Dennis. - The church organized at this place a number of years ago was abandoned early in the "nineties," as the members had nearly all moved away. Those left joined with those about Parsons for worship.
Parsons. - The Adventists have been holding services in Parsons since 1893. Not having any house of worship of their own, they rent a hall where services are held. Elder D. H. Oberholtzer has been one of their principal evangelists in late years.
Chetopa. - A church was organized at this point as early as 1887, and services were held in various places for several years. In 1893 they commenced the erection of a church, which was completed and dedicated April 22, 1894. Not being strong enough to maintain their organization, they sold their church building to the city to he used for school purposes, and have practically abandoned this place since 896.
Oswego. - The Church at Oswego was or ganized in 1898, but its membership was largeIy made up of those who had previously joined the organization at Stover. The latter was probably the oldest organization of this denomination in the county, commencing in 1869; services have been held quite regularly since. Elders John Madison, H. C. Blanchard, L. D. Santee and others have been efficient evangelists. Soon after organizing in Oswego, steps were taken to secure a church The erection of this building, on the northeast corner of Second avenue and Merchant street, was commenced in 1899 and completed the following spring; it was dedicated, July 1, 1900. Elders J. W. Westphal and D. H. Oberholtzer have done evangelistic service here.
Zion Hill. - This church was organized in the fall of 1883, by Mrs. Clara Utsey, with 15 members. Services were conducted by her in the Stover school-house until the completion of their church building. The church was erected in the fall of 1884, on the northwest corner of section 10, in Fairview township. Besides Mrs. Utsey, Rev. Mr. Barterbaugh and Rev. Mr. Cross have preached for this congregation. It has for some time been without a pastor.
Center Bethel was organized about the same time as Zion Hill. A church house was erected in the spring of 1884, on the northwest corner of Section 21, in Liberty township. The same ministers who have supplied Zion Hill have also preached for this congregation.
Janes. - An organization of this church was effected at the Janes school-house, in District No. 95, in the fall of 1884. It has had the same ministers as Zion Hill church.
Quite a number of this persuasion were among the first settlers along Pumpkin Creek, in the southern part of Mound Valley and Canada townships. Among those who were prominent were the families of Hart, Richard and Benjamin Davis, Phineas and Charles Fultz. There were several among thein who were recognized as preachers. Services were held from house to house quite regularly. When the school-house was built, in 1877, in District No. 94, they organized, and removed their services to that place, where they have since been regularly continued.
In January, 1883, an organization of this denomination was effected at the home of Rev. J. Davis, in Oswego. Meetings were conducted in the court-house, and part of the time in Liggett's Hall. Rev. J. Davis was elected pastor, and continued to serve as such till about the middle of April, 1885, when the organization was practically disbanded. Services were not maintained regularly, however, during all of that time.
January 13, 1884, an organizatlon taking this title was formed in Liggett's Hall, in Oswego, as follows: Mrs. E. Smith, president; Mrs. I. C. Pierce, vice-president; Mrs. M. A. Hurlbut, secretary; Dr. R. W. Wright, treasurer. I do not know to what extent they maintained meetings.
Was formed by Thomas D. Bickham as a new religious organization, in Chautauqua county, in 1880, and the following year a class was organized at Rose Hill school-house, in District No. 91, which has been maintained since then. This is the only class in the county belonging to this organization. Since the death of Thomas D. Bickham, in 1889, his son. Ezra E. Bickham, has been the leading spirit in this church.
The southwest corner of section 33, township 32, range 21, was deeded to F. Swanwick and Randall Bagby, for the use of all religious denominations. The neighbors contributed work and logs, and in January, 1870, a log church was erected upon this ground, and a cemetery was also started thereon. Nearly all denominations at one time or another held services here; possibly the preachers of the Methodist Church South used it as much as any other. The building was used for both school and church purposes until the new school-house was built in District No. 24, after which the building was torn down. The burying-ground is still used.
This church professed to be organized on the plan of the old apostles, of having one church in a place. The first meeting looking toward its organization was held October 27, 1889, in the hall at Wilsonton. Rev. George E. Thrall was elected chairman and Mrs. Ella B. Wilson, secretary. A constitution was adopted and officers elected.
Chetopa. - Father Schoemaker and other priests had visited along the Neosho as soon as settlers had commenced to arrive, and had done considerable religious work; but no church was organized by them till 1871. On July 16, 1871, Father Dougherty took charge of the work, and began holding services in Drake's Hall. A building was erected, and on May 31, 1874, dedicated by Rev. E. Bononcini, pastor, and Rev. F. Swemberg, of Emporia. Father Bononcini had charge of the work for some time prior to December, 1880, when he was succeeded by C. Haspenthal. Since 1880, the following have been pastors: 1881-83, Father Laehre; 1883-85, Father Weiner; 1886-87, T. J. Butler; 1887-88, J. J. O'Connor; 1888-90, John McNamara; 1891-93, B. M. Pizos; 1893-95, Father Pottgeiser; 1896, Father Manz; 1897, Father Hildebrand; 1898, Father Barniger; 1899, Father Eugene; 1900, Father Kealy. In 1888 James Dunn contributed ground for a cemetery. In 1900 the old frame church was torn down and a new brick edifice, costing about $2,500, was erected.
Oswego. - Priests front neighboring parishes visited Oswego from time to time and held services. In 1878, largely through the instrumentality of F. Beyle, a building was erected, which was dedicated October 13th of that year, by Rev. Paul M. Ponziglioni. A priest has supplied this in connection with other points.
Parsons. - St. Patrick's congregation was organized by Father Philip G. Calloten, in the summer of 1872, and lots 1 and 2 in block 122 were secured on which to commence the erection of a frame church. In December, 1876, he was succeeded by Father Joseph Dreason, who served till August, 1881, when Father Rose took charge. Under his direction the property at the head of Central avenue was secured and converted into a convent. Five sisters from St. Agnes convent at Osage Mission were secured to conduct the school. Changes were also made in the church building and grounds. Fathers Hodgden, Reil and Ward succeeded Father Rose. Father John Ward served until 1895, when he was succeeded by Father Nichola Neusius, who is now in charge. Work was commenced on the new church under Father Ward in 1891. The basement was completed, and services were held therein until 1900, when the church was pushed to completion. It is a fine structure, 58 by 145 feet, with a 78-foot transept; a tower 165 feet high contains a 2,900-pound bell. The church is decorated in Roman style, and has stained glass windows. It is furnished with a pipe organ costing over $2,000. The entire cost of the church and furnishings is said to be $32,000. It has a seating capacity of 800. The Sacred Heart Academy was started in 1890 under the direction of the Sisters of Loretto; since 1896 it has been directed by the Sisters of Charity.
Oswego. - In 1870, and for a year or two thereafter, Episcopal services were held now and then at Oswego, and some steps were taken towards organizing a parish. If it was accomplished at all, it did not live long nor show many signs of life.
Chetopa. - During 1871 the Episcopalians held occasional services in some of the churches in Chetopa, and gathered together some strength that naturally tended to that body. In May, 1872, St. Paul's parish was formed, with Rev. Thomas L. Smith as rector. Services were held seldom and irregularly for several years. In July, 1888, Rev. Richard Elerby commenced holding services, first in private residences and later in one of the churches of the other denominations. In Angust, 1893, they laid the foundation of their own church, and on March 21, 1898, it was formally consecrated by Rt. Rev. Frank Millspaugh. When they commenced building, they had seven communicants; now they have over 30.
Parsons. - St. John's Memorial church was organized in June, 1874, as a memorial to Ezra Williams Howard, of Providence, R. I., whose widow, through Bishop Vail, gave $2,000 towards its erection. The first board of trustees consisted of Angell Matthewson, W. C. Holmes, J. R. Brown, James Barton, George Thornton, S. O. Fletcher, and William Horsefall. Dr. J. B. Lamb was the first senior warden. Rev. Benjamin Mower was at once secured as the first rector, and he continued to act as such for something over a year. He immediately commenced raising money for the erection of a church. On Sunday, September 27, 1874, the corner-stone was laid, under the direction of the Masons and Odd Fellows, and on April 4, 1875, the church was opened by Bishop Vail. Prior to the completion of their own church they had held services in the Methodist tabernacle. Mr. Gay, D. W. Cox, Mr. Talbot, W. T. Bowen, C. W. Harris and J. J. Purcell are among those who have served as rectors. Rev J. J. Purcell, the last-named, has been the rector since 1894, and has contributed by his efficient labors in keeping the church abreast of the growth of the city.
[It is probable that some of the organizations which I have grouped under this head might be more properly designated, according to their own claim, by some other name, but I have no information by which I can make any better classification than this. - N. C.]
Concord. - Soon after the completion of Concord school-house, in District No. 16, in the fall of 1868, Rev. Jackson Statton commenced holding services in it. He and other ministers frequently preached there during the next year. In 1874 Rev. J. S. Masters began preaching here, and organized a church, which was maintained for some five years.
Franklin was organized at Center school-house, District No. 14, in 1869, by Peterson Cherry and William McIntosh. Some two years later it was moved to the Liberty school-house, in District No. 17, and some three or four years later to the Franklin school-house, in District No. 55, where it has since been maintained. It has had for its pastors Elders Berry, Randall, Murray, and Cole.
Pleasant Hill. - A church was organized in the log school-house in District No. 38, in April, 1871, by Rev. J. S. Masters, who preached for them a number of years. In 1878 they built a frame church on the northeast quarter of section 26, township 31, range is. After Mr. Masters moved away the organization ceased, and the church building was sold to the Seventh Day Adventists.
Lockard. - An organization was formed at the Lockard school-house, in District No. 28, by Rev. J. N. Allison, who has preached there for some time.
Star. - Rev. J. S. Masters organized a church in the Star schoolhouse, in District No. 50, in 1874, and preached there several years. It was then consolidated with the South Hackberry church.
South Hackberry (now Elm City). - This church was organized at the Valley school-house, District No. 72, by Rev. J. S. Masters and Rev. G. W. Goodman, April 6, 1873, and has maintained services ever since. Rev. J. S. Masters and his brother, Rev. J. L. Masters, have preached for the church the greater part of the time, but it has also had other preachers. The services were changed in 1887 from the Valley school-house to Rose Hill schoolhouse, in District No. 109. The church in the summer of 1892 erected a house of worship at Elm City, which was dedicated Oct. 9, 1892, by Rev. J. S. Masters. Philander Davis, A. Humphries, J. Allison, F. Folie, J. P. Coats, James Allison, Jr., besides the Masters brothers, have been pastors.
Emmons District, No. 84. - In 1877 Rev. Skelton Riley, a preacher in the Christian denomination, commenced preaching in this school-house, and as there were several in the neighborhood who wanted to have a church connection, he soon succeeded in forming quite an organization of those who had belonged to various denominations. The understanding was that no particular denominational creed should be preached. Everything went off smoothly for about a year, but finally the preacher mixed in his sermons quite a large amount of his peculiar denominational views, which was distasteful to a large proportion of his members. The membership gradually decreased, and after an existence of something like two years the organization became entirely disbanded.
Bell Mound District, No. 99. - A Christian church, was organized at this point several years ago, which has since been maintained. A. D. Skaggs and Job Padget have done considerable preaching for them.
Chetopa. - On September 11, 1870, Rev. Allen Crocker, of Burlington, preached at Spaulding's Hall. This was the first service held by this denomination in Chetopa. This church was organized with 36 members, in January, 1876, by Benjamin H. Smith, who served it as pastor for about eighteen months, preaching for them once a month. In 1878 Elder M. J. Jenkins held a series of meetings, the use of the Baptist church being secured for that purpose. For the next three years the church was occasionally served by Prof. Robert Hay. The church then became disbanded, partially for want of a place to meet. In 1883 a room in the California House was secured as a place for meeting, and F. S. Young and P. A. Millard were secured to hold a series of meetings in April. These resulted in a reorganization of the church, with 24 members. A Sunday-school had been organized by them a few weeks before. P. A. Millard served them as pastor for a year or more, after which they had preaching occasionally till the spring of 1886, when M. J. Jenkins became pastor, giving them half of his time for some six months. In 1884 a frame church 32 by 44 feet was erected, at a cost of about $1,400, and, dedicated December 14, 1884, by W. C. Pool. On April 30, 1889, the church traded this house of worship with the Baptist denomination for its building, and thereupon the two denominations exchanged places of meeting. In 1888 Elder M. Ingles preached one-half thetime, and G. W. Leonard once a month in 1891. A. J. Garrison was pastor in 1892, preaching two Sundays each month, until November, when he resigned. Since 1892, the pastors have been: A. L. Taylor, R. G. White and W. F. Guy. The membership of the church is about 90. In 1893 an addition was made to the church, a baptistry put in, and some repairs made.
Labette. - This church was first organized at Liberty school-house, District No. 17, in 1871, by William McIntosh, who preached to them most of the time for several years. In September, 1877, the organization was removed to the town of Labette, where it has since been maintained. They have not had regular pastors much of the time, but have had occasional preaching by Peter Shick, Frank Harman, Elder Jenkins, A. D. Skaggs, Thomas Cole, and others.
Montana. - This church was organized at the residence of Dr. R. M. Taylor, December 2, 1886, at which time J. J. Freeman, Crowell Cook and R. H. Gaston were elected trustees. Lots 7 and 8 in block 14 were secured, and a church building was erected thereon in 1887, at a cost of about $600. The church has been supplied with regular preaching but a small portion of the time. Rev. A. D. Skaggs preached for them some time in connection with his work at other points in the county. In 1892 negotiations for a sale of their church building to the Methodists were had, but did not result in anything. Since then no pastor has been employed and no services have been conducted.
Parsons. - The First Christian church of Parsons was first organized in 1873, with 12 members, and was reorganized in 1875, with 35 members. A brick building was completed in 1879. Its first elders were Phineas Davis and John Leonard; its first deacons, J. F. Van Meter and W. L. Daily. The first pastor was J. B. Graves, who was followed by C. C. Cline, C. O. McKinney, O. E. Ebert, ___ Thomas, J. P. Witt, J. T. Tucker and J. H. Love. In May, 1890, J. P. Witt, who had been preaching for the First church, organized the Central Christian church, with a membership of about 40, and became its first pastor. He was succeeded by D. M. Harris, and he by ___ Brown. In 1894, the First and the Central Christian churches, who had maintained separate organizations since their separation in 1890, concluded to unite, and to be thereafter known as the Central Christian church. This union took place under the leadership of W. E. Harlow, who had a very successful pastorate, extending from January 1, 1894, to June, 1897, during which time the membership of the church was very largely increased. W. W. Burks held the position of pastor from July 1, 1897, to November, 1900, since which time C. E. Pile has served.
Altamont. - This church was organized in March, 1877, by Elder Frank Harmon, with thirteen members. James Perry and William P. Daniel were its first elders, and F. L. Hamilton and James Daniel its deacons. It has been served by the following ministers:, Frank Harmon, J. Padget, P. W. Shick, John Owen, B. F. Lucas. In 1892 this church purchased the frame building which had previously been the public school building, which they have removed and repaired for use as a church.
0swego.-The Oswego Christian church was organized in May, 1875, by Rev. J. W. Randall, with a membership of about 20 soon after completing the organization. For a time they held services in the Baptist church, and afterwards in the court-house. In 1879 they erected a house of worship, which was dedicated January 25, 1880, by Rev. Kirk Baxter. The pastors have been as follows: J. W. Randall, M. J. Jenkins, Kirk Baxter, H. S. Kline, Thomas E. Shepherd, D. R. De Schullie, A. H. Mulkey, R. A. Thompson, J.W. Ferrell, M. Ingels, J. H. Blake, E. N. Tucker, S. J. Vance, O. C. Atwater, G. W. Leonard, J. A. Longston and H. J. Aldrich. An organization of the Y. P. S. C. E. was effected October 12, 1890, and has done a good line of work in Bible study. David Jennings was president for several years, and for a number of years past there have been different persons in that position. The ladies have an organized and active missionary society. The numerical strength of the church is about 130.
Mound Valley. - An organization was effected at the residence of E. Stapleton, in May, 1871, by Rev. J. W. Randall. This organization, however, only lasted for a short time. In March, 1882, Rev. J. Padget conducted a series of meetings in a school-house, and a reorganization was formed. A house of worship was erected that summer. P. W. Shick was pastor for several years prior to 1895. In July, 1895, Rev. Joel Brown, an evangelist, conducted a successful protracted meeting, at the conclusion of which Elder H. G. White was employed for the ensuing year. Following him were Benjamin F. Martin, ___ Lahr, and J. P. Hauer.
Oswego. - The Congregational church of Oswego was the first church to be organized in the county. The meeting at which it was organized was held in the building at the northeast corner of block 33, then used for school and church purposes, Jan. 9, 1868. There were present Rev. T. H. Canfield, Dr. W. S. Newlon, Mrs. M. W. Newlon, Mrs. Lucinda Newlon, William Herbaugh, Augusta Herbaugh, and A. L. Austin. W. S. Newlon was elected clerk, A. L. Austin and William Herbaugh, deacons. On the following Sunday, January 12th, the public organization of the church took place. Rev. Thomas H. Canfield was sent out by the Board of Home Missions in the fall of 1867, and soon commenced preaching. He was the first regular preacher on the ground who came more as a preacher than as a set tler, although the Methodists had several local preachers here before he came. Early in 1869 they commenced the erection of a stone church, which was inclosed about the last of the year, and cost some $2,000. The church was first occupied on January 23, 1870, although it was not yet completed. Mr. Canfield resigned in 1870, and was succeeded for a few months by Rev. J. F. Morgan, who was followed by Rev. F. A. Armstrong - a man with a large amount of wisdom and goodness, but with less practical sense. As a consequence, he and his members did not see things alike, and he was finally left as pastor of a church almost without a membership. The church remained closed for a number of months, but finally A. Bixby was employed, and, preached most of the time for some two or three years - from 1876 to 1879. John F. Flint served a few months in 1880. E. F. Smith was called in the spring of 1881, and served until the summer of 1882. J. N. Branch preached for them the last half of 1883. O. M. Van Swearingen came in the spring of 1884, and stayed a little more than a year. From the fall of 1886 to the spring of 1887 Wm. T. Blenkarn supplied the pulpit; it then remained vacant till the spring of 1891, when Park A. Bradford was employed, and remained most of that year. In the summer of 1892 Charles H. Currans filled the pulpit. Since 1892 Rev. I. D. Barnard and Rev. H. A. Brundage each served the church for several months regularly. Two or three other parties have also preached occasionally; but the church has not attempted to keep up regular services or to employ a pastor at all regularly during several years past; indeed, the church work has been practically suspended for years.
Parsons. - Early in 1872 several citizens of Parsons who leaned toward Congregationalism, after consulting some of the officers of the Home Missionary Society, decided to organize, and secured the incorporation of "The First Congregational Church Society of Parsons," with E. C. Ward, E. S. Stevens and C. L. Whitney as trustees. Hewes' Hall was rented, and Rev. Mr. Storrs and other ministers promised to preach until the arrival of the Rev. P. M. Griffin, who was to be sent out by the Home Missionary Society as soon as he finished his course at Andover. As the Methodists and Presbyterians were already occupying this hall on alternate Sabbaths, the Congregationalists could only hold services occasionally. This hastened their action in building a church. The town company donated lots 1 and 2 in block 49, and the church purchased lots 3 and 4 adjoining. Mr. Griffin arrived on the ground and commenced work September 1, 1872. A brick building 27 by 65 was constructed as rapidly as could be done, and was completed in the following July. On July 12, 1873, Edmund S. Stevens, Mrs. Elizabeth Stevens, Mrs. Emily Fellows, Rev. Presley M. Griffin and Mrs. E. J. Griffin formed themselves into and organized the First Congregational church of Parsons. On the following day, Sunday, July 13, 1873, the church building was dedicated by Dr. P. McVicar; the church was reorganized, and the pastor was ordained and installed by an ecclesiastical council. Mr. Griffin remained pastor till Angust 19, 1879, when he resigned, and was duly dismissed by the council. During Mr. Griffin's pastorate the church membership was increased from 5 to 62, and the entire church indebtedness was canceled. Mr. Griffin was succeeded by Rev. H. M. Burr, who came in November, and continued till May, 1880, when he was compelled, by ill health to resign. From this time till September 1, 1881, the church was without a pastor; at that time Rev. C. Hartley came and stayed, till June, 1882, when he resigned. In December, 1882, Rev. W. H. Utley became pastor, and continued till February 1, 1886. In May of that year Rev. C. L. McKeeson accepted a call, and remained some two years. The church was then closed till the summer of 1890, during which time it seemed that the life of the church had entirely fled; but the membership again rallied, repaired the church, and extended a call to their first pastor, Rev. P. M. Griffin. who accepted, and began work September 1, 1890, and continued till sometime in 1892. During his last pastorate a Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor was formed and new vitality was put into the church in many ways. Since 1892 the pastors have been: T. B. Jones, three years; A. W. Bishop, four years; L. G. Ruge, one year; and the present pastor, T. B. Coachman. In 1894 a new small brick church replaced the original structure, which was torn down.
The Deerton Congregational Church was organized in the Dresser school-house, District No. 51, July 22, 1877, by Rev. S. D. Storrs, with seven members. Rev. Alanson Bixby, of Oswego, was chairman of the meeting, and after the organization of the church he was at once chosen pastor; he served this church in connection with the church at Oswego. There were 17 accessions during the year. At the close of that year Rev. Uriel Farmer was chosen pastor, and during the year steps were taken to erect a church and parsonage. George E. Wiley donated three acres of land on the northwest quarter of section 21, township 34, range 18, near the north line of Howard township, for church and parsonage. The parsonage was built during 1878. The church building was erected in the fall of 1879, and was dedicated January 24, 1880, the corner-stone having been laid October 18, 1879. Mr. Farmer having served two years, he retired, and Rev. Mr. Flint temporarily supplied the pulpit. Early in 1882 Rev. James Cooper became pastor, and served to the close of 1883. During his pastorate about So names were added to the list of members. With the opening of 1884. Rev. Howard Gilchrist entered on his pastorate, which continued till near the close of 1885, when Rev. Park A. Bradford preached for a time. This closed the work while the building remained at Deerton.
Valeda. - In the fall of 1886 the church building was removed from Deerton to Valeda. No services were held by the church until the fall of 1891. On September 27, 1891, the church was reorganized, with 33 members. Rev. S. B. Dyckman was chosen pastor, and continued to serve in that capacity for some time. For several years past no pastor has been employed and no regular services have been held in this church. The parsonage still remains at Deerton.
Altamont. - On June 18, 1882, a few families, - viz.: of the Bonebrake families, Frank, May, S. M., Ezra, Amanda J., Luella; of the Baker family, Isaac Aseneth, Thomas L., May C., Allen T., Melvina; George and Margaret Chapman, Jonathan and Sarah Self, and Adeline Burns, - presented letters from other churches, and organized the Altamont Baptist church. Rev. T. C. Daniels was chosen as the first pastor; he only served till Nov. 19, 1882, when he was followed by J. M. C. Reed, who served for three years. E. Estes, W. G. Slinker, W. T. Jackson, C. N. H. Moore, C. W. Alexander and L. P. Day have been the subsequent pastors. In 1883 a building, costing about $1,500, was completed and dedicated January 29, 1884, by Rev. A. S. Merrifield.
Prairie Valley. - On May 20, 1876, a Baptist church was organized at Prairie Valley school-house, District No. 31, three miles northeast of Parsons, with 11 members. It had grown to 28 members in 1884, when it disbanded, the members mostly uniting with the church in Parsons. During its existence its pastors were: 1876-81, J. M. C. Reed; part of 1881, J. C. Richardson; 1883-84, J. S. Johnson.
0swego. - The First Baptist church of Oswego was organized at the court-house April 28, 1869, with the following members: Rev. Thomas Clark and wife D. Clark, Rev. Zachariah Harris and wife Anna J. Harris, Rev. T. J. Flouronoy and wife Virginia Flouronoy, and mother Nancy P. Flouronoy, John S. Read and wife E. C. Read, Elijah Read and wife Sarah Read, Sarah N. Carr, Anna M. Bridgman, Jerusha P. Smith, John Garrett, Jemima Garrett, and George W. Kingsbury. Rev. M. A. Clark, home missionary, was present, and acted as clerk. Rev. C. A. Bateman, of Chetopa, was also present, and gave the right hand of fellowship. Rev. Thomas Clark acted as moderator. John S. Read was elected clerk, Thomas J. Flouronoy, deacon, John S. Read, T. J. Flouronoy and G. W. Kingsbury, trustees. On May 8, 1869, a meeting was held, at which it was voted, on motion of Mr. Flouronoy, to proceed to build a house of worship. Subscription papers were put in circulation and reference is made to the matter at several meetings during the year, but no results are reported. On June 9, 1869, "the subject of footwashing in connection with the supper was introduced by Bro. Flouronoy. There being no second to his motion, there was no action had upon the subject." There seems to have been no employment of a pastor during 1869 or 1870, but Rev. Thomas Clark preached quite regularly the first year. On May 20, 1870, Rev. F. L. Walker arrived in Oswego, and at once took charge of the church, and to his faithful labors during the next twelve years, more than to any other human agency, are the Baptists indebted for the privileges they enjoy today. In September of that year a building committee was appointed, lots on which to build were selected and donated by the town company, and preparations were commenced in earnest to have a church building. The foundation was laid early in the spring of 1871, and was inclosed by midsummer of the following year. Though not finished, the church held their first services in the new house on July 13, 1872, with 13 persons present, only eight of whom were members. Services continued to be held there till winter, when other quarters had to be secured. The next year the church was plastered and seated. Mr. Walker continued as pastor of the church till the close of 1881, when he severed his relations and went further west. In April, 1882, Rev. C. T. Daniel accepted a call, and at once entered upon his pastorate, which was continued till March, 1883, when he resigned, and the church remained without a pastor until April, 1884, when Rev. J. M. Lackey accepted a call, and remained only till September. During the summer of 1883 the church was refurnished inside and reseated. In February, 1885, Rev. Chas. J. Bowles accepted a call, and served the church until the close of 1886. In March, 1889, Rev. Robert Smith became pastor, and continued as such to July, 1890. The church was then without a regular pastor until April, 1891, when Rev. C. N. H. Moore commenced his services as pastor, which terminated with July, 1894. The church was then without a pastor until the last of April, 1896, when Rev. Arthur Creary was employed; he filed the pulpit until the last of July, 1900, since which time the church has been without a pastor. The B. Y. P. U. was organized in April, 1891, with Miss Nellie Harrison as president. Since then a number of persons have held that position.
The Second Baptist church of Oswego was organized by the colored people, in 1880. Cornelius Johnson secured its organization, and became its first pastor. Since then the church has had the following pastors: A. W. Green, J. J. Johnson, J. R. White, T. T. Ward, D. T. Carriway, N. C. Robinson. In 1882 the church put up quite a good frame building on the southwest corner of block 2, in which they held services till September, 1884, when it was burned. Services were then conducted in the A. M. E. church, for some time. In July, 1885, they commenced the erection of a new church on the site of the old one, and got it inclosed that fall, although it was not completed until the next year. Rev. N. C. Robinson has been pastor of this church the past ten years, and has rendered faithful and efficient service.
Mount Pleasant Baptist church (composed of colored members) was organized several miles northeast of Oswego, in 1887. The families composing it having for the most part moved from that vicinity, the organization was removed to Oswego in 1896. They have used dwelling houses or rented rooms in which to hold their services so far, but they are at present erecting a neat frame church in the west part of Oswego. J. J. Johnson has been pastor of this church from its organization.
Mound Valley Township. - A Baptist church was organized in the fall of 1871, at the home of J. G. Phenix, in the west part of Mound Valley township, by Rev. N. L. Davis. This organization was maintained some three or four years, when it was disbanded on account of other churches being organized, which drew away the members.
Wilsonton. - The Wilsonton Baptist church was organized June 5, 1892, with. Rev. J. D. Hopper as pastor, and a membership of seven or eight.
A Baptist church was organized at Wilsonton (probably) in 1894. Under the lead and management of Elder Hopps, a building was erected in that and the following year, and dedicated August 11, 1895.
Hackberry church was organized November 26, 1870, in the residence of Mr. DeGraw, in Hackberry township, by Rev. F. L. Walker. J. B. Ellis and Isaac Strickland were elected deacons. Services have ever since been maintained in the Ellis school-house, in District No. 45. Its pastors have been F. L. Walker, George Richardson, William Richardson, C. T. Floyd, George Goodwin, and W. G. Slinker.
Pleasant Hill church is located on the northwest corner of section 12, in the southeast corner of Hackberry township. It was organized in the spring of 1885, by Rev. C. T. Floyd, the membership coming principally from the Chetopa church. On May 25, 1885, work commenced on a church building, which was completed, and on September 6th of that year was dedicated by Rev. J. P. Ash.
Lennis. - In the fall of 1877 Rev. Mr. Garrison held a protracted meeting in the schoolhouse in District No. 38, and organized a church. In 1878 they built a small frame church on the northeast corner of section 23, but after a time removed it to the southwest quarter of section 24. After Dennis was started they moved this building there, where they still use it as their house of worship.
Mound Valley. - J. H. Tibbits, Sarah Tibbits, Milo Hildreth, Samuel Guthrey, Judson Wilson, H. W. Savage and Allison Savage constituted the first membership of the first Baptist church of Mound Valley, which was organized at the home of J. H. Tibbits, three miles south of Mound Valley, on April 1, 1871, by Rev. F. L. Walker. On the following day, Sunday, Mr. Walker preached at the schoolhouse in the town of Mound Valley, at which place services were thereafter held till the completion of their church building in 1882. In January, 1880, lots were procured; in February a building committee was appointed, and in September the work of building was begun. As the building was mostly erected by volunteer work, it was some time in course of construction. It was dedicated, free of debt, on October 29, 1882. Mr. Walker remained in charge of the church for seven years, and was succeeded by Rev. George Goodwin, who remained about a year, when Rev. W. G. Slinker was called, and continued as pastor for seven years, at the close of which Rev. C. T. Floyd became pastor. R. R. Coleman, who died in January, 1882, was one of the efficient workers of the church. In January, 1885, this church joined with the Methodists in their building in holding a revival meeting under the leadership of Rev. W. H. Hulbert, an evangelist. This was one of the most remarkable revivals ever held in the place. The Baptists realized from it an addition of 52 members. Mr. Floyd served as pastor until the close of 1893, since which time the church has had the following pastors: C. N. H. Moore, ___ Doughty, J. H. Jettmore, W. E. Powell, Levi Lottman, I. D. Newell and R. N. Newman.
Parsons. - First Baptist Church: In the summer of 1871 Rev. F. L. Walker, of Oswego, visited Parsons and held some meetings. Perhaps other ministers may also have rendered them some services. A few Baptists in that vicinity got together, and even went so far as to commence the foundation for a church, but they were so few in number and so scattered that the enterprise was for a time abandoned. On March 2, 1873, Rev. Robert Atkinson preached in the Methodist church, and took the first steps toward organizing a church at that place. The organization was perfected March 30, 1873, with a membership of 12, composed of George, Susan and Emma Everhart, Letitia Rockhold, Isaac Neptune, Benjamin F., Martin W., Mary B. and Lizzie Elliott, Ella Hall, Alice Scholl, and R. M. Donelly. The following officers were then elected: Rev. Robert Atkinson, pastor and moderator; R. M. Donelly, clerk; Mrs. Lettia Rockhold,treasurer; W. P. Scholl, J. B. Stilwell, J. R. Bennett and Mrs. Lettia Rockhold, trustees; J. W. Fee, W. P. Scholl and J. B. Stilwell, deacons. F. L. Walker and Thomas W. Green served as pastors till 1874; during that year Elihu Gunn preached for them a while, after which the church was inactive till September 1, 1877, when it was reorganized by Rev. Mr. Garrison, and a room secured on Forest avenue, in which meetings were held till the church was erected. In October, 1879, the foundation for the new church was laid, and on January 31, 1880, the building was occupied. In 1887 the building was enlarged and improved, at a cost of over $3,000, and on February 5, 1888, was dedicated by Rev. Robert Atkinson. The church has had two quite marked revivals, one in 1884 and the other in 1887. The following have served as pastors: F. M. Iams, H. M. Carr, W. H. Irwin, L. J. Dyke, A. J. Essex, W. C. Harvey, J. T. Haye, H. M. Carr, C. H. DeWolfe, H. G. Fraser and J. T. Crawford. The last named gentleman has served from 1897 to the present date. A number of years ago, a Young People's Society of Christian Workers was organized in this church, of which H. F. Hixon was elected president: Rev. J. T. Hoye, G. H. L. Copeland and T. W. Flitton also served as presidents. The name was later changed to that of the Baptist Young People's Union.
Second (or New Hope) Baptist church: This church was organized by the colored people April 29, 1876, with 13 members. Rev. Thomas Wilson, of Ottawa, and Rev. David Payne, of Humboldt, were the ministers who effected the organization, and Mr. Payne became the first pastor. A building was erected during the summer of 1876, which structure was replaced in 1893 by a new brick edifice, costing about $3,000. Rev. A. Fairfax has been pastor since 1885. Mount Pleasant Baptist church is located in Parsons, and is also composed of colored members. It was organized May 27, 1886, Rev. G. W. Parks, of Oswego, acting as moderator, and J. W. Brown, as secretary. W. A. Walton was the first pastor. The congregation still occupies the frame church that was erected in 1891, at a cost of $1,500. Rev. D. D. Payne has been pastor since 1890.
Mount Zion Baptist church is a small organization of colored members; it has no church building and holds services irregularly.
Richland. - A Baptist church was organized in the Richland school-house, in District No. 94, in May, 1877. Rev. F. L. Walker preached the organization sermon, and Rev. J. L. D. Williams gave the charge to the church. Mr. Williams was the first pastor, and served one year. Following him the church has been served by George Goodwin, Mr. Merry, C. A. Daniels, J. S. Johnson, and W. G. Slinker. In 1885 a new church building was erected on the northwest quarter of section 26 in Canada township. The first service was held therein on November 1, 1885, and the house was dedicated on December 6, 1885, by Rev. E. Estes, of Altamont.
Edna. - On Feb. 2, 1872, Rev. F. L. Walker, of Oswego, assisted in organizing what was then called the Mount Zion Baptist church. Services were held in the Lieb schoolhouse, in District No. 85, and also in other of the schoolhouses in that part of the county. In the fall of 1883 work was commenced on a church building in Kingston; the following summer it was finished and dedicated. The town of Kingston having been abandoned and the business consolidated with Edna on the completion of the railroad, in 1886, this church building was removed to Edna. The following have served as pastors of this church: George Richardson, four years; George H. Goodwin, four years; W. G. Slinker, sixteen years; C. T. Floyd, two years; - Foster, one year; J. S. Harvey, since 1899.
Labette. - Rev. G. W. Richardson commenced preaching in a log cabin on section 27, belonging to A. W. Richardson's estate, in the fall of 1867. He continued to preach at intervals in that vicinity until the church was organized. The organization of the Labette Baptist church took place on (or about) July 25, 1870, at the residence of R. K. Jones, with the following members: Elder, G. W. Richardson; R. K. Jones, Martha Jones, Victoria Jones, and John Richardson. It was not until 1877 that a house was erected by the church. Before that meetings were held in various places, but principally in the hall or school-house. Quite a portion of the time the church has been without a pastor. The following is a list of those who have served as pastors: G. W. Richardson till 1879, J. W. Sage two years, C. T. Floyd six months, F. M. Bowman sixteen months, C. J. Bowles one year, E. Estes one year, J. T. Crawford two months in his vacation, J. W. Jones one year, W. T. Jackson, J. R. Alexander, T. M. Cooper and W. R. Newman. On June 7, 1900, the church building was blown to atoms by a tornado that swept over the county. The church soon went to work to erect a new building, and are now just completing it at a cost of about $1,300.
Chetopa. - Of the work of the Baptists before the war, Dr. Lisle says: "The Baptists had preaching at our school-house occasionally, but had no organized church in the neighborhood; there were several respectable members of that church here." The first service of the Baptist denomination in Chetopa after the war of which I have learned was a sermon by Rev. C. A. Bateman on April 18, 1869, a preliminary meeting, of those desirous of organizing having been held on April 10, 1869. The First Baptist church of Chetopa was organized on April 24, 1869, by W. A. Clarke, who was Sunday-school missionary of the Baptist Publication Society, and C. A. Bateman, the latter of whom at once became its pastor, in which capacity he served the church till after the dedication of its building. To his enthusiasm was largely due the rapidity with which their building was pushed forward. On February 9, 1870, they commenced work, and on August 14, 1870, their house was dedicated, the sermon being preached by Rev. F. M. Ellis, of Lawrence. In November, 1870, Rev. A. L. Rigby accepted a call to the pastorate of the church, and remained two years, during which time the chairs with which the church was first seated were removed and good pews put in their place, the grounds were fenced, and other improvements made. From the close of 1872 on for several years the church was without any regular pastor, and and consequently suffered very materially in its strength. Mr. Walker, of Oswego, gave them some help; in 1874 Rev. W. W. Kane, of Tennessee, preached for them a few months, and other ministers occasionally gave them some service. In July, 1879, Rev. C. T. Floyd became pastor, and remained in charge till 1882. In January, 1883, Rev. William Wilbur accepted the pastoral call tendered him, and continued as such till September, 1885. In 1887 the church called Elder ___ Knapp, who served them one year. Rev. D. W. Harvey became pastor in 1888, and remained two years; Elder White followed him, being in turn succeeded after several years' service by A. J. Foster, who served one year; then W. G. Slinker gave four years' service, and was succeeded by the present incumbent, James Harvey.
The Second Baptist church of Chetopa is composed of colored members. It was organized in 1882, and has a building free from debt. It has had the following pastors: Jerry Houston, P. Botts, C. T. Tillman, A. W. Green, R. Cartwright, J. R. White, ___ Steward, J. A. D. Jenkins, M. C. Cox, S. S. Alexander, H. H. Curtis, ___ Morrill, and J. N. Duncan.
Bethlehem Baptist church was formed of members who withdrew from the Second church (last above), in 1896. In 1899 they erected a home of their own and have been supplied with preaching by pastors from other towns. Rev. L. H. Houston served them for a time, and led the work in the erection of the church.
Altamont. - The first organization of German Baptists or Dunkards in Labette county was formed at the home of Mrs. Salome Kreighbaum, in Hackberry township, December 31, 1878, With 23 members. Meetings were thereafter held at the Lockard schoolhouse in District No. 28, and in other districts. This became the church now located near Altamont. In 1900 a new church building was erected some two and a half miles north-east of Altamont at a cost of about $900. The membership is about 40. John Ward, Joel Eikenbury and Noah Oren are ministers. Christian Kingley was one of the first ministers.
Parsons. - An organization was formed in Parsons some tell years ago, which has had a steady growth and now numbers about 60 members. In 1898 they erected a church edifice at a cost of about $1,500.
Neosho Township. - In November, 1881, Elders Sidney Hodgden and Martin Nehr formed an organization in the school-house in District No. 21, in Neosho township. In the fall of 1882, some 20 members from this organization withdrew, and formed a new organization called the
Brethren. - They organized at Pleasant Valley school-house, in District No. 48, where they were ministered to by Rev. A. J. Hixon. This organization was united with the one in Parsons after 1892.
An organization of this denomination was formed at the Hawkins school-house, in District No. 92, about 1875, by Noah Showalters, who became its pastor, and continued as such for several years. T. B. Lee and Isaac McCarty have also been pastors of this church.
In 1872 Rev. J. W. Alexander organized a Cumberland Presbyterian church-in Harmony Grove school-house, in District No. 30, to which he preached for some time, but after a few years it was allowed to lapse.
Chetopa. - Rev. J. A. Adair was the first United Presbyterian minister to preach in the county. He visited Chetopa and vicinity, and preached several times in the spring and summer of 1868. On May 4, 1869, the United Presbyterian congregation was organized, with a membership of 10, Rev. E. C. Cooper preaching, and presiding at the organization. Cranston Taylor, J. A. Endsley and Edwin Johnson were elected elders, and were ordained on May 10, 1869. Mr. Cooper supplied the church for some months, and on September 12th held the first communion service. On March 28, 1870, a church meeting was held, and a constitution and by-laws adopted. William Liggett, Robert Phillips, John Haughey, Edwin Johnson and T. J. Calvin were elected trustees. On July 18, 1870, a congregational meeting was held, and action taken looking toward the building of a church; and on Sept. 24, 1870, at another congregational meeting, it was resolved to erect a brick building, 36 by 40 feet. A building committee was appointed, and the work commenced at once. The building was completed in the spring of 1871, and on October 29, 1871, it was dedicated, Rev. J. A. Heron preaching the dedicatory sermon. Before the building was completed the south wall was blown down, which added to the cost and extended the time required for completing the building. The lots for the church and parsonage were donated; by the town company; $1,500 was furnished by the Church Extension Society. The church cost about $5,000. Previous to securing a regular pastor, Rev. J. C. McKnight did considerable preaching for the church. On January 4, 1871, a call was extended to Rev. W. A. Findley to become pastor, which he accepted, and continued to serve in that capacity till the close of 1872. Some two or three calls for a pastor were extended and declined. Finally, on December 22, 1875, a call was made to Rev. J. D. Graham, which was accepted, and he faithfully served the church during the next ten years, demitting his charge January 19, 1886. Rev. J. A. Thompson was the next pastor called, and he was installed April 27, 1887, but was released on July 14th following, to accept the presidency of a college. Rev. J. P. Gibson, having accepted a call, entered upon his pastoral duties in December, 1887, and closed them in October, 1889. During his pastorate, in 1888, a parsonage was erected, at a cost of about $1,300. In 1890 Rev. L. W. Williams became pastor, and continued in that office until the close of 1893, during which time the church debt was reduced to a considerable extent. The church was then without a pastor until 1896, when J. S. Swogger was called, and he served until June, 1898. On May 1, 1899, the present pastor, W. A. Miller, took charge and has led the church in entirely canceling the church debt, and in making needed improvements. On account of deaths and removals, the membership has been reduced, being at the present time only 88. Besides the above-named pastors, the church has from time to time been supplied by Thomas McCague, R. H. Barr, J. Acheson, W. H. Lytle, ___ Pinkerton, ___ Palmer, and perhaps others.
Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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