1901 History of Republic County Kansas

History of Republic County. 211

Of the members of the original committee there remain in this field only the following: Mr. and Mrs. Bulkley and Miss Louisa Whitney, the others having removed from Scandia. Those now living are nearly all widely separated and are now located, some on the Pacific coast, some in Kansas and some in Georgia. But nearly all hold property interests in Scandia and return from time to time to the scene of their early church work. To say of this committee that their friendship and religious ties, formed in those early days grow stronger as the years pass, would perhaps hardly express their feelings or their deep interest in each other and the church work, in which they were instrumental in organizing and perpetuating all these years. Since the church was organized there has been a succession of ministers as follows: Revs. Laughlin, Woodruff, McMeekin, Hensh, McGillivery, Maxwell, Phillips, E. P. Shier, H. H. Gain, W. W. Kilpatrick and H. Cooter who now occupies the pulpit. There have been nine elders, two deacons and nine trustees. The records show a membership of eighty-two; of this number eight are deceased and forty-eight have removed from the bounds of the Scandia church, but none are forgotten.

"This gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness for all nations and then shall the end come."


The Scotch Plains Presbyterian church was organized May 11th, 1873, at the Bowling Green school house by Rev. S. G. Clark of the Highland Presbytery with the following named persons as members viz: James Lowden, Hugh Scott, Mrs. Hugh Scott, Mrs. Alexander Maxton, Elizabeth Donaldson, Mrs. Janett Curry, Mrs. James Kelly, Mrs. Mary Bainbridge, Margaret J. Hamill, H. A. Hamill, Marion Duncan, Ellen Doctor, Margaret McGuire, Janett Doctor, Ann Kerr, E. C. Baker, Helen Chalmers and Catherine Hay; at which place meetings were held until 1878 when the place of meeting was changed to the school house

212 History of Republic County.

in district No. 35 where it remained until 1885 when a church building was erected on the SW corner of the SW 1/4 of section 18, town 3 south, range 3 west, at a cost of $1,250, C. E. Jones being the first pastor. Services are held regularly every two weeks, Rev. Kilpatrick being the last pastor. The present membership is 35. A Sabbath school was organized in connection with the church and has been maintained ever since.


The Concordia United Presbyterian congregation was organized the first Monday in December 1875. The church is located on the SE corner of section 29 in Lincoln township, the church site containing one and three-fourths acres of land. Had no regular pastor until 1879, the pulpit up to that time being filled by supplies, Rev. Joseph McKelvey being the first. In 1879 Rev. P. D. Patterson became the first called and regularly installed pastor. The meetings were held in the school house in district No. 98 until 1885, when a commodious house of worship was erected. The present pastor is J. P. Stevenson and the membership is 47.


The Republican Valley Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian church consisting of congregations in Republic, Jewell, Washington and Cloud counties was organized at Belleville, November 20th, 1874. Rev. Albert Odell acting as moderator and Rev. G. H. Hawks as clerk. On the election of permanent officers Rev. Odell was chosen clerk and Rev. J. M. Pantier treasurer. The second meeting of the Presbytery was held at Belleville, June 4th, 1875 at which time Rev. R. P. West united with the Presbytery. At this time the Belleville congregation was the only one represented from Republic county, Rev. A. Odell being the pastor. Steps were taken at this meeting to organize Sabbath schools throughout the entire Presbytery. Courtland Center congregation was organized in

History of Republic County. 213

1877 and the Albion congregation in the spring of 1878, and the Rev. S. M. Hunt appointed pastor which charge he held continuously for four and a half years. He was chosen moderator of the Presbytery August 21st, 1879. West Union congregation, seven miles southeast of Belleville was organized in 1881, by Rev. R. P. West. Concord congregation in Albion township was organized by Rev. Hunt in 1887. Minersville was organized in 1888 and Agenda and Seapo in 1889, making seven congregations in Republic county. The Albion and Concord congregations were merged into one and formed what is known as the Narka congregation, which has a fine church building, a handsome parsonage and is free from debt. The congregation at Agenda has a good house of worship and is also free from debt. A fine building site has been purchased and paid for at Courtland, but no church has yet been erected.

Among the early ministers of the Cumberland Presbyterian church I mention Revs. A. Odell, G. H. Hawks, R. P. West, S. M. Hunt, Smith McCall, A. Short and F. M. Madden, all residents of Republic county and all preached here during the 70s.


In 1871 an organization was effected in Farmington township. This is now known as the east branch of the Belleville church. There are now about fifteen members, with Daniel Smith as minister. August 1880 Elder Lemuel Hillery took residence five miles southwest of Belleville on the NW quarter of section 20. In the autumn of the same year the Belleville church was organized at the home of Wm. Gooch with the following charter members: L. Hillery and wife, Kate Gooch, Sarah Daggett, Chester Dagget, Nellie Daggett, Rufus Hillery and wife, Mary Gooch, Carrie Gooch, Susan Wise and Louisa Williams. The membership increased greatly under the care of Elder Hillery. In 1884 A. W. Austin, a minister from Jewell

214 History of Republic County.

county, Kansas, took residence in the congregation and rendered assistance. During the autumn of 1884 Elder M. M. Eshelman took charge of the church, remaining until the close of 1887. In this time the membership was commendably increased and a commodious house of worship built on the NW quarter of section 20. This house was dedicated by Elder Jacob D. Trostle of Abilene, Kansas, October 25th, 1885, sixteen other ministers being present. The first children's services were held October 25th, 1885, forty bright little ones being present. It was at this time through the efforts of Elder M. M. Eshelman that the first collection, resulting in $71.90, was taken up for the purpose of purchasing a farm for Elder C. Hope, who had spent nine years in Denmark as the first foreign missionary of the Dunker church. The home was eventually purchased for him at Herrington, Kansas. The bible for the church was donated by Elder D. N. Workman and wife of Ashland, Ohio. The first love feast was held in the new church October 24th, 1885. On the 29th of December 1886 at a meeting called for that purpose, Albion C. Daggett was elected to the ministry. He is now an ordained Elder and is one of the district evangelists.

September 1887 Elder M. M. Eshelman, being identified with the McPherson, Kansas, college, moved to McPherson, and he was succeeded by Elder C. S. Holsinger who had charge until 1899 when Elder Samuel Henry assumed the oversight. There being a need for more ministerial workers, D. H. Holsinger was chosen to the ministry in 1894 and is still an efficient worker in the congregation. June 3rd, 1899, C. F. Daggett was elected to the ministry. A large and flourshing Sunday school has been maintained since the erection of the church house. Recently through the directions of a committee a thorough canvass by sections was made by sixteen members to encourage those who attend some Sunday school, and invite those to become attendants who are not identified with the work. Thorough organization and proficient work char-

History of Republic County. 215

acterizes the Sunday school efforts of the Pleasant Hill school. At this time the enrollment is 82, teachers 5, collections past year $28.53, conversions 6. The membership of the church is about 100, with six ministers and six deacons and a mission board of three members.


Organized September 28th, 1884. Charter members: Mr. and Mrs. E. G. Raven, Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Beecher, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Andrews and Janet Beecher. Worshipped awhile in Powell's hall and other places. But through earnest endeavor and noble sacrifices a splendid brick edifice was constructed, at a cost of nearly $4,000. It was dedicated January 31, 1886. A Sunday school was organized February 14th, 1886. The pastors:

J. W. Mcintosh September 28, 1884, to July, 1987.
J. D. Matthews July, 1887, to September, 1889.
Thos Phillips September, 1889, to September, 1890.
L. M. Newell November 9th, 1890, to November, 1893.
R N. Martin February, 1894, to February, 1893.
Frank L. Rozelle Supplied a few months in 1895.
J. D. Matthews 1895, to February, 1897.
C. E. Flanigan February, 1897, to February, 1899.
G. M. Adams February, 1899, to August 28, 1900.
Lee Boyce Parker February 1st, 1901.

Members now, 125.


On March 23, 1879 the following named persons: Mr. and Mrs. H. R. Sherwood, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Sherrard, and Mr. and Mrs. H. A. Baxter, Mr. and Mrs. F. E. Thompson, bringing letters from the Otter Creek Baptist church in Republic county met in Big Bend township and proceeded to organize the First Baptist church of Big Bend. Their first pastor was Rev. J. C. Thomas, who served until December 1879, when D. H. Babcock became pastor. In 1881 J. W. McIntosh was called to the pastorate and served in that capacity until April 1885. In 1883 it was decided to move the organization to Republic

216 History of Republic County.

City and change the name to the First Baptist church of Republic City and to build a church house. The following trustees were appointed to look after the work of building the new church: F. E. Thompson, Wm. Maguire, H. H. Smith, R. W. Polley and I. M. Baxter. It was decided to locate the building in East Republic. Lots were donated and the work begun. The house was dedicated May 25th, 1884. The cost of building and furniture was $2,000. The pastors of the church since have been: John M. White, 188; J. W. Hough, 1890; J. D. Matthews, 1893; John Farley, 1894; E. G. Boyer, 1897; F. L. Cox, 1899; John Melmaker, 1901.

In February of 1897 in the midst of a series of revival meetings the church was totally destroyed by fire. The members felt their loss keenly and at once set about forming plans for the erection of a new church house. W. H. Stinson, H. A. Baxter and A. Fogelberg were chosen as a building committee. A larger and better church was planned and it was some time before the actual work on the building could be begun. The work proceeded rapidly however and the house was ready for use in February, 1898, and was completed and ready for dedication in October of that year. Present valuation of church property $3,000. Present membership (1901) 79.

White Rock Regular Baptist church was organized March 1st, 1872, Rev. L. McDaniel, moderator: A. L. Crouch, clerk, making it one of the oldest religious organizations in Republic county. A suitable church edifice was erected in the summer of 1878.


The United Brethren church of Scandia was born in a revival in February and March, 1894. This was the largest revival ever held in Scandia and was conducted by Rev. H. H. Williams, who was appointed pastor of Scandia mission by Rev. M. R. Myer, presiding elder.

In April of 1894 the church was organized with more

History of Republic County. 217

than one hundred members. Preparations were made to build a church house and the following board of trustees were elected: Geo. L. White, president; L. Cullers, C. W. Gulick, R. A. Heddens, John Garman, A. J. Hollenbeck, Al. Mahan. W. W. Woods was chosen secretary and treasurer. Brothers White, Heddens and Gulick were chosen as building committee. The building was completed in January, 1895, at a cost of $3,000. The main building is fifty by thirty feet, with a wing fourteen by twenty-eight feet. The seating capacity is four hundred.

The following pastors have served the church in their order: Rev. H. H. Williams, two years; Rev. H. Eby, one year. Rev. E. R. Baber, two years; and Rev. P. M. Herrick is pastor at present.

The church from the beginning has maintained a thriving Sunday school of about one hundred enrollment, a Ladies' Aid Soeiety, Young People's Society, Woman's Missionary Society and a large children's band.

P. M. Herrick was pastor of this church one year and the pulpit is now occupied by Rev. G. M. Beeler.

The Washington United Brethren church was chartered September 13th, 1892, with the following charter members: David E. Vance, L. E. Stone, Geo. W. Stewart, Wm. H. Mead and J. W. Brumbaugh. The church was built on the NE corner of the SE 1/4, section 21, town 1, range 4. The meetings were first held at Blue Mound, J. D. Baker first pastor, and Noah Miles, first class leader. This class formed a part of what was known as Republic Mission West Kansas conference, known at first as Blue Mound class and afterward changed to Otterbein class by which name it is now known. This class took steps to build a church in September, 1892, by circulating a subscription paper, $1,693.32 being in a short time subscribed. Work was immediately commenced and pushed rapidly to completion, the house being dedicated February 12th, 1893. The cost of the building was about $1,800.

218 History of Republic County.

The present pastor is George Cavanaugh and the present membership is thirty-seven.


St. Isadore's Catholic church was organized at Cuba in 1878 and a stone church 14x24 was built the same year by Asa White and James Dorman. The building was enlarged some ten years later by a frame addition 24x40 feet. The church site consists of ten acres of land on which is the preist's residence and a fine well kept cemetery. The membership consists of twenty families, at present under the charge of Father Dragoun, an able and highly educated man who is very popular with all classes of the community in which he resides.


St. Josaphat Catholic church, located on the northeast corner of section seven in Freedom township, was organized in 1874 and meetings were held regularly once a month at the residence of John Shemonski until 1883 when a fine church building was erected at a cost of about $1,000. The church site contains three acres of land with a well fenced and carefully kept cemetery. The membership consists of 24 families, with services at least once a month by Father Dragoun.


St. George's church (Catholic) was organized in 1886 and a fine house of worship erected on the southwest corner of section 17, in Fairview township in the summer and fall of 1887. The building is 30x60 feet and cost about $1,500. The building site and cemetery grounds comprise three acres of land. The membership comprises seventeen families, services being held at least once a month, Father Dragoun in charge.


A Catholic church was erected in the Third ward of the city of Belleville in the summer of 1901. The build-

History of Republic County. 219

ing is 24x40 feet, is nearly completed, but has not yet been dedicated. The cost of this building has been up to this time about $1,000, exclusive of the lot.


Our Savior's Evangelical Lutheran church at Norway, Kansas, was organized at the home of C. J. Stromgren, on the NW 1/4 of section ten, on the 4th day of August, 187, by the pastors Brun and Andersen and at which R. Lehn presided and R. Rimol was elected secretary. The total membership was 19. The congregation was then somewhat regularly attended by H. C. Chilleene a Swedish minister from Clay Center who held services once a month for nearly two years. During the next two years the congregation had no regular minister, but services were held at different times by J. A. Hoiland from Buffalo Creek, N. Nelson now of Oneonta, and others. In 1876 J. A. Hoiland became its regular minister until 1880 when he resigned. In 1881 H. C. Roernaes was called as minister.

A parsonage was built by the congregation in the fall of 1881 but was sold to H. C. Roernaes in 1888. The present church at Norway was built in the spring of 1888 by popular subscription among its members, and others in the neighborhood who contributed liberally. Assistance was also given by the Ladies' Sewing association, who had then been in existence for a number of years. The building of this church was largely due to the earnest and energetic efforts of its minister at that time, H. C. Roernaes. The corner stone was laid on the 19th day of April, 1888, by Rev. J. E. Maurer, Lutheran minister at Hardy, Nebraska. On the evening of the 26th day of May of the same year, and about two weeks after it had been enclosed and after one service had been held in it, the church was struck by a terrific windstorm and turned over on its roof and the steeple torn completely from the main building. At a cost of some over $200.00 it was put

220 History of Republic County.

back on its foundation and finally finished. There was no insurance on the church at this time.

Through the strenuous effort and influence of Rev. H. C. Roernaes, a loan of $200 was at this time obtained from the "General Synod's Church Extension Fund," which amount was used for seven years without interest. The size of the church is 24x40, belfry 12x12, height of spire, 60 feet. Through the praiseworthy efforts of Mrs. Amund Larsen, who superintended the subscription, a bell costing about $85 was hoisted in the steeple in the spring of 1893. In 1892 Rev. N. Fosseland was called as minister, Rev. H. C. Roernaes having previously retired, and continued as its minister until 1896, when he removed to Iowa, and Rev. N. Holm took his place and is the present incumbent.


The Swedish Evangelical Amana church in Beaver township was organized in 1873. A fine church building 34x95 was erected in 1883 and was at that time the finest church edifice in the country and is yet far above the average. Services are regularly held every Sabbath, Rev. Oden being the resident pastor. In connection with, and composed of members of this church, are the Old Ladies' Society, the Young Ladies' Society and the Lutheran Language Society, all doing effective religious work, and a church choir of about forty members. The present membership is 200.


The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Amana church at Scandia, Kansas, was organized in June, 1873. Charter members were thirty-eight. Name of first minister, O. Chilleen. Cost of church completed, $1,000. Present number of members, 130. Name of pastor, C. J. Maxwell.


The Swedish Methodist Episcopal church of Scandia was organized 1877. Some of the early settlers in Repub-

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From A history of Republic County, Kansas : embracing a full and complete account of all the leading events in its history, from its first settlement down to June 1, '01 ... Also the topography of the County ... and other valuable information never before published. by I. O. Savage.; Illustrated. Published by Jones & Chubbic, Beloit, KS : 1901. 321 p. ill., plates, ports., fold. map ; 23 cm. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, July 2006.

Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

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