The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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the writer is not certain whether he perfected a church organization, but thinks not.  He preached regularly in the dugouts of the early settlers and in school houses in various parts of the county for several years.  The first Baptist organization that we have any account of was on Long Brach in 1878, this was by Elder Hakes. 

The first Baptist church of Norton was organized on the 5th day of January. 1889, at the M. E. church with fourteen members: N. A. Johnson, Della Johnson, T. A. Rogers, Susan C. Rogers, Harry T. Thompson, Mary A. Thompson, Albert J. Thompson, Sarah M. Thompson, John C. Latham, Ellen Day, W. R. Smith, Mary E. Mather, Joseph O. Fleming and Mary E. Corfman.  Rev. J. M. Crooks, of Danbury, Nebraska, acted as chairman.  After the organization seven others, received into membership: C. G. Page, Mary R. Page, W. P. Duvall, Adolph Berning, James L. Corbin, Ervin H. Stump and G. H. Vail. 

At the next business meeting, held on the 20th day of February, N. A. Johnson, C. G. Page, T. A. Rogers, E. H Stump and J. C. Latham were elected trustee, and N. A. Johnson, clerk; Mrs. Ellen Day, treasurer; A. J. Thompson and E. D. Owens, deacons. 

The recognition services were held on March 19, by Rev. D. D. Proper, of Topeka, assisted by Rev's. J. M. Crooks, W. A. Simmons and L. D. Goodwin. 

D. D. Haggard was the first regular pastor called to take charge of the church, April 1, 1889.  He was ordained April 18, and resigned at the close of his first year. 

J. Christian was the next pastor; he came here in December, 1891, and left on account of failing health in the following August. 

J. Cashman was the next pastor, he came here October 1, 1892, and remained one year, since which time the church has been without a pastor. 

The present house of worship was built in 1889, and was dedicated September 1 by Rev. S. D. Newell, of Manhattan, Kansas.  Cost of building, including labor, $1,400.  The present membership is sixty-six, sixteen of which may be counted as non resident members. 

The first Catholic church was organized by Father Reichert in 1878 in Almelo township.  Father Reichert was born in Heidelberg, Baden, Germany, in 1832.  He came to America with his parents in 1834; at 13 years of age he was sent to a seminary at New Reigel, Seneca county, Ohio, where he remained until he was ordained as priest in August, 1878.  He was placed in charge of northwestern Kansas, which included all the territory west of Beloit.  He located at New Almelo where he took a hometead (sic) on which he built a sod house which he used for a dwelling and a church, this was on section 21, township 5, range 25.  In this sod house services were held until 1880, when Father Reichert built a stone church which is still in use.  In 1884 Father Reichert built a frame dwelling, and in 1886 he enlarged it for the purpose of geting (sic) his brother, J. J. Reichert and family to live with him.  In 1889 Father Reichert's eye sight failed him and he went to Kansas City for treatment, where he died of heart disease February 13, 1890.  His body was sent hack to Ohio and was laid to rest at Carthagena, Mercer county, which is the place where every Catholic priest belonging to the C. P. P. S. order are buried. 

Following are the names of the pioneer members of the Almelo church: The Dunlaps and James Galeece, in 1873, John Lunny, 1874; George Miller and James McKinna, 1876, and in 1878 Martin Conroy, A. Walter and family, Austin Miller, Frank Bantz, N. Hahn, Jr.,

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