Elihu and Amy (Barrett) Gunn.Reverend Elihu Gunn was a native of Montague, Mass., and his paternal ancestors were among the original settlers of that state, in 1830. Mrs. Amy (Barrett) Gunn, his wife, was a native of Vermont and her paternal and maternal ancestors arrived in Rhode Island at a little later date. Elihu Gunn, through great difficulties, paid his way through college and was graduated from Madison (now Colgate) University, Hamilton, N. Y., in 1849. Soon after his graduation he was ordained as a Baptist minister and, with his bride, went west as a pioneer home missionary. They settled at Keokuk, Iowa, where Mr. Gunn established the first Baptist church in the place and subsequently erected a substantial brick church edifice. At the call of the Baptist Home Mission Board of New York he moved to Pella, Iowa, in 1858, where he founded the Baptist collegethe Central University of Iowabecame its first president and erected its initial building. From Pella Mr. Gunn went to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, where he remained for eight years and built one of the handsomest church buildings in the state. During his residence in Iowa he was exceedingly active, in addition to his own pastorates, in caring for the country churches in his vicinity. In 1870 Mr. Gunn removed to Kansas, where he was pastor of the church at Atchison for four years and there built up a strong and influential congregation. In 1874 he became district secretary for the American Baptist Home Missionary Society for the states of Kansas and Missouri and part of Nebraska, a position he held until he became pastor of the First Baptist Church of Fort Scott, in 1877. The membership of this congregation was small and the church was in debt, but under Mr. Gunn's ministry the membership more than trebled, the indebtedness was cleared, and the building completed, so that the church at Fort Scott really stands as a monument to his memory. Leaving Fort Scott he served shorter pastorates at Junction City, Kan., and at Fort Madison, Iowa. He was then called to Keokuk, Iowa, where dissensions had almost ruptured the church, and succeeded in healing all differences and in reëstablishing the prosperity of the organization. Ill health caused his resignation, and he closed his active pastorate in the same city where he had begun it more than forty years before. The college Mr. Gunn established in Iowa conferred upon him, in recognition of his services, the degree of Doctor of Divinity. He passed away in 1897, in the seventy-ninth year of his age. Mrs. Gunn, who was always his able co-worker, died in 1899 at the same age.Pages 346-347 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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