Hampshire Colony Congregational Church Book
It's First Hundred Years


Alice Horner’s notes:  The title page shows the list of members of the Historical Committee of 1931 as those who assembled the book.  The first listed, Ella Warren Harrison, is the person named by libraries as the author, and the text states that she was recognized by members of the committee as the person who did the most work on the book.

Transcribed by Alice Horner

Table of Contents

In the Beginning
The House of Worship
The Faith of Our Fathers
The Work of the Kingdom
Laborers In The Vineyards - The Ministers
Laborers In The Vineyards - Deacons
The Members of the Church
Echoes of a Century

Alice Horner’s notes:  I don’t own this book; I was able to get a copy through inter-library loan, but I could only keep it two weeks.  So the sections of the book I chose to transcribe are the ones which give the history of the church and its buildings, and the names of the church members, who were early Bureau County residents.  I have chosen not to transcribe sections of text detailing the history of the practice of its religion.  I also did not transcribe the Sunday-school section, other than the six short biographies, because most of the people named in it were already covered in other sections of the book.

  This book was written in 1931, an era when general readers were used to reading lengthy paragraphs.  Readers today prefer shorter paragraphs, especially if they are scanning them for specific names or information.  Like many books of any era, there are typos.  I’ve corrected those I’ve discovered, but noted them, so the reader can see the text as it originally appeared.  If you find more typos, especially those of peoples’ names, be sure to let me or Nancy Piper know. I have added a separate section of short bios I have written on a few of the Bureau County people named in this book.  I encourage everyone to write more.


In collecting material for this history much use has been made of papers written for various anniversaries by Mrs. Julia R. Phelps, Mrs. Clara R. Norton, Mrs. Emily S. Colton, Dr. Flavel Bascom, Rev. E. G. Smith and Mr. Elijah Smith, an old diary of Mr. Chauncey D. Colton and a few old letters. The authors of these have long been dead. The record books of the Church have furnished definite dates and present day knowledge has brought the work up to date.

All of those who preached and prayed in the old days have gone to be with the Lord. Most of the next generation have followed them. What they won with toil and tears we have inherited, but surely death did not destroy their interest in and love for the old church. If Heaven rejoices over a repentant sinner, then heavenly citizens must know something about earthly events.

"Wherefore seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sins that so easily beset us and run with patience the race set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith", and be able to say to them some day, "We have faithfully carried on the work that you began."


There is no enterprise which has not behind it some guiding mind. This volume owes its existence principally to the vision of one who has long been a vital force in the church. To Ella W. Harrison the church gratefully acknowledges its indebtedness for the greater part, both spirit and substance, of this volume.

To the Historical Committee sincere thanks are expressed for the careful research that makes this record authentic.

To T. A. Fenoglio, who has successfully managed the financing of this publication, the church owes a debt of gratitude.

Grateful acknowledgment is made to those who have given of their time and service transcribing page after page of manuscript: Edna B. Anderson, Gerda Bouxsein, Vivian Conkling, Helen Eastman, T. A. Fenoglio, Gilbert Oberschelp, Edith Sharp, Ethel Sharp, Frances Spaulding, Hazel Wickey.

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