The History of the Early Settlement of Norton County, Kansas

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authorized by the national conference, there was a division instituted in 1883; on account of which a question was raised, 'Which factiton (sic) of the church will we recognize?"  About one-half of the membership preferred to labor with the conservative branch, who favored the enforcement of the decisions of conference, while the others prefered (sic) to be governed only by the Bible.  On the strength of this difference the conservatives withdrew their fellowship from the progressive party, and since August 25, 1883, there has been two congregations of the Dunkard church. 

On May 22, 1884. the progressive party met and reorganized under the name of Maple Grove Brethren church, Elder J. Arnsberger having moved here was chosen as pastor, in which capacity he labored to the time of his demise and under whose supervision a neat frame house of worship was erected.  Elder C. Forney served church as pastor and elder for a number of years and later Elder D. M. Rittenhouse has filled that position. 

Since the division the conservatives or German Baptist branch has been under the care of Elders Paul Porter, I. Studebaker, Whitmer and J. R. Garber, who in company with Rev. G. M. Throne have supplied the church with regular services.  In 1893 this church erected a frame structure to hold their services, which gives much credit to the society, 

The Congregationalists have two organizations, one at Almena the other at Lenora, they have church buildings and resident ministers at both places. 

Mr. J. H. Rogers came here in 1879.  Shortly afterward he organized the Advent church at Oronoque with F. M. McMullen as elder, also at Devizes with C. W. Allen as elder.  These organizations grew and prospered for a time but they never put up a church building.  The Devizes organization had 25 members at one time but only has about 15 at present.  The Oronoque church had 40 members while Elder Rogers remained here but only has 18 at this time. 

Elder Rogers removed to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1890, since which time the Advents have been without a regular minister. 

The Winebrennerians, or Church of God, was organized at Dallas in the early 80's by Elder Forncrook, who went to Illinois in 1890, since which time that organization has been without a regular minister. 

The Free Methodist have a strong organization in this county.  Elder Howard was one of their pioneer members, he left here in 1885.  He resides in Oklahoma at this time.  Elders Damon, Miller and Van Housen were residents of this county at one time and did valuable work for the church.  The Free Methodist church is still in a prosperous condition.  Elder Dodge, of Almena, is their principal minister at his time.  O. P. Smith was also a minister in that church, he came here from Illinois in 1880, he left this county in 1891 going to Missouri. 

When the county convention met in 1875 to nominate county officers all other issues were lost sight of except the county seat.  Weston had a clear majority of the delegates and organized the convention.  The delegates favoring Norton, fourteen in number, withdrew and held a separate convention.  The Weston men nominated the following ticket: Representative, S. L. Green; county treasurer, M. A. Morrison; clerk, M J. FitzPatrick, sheriff, Lewis Logan; register of deeds, E. R. Worthington; surveyor, A. Hendricks; superintendent of public instruction, J. W. Langford; county commissioner 1st district, Jerome Shepard; 2nd district, G. N. Kingsbury; third district, A. S. Burroughs.

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