The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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the conference, about one hundred preachers were in attendance, and Norton will not soon forget the first entertainment of so distinguished a body of men as composed the Northwest Kansas conference.

Among those who formed a part of on the first class organized was David Close and wife, D. M. Robinson and wife, Eli E. Dopps and wife.  The church has made rapid progress since the first class was formed numbering at present one hundred and twenty-three members on its roll, a church building 35x51 feet 16 feet high, neatly finished inside with one of the best bells hung in its belfry and clear of indebtedness

The pulpit has been filled from the first by pastors who are among the brightest and best and fill the best pulpits in the northwest Kansas conference.

Mrs. Saldrige of Newton, Iowa, presented the church with a beautiful silver communion service in 1885 in honor of her lamented daughter, Mrs. Charles Fry, all being worthy members of the church.  The donor and daughter's name neatly engraved on pitcher and goblets

The following parsonages have been built by the church and sold, except the present one now occupied by the pastor:

The first was built in 1878 and occupied by R. H. Seymour, on lot 3, block 8, association addition.

The second was built in the street and occupied by W. A. Saville until the mistake in location was discovered, when it was moved on lot 43, block 18 on east Main street; it is now owned by Mr. Roth and was built in 1879.

The third was built in 1880, on lot 36, block 33, association addition and is owned by N. A. Johnson.

The fourth was built in 1884 on lot 26, block 10, association addition, now owned by G. N. Kingsbury.

The fifth is now owned by the church it was built in 1886 on lot 16, block 18, Hillside addition.

The M. E. church has also a fine church building and parsonage in Lenora, this county, built in 1886, and costing $2,500. 

The membership in the county at this time is 450. 

Among those who have preached the different circuits and in different years are: Reuben Bisbee, Jr., Jack Langly, W. S. Morrison, M. W. Whelan, E. R. Zimmerman, Joseph Baker, A. F. Cumbow, H. P. Mann, J. W. McPeek, H. Dalton, A. M. Lott, J. P. Smith, H. O. Lanham, James Thompson, E. P Hughes, G. H. Woodward, R. A. Quinn, I. L. Clark and Charles English. 

On the 25th day of September 1875, Elder James McGuire organized the Christian church at Neighborville with the following persons as charter members: C. Decker, Mrs. C. Decker, Miss Mary Decker, Richard Williams, Elizabeth Williams, Joel H. Simmons, Nathan Payton, Mrs. M. J. Payton, Miss Susan Payton, Albert Graves, Mrs. E. S. Graves, Joshua Lieurance, Mrs. Sarah Marsh and Mrs. Emaline Oliver.  Richard Williams was chosen Bishop and Joel H. Simmons deacon.  They drew up as a bond of union and cooperation, the following: We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, do each and severaly (sic) agree to unite ourselves together as a body of worshipers to be known and designated as the Church of Christ, meeting at Neighborville, Kansas.  For a time they met in the Bieber school house; then the organization was moved to Norton and they held their first meeting in the old court house.  Shortly, however, they went to the old school house now owned by the Wright Bros. 

From 1875 to 1885 the church was presided over by the following pastors: James McGuire, J. W. Randal two meetings, A. Williams three years. Lewis Bauer became pastor in 1878 and 

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