Cameron, Cold Brook
The Christian Church is
the same society that was organized at Peter Peckenpaugh’s on
section 30, April 30, 1831, and is one of the first church organizations
in the county. The first
members were among the first settlers of county.
As they were somewhat historical, their names are given below:
William Whitman, Sarah Whitman, Julia A. Whitman,
Henry C. Haley, Elizabeth Haley, John C. and Francis Murphy, John G.
Haley, Richard H. Ragland, Nancy Ragland, William M. and Elizabeth
Davidson, Josiah Whitman, Elijah Davidson, Sr., Margaret Davidson, Sr.,
and Margaret Davidson, Jr., Elijah Davidson, Jr.
Six of the above members are still living:
Julia A. Whitman, now Mrs. Davidson; Elizabeth
Haley, now Mrs. Jones; Francis Murphy, now living in Oregon; Margaret
Davidson, Jr., also in Oregon; Elijah Davidson, Jr., in Oregon; and
Elizabeth Davidson, now Mrs. Lucas, and living at Abington.
This church was constituted upon the belief that the scriptures
of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God, and the only rule of
faith and practice, and sufficient for the government of the Church.
They erected their first church building at Savanna,
afterward called Cold Brook, which was completed in 1839.
Rev. William Whitman was their first pastor.
Before their church building was constructed, meetings were held
in school-houses and in private families.
This society at one time numbered over 200 members.
In 1851 many of its members went to Oregon, enough to form quite
a congregation there. The
place where settled was called Monmouth, after the town in Warren
County. In 1860, Cameron
having become a thriving railroad town, and the business of Cold Brook
having been transferred to that place, it was decided to move the church
also. Accordingly and
edifice was put up at Cameron, at a cost of $2,300.
In an early day the people attended this church from far and
near; from Abington,
Monmouth, Ellison, Gerlaw, etc.
Among the preachers that have served this church are:
Revs. William Whitman, Alexander Reynolds, James R.
Ross, Livy Hatchett, John Rigdon, Cousin of Sidney Rigdon of Mormon
fame, William Davenport, A. J. Kane, Isaac Murphy, John G. Haley, Josiah
Whitman, Alex Johnson, L.S. Wallace, J. S. Edwards, John E. Murphy, and
T. H. Goodnight, now in Kansas.
of these early preachers are still living.
When the church had no regular pastors, Elder S. T. Shelton,
one of Cold Brook’s most prominent and favored citizens, would preach to
the congregation. Recently
they have secured the services of Rev. Charles Laycock, a
talented young preacher. They have now
about 125 members with a large and interesting Sabbath-school. This society is prosperous and is doing good work in the
Christian field of labor.
Methodist Episcopal Church
The Methodist Church
was organized in 1856; M. B. Morey and wife, J. B. Porterfield
and wife, Benjamin Tinkham and wife, and William P. Crosby and wife,
constituted the first members.
Their building was erected in 1857, at a cost of $1,300.
This building was burned in September 1877.
A new edifice was erected in 1887, and was dedicated July 1st,
the same year. Revs
preached the dedicatory sermon. George W. Palmer, pastor and Thomas
H. Pryon. It is a neat
frame structure, costing about $3,000.
They have good parsonage, which cost $1,000.
Rev. J. B. Snedaker is the present pastor who presides over
about 60 members. In
connection with the society is an interesting Sabbath-school with about
The First Baptist Church
number of members of this church assembled June 30, 1866, for perfecting
an organization. Rev. J.
N. Talman of Monmouth preached the sermon, when Rev. H. H. Parks
was called to the chair.
J. N. Talman was chosen clerk pro tem.
D. F. Smith, C. C. Manford and F. G. Manford presented
letters. Several others
gave their names and declared themselves in favor of uniting as soon as
they could receive letters from their former churches.
After this, articles of faith were adopted.
Rev. John Balton was the first pastor.
The church was completed and dedicated in August, 1869.
Rev. Balton terminated his labors with the church, March
4, 1871. J. K.
Pennington, who remained until 1878, when Rev. C. G. Kent,
who served until 1880, succeeded him, followed him.
Rev T. W. Jones then took charge and remained for awhile,
when Rev. Mr. Depperman succeeded him.
At present the society is without a pastor, but occasionally they
have services at the church.
The Presbyterian Church of
Kirkwood was organized in 1856, and was first
called South Henderson Church.
Meetings were first held in the school house
about two miles southwest of town. A committee
had been appointed by Schuyler Presbytery to
assist in the formation of the church. This
committee was Rev. J. H. Nevins, R. C. Matthews,
and Elders Hiram Norcross and James Boggs. At
the organization there were twenty-six members,
"of whom many have fallen to sleep, but a few
remain until this day." The first elders were
Jacob Ackerman, Alex. M. Harvey and Nathan
Carr. Of these, Fathers Carr and Ackerman yet
live, having more than fulfilled their four
score years. The first stated preaching was by
Rev. J. H. Nevins for one year. Then Re. W. L.
Lyons for three and a half years. From July,
1863, to April, 1865, was a vacancy, with
occasional preaching by Dr. J. M. Jamison and
others. At this latter date Rev. J. W. Ash began
his labors here, and was the regular supply for
two years. Then Rev. J. W. Allen was here for
two years, and during his administration a new
and commodious church was built, 40 by 65 feet,
and cost $11,000./ In 1870 Rev. G. N. Johnson
supplied for six months. Then Rev. J. H.
Marshall was stated supply for two and a half
years. the present minister, Rev. E. W.
Thompson, is the only installed pastor the
church has ever had. He began his labors here in
1874. The first house of worship built by this
Church was a small frame structure, 20 by 30
feet, in the south part of town, in 1858. For
two or three years it was occupied by the M. E.
congregation on alternate Sabbaths. This was
afterwards sold to the Roman Catholics and moved
off the lot. In 1868, the present church was
erected, and is an elegant gothic structure. It
was thoroughly refitted in 1875. The present
membership is 125. An interesting Sabbath's
school is maintained throughout the year, with
an attendance of 125. E. P. Clauson is
superintendent. The church is in a prosperous
The United Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood,
Ill., was organized in 1858 at Center Grove
school house with about eighteen members, among
whom were David Irvine and wife, Dr. J. Biddle
and wife, John Woods and wife, and I. H. Martin
and wife. The meetings were first held at the
above named school house, also at Mr. Edward
Wray's hall. Their church was built in 1863 at a
cost of $2,800. The pastors who have served at
this church are Rev. I. B. Foster three years,
Rev. W. J. McSurely two years, Rev. I. B. Waddle
seven years. The present membership is one
hundred and fifty-seven. Average Sabbath school
attendance is eighty.
The Young America Church
was organized August
12th, 1855, with ten members. their present
house of worship was built in 1858 at a cost of
$877.50. Rev. I. B. Fuller presides. There are
at present seventy members and forty Sabbath
The Universalist Church was organized in 1860 at
Rap's Hall. Thirteen members were received,
among whom were N. A. Chapin and George.
Williams. For some time services were held at
Rap's Hall, where they remained until the
completion of their church, which was dedicated
in 1866, its cost being $4,00. The Church was
rebuilt in 1869 at an additional cost of $3,000.
Rev. C. L. Walsh preached two years, Rev. A.
Clayton one year, Rev. A. Tidbits two years,
Rev. Hibbard eighteen months, L. H. Tabor
three-year. The present number of members
thirty, with the same number of Sabbath school
The M. E. church was organized in 1856 at Young
America Hotel. The first sermon was preached by
Rev. O. Swartz January 5th, 1856, in hotel.
Afterward meetings were held at the Presbyterian
church on alternate Sabbaths. The members of the
first class were John Ramsdell, leader,
Elizabeth Ramsdell, Mary E. Youmans, Daniel and
Matilda Tinker, Oliver and Rachel Hall, William
L. and Margaret Roberts. The pastors in charge
have been as follows:
James Tubbs, three years;
C. Springer, Two years
B. C. Couch, two years
M. Spurlock one year
Jesse Smith, two years
the present pastor Rev. C. H. Brace, who began
his work in September, 1876.
The first trustee election was held in the old
Presbyterian house, March 20th, 1865 and the
following were elected: Henry Tubbs, Alex
Youmans, B. Logan, E. H. Randall and T. W.
Beers. The house of worship was built in 1865 at
a cost including grounds and parsonage, of
$8,300. Dedication services were conducted by
Dr,. Eddy, from Chicago. Preacher in charge,
Rev. James Tubbs, to whose labors may be largely
attributes the origin and completion of the work
free of debt.
The present pastor is Rev. Charles H Brace. The
present membership about 250. The Sabbath school
numbers 225. Superintendent, Rev. C. H. Brace.
This charge is in a prosperous condition.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized at
Center School house in the spring of 1875. The
first meetings were held at this place. the
members were David Vangilder, Jennie Vangilder,
E. F. Dehart, L. A. Dehart, J. A. Williams, J.
Chapman, M. Chapman, C. Gunn, Cath, Gunn,
M/ B. Torrance, Sarah J. Morey. Their church was
built in the spring of 1875, at a cost of
$1,700. Rev. J. W. Coe served six months. He was
followed by Rev. P. S. Garretson, who took
charge September, '75, and is the present
pastor. There are at present thirty-five members
and a Sabbath school of thirty-five scholars.
Predestinarian Baptist Church was reorganized in
1836 at the house of Caleb Hedges. The earliest
meetings were held at this house, also the
Downie School-school-house. Among the original
members were Joseph Rogers and wife, John
Murphy, B. Lewis, and John Riggs. All the
original members are supposed to be dead, except
This Church has had three pastors, namely Rev.
Charles Vandiveer, who served serveral years,
Rev. George Tracy, and Rev. I. N. Vanmeter,
thier present pastor. The clerks were Wm Tunter,
R. M. Simmons, and Alfred W. Simmons. The
present deacons are John Vandiveer, and Andrew
W. Simmons. Elder, R. W. Simmons. There are now
About 1870, the members of
the Baptist denomination met in the school house
for divine worship and in 1873, were organized
into a church. it is known at the Swan Creek
Baptist Church. Soon after the name was changed
to correspond with the town and as such is now
membership at first was small but now is largely
increased, and sustain a minister one half the
time, he devoting the other Sabbath to the
Pleasant Baptist Church.