History of Hickory County, Missouri

1970

B. B. Ihrig



CHURCHES

B. B. Ihrig


BRIEF EARLY CHURCH NOTES
The earliest church organization in Hickory County was the Primitive Baptists (also called Antioch Baptists) organized on December 3rd, 1833. At that time, Hickory County was a part of Benton County and it was not until 1845 that the area called Hickory County was organized from a part of Benton and Polk Counties. This organization of Antioch Baptists was held in the home of Washington Young about four miles northwest of Cross Timbers. Records do not show that a church building was ever erected. The elders in charge were James Richardson and Elijah Williams. The minutes show that they met monthly, transacted business, received and dismissed members, elected delegates to the Osage Baptist Association, and sent offerings each year. The offerings ranged from $1.00 to $2.00. One report showed they arranged for a communion service to be held in the month of August and all differences between members were settled in church. The records of July 2, 1846, showed a division of thought in the twelve members of the church with H. V. Parker, leader on one side, and William Deurosset on the other, which eventually led to a division in the church. The Osage, Tebo, North Prairie,

Baptism
BAPTISM ON THE POMME DE TERRE RIVER at the llalbert Bridge with Brother R. W. Hoffman and pastor of the Antioch Christian Church officiating.

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Antioch Church
ANTIOCH CHRISTIAN CHURCH 1843 NEAR PITTSBURG

and other Baptist Churches were in close proximity to Antioch Baptist Church. In February, 1843, they sponsored a small mission church known as the Fristoe Prairie Baptist Church.
The old pioneers who came to the county brought with them a religious fervor that was deeply instilled in practicallv every family, and church buildings and places of worship were obtained as soon as neighboring families were settled and had homes to live in. Before the war, there were a few members of the various Protestant denominations spread out over the county. Aside from the church mentioned above, another of the very early churches was the Antioch Christian Church southwest of Pittsburg which was organized in 1843. It was a comparatively new belief at the time as Alexander Campbell of Virginia founded the church after withdrawing from the Missionary Baptist Church in the State of Virginia. During the Civil War the Antioch Church became disor- ganized until l866 when Elders Y. M. Pitts, ---- Edwards and B. D. Smith brought about a new organization and built a church in 1872 within the cemetery grounds. This was the first Christian Church in the county and the first to owna building. The present church building was built in 1905 and today we find a strong organization worshiping in this same building adjacent to the cemetery. In early years it was noted
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Old Union Church
OLD UNION CHURCH, Later Baptist. Built in 1888.

as the largest and finest church in the county. Quincy and Preston both had organizations of the Christian Church but no buildings.
There was also another church, the Pittsburg Baptist, about I/2 mile north of Pitts-burgorganizedinl869,and built a church building in 1871. This church was enlarged and rebuilt in 1889. The charter members were A. L., John, William, Elizabeth and Syntha Kirkpatrick, William and Pheba Samples, George R. and S. B. King, Edward N. Taylor, Rinda Duncan, Rev. G. W. Kelly and perhaps others.
Another Missionary Baptist Church with numerous members was organized and prospered southwest of Almon. The Swedish people of the Baptist faith that located in the county in the 1870s built a church building in 1877 six miles east of Cross Timbers. About 1882 the Swedish Baptists built another church building about 4 miles south and east of Hermi- tage. Both organizations grew and prospered butin later years due to reduced population, the congregation has decreased in numbers. Elder L. J. Tatum, mentioned before, also led in organizing a Baptist Church in the Dooly Bend area. 0ther~
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Weaubleau Methodist Church
WEAUBLEAU METHODIST CHURCH Built in spring of 1904 and dedicated the same June by G. W. Britton.

early Baptist churches were at Nemo and in the towns else- where in the county. These churches will be mentioned later.
The Presbyterians built a church known as the Halbert Church about a mile anda half north and west of Cross Timbers before the Civil War and had a large organization for a number of years. However, the Presbyterians did not increase in Hickory County as other churches did, and in later years there are no organizations of that type in the county.
Before the year 1845, there were a number of Methodist churches in the county but the Civil War caused a decrease in the number of Methodists for some time. The Methodist Episcopal Church had a division in 1845 and this, along with decided opinions on the question of slavery and later the issues of the war, resulted in loss of membership to both the M. E. Church South and the M. E‘. Church North. For a time, the M. E. South was the strongest church. At one time, the M. E. North had a church known as the Prospect Church, one of the older surviving organizations in the southeast comer
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Weaubleau Congregational Church
WEAUBLEAU CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH. Built in 1910.

of the county, and about I883, the M. F. Church South erected a building about 2 1/2 miles south of Hermitage. Both of these churches had buildings in the towns also. Other move- ments of the Methodist Episcopal Churches will be discussed later.
The Menonites had three church buildings on the Wheatland Prairie and quite a following of German Americans. The “Latter Day Saints” came into the county in the late 1890s and built their first house of worship about four miles north of Wheatland. This church had quite a number of members made up of substantial citizens.
A few of the older ministers in these first pioneer churches were:
Primitive Baptists: James Richardson, Elijah Williams, Memford B. Robinson, John Hatfield, Wm. G. Lindsey, James Baker, Hezekiah Parker, and Daniel Briggs.
United Brethren: Thompson Pitts and Marcus Monroe.
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John Ihrig
JOHN B. IHRIG, Pioneer Christian preacher of Hickory and adjacent counties.

Presbyterian: L. R. Morrison and John McMillan.
Missionary Baptist: James T. Wheeler, George M. Alexander, Wm. F. Spillman, Wm. D. Palmer, Landrine J. Tatum.
Methodist Episcopal: Aaron Milstead, Elijah F. Yeager,
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Weaubleau Assembly of God
WEAUBLEAU ASSEMBLY OF GOD Built and dedicated in December, 1946.

Thomas Glanville, Eli W. Morton, Anthony Bewley, James Faughn, --- Cobb, --- Butts, and --- Tuck.
Christian: Levi Bybee, John B. Ihrig, Young Mims Pitts, and M. Smith.
LATER CHURCH INFORMATION
Baptist Churches:
Over 130 years have passed since the first church organization in Hickory County. Through the last half century, many changes were made. Church methods, congregations, and even church buildings are different in structure both inside and out. It will be noted that the county population in 1910 was 8,741 and in 1960, it had decreasedto 4,516. This decrease had its effect on all the churches in attendance, interest, and leadership. Church revivals no longer add to the membership rolls as they did in the early days. Television, good roads, automobiles, and other transportation all contribute to church delinquency. Fewer young men are attracted to the ministry and we find more interest in Sunday activities outside the church.
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From the earliest church records, we find the Baptist people have always outnumbered all other organizations in the county and the trend at this time shows them to be gaining in membership and new organizations.
The Senior Baptist minister in the county is Reverend Sherman Bybee with 45 years of service. He is serving the Baptist Church in Elkton at this time. Reverend J. L. Wright, another veteran minister, has been preaching in the county forty years. Twenty-nine of these years have been spent in Wheatland Baptist Church where a new brick church was built in 1954 replacing the Old Union Church building built in 1888.
The following information concerning the Baptist Churches in the county was reported by Reverend J. L. Wright.
Hermitage (1899) Lorry Haskett
Pittsburg (1871) Arthur Sloan
Olive Point Bill Reese
New Home Lee Howard
Little Niangua (1850) Irvin Allen
Durnell Chapel (1890) Irvin Allen
Fairview (Swede) Tommy Eidson
Nemo (Bethel) (1892) Marshall Henderson
Breshears Valley Lester Hensley
Pleasant Grove Garland Poole
Macedonia (1874) Chester Foltz
Weaubleau (1882) Eugene Roberts
Wheatland (1888) J. L. Wright
Elkton (1888) Sherman Bybee
Other Baptist churches reported in the county are Pleasant Ridge, Cross Timbers, and Preston. There is alsoanew Pomme de Terre Southem Baptist Church located in the lake area near Pittsburg. A new church is under construction. The minister is Reverend Delbert Ketner.
Further data on the Weaubleau Baptist Church has been contributed by Eugene Harryman. The church was organized July 17, 1882. The first pastor was Bro. T. J. Akens and the charter members were A. A. John, M. E. John, B. F. Morris, J. G. Hardy, John Knight, E. J. Knight, and Mary Rogers. The elders were John Robinson, T. J. Akens, and J. F. Sattee.
Wheatland Baptist Church
The Baptist Church in Wheatland, Missouri, was organized
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Weaubleau Baptist Church
WEAUBLEAU BAPTIST CHURCH. New church dedicated in 1949.

approximately June 13, 1891. The original members were: G. W. Golden and his wife, Alito Golden, D. F. Brown and his wife, Mary Brown, Ephraim Dent, and his wife, Mollie Gardner, Clara Dent, and Martha Kinney. Quite a number united with the church and were granted letters; other were lost sight of without record.
The church was named Baptist Church of Christ at Wheatland. (They adopted the Articles of Faith in the minutes of the Old Path Association. The regular church service was on Saturday before the second Sunday in each month.)
Bro. J. H. Stinechpher was the first pastor who served from June, 1891, to November 13, 1892. (They suspended the rule of voting by ballot and elected Bro. Stinecipher by acclamation.)
The first church clerk was G. W. Golden who operated the blacksmith shop where Wm. H. Miller servedas an appren- tice and in time became the owner of the shop. It was located about where the house now stands on the comer across from Myrt1e’s Cafe.
The pastors of the church up to the present time were:
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1. Bro. J. H. Stinecipher 1891-92
2. Bro. J. H. Riddy November 13, 1892
3. A. Harris Dent May 14, 1893
4. Wm. Hatfield October 7, 1893
5. D. R. Jones September l3, 1894
6. Robert W. Hudson February 8, 1896 Osceola, Missouri
7. G. M. Botts May 8, l897-September 11, 1898
8. Robert W. Hudson March 8, 1903
9. J. R. Southard July 5, 1907
10. A. H. Dent December, 1907
11. J. R. Southard July 12, 1908
12. A. H. Dent February 20, 1909
13. A. Webster December I9, 1909
14. Elder A. B. Haynes November l9, 1911
15. G. E. Smith November 30, 1913
16. Bro. Albert Jackman preached March 13, 1915
17. J. M. West accepted if the church would do their part. August 6, 1916
18. Bro. Calton two months
19. J. C. Bybee July 5, 1929
20. J. N. Jetfries November 21, 1931, began pastorate January, 1932, and served until January 29, 1934
21. Bro. J. S. Weaver January, 1935-1937
22. Bro. J. S. Bybee 1937-1939
23. Bro. J. L. Wright 1939-
The clerks to the church from the organization have been G. W. Golden, E. Dent, Clara Dent, E. Dent, G. H. Bailey, E. Dent, J. H. Rose, E. Dent, D. B. Huffman, Eva Harryman, Elsie Crutsinger, Eva Harryman Morton, Mertie Crutsinger, Frances Dent, E. Dent, Clara Dent, Pearl Bandel, Floy Holland, Pearl Bandel, Ina Bandel, Zola Jenkins, Ruth Green, and Anthus Wright. January 13, 1894, the minutes were written as follows:
The Baptist Church of Christ at Wheatland met and after sermon by Elder Harfield proceeded by business. 1st inquiry in regard to the condition of the church was made.
2nd An opportunity was extended for joiners. None received.
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3rd The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.
4th Bro. G. H. Bailey and Sister Fannie Bailey, his wife (Arvilla McMillin's sister lived in the Henry Sutt property), who had previously joined in the faith of a letter presented their letter from Macedonia Baptist Church which was received.
5th Under the head of miscellaneous business the following resolution was unanimously adopted: Whereas, Christ, after completing the work given Him by the Father, and having all power in Heaven and earth, sent his apostles into the world to teach men to observe all He had commanded, andthe apostles did their work through suffering; and whereas, we the Baptist Church of Wheatland failing to find anything in their teaching to justify their followers in engaging in anything of doubtful propriety and believing dancing is a practice of doubtful propriety, therefore we dondemn such practices as unchristian inasmuch as that that is not of faith is sin.
6th Adjourned
Wm. Hatfield, Moderator
E. Dent, Church Clerk
End of quote
In many of the minutes inquiry was made into the peace and harmony of the church, and visiting brethren were invited to seats to aid in counsel.
Elder Hatfield, Henry Sally and Rev. C. D. Fry of the M. E. Church began a revival September 3, 1894, which continued from day to day until the llth whenan opportunity was extended for joiners. Sisters Martha Patterson and Maude Glazebrook were received by experience candidates for baptism. October 14 they proceeded to the water's edge where the ordinance of baptism was administered to Sister Martha Patterson.
On December 8, 1894, a note is made that “A suspension during the winter months because ofthe severity of the weather and the uncomfortable condition of the church house."
A revival meeting was held in a large tabernacle in the public square for two weeks the later part of June and the first part of July of 1907 by Rev. James T. Morrow during which 49 souls were saved. The interior of the tabernacle
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was beautifully decorated with flags, festoons of green and flowers in profusion.
The fourth of July on Thursday was celebrated that year by Wheatland and the surrounding communityinamanner never to be forgotten by those present. The crowd gathered, coming early from all directions, in hacks, buggies, horseback, wagons, etc., and the people were splendidly entertained all day with songs, sermons, addresses, and testimonies. At noon, dinner was served on long tables, in the shade of the big trees, which were loaded with the choicest edibles and were very appetizing. Supper was served and another service was held in the evening.
Several people united with the Baptist church during the meeting; fourteen of them joined and were baptized on Sunday, July 7, 1907. Others joined by letter. Those who were baptized by Bro. Morrow were: R. H. Gardner, Wm. Bandel, Arthur Crutsinger, Stephen Carpenter, Frank Kelly, Maude Gardner, Mertie Crutsinger, Glach/s Morton, Elsie Crutsinger, Grace Larose, Maggie Henson, Carrie Acker,Edith Harryman, Jewel Pope with ten candidates from the Baptist Church at Hermitage. A multitude of people met to witness this ordinance.
The service closed on Sunday evening July 7 (with Bro. Morrow for the last time repeating to them the sweet story of old and admonishing the old Soldiers and those recently saved )by grace to walk steadfastly in the footsteps of the Savior .
Rev. A. H. Dent was chosen to pastor the church in October of 1907. (In the minutes the church resolved to join with the Baptist Churches at Weaubleau and Hermitage and ask the State Board of the Baptist General Association to contribute $200 to the support of Rev. A. H. Dent who had been called as pastor on this field. A committee on finance was appointed, R. H. Gardner and Elsie Crutsinger being appointed. A com- mittee on finance was appointed, R. H. Gardner and Elsie Crutsinger being appointed. A committee consisting of G. H. Bailey, S. W. Holland, and J. R. Southard were appointed to see what could be done about a place of worship.)
No mention is made in the minutes but at this time a deed was made between J. K. Moore, director of the Methodist Episcopal Church, S. E. Marston, director forthe M. E. Church (south), successor to E. W. Hargiss, and A. L. Fisher, director
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for the Christian Church, successor to J. H. Davidson, parties of the first part, and R. H. Gardner, Wm. Bandel, and G. H. Bailey, directors for the First Baptist Church, Wheatland, Missouri, being that part of said lots upon which the Union Church is located. A. Quit Claim deed having been made April 29, 1890 between J. H. Davidson and Mary Davidson and his wife to A. M. Paxton, W. H. Liggett, H. C. Brrokshire, S. T. Gardner, Jas. A. Pine, and H. H. Davidson and their successors, trustees of Wheatland Union Church, forty (40) of the east end of lots four (Q and five (5) block 18inthe town of Wheatland and the same now being the part of said lots upon which the Union Church is situated. Elder James M. Bandy held a meeting and the church was greatly edified. The meeting began November 17, 1908, and continued until December 6.
The church continued to hold services in the old building until the new modern brick church was built (across the street north of the old building) and dedicated January 2,1955. The approximate cost of the new church was $15,300.00. (Nannie Jinkens)

Pittsburg Baptist Church
PITTSBURG BAPTIST CHURCH. Organized in 1871, this structure was built in 1956.

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Pittsburg Baptist Church
The Pittsburg Baptist Church was organized October 9, 1869, with twelve charter members. They were William, Phebe, and Cynthia Samples; William, James, John, A. L., and Elizabeth Kirkpatrick; G. R. and Sarah J. King; E. N. Taylor, and Clarinda Duncan. The first building was erected in 1871. The second building was built in 1889 and stood until 1955, when it was torn down and a new and more modern building facing the north took its place. The building committee was Bro. Albert Lipe, D. L. Pitts, and Bonard Lipe. Eugene Clymore was head carpenter. Rev. V. L. Stanley served as pastor during the building process. The approximate cash spent was $2,541.00. Most of the labor, materials, and furnishings were donated. The State Convention allowed $600.00 to buy pews, and it was completed in 1956 free of debt. The church was dedicated September, 1959, almost ninety years after its organization. The location is a short distance northeast of town, adjacent to the cemetery on the south. The first grave recorded in this cemetery was Elvira, wife of E. N. Taylor, born 1832, died 1871.
Hermitage Missionary Baptist
Old building erected in south part of Hermitage in 1899, abandoned in 1956 when a new brick building was erected northwest of the public square in Hermitage; V. L. Ball, minister.
Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ)
The Christian Church Organization was effected in Quincy in 1853 but was unable to continue during the Civil War. In 1866 a second organization under direction of John Bybee never prospered, never numbered over fifty souls at its most prosperous times. They never built a building and eventlw the community has some surviving members of this faith in the area they worship elsewhere.
Another Christian Church organization at Spout Springs organized and had a prosperous church for a while, also erected a building in 1887 which burned in 1896. This resultedin complete disorganization of the church. Calib Obrian was one of the principal promoters of the church there, and John B. lhrig was pastor for a time.
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Ministers

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Wheatland Christian Church
WHEATLAND CHRISTIAN CHURCH Built and Dedicated Oct. 22, 1922.

The Christian Church at Wheatland was organized in 1871 under the direction of Elder Orcutt of Illinois. The organization went down about 1880 and was reorganized in 1900. The early ministers at that time were Bro. 0’Bryan, Bro. Warren, and the two McCubbins brothers, also Bro. Minnick. The services were held in a one room school house two blocks west of the Public Square. The organization was later disbanded. A Union Church was built in southwest part of towm about 1887 and the people of the Christian Church faith worshiped there until the fall of 1900. Later the Christian Church sold its interest in the Old Union Church to the Missionary Baptists August 25, I907, for $25.00. Bro. John Jones, Sr., held a meeting and November 25,1900, reorganized the church with twenty-five members with the following officers: A. S. Johnston, Alva Fisher, and T. U. llargrove, Elders; W. R. Burge and J. S. Dent, Deacons; and Zetta Johnston, church clerk. In October, 1903, they decided to buy or build a church of their own and after much discussion and thought they bought a two-story stone building on Main Street (across east of the square) from Joseph Burge in 1906. A. J. Williamson had a dry goods store in the lower part and continued to rent it. This building was sold November 25.1919. to A. S.
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Johnston and Chris Kleck for $3,000 with 7% interest until the money was needed for the new church and they reserved the use of the hall above for church and Sunday School for one year.
In the Fall of 1915, Rev. A. W. Rethemeyer held a revival for the Christian Church in the M. E. Church South and there were eighteen additions to the church. Rev. A. T. Mahaney held another revival in the fall of 1920 in a tent in the town square which resulted in sixty-three additions to the church. In 1922, the two-story brick church, in use now, was erected two blocks south of the square on Main Street. The land the church was built on was donated by Dr. A. L. Fisher. The approximate cost of the building was $25,000. H. H. Rogers, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, a former resident of the Wheatland area and a world wide Christian Church leader, contributed approximately $8,000 to the project. Bro. Mahaney remained with the church as pastor from [922 to 1924 and thirty-one more members were added to the church during this period. He resigned in 1924 and Rev. R. W. Hoffman was pastor until 1930 when he resigned to serve as dean of Drury College. A. T. Mahaney came back as pastor in 1931 and served until 1947. J. B. Jones, the District Minister, organized a county pastorate which included all the Christian Churches in the county except Antioch. This county pastorate service was observed with one minister serving theentire county until 1966 when it was decided to divide into east side and west side unity.
West Side Unity consists of Wheatland, Elkton, Weaubleau, and east side consists of Cross Timbers and Hermitage. Wheatland Church has built a new modem parsonage west of the church building, but at present, there isno resident minister there. Bro. Rolland Howard was the firstand the last minister to live in the parsonage. The church at this time is not in the peak of its progress. It is difficult to secure ministers and the change in the unity system may have brought other changes but the church has many loyal dedicated members that will eventually bring about a revival of former days of the Wheatland Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Some other ministers not mentioned above who held revivals or preached at one timeinthe early history of the church were: Elder A. J. Williams, 1902; R. C. Harold, J. D. Babb, 1904; S. E. Hendrickson, 1905-06; Pleasant Clark, 1907; F.E. Butterfield, 1909-10; Orville Hodges, 1911; J. W. Rogers, 1912; E. B. Woods, 1917; E. E. Davidson, 1917.
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Weaubleau Christian Church
WEAUBLEAU CHRISTIAN (Disciples of Christ) CHURCH Built in 1901; dedicated June, 1902.

Weaubleau Christian Church
The Weaubleau Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was organized September 9, 1901. A few members without a church secured the services of Evangelist J. B. Jeans of Springfield, Missouri, and a series of meetings was held in the old Public School building in west part of town. The meeting wasa success and encouraged the charter members to build a church. Dr. and Mrs. S. C. Gentry deeded the land tothe church where it now stands and the building was ready for dedication by Elder T. A. Abbott of Kansas City, June 22, 1902. Elder J. J. Jones held a revival meeting in August of that year with ten additions. Through the years, the church experienced many problems and discouragements, but still it survived under the leadership of good pastorship and loyal members. Among those who served the church over long periods of time were R. W. Hoffman, E. T. Sechler, and A. T. Mahaney. Other pastors who served were S. E. Hendrickson, J. D. Babb, F. D. Benzona, and P. Clark. Revivals were held with other evangelists from time to time which added to the membership and interest. Mrs. S. C. Gentry served 42 years as clerk of the church and received special commendation for her loyalty and acceptance of responsibilities for the church.
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Cross
Timbers Christian Church

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Cross Timbers Christian Church
Cross Timbers Christian Church was first organized September 19, 1891, by J. S. Becknell of Buffalo. Only eight people were members of this organization but a revival meeting held shortly afterward added some others and a new building was erected the same year. Elisha Tom Candley and members of his family sponsored the most of the materials and money involved in the project. At the end of the year, Rev. Becknell was still pastor of the church with twenty-five members. The membership did not increase greatly during the next few years, but a revival meeting by Jack Yokely in 1897 resulted ina significant increase in the membership. From this dateto 1912 very few additions were made to the church. In 1912 Elder Martin became the paster and added manyto the church. In 1913 a revival by Elder Martin and Rev. Robertson added about twenty to the membership. Rev. A. W. Rethemeyer held a very successful meeting in 1914. Other ministers who served during this period also were: T.J. Head, ----- Noblefl, and ----- Herrington.
In 1922-23, the Cross Timbers Church was included inthe county Unity organization with the same minister serving the entire county. Thru these years, the church was improved, the interior has been altered and redecorated, the front door was replaced by double doors and numerous other changes made for the convenience and comfort of the membership. On May 24, 1953, a new church annex built on the south side of the church, and connected by large doors, was dedicated and this provided a dining hall, kitchen, and rest rooms with modern facilities.
Note: The Congregational Christian Church of Weaubleau is found under the town of Weaubleau.
Antioch Christian Church
As mentioned under Brief Early Church notes, Antioch Christian Church of today was built around 1905. Just previous to this, J. D. Babb and S. E. Hendrickson held a revival and received 56 new members. In 1907 F. E. Butterfield was pastor and 36 more members were added that year. In 1909, the women of the church had an active Ladies Aid Society. Considerable friction arose in the church over the instrumental music question, and an organ was destroyed in 1910. The greatest number of members was reported in 1943. Two
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hundred members were listed at that time. The 1950 list was 180. Only eighty of these were resident. A. F. Fowler was one of the strong supporters of the church for many years. The present building was erected over 125 years ago ata cost of $800.00, but it has been kept in good repair and its membership is to be commended on the care and attention it receives. Only a few years ago the ceiling was lowered, the walls paneled, three gas wall heaters were installed, windows repaired, double doors placed at the entrance, new pulpit, new carpeting, drapes and venetian shades were added. The last minister reported was Harold Pond, and worship services are held on the first and third Sundays.
Antioch Christian Church is indeed an example and a challenge to other rural churches and, we might add, to the town churches also. “Let your light so shine.”
Elkton Christian Church
Elkton Christian Church had its birthday October 8, 1898, when a group of seventeen members met in the Prairie Valley School House and organized the church. A record of this meeting reads “In the persuance of a call of the members of the Church of Christ, a meeting was held at Prairie Valley School House for the purpose of organizing a Church of Christ. Whereupon, Bro. A. T. Alexander was elected chairman, and Bro. T. J. McCracken was elected clerk, and the following business was transacted:
1. The propriety of an organization was discussed and the vote taken which resulted favorable to an organization.
2. The names of the members present were enrolled as follows:
1. W. W. Taylor
2. Carlos Palmer
3. Etta McCracken
4. Kittie Vaughn
5. Elijah Williams
6. T. J. McCracken
7. Georgia Waugh
8. Mary F. Palmer
9. Ellen Williams
10. Johnny McCracken
11. Tempa McCracken
12. Altha Vaughn
13. Margaret Vaughn
14. Annie Jackson
15. Ollie Green
16. Elijah True
17. Ida McCracken
3. The appointment of Elders was the next thing in order and Bros. W. W. Taylor and Elijah Williams were appointed as Elders of the church.
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Preston Methodist Church
PRESTON METHODIST CHURCH Built in 1899.

4. T. J. McCracken and Carlos Palmer were appointed Deacons.
W. T. Alexander Chairman
T. J. McCracken
Hermitage Christian Church
Hermitage Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was organized March 26, 1905. This was sixty-two years after the organization of the oldest Christian Church, Antioch, and fifty-eight years after Hermitage was surveyed and
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platted. It is not known where these people worshiped over the years, but they, no doubt, held or attended services elsewhere during the time. J. D. Babb organized the church in 1905 and the elders were Wm. F. Coon and Wm. L. Pitts; Deacons George C. Owens and Albert Pitts; Clerk Ross Coon; Treasurer Wave Coon. A revival was held in 1910 by Orville Hodge, and twenty-three new members were received. Other pastors, S. E. Hendrickson, F. M. Hooton, and F. E. Butterfield, built the church to fifty members by 1915. Hermitage was in the county unity and A. T. Mahaney and R. W. Hoffman were pastors during that period. Since the 1966 division into East Side and West Side Unity, Hermitage is in the East Side, and Reverend Coltharp is pastor. Anew parsonage was built in the Liggett addition in South East part of town, and plans are being made to build a church nearby. The church meets in the Methodist Church building and shares in the Union Sunday School. The fact that the Methodist and Christian people share this building for worship services speaks well for the Christian attitude and peaceful coexistence of the people of Hermitage.
Union Hill Christian Church
Few people will remember the Union Hill Christian Church organized by Reverend John D. Simms about three miles east of Weaubleau in I889. They had no discipline for the church except the Bible. The charter members were Henry Cordell. Bessie Nutt, Martha Hawkins, Leota Fentress, Thomas Murphy, Liemer Bames, Ora Moore, Latha Nutt, Lena Mason and Elizabeth Murphy. Through the years, about seventy-five other members united with the church, but interest decreased, and January l, 1901, the members met with the pastor Reverend L. K. Garling for the purpose of reorganizing the church. Those present for this meeting were: D. B. Cordell, Henry Cordell, Elizabeth Murphy, Thomas Murphy, Molly Murphy, Frank Spohn, Melissa Spohn, Bessie Cordell, James Copeland, Ollie Copeland, Ora Moore, Belle Fentress, William Pruett, Theodore Swicegood, and Cora Swicegood. The officers elected were Theodore Swicegood, clerk; W. H. Cordell and William Pruett, deacons; Thomas Murphy, elder. This church group from the early l900s had the urge to fight for humanity and about thirty-five were added to the fellowship up to 1925. Some of the ministers who served during the years from 1889 to 1925 were John D. Simmons, L. E. Garling, J. M_. Thomas, ----- Maples, J. E. Jones, ----- Ackley, ----- Adamson, ----- Atkson, Estelle Try, and others.
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The church later joined the Western Osage Christian Con- ference. Other churches in the Conference were Weaubleau Christian, Bethany, Durnell Chapel (now Baptist), High Hill, Leed Hill, Monegaw, Galmey (Dooley Bend), and Liberty Hill. Thomas V. Crance was the main promoter inkeeping the conference going so long as his health permitted and good programs were held during the quarterly meetings. The 93rd Annual Western Osage Christian Conference met with the Bethany people at the Butcher Church. (They had no building at this time.) There were only four churches in the conference at this time, Bethany, Galmey, Weaubleau Congregational, and Liberty Hill. This proved to be the last conference as Reverend Thomas V. Crance was very ill. The membership of the church had decreased until the Union Hill Church disbanded. Marry former members moved away and those remaining decided to vote themselves into a stronger church and stay together. They voted to unite with the Christian Church of Weaubleau now known as the Congregational Church of Christ. This action was taken in 1925. The books which had been closed for about a year were given to Eugene Harryman, clerk of the Congregational Church of Christ, who furnished the information for this write-up of the history of the Union Hill Church which has long since disappeared along with many other rural churches in Hickory County.
Several years ago a group of people organized a church at the old Oak Grove School House location southeast of Cross Timbers. This congregation is known as the Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints; the paster is Alvin Lind. No other information was available on this organization.
There is a Church of God at Jordan, the Pastor, Leonard Brown. No other data.
Cross Timbers Baptist Church was organized in the late 60's, Minister Alva Penny.
History of the Cross Timbers Methodist Church
The history of this church dates back to the late 70's, according to the Wilson History, 1884. Cross Timbers as a village dates back to 1871, but there was no church within the city limits before the date above. Butthe Methodist worshiped in a small building located a mile north of Cross Timbers, and also used a large brush arbor in warm weather.
The church records which were made in 1892 show that a
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while W. K. White was the pastor. A campaign was started for funds to build the church. Verge Williams granted the land one-fourth mile north of Cross Timbers just east of the Cross Timbers Cemetery. Much of the material and most of the labor was donated, but the principal carpenters were John and Henry Nease, local men, and the building was completed early in the summer of 1884. Itwas dedicated in July of that same year. Dr. C. C. Wood, editor of the St. Louis Christian Advocate, chose for his text, “I Have Come That You Might Have Life and Have it More Abundantly“. District Conference was also held on that memorable Sabbath
The names of the men who were substantial donators were: Judge W. C. Hickman, Thomas Noland, W. H. Scruggs, Robert W. Dickson, Jim Dickerson, W. Y. Bennett, Joseph Nease, and Eli Calkins. Rev. Tom Proctor was the first pastor of the church. Others to follow have been J. A. Matthews, B. R. Gregg, W. B. Hill, J. H. Denny, L. R. Hedges, and W. H. Suddath.
In 1894, the building was moved by Ed Harvey with his “jumbo” steam engine to the northeast corner of the public square where its membership could come to worship with greater ease.
Pastors who have served since the church was moved into town have been: C. D. Hamilton, Wm. Bull, H. P. Tuck, R. M. Shook, John Cox, D. E.Dobbs,J. E. Welch, E. E. Hinkle, J. E. Ellis, Lloyd W. Adams, Geo. Sparling, Thomas Shipp, Geo. Lasswell, Luther John Johnson, C. S. Roe, O. E. Patton, Frank Stover, O. B. Randall, Geo. Vertress, and W. M. Robinson.
Rev. W. E. Tull served the longest, having been pastor nine years. The church remained on the corner until 1936 when it was moved just east and faced the north of its former location to make room for a road to be built that was not built until 1949. Then again the final survey came so close to the front door that it was decided by the church membership to build a basement for the need of the growing Sunday School and again move the church to face the west and the public square which was completed November 8, I948, being placed over the basement which is equipped with Sunday School rooms, kitchen, and dining hall. In 1957 an annex was added tothe south of the original building and the church was made completely modern.
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The Sunday School Superintendents have been Robert W. Dickenson, Thomas H. Noland, Queenie Halbert, Ida Rose, L. J. Martin, C. A. Jenkins, and Mrs. R. E. Tull, the present Superintendent who has served since 1936. Membership is 81 and the Rev. E. S. Templeton is serving half time as pastor now, 1969.
-Mrs. R. E. Tull
Wheatland Methodist Church United
The Wheatland Methodist Church United, earlier known as the North Methodist Church, was built in 1892 by William Crates and John Taylor with other helpers. lthadahigh steeple which had a wind gauge with the round part of the steeple being made of two wash pans soldered together. This was later taken down as it was difficult to repair and paint. The land where the church stands was granted by Mr. & Mrs. J. K. Moore, September 20, 1899, to the trustees: J. K. Moore, Louera Liggett, and J. E. Heard, for $99. It is located on Lot 5, block l, in the original town of Wheatland. It has been said that the Liggett family and J. K. Moore were really the founders of the Methodist Church inwheatland. The church grew in membership and has been an inspiration and influence in the community through these many years. Some of the evangelists were Brothers French, Thomas, Goodnight, Allison, and Hines. Pastors have been Bro. Gatley and Bro. Rose, two early pastors. Later pastors were Brothers George Britton, Parson Pipes, Leonard Westfall, Bro. & Mrs. Wherry, Bro. Fred & Mattie Denton, Brothers Best, Wilbur Wilson, Fred McClanahan, Frye, T. H. Morris, J. E. Cox, J. E. Jones, J. E. Ellis, Bowers, Hansen, Ground, Langevin, and C. E. Kinney.
The church has also opened its doors for school commencements, recitals, Lyceum courses, and to the Baptist people m 1927 for a revival when their church was not in repair.
A new addition was added in 1956 consisting of class rooms, a kitchen, and other modern facilities to meet the needs of the day. New carpeting, tables, etc., also contribute to the comfort and pleasing appearance of the interior. In early years, William H. & Louera Liggett presented the church with an organ which served for every service until a piano was purchased in the late teens.
Both the Methodist Church built in 1899 and the Old Union Church built in 1891 (and used by the Baptists for many years)
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Wheatland Methodist Church
UNITED METHODIST CHURCH AT WHEATLAND

have served as beacon lights in the community and led countless numbers of people to listen to that "still small voice" that has changed their lives and led them to work for the Master.
Mrs. Oma Stover and Mrs. Tina Kleck, who still live in Wheatland, have been members of this church over 65 years.
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Hermitage Methodist Church
HERMITAGE METHODIST CHURCH, Erected in 1881 by townspeople and Hermitage Lodge #288 A.F. & A.M. One of oldest in county, it has a second floor used by Masons and Eastern Star. UnionSunday School by Christians and Methodists was held every Sunday with alternating church services. Stone for foundation was quarried west of town and brick burned by Lafayette Dorman and others. The church bell, brought from Warsaw by wagon and team, was rung the last mile into towm.

The Methodist Episcopal Church - Hermitage, M0. (United Methodist Church)
—by Willie Dorman
The Methodist Episcopal Church at Hermitage, Missouri, was built during the year of 1881. Lafayette Dorman was the >br>-page 286-
most instrumental in building the church. He burned the brick that went into the building. The kiln where they burned ma brick was located just north of town on land which was once owned by J. W. Montgomery, one-time prosecuting attorney of Hickory County.
During the building of this church, a team was hitched to the running gears of a wagon and with the help of a swing- boom pole and chain, the larger rocks were hoisted to the desired height without too much lifting by the men. The rocks were quarried at a rock quarry just west of town about a mile out. They were pried loose by hand and some dynamiting
When the foundation was finished, Auntie Skein placed a Bible in the southeast corner. Auntie lived across the street south where May Johnson now lives. After the church was finished, Mr. Dorman took his son, Willie, his faithful team, and went to Warsaw to get the bell. They came back by the Rocky Ridge Road. When they gotto the Wheatland-Hermitage road a mile west of Hermitage, they started ringing the bell and kept ringing it along the way to its destination.
The church still stands and is in fine condition and now has a new addition with modern facilities installed. The minister is C. E. Kinney.
The R. L. D. S. Church
(Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ)
The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ was built two miles north of Wheatland on land given by Mrs. Pauline Paxton Welch. The building was begun in 1902, dedicated in 1911, and finished in 1920. Abraham and Joshua Sandage were the two ministers of this faith who first came to Hickory County. Later the Joe Warren family came and these families organized and promoted the works of this church. The church became a community center and a Union Sunday School was held there. Other activities wereS. S. Conventions, Christmas programs, pie suppers, and other special services. They also had revivals lasting two or three weeks with good sized crowds. Miss Mabel Paxton was organist. Others later connected with the church were some of the Paxton families, Damitz, Welch, Bemards, Mannering, Sally, King, and Walkers. At one time the lightning struck the church,
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tore down the flue, ran the length of the building, burned part of the ceiling and then went out without further injury. Mrs. Alice Williams was Sunday School Superintendent for several years. Dissention arose and finalhr the group disbanded; the building was sold to Earl Box and there is no evidence in that area that a church ever existed there.
Mennonite Church
This building was built west of Wheatland. The men worked hard and long to build this place of worship. The seats were made of wood with a board across the bottom anda strip across the back. Mr. Christian Gerber gave the land for the church and cemetery and some of the names of people associated with this church were Oesch, Stoll, Rufenaught, Kuntze, Ream, Naffziger, Stuclry, Schneider, Schindler, Rapp, Weber, and Zehr. Most or all of them were of Scotch Irishand German descent and came to Hickory County from Illinois.
As time went on, the older people died and were buried in the cemetery near the church. The members decreased, and their children united with other faiths. Finally, the church stood unused except as a shelter when there wasa burial. P. J. Rogers later bought the Gerber farm. The church was torn down, the cemetery uncared for, and the roadway almost impassable. Many people do not know a cemetery exists there. A few years ago, a fund was collected to clean up the cemetery and make a road to it. but no one has been buried there since 1947. Some of the ministers who served this church were Christian Zehr, L. J. Miller, and William H. Kuntze.
Other churches in the county from which no information was received are: Weaubleau Methodist Church, builtin spring of 1904 and deidcated by G. W. Britton in June, 1904.
The Assembly of God Church in the west part of Hermitage was built about 1965 and Earnest Foltz isthe present minister. Also, there is a Church of God (Holiness) in Wheatland that holds services in the church in the north part of town (once known as South Methodist Church, later sold to the Church of God (Holiness).
Weaubleau also has a Assembly of God Church. No data is available.
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The first Preston Methodist Church was built in 1899. It was organized in 1877 wih twelve charter members and was first known as Methodist Protestant. The old church built in 1899 was torn down and a new modern church was built in 1961. The membership is 127, and the present pastor is Rev. Arthur C. Olson.
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