T. Dwinell, 1893; M. A. Head, 1898; J. A. Riason, 1899; J. S. Gumming, 1900; N. J. Brown, 1903; J. B. Bartle, 1906, and A. E. Ioder the present pastor in 1910. This church has been served by some of the best preachers in the conference.
     Rev. J. B. Dille, for many years an honored member of Central Illinois conference, passed away at his home in Elmwood, November 30, 1911.
     Rev. H. K. Metcalf was pastor when the church was built and under the pastorate of O. T. Dwinell the following year a new parsonage was built.
     Membership total, one hundred ninety-six; Sunday school officers and teachers, twenty-one; and scholars, two hundred forty-nine; Epworth League, forty; Junior League, fifty members. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)



     The Trivoli work is known as Trivoli circuit, Wrigley Chapel and Graham Chapel, both in Rosefield township being connected with the Trivoli church and served by the same pastor.
     In 1838, in a newly built schoolhouse, a Methodist class was organized. The first church was built in 1851. The first pastor was a Rev. Mr. Emery. The pastors of which there is any record, following the first were Revs. Smith, Milton L. Haney, Richard Haney in 1860, H. I. Brown in 1863. Rev. R. H. Figgins is the present pastor.
     The membership on the circuit is given as one hundred sixty-one; Sunday school officers and teachers, forty; and scholars, one hundred fifty; with one Epworth League with forty-two members. There are three churches and one parsonage. A new church was built in Trivoli in 1910, at a cost of $10,000.
     There is another Methodist Episcopal church in Trivoli township located on the northeast quarter of section 30. It is known as the Concord church, and is on a circuit with two churches in Fulton county. It has a small membership, and maintains a Sunday school. The circuit is at present served by Ernest Shult as a supply. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)


Trivoli United Methodist Church
submitted by Janine Crandell



was organized in 1854 with a membership of ten. Joseph Dunn was class leader. Robert Wrigley and Henry Robins were first trustees and Rev. J. M. Snyder first pastor. They worshipped in a schoolhouse until 1860, when they built a frame house of worship at a cost of about $1,600. One of the early preachers was Rev. Mr. Wyckoff, father of Professor Wyckoff, now of Bradley institute.


was organized in 1860. Rev. Richard Haney was the first circuit preacher to serve this church. Statistics of membership and Sunday schools are included with Trivoli church. Rev. R. H. Figgins is the present pastor.
     A Methodist church which has been known as the Rosefield church was organized about the year 1844, with twelve members, located about three miles north of Hanna City. The first house of worship was built in 1844 but in 1874 it was abandoned and a new church erected across the road at a cost of $1,650. This church is now familiarly known as the Cottonwood church. In its churchyard many of the early settlers are buried. Among these are Thomas Edwards and wife, Dr. J. H. Wilkinson and wife, Ed Edwards and wife, David Harper and wife and Sylvester Edwards and wife. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)

Cottonwood Church (1874-1921)
Picture taken Oct. 23, 2004

     Another church of the denomination was organized in 1837 and erected a building known as the Combs meeting house on section 14, which appears to have been the first church organized in the township. It has long since been abandoned. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)


     This society was organized in 1845. The congregation held their meetings in a schoolhouse until 1858, when they erected a church building, the congregation then numbering sixty. The building cost about $1,200.
     Oak Hill and Cottonwood churches are now in Kickapoo circuit, and with the other churches are being served by F. W. Appleby as a supply.
     About 1865 a camp ground comprising a beautiful grove, with good spring water, and but a short distance northeast of the village, was purchased and since then a camp meeting has been held here each summer, where thousands of people have gathered for religious services and a week of relief from business cares. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)



     The first services by a Methodist minister were conducted by Rev. Whitman about the year 1843, in the house of William Young. A church organization must have been formed shortly after.
     This charge has always been in connection with a circuit, and Rev. U. J. Giddings was the circuit rider in 1851 and 1852. At that time there was quite a large membership, and they soon began the erection of a church edifice which was completed in 1855 under the pastorate of Rev. P. T. Rhodes. The church cost $1,662. A parsonage was built about the same time and both have been in use ever since.
     The pastors on Kickapoo circuit have been: Rev. U. J. Giddings, 1851 to 1852; John Luccock, 1852-53; C. B. Couch, 1853-54; P. T. Rhodes, 1854-56; J. B. Mills, 1856-58; G. R. Palmer, 1858-59; Robert Cowan, 1859-61; Ahab Keller 1861-64; John Cavett, 1864-66; S. S. Gruber, 1866-69; D. M. Hill, 1869-70; J. H. Scott, 1870-72; T. F. Sanders, 1872-74; Amos Morey, 1874-75; T. J. Wood, 1875-77; H. Stahl, 1877-78; C. W. Green, 1878-80; J. A. Riason, 1880-81; D. S. Main, 1881-82; G. M. Webber, 1882-85; J. Jones and William Rowcliff, 1885-86; J. L. Reid, 1886-87; A. P. Rolen, 1887-89; A. Smith, 1889-90; J. W. Moles, 1890-93; J. C. Zeller, 1893-95; J. Ferguson, 1895-96; B. Rist, H. M. McCoy and H. Manship, 1896-97, each serving part of the time; E. O. Johnson, 1897-98; John Gimson, 1898-99; J. H. Wood and L. J. Blough, 1899-1901; J. D. Johnson, 1901-02; George Browne, 1902-03; H. M. Blout, 1903-05; C. W. Green, 1905-06; Thomas Bartram, 1906-07; H. T. Russell, 1907-08; W. B. Carr, 1908-09; L. J. Blough, 1909-10; C. E. Dunlevy, 1910-11; and F. W. Appleby, 1911-12. Several of these serving in later years have been students.
     The latest statistics give the number of members on the circuit at fifty-five; Sunday school officers and teachers twenty; and scholars one hundred and thirty-three, with three churches valued at $4,000 and one parsonage valued at $2,000.
     The church at Edwards on this circuit has had an organization for many years, but had no church building until recently. The services were held at what­soever convenient place might be had, with sometimes the circuit preacher to minister to them, and sometimes a local preacher. We are informed that Daniel Taylor, is, or has been a local preacher and superintendent of the Sunday school, and that he has been an active and efficient worker for a long time. Unfortunately the old records of the church were burned, and we are unable to learn the date of the first organization or the names of the first pastor, or of members of the first official board, except that James Greenough was one member of it. In the year 1866, James Greenough and his daughter Mary J. Greenough, with a few others, were seeking better things, and better conditions for themselves and neighbors, and organized a Sunday school in the schoolhouse, with E. Y. Forney as superintendent. Mr. Greenough was a quiet, unobtrusive man, but it was very largely through his efforts that the Methodist church was organized at Edwards. This charge has been and is connected with the Kickapoo circuit.
     The late Dr. J. H. Wilkinson had land at Edwards, and after his death and that of his wife, a part of the land fell to Sylvester Edwards, and we are informed that he donated to the church at Edwards an acre of land upon which they erected a building in 1905, at a cost of about $1,500, with a seating capacity of two hundred fifty. The present membership is twelve; membership of Sunday school, eighty-five. The pastor is F. W. Appleby. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)


     The only Methodist church in this township, is the German Methodist Episcopal Mission church. This church was organized in the year 1870. It is located in the village of Jubilee. It has always been a Mission church, and served by the pastors in charge of the Sanger Saint Mission in Peoria. The first pastor was Henry Thomas with Phillip Gruenewald as assistant. Succeeding the first two, the following pastors have served this church: G. Timken, M. Roeder, J. Lemkan, J. C. Rapp, Henry Balcke, C. H. Becker, E. S. Havighorst, G. Schuh, C. W. Hartzler, L. Harmel, J. Gisler, H. J. Petersen, L. E Kettlekamp, Herman Kasiski, G. L. Zocher, Karl Buch and H. Schlueter. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)



     This church was organized in 1880 with seven members, the first pastor being Rev. Humphreys. The first church building was erected at Smithville in 1854, but in 1888 the location was removed to Hanna City, where a new church building was erected at a cost of $2,000 and a parsonage costing $1,200.
     The pastors since 1886 have been J. A. Windsor, H. Coolidge, Wm. Crapp, Daniel Cool, P. S. Garretson, J. N. Fawcett, J. W. Moles, H. C. Birch, Hugh C. Gibson, A. C. Kelley, Charles Fitzhenry, B. R. Nesbit, George Shepherd, W. R. Warner and R. W. Stocking, the present pastor.
     There is another Methodist Episcopal church in Logan township known as Pleasant Grove church, located two miles southwest of the village of Eden. This church was organized about 1840, with eighteen members. The first pastor was William Pitner. The members first worshipped in the homes and cabins, and then in a schoolhouse in the vicinity. In the year 1848, the first church was built, which was used until 1869, when a more comfortable and commodious building was erected.
     Limestone church is also on the same circuit. The statistics given in the minutes of the conference of 1911 show one hundred sixty-eight members including twelve probationers; thirty Sunday school officers and teachers and one hundred fifty scholars; one Epworth League with twelve members. The circuit has three churches valued at $5,300 and one parsonage, value $1,500. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)



was organized in 1849 with twenty-seven members. The first church building was located on section 4 on the Farmington road, and was built in 1860 at a cost of $1,000. It was dedicated by the noted, venerable Rev. Peter Cartwright, December 21, 1860. Rev, John Borland was preacher in charge.
     Being on the Hanna City circuit this church has been served by the same pastors, and its statistics of membership, etc., are included with that charge.
     Bartonville Methodist Episcopal church is in the southeast part of Limestone township and adjoining the city of Peoria. It is served by a pastor in connection with the Madison Avenue Methodist Episcopal church, Peoria.
     Before the village was known as Bartonville although the Barton family lived in that vicinity, the people worshipped at the brick schoolhouse, known as South Limestone school, one mile west of where the church now stands, having a Sunday school and preaching services; (as early as 1857, M. L. Haney, preached there). The old brick building finally became so dilapidated, that a new school-house was built one-half mile east of the former location in the year 1862, and the people worshipped in it for about twenty years, being called the South Limestone church.
     About thirty years ago, that is, about 1882, the people built the present church building, which is located one half mile further east than the second school-house, referred to, and across the street from the splendid new school building which the town of Bartonville now affords. Continuing the numbers from South Peoria on Adams street, the church is located at 6019 South Adams street, Bartonville.
     John A. Riason, now of Siloam Springs, Arkansas, was the pastor of the Bartonville and Madison avenue, Peoria, churches, when the Bartonville Methodist Episcopal church was built in 1882. Present pastor, Rev. W. D. Evans, now in his third year. Number of members, fifty; a fine Sunday school of one hundred twenty, average attendance seventy-five; A. E. Scheidel, superintendent and an Epworth league of forty members; Miss Audra Wright, president. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)



    In the year 1836 the first Methodist organization was formed at Rochester, near the extreme northwest corner of the township and county. Rev. William Gumming, who was then the station preacher at Peoria, preached the first sermon, in the house of John Smith. The original members were John Smith and wife, Therrygood Smith and wife, William Metcalf, and an unmarried daughter of John Smith, and John Smith, Sr., was chosen class leader.
     In 1838 a house of worship was commenced, but was completely destroyed by a hurricane on May 8th of the same year. Through deaths and removals, the church at one time became almost extinct but later another building was secured which had belonged to the Congregationalists (see picture below), and though the legitimate successor of the first church it is known as Elmore church, the name of the post-office being Elmore. This church is now connected with the West Jersey church in Stark county. The present pastor is E. L. Fahnestock. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)

Built in 1866
Currently the Elmore United Methodist Church
Picture taken by J. Crandell in 2005


     The church at Laura was built in the summer of 1889 at a cost of $1,300 and furnished at a further outlay of about $200. The first pastor was Rev. D. S. McCown, now pastor of the First Methodist Episcopal church at Moline, Illinois.
     For quite a long time this church was served in connection with the church at Monica, but is now in connection with the church at Williamsfield, Knox county. Rev. Stanley Ward is pastor. The statistics give for the two charges, one hundred forty-nine members, twelve Sunday school officers and teachers and one hundred forty scholars; with one Epworth League with forty members; two churches valued at $5,000 and one parsonage of a value of $1,500. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)



     In 1856 or 1857, West Princeville near the west side of Princeville township, was started by the erection of a manufacturing plant, on the south side of the road between sections 19 and 30.
     In 1858, Mt. Zion Methodist Episcopal church was organized in the same neighborhood, the members holding their first meetings in the Nelson school-house. In 1867 the society built a church in the southwest corner of section 20, a little east of West Princeville. This was a frame building 32 by 45 feet and cost $2,200.
     The starting of Cornwell now Monica occasioned by the construction of the Cincinnati, Burlington & Quincy railroad, spelled disaster for West Princeville, nearly all of the buildings, including the church being moved to the new town. This transfer occurred in 1877. This church was in connection with the Princeville charge until 1894, when it was re-organized and with the church at Laura, Millbrook township, became the Monica charge. Rev. Thomas J. Wood was the first pastor after re-organization and was followed in succession by P. S. Garretson, 1895; O. M. Dunlevy, 1896; H. C. Birch, 1898; H. C. Gibson, 1900; and James G. Blair, 1901. The church connection is now with Duncan. The present pastor is J. T. Bliss. The membership of the charge is eighty-seven; Sunday school officers and teachers, ten; scholars ninety-two. Two churches valued $4,000; one parsonage $1,600. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)


     The Methodist churches in this township have existed under varied and rather peculiar conditions. As early as 1840 the missionaries and circuit riders held services in the homes of the people, before there were even any school-houses. Their first church was organized and a building erected in the year 1860, though no doubt they had class meetings prior to that date. This first church was located about one mile west of where the village of Alta now is. Its principal members and supporters were George Divelbiss, at one time sheriff of the county and Wesley Smalley, farmers. The church was named the Glendale church. In its pastoral relations, it was then connected with Kickapoo church and Mt. Hedding, in Hallock township, with the pastoral residence at Kickapoo. After the village of Alta was laid out, Glendale church was moved to that village, which is in Medina township, the pastor still residing at Kickapoo.
     In 1884, a church was organized at Dunlap, and the next year a church was built, under the pastorate of Rev. George M. Webber, and the pastoral residence changed to Dunlap and the Alta church connected with Dunlap.
     In the year 1865, the Methodists built a church called the Salem church on the northwest quarter of section 16 near the schoolhouse, some five miles northwest of Alta. The leading members of this church organization were prominent farmers: A. J. Gordon, John Jackson and Wesley Strain. After a number of years, removals and deaths having weakened the membership, the organization was abandoned for lack of support. The building was sold and another erected on section 18, some two miles west, and near the line of Jubilee township. This church was called Zion church and its pastoral relations were in connection with Kickapoo. The principal men in the church were William Rowcliffe and Daniel Corbett. The membership was small, and this church seems also to have been abandoned, as no mention is made of it in the conference minutes of 1911.
     The membership of the two churches is one hundred forty-five; two Sunday schools with twenty-eight officers and teachers and one hundred seventy scholars; one Epworth League with forty-five members and one Junior League with fifteen members. Two churches valued at $6,750 and one parsonage, at Dunlap, valued $2,200; $2,250 were expended during the conference year for building and improvements. Rev. G. L. Kneebone is pastor. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)



     This is the only Methodist church in the township. It was organized in 1886 by Robert Burden, a local preacher, with the following members: Mrs. Wm. Harris, Mrs. Emma Newsam, Mrs. Mary Galloway, Mr. and Mrs. James Bradshaw, Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzo Walker, Mrs. Mona Thrush, Mrs. J. T. Newsam, Mrs. Ann Galloway, Mr. and Mrs. John Scheidel and Miss Kate Jones. They have a small church building which was erected in 1890 and dedicated by Rev. Jervis G. Evans, president of Hedding College, at Abingdon, Illinois, in November of that year. The membership is small, being, September 1, 1911, but thirteen, with a Sunday school of thirty-five scholars and five teachers. Rev. Harry M. Blout since transferred to Bumside, Hancock county, was pastor. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)



     About the year 1890, a small church was built at Glasford. At that time Dr. William A. Brisendine, an old resident and practicing physician, who from his youth had taken an active interest in religious work made application, and was licensed as a local preacher in that year, and often thereafter, filled the pulpit from time to time in his home church and probably in others in the neighborhood as well.
     September 1, 1911, the total membership of the Glasford church was forty-five; Sunday school enrollment, one hundred two scholars, with eight teachers; an Epworth League of twelve members. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)


     A church was organized at Kingston Mines prior to the year 1885, and about that year they erected a church building which was destroyed by a hurricane about 1896. There is still an organization and a Sunday school maintained. Church membership nine; Sunday school scholars about sixty. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)


     In the southwest part of Timber township there was a small Methodist church built in 1882, and named Bethel. This church has been maintained ever since and now has a membership of nineteen, with a Sunday school of forty-five scholars and only five teachers.
     These churches in Timber township, together with the one at Mapleton form the Glasford circuit with pastoral residence at Glasford, with a parsonage located there valued at $1,500. Pastor, H. M. Blout. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)



     About the year 1869, the late G. W. Schnebly acting for the people who were interested in the Presbyterian church at Mossville, employed the building firm of James Hazzard & Son of Peoria, who erected for him a neat, comfortable, small brick church building, seating about two hundred people, at a cost of about $2,600. A large percentage of the membership residing on High Prairie, in the vicinity of Alta, found the location at Mossville inconvenient and on October 9, 1875, it was decided to remove to the former place. The church building at Mossville was sold, and purchased by the late Samuel C. Neal for the Methodists, and has since been used by them, they having put in a modern hot-water or steam heating plant. As might be surmised the membership has been small—some fifteen or twenty, with a Sunday school of about forty members. Under these circumstances the pastoral service has been either in connection with some other church, or by a supply appointed by the presiding elder or district superintendent. The present pastoral service is by Rev. F. E. Ball, pastor of Wesley Methodist Episcopal church, Peoria.
     While the Methodist church at Alta is in Medina township, the early organization, and location of the church was in Radnor, and as its pastoral connections and residence are still there, it was thought best to so give its history. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)



     The only Methodist Episcopal church in Richwoods since Grace Methodist Episcopal church was taken into the city, is the Averyville church. This society was organized about 1894 by Rev. T. W. McVety when he was pastor of First church, Peoria. The church was organized in the village hall and its members worshipped there for a short time. Shortly afterwards lots were purchased on Madison avenue from Mr. Luthy and the present church building erected at a cost of about $2,600, beside the cost of the lots.
     This church now (January, 1912) has forty-five members with a Sunday school of seventy-five members and an average attendance of fifty-two.
     The Ladies' Aid Society, of which Mrs. Charles Koch is president, has thirty members. Frank McBridge is Sunday school superintendent.
     This church has always been served in connection with some other church. Its present connection is with the church at Putnam. H. Wakefield is pastor. The valuation of the church property including furnishings is $3,950. (Excerpt from the Peoria, City and County, Illinois (1912) by James M. Rice, Vol. I)

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