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Jersey County Church History and Records

Early Religious Conditions
At the time of the organization of Jersey County, the religious element gathered only in two churches, the Methodist and the Baptist. There was known to be at that time only one Catholic Family in the county, and that being the Carroll Family in Elsah Township. There was not within the bounds of the county a single building erected and dedicated soley for the worship of God.

Early Baptist Churches
Church societies were organized of Baptist denomination quite early in the history of the county. The first church was organized at the residence of Jehu Brown, in November 1825, and was known as the Kane Baptist Church. The second Baptist Church was organized at the home of Judge John G. Lofton on February 25, 1827, and was known as the Salem Baptist Church. At a later date, a Baptist Church was organized on Borer's Creek, but it became extinct and so remained until some time later. Elder J.V. Rhoades, in about 1839, organized what is known as the Lebanon Baptist Church.

Early Methodist Churches
There were Methodist classes organized at the residence of John G. Gillham in 1818. Services were held at the homes of other Methodists and at the Gillham Camp Grounds, east of the Gillham residence, for many years.

First Presbyterian Church
On February 15, 1834, Thomas Lippincott and Elisha Jenney organized at the home of the late Newell L. Adams, on the present site of the C. P. & St. Louis Railroad depot, at Jerseyville, a Presbyterian Church.

The above were all of the organinzed churches in Jersey County at the time of its organization in 1839. There was ot a meeting house or a building erected exclusively for public worship in the whole county.

Wonderful Progress
The wonderful progress is shown in the following, since 1839, there have been erected and are now standing in Jersey County, these churches:
Baptist - Jerseyville and Jerseyville Colored, Grafton, Fidelity, Kemper, Paradise, Bethel, Bethany, Otterville and Delhi
Catholic - St. Francis Xavier's, Holy Ghost, St. Patrick's, St. Mary's and St. Michael's
Christian Holiness - Jerseyville and Dow
Congregational - Kemper
Cumberland Presbyterian - Fieldon and Newbern
Episcopal - Jerseyville, Grafton, Fidelity, East Newbern, Rosedale, Elsah, Otterville, Salem, Shiloh, Meadow Branch and Hartford.
Presbyterian - Jerseyville
Union - Nutwood
A number of these churches have parsonages connected with them, and the Catholics maintain parochial schools for the education of the children of their faith. The Protestant churches all have Sunday schools in connection with their churches. Several of the denominations have erected more than one church in a community or city.

Otter Creek Township
The first church erected in Otter Creek Township was a one-story frame building, one-half a mile south of the stone schoolhouse, by the Methodist denomination and call Wesley Chapel. In 1858, this denomination built a new brick church one-half a mile east of the stone schoolhouse, which was used for many years before it went into decay. This congregation are now worshipping in a frame house known as the "Cumberland Presbyterian Church" in the center of Otterville. The Baptists in Otter Creek Township originally worshipped in the second story of the old stone schoolhouse. Some years after the close of the Civil War, they erected a brick church on the Hamilton Primary School lot, near the old stone schoolhouse, which very comfortable structure they still occupy.

In the early forties, the Methodist at Grafton built a small frame church on the top of the hill back of the Keys residence. In 1857 the present brick church was built and has been in use from that time until the present, and is still a wonderful place of worship. The denomination own a building east of the church, which is used as parsonage.

The Methodists erected a frame church at Hartford, which is about six miles west of Grafton, near the Illinois River. They erected another church at Rosedale.
[History of Jersey County, Illinois, 1919, by Oscar B. Hamilton, President Jersey County Historical Society. Transcribed by KP]

The Jerseyville Baptist Church was organized in an old school house which stood in the western end of the lot now owned by Capt. John Smith, corner of Spruce and Jefferson streets, September 5, 1841. It held meetings there for but a short time, after which they were held in the old court house which stood where the present court house now stands, until in 1850, when, the then new Baptist church was completed. This house of worship stood then, and now, at the southeast corner from the court house, at the corner of Washington and Pearl streets. It was dedicated July 23, 1850. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. Wm. F. Boyakin. Rev. Jestus Buckley was pastor. The second house of worship was dedicated in June, 1864, fourteen years after the first house was dedicated. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. Jestus Buckley, D. D., L. L. D.

The second house was remodeled and rededicated April 26, 1882; sermon by Rev. W. W. Boyd, D. D. The first cost of the second house was $14,188.93. The remodeling cost $13,063 .44. The present house of worship as it now stands cost, at both dedications, $27,252 .37.

The following were its charter members: Richard Graham, Martha M. Graham, Jonathan E. Cooper, Myriam F.Cooper, George Wharton, Jane Wharton, Mary Riggs, Maria Hill, Lucy A. Tunstill, Elizabeth Sunderland, Mary C Hill, Maria E. Hill, Juliet A. Hill, Martin L. Hill, Mary 'Sunderland, Charles N. Adams, Jacob K. Stelle, James Giverson, James C. Graham, John M. Hutchinson, Rebecca Hutchinson, Harriette Hansell, Emily H.Johnson, Rachael Hutchinson, Richard Olmstead, Adam Utt, Priscilla Utt, Henry Johnson, Richard I. Ely, William Reaves - 30 in all. Two of the above named are still living; one remains in our midst.

During the past 60 years, almost, this church has had 16 pastors, four years being the average pastorate, including the present pastor.
The following were its pastors:
Elijah Dodson from Sept. 5, 1841, to Dec. 20, 1845.
Elihu J. Palmer, from 1845, to 1846.
Joel Terry, from July 25, 1846, to Aug. 1847.
Wm. F. Boyakin, from Sept. 4, 1847, to Nov., 1848.
Jestus Buckley, from April 4, 1849, to October, 1853.
David P. French, from Dec. 18, 1853, to July 31, 1861.
L. C. Carr, from Aug- , 1861, to November, 1864.
J. N. Hill, from May '65, to October, '71.
P. P. Perry, from March, '72, to May, '74.
C. R. Lathrop, from May, '75, to Aug-ust, '76.
C. E. Taylor, from October, '76, to November, '81.
D. Heagle, from April, '82, to May, '84.
C. HT Moscript, from July, '84, to October, '86.
W. H. H. Avery, from February, '87, to September, '91.
J. J. Porter, from Jan. '92, to Sept. '99.
J. A. Ford, from Jan., 1900, (the present pastor.)

Its first Sunday School superintendent was Orrin Chaffee, elected September, 1851. Its present superintendent is John Christy. The school is in a prosperous condition, with about 200 members, and 20 teachers.

Its first deacons were Richard Graham and Jonathan E. Cooper, who remained in office 54 years, to his death, which occurred October 25, 1895. Its present deacons are George Head, Robert Newton, Alex. Pitt, Joseph W. Sunderland, Benjamin Foster, John Christy, and George H. Woodruf, Jr.
Its present membership is 683.
[History of Jerseyville, Illinois 1822 to 1901; by Rev Marshall M Cooper 1901. Transcribed by Tammie]

The First Presbyterain Church of Jerseyville was organized in a log cabin, which stood on the spot where now stands the C. P. & St. L. R. R. Depot, in the house of N. L. Adams, near Hickory Grove, February15, 1834, just 67 years ago. It was organized by two Presbyterian pioneer preachers, the Rev.ThomasLippincott and Rev Elisha Jenney, then a stated supply of the Presbyterian church at Alton, Ill.
According to the rules of their church, a sermon was preached by Rev. Lippincott, after which the ceremony of organization was conducted. Three ruling elders were ordained and installed, who were the first elders of the church, viz: Alexander H. Burrett, James Lumsden and M. N. Bosworth. There were eighteen original members. No record is given of these eighteen members, but the names of fourteen are given by Dr. Norton in his history of Presbyterianism in Illinois, as follows: James Lumsden, Ruben Page, Mrs. Elizabeth Page, Joseph Gerrish, Mrs. Elizabeth Gerrish, Mrs. Miriam Turner, (Capt. Cooper's first wife), Dr. Alexander Burritt, Mrs. Nancy Burritt, M. N. Bosworth and wife, John Anderson and wife, Matilda McGill and Miss Sophonia Adams.
For two years or more the church was without a pastor and house of worship, but worshiped in a school house which stood on the lot now occupied by Capt. John Smith, and for six months in Mr. Keith's cabinet shop.
In October, 1835, Rev. Amos P. Brown became the first stated supply of this church until 1838. In 1836, the first steps were taken to build a house of worship. In 1838-9, the frame of the building was put up, but $700, the amount necessary to build, could not be raised. The building which stood where the present house of worship stands, was dedicated October 14, 1841 It was 40 x48 feet in size, and cost $2,600. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. Theron Baldwin.
In September, 1838, Rev. Joseph Fowler began his labors here, and in April 4, 1839, was ordained here by the Presbytery of Alton. Being an aspiring young man, he resigned September, 1840, and went to Ohio. He died September 6, 1857.
Immediately on the retirement of Mr. Fowler, Rev. Luke Lyons was invited to the pastorate. He entered upon his labors November, 1840, and was installed pastor December 26, 1843. Mr. Lyons labored here until his death, which occurred January 11, 1845.
After his death the church was shepherdless for over a year, when Rev. George C. Wood took charge March 1, 1846. On April 20, 1850, he resigned. In October 1850, Rev. Lemuel Grosvenor began his labors as pastor, resigning in July, 1855.
December 1855, Rev. Joseph S. Edwards became pastor. Mr. Edwards resigned his pastorate December, 1858. During his ministry the present parsonage was bought at a cost of $2,400. He died in Cleveland, Ohio, October 17, 1876.
Rev. Charles H. Foote succeeded him in Dec. 1, 1858, and was installed in April 15, 1860. He resigned Feb. 17, 1867. He died in Michigan, June 28, 1880.
April 7, 1867, Rev. Wm. W. Williams was invited, but resigned September following. He was succeeded by Rev. George I. King, D. D., who, on account of failing health, resigned in 1872, and died March 12, 1873.
After Dr. King, Rev. James W. Stark entered upon his duties as stated supply, November, 1873. He remained here for ten years, resigning in January, 1883.
On the 18th of January, 1880, the rotary system of eldership was adopted, and W. S. Ross was elected to the eldership, term to expire in January, 1881; B. C. Vandervoort,
term to expire in January, 1882, and Dr. A. A. Barnett, term to expire in January, 1883.
The corner stone of the new house of worship was laid August 12, 1882, and on August 23, 1883, the present beautiful stone structure was dedicated.
In June, 1883, Rev. Ira C. Tyson, D. D., was called to the pastorate, and on September 25, 1883, was installed pastor. Dr. Tyson remained as pastor thirteen years, resigning Nov., 1896.
Rev. Wm. H. Kearns succeeded him, preaching his first pastoral sermon March 7, 1897, from Isa 4 : 8. Rev. Kearns was installed pastor on Wednesday evening April 21, 1897, Rev. M. M. Cooper presiding, and propounding the constitutional questions. Mr. Kearns remained as pastor from March 7, 1897, to December 30, 1900, when, on the last named date, he preached in the morning, and conducted a farewell communion service. In the evening the other Protestant churches, with their pastors, united in hearing Rev. Kearn's farewell sermon. A crowded house and a solemn service. All the other pastors gave short addresses. Rev. Kearn's text was in Acts 20-27: "I have not shunned to declare unto you the whole council of God."
This church extended a unanimous call to Rev. John G. Klene, of St. Louis, who began his labors Sunday, April 7, 1901. His first text was I Peter, 5: 2, 3. He was installed Wednesday, May 1, 1901. Rev. John A. Gallaher, moderator of Presbytery, presided and propounded the constitutional questions. Rev. F. L. Ferguson, D. D., preached the sermon, Rev, Grafton, of Virden, read the Scriptures, Rev. M. M. Cooper offered prayer; Rev. Wm. Parsons, of Sparta, charged the pastor; Rev. T.B. Greenlee, of Carrollton, charged the people. Benediction by the pastor. A very interesting service. A prosperous Sunday school, well attended prayer meeting, woman's missionary society, all in a healthy and prosperous condition. Present membership is 340.
[History of Jerseyville, Illinois 1822 to 1901; by Rev Marshall M Cooper 1901. Transcribed by Tammie]

The pastors of the Jerseyville Methodist Church since it was made a station have been as follows:
Revs. S. H. Culver, 1852 to 1853, A. L. Risley, 1853 to 1854, J. W. Caldwell, 1854 to 1855, C. H. Houts, 1855 to 1857, H. B. Taylor, 1857 to 1859, J. B. Carrington, 1859 to 1861, Joseph Earp, 1861 to 1862, John W. Van Cleve, 1862 to 1864, William Cliffe, 1864 to 1866, J. W. Cadwell, 1867 to 1869, W. H. Reed, 1869 to 1871, John W. Phillips, 1871 to 1873, Fred L. Thompson, 1873 to 1876, D. W. Phillips, 1876 to 1879, J. R. Van Cleve, Jr., 1879 to 1880, Eugene May, 1881 to 1882, C. E. Cline, 1882 to 1883, Francis M. Van Tresse, 1883 to 1885, Jonathan A. Scarritt, 1886 tp 1887, John Leeper, 1888 to 1890, Joseph Earp, 1891 to 1892, Nathaniel Crow, 1893 to 1895, Calloway Nash, 1898 to 1899, C. B. Besse, 1900 to 1902, J. O. Dee, 1902 to 1906, Rev. Shouse, 1906 to 1907, J. W. Jones, 1907 to 1910, O. L. Markman, 1910 to 1912, E. T. Carroll, 1912 to 1916, F. O. Wilson, 1916 to the present time.
[History of Jersey County, Illinois, 1919, by Oscar B. Hamilton, President Jersey County Historical Society. Transcribed by KP]

Church of St. Francis Xavier
The first Catholic service ever held in Jerseyville, and perhaps in the county, was at the home of William Shephard in the fall of 1841. Rev. Father Hamilton officiating. Previous to 1839, Thomas Carroll, Mrs. Mary Cummings and the Carroll family, who resided at Otter Creek, were the only Catholic families in this county. The number was increased that year by the arrival of William Shephard,d James, Flanningan and William Kelly, the latter being the first man ever married by a priest in Jersey County, which ceremony occurred in 1839, Father Hamilton officiating.

After Father Hamilton, Father Carroll of Alton occasionally visited Jerseyville and held services in the private homes and in the courthouse. In 1848 - 1849, William Shephard, Fred Bertman and William Kelley purchased from J. A. and C. J. C. Barr, a lot of ground on which to build a church; but it was not until 1857 that the erection of a small frame church was commenced, and in the latter part of July 1858, was dedicated by the Right Rev. H. D. Juncker, bishop of Alton. Father Mangan was the first priest permanently located in Jerseyville, which was in August 1858, and he remained there until April 1860, when he was succeeded by Father Morrill, who remained until February 1861. His successor was Father Laurent. During the five years ministry of Father Laurent he had a comfortable and commodious parsonage built, and bought ground for a cemetery. He remained until February 1865, when he was succeeded by Father Hovius, who was succeeded by Father Sullivan. During the ministry of Father Sullivan, the foundations of the new church were commenced, as the old frame church which had been used for the past ten years was found too small and removed to another part of the city, where it is used by the society for church purposes for a day school.

The cornerstone of the present splendid edifice was laid in May 1868, with appropriate ceremonies by Bishop Juncker of the Alton diocese. This building was dedicated July 4, 1861. The main building of the church is 55x110 feet, and is built in the early English style. The height of the tower from the pavement is 140 feet. It has the most imposing location in the city, and seems to be standing in the middle of the four principal thoroughfares coming into the city for the four points of the compass. The church has a seating capacity of 800 on the main floor and 250 in the gallery, making a total of seating capacity of 1,050 persons. The structure was planned by William Embly of Jerseyville and erected in the best workmanship manner at the cost of $25,000.00.

On December 1, 1868, Rev. Father Harty succeeded Father Sullivan and remained in charge of St. Francis Xavier's congregation for thirty-two years, or until his death, which occurred July 19, 1899. Reb. Father Fallon succeeded Father Harty, taking charge on August 1, 1899, and he remained until Decemeber 1, 1903, and he was succeeded by Reb. Bernard W. Lee on January 1, 1904. Father Lee accomplished a great deal of work during his priestly life in Jerseyville. To him is due the credit of erecting the new parochial school and parish house. Father Lee remained in charge until July 1, 1907, when he was succeeded by pastor, Rev. John J. Clancy on October 1, 1914.

Father Clancy was born in Ireland on June 24, 1866. He made his preparatory studies in Ireland and in September 1889, came with a relative to America and entered teh seminary of Our Lady of Angels, Niagara Falls, N. Y. He was ordained priest by Rt. Rev. James Ryan, D. D., Bishop of the diocese of Alton, in the cathedral at Alton on August 15, 1891. After his ordination, he was sent by Bishop Ryan to the Catholic University at Washington, D. C., and remained there until he was appointed pastor of the Sacred Heart Church at Dalton City, Ill., being its first resident pastor, and remained there until February 1, 1894, when he was sent to take charge of St. Catherine's Church at Virden, Ill. He remained at Virden, Ill., until September 1, 1899, when he took charge of St. James Church at Riverton, Ill. On October 1, 1914, he arrived at Jerseyville to assume the task of paying off a big debt. With the co-operation of a loyal and generous people, he is meeting with much success at the present time.

It is interesting to note that the right reverend bishops and clergy accomplished much for the Catholics in and about Jersey County. On July 4, 1871, a new St. Francis Xavier's Church edifice was dedicated by Rt. Rev. P. J. Baltes, Bishop of Alton, in the presence of a large congregation, and the following clergymen who assisted on the occassion were: Very Rev. J. J. Jansseu, V. G.; Rev. P. Brady, Springfield, Ill.; Rev. T. Hickey, Virden, Ill.; Rev. P. Machen, Carrollton, Ill.; Rev. Clement, Kaskaskey, Ill.; Rev. John Moher, Alton, Ill.; Rev. David Phealan, St. Louis, Mo.; Rev. Michael Clifford, Bunker Hill, Ill.; Rev. L. Omster, Westwoods, Ill.; Rev. J. O'Sullivan, Springfield, Ill.; and the pastor, Rev. James Harty. The sermon on the occassion was preached by Rev. David Phealan of St. Louis, Mo.
[History of Jerseyville, Illinois 1822 to 1901; by Rev Marshall M Cooper 1901. Transcribed by Tammie]

Church of The Holy Ghost
On June 11th, 1883, the Very Rev. Father Janssen, Vicar General of the Diocese of Alton, called a meeting of the German Catholics of Jerseyville and vicinity, for the purpose of org-anizing a congregation of that denomination and nationality. After consultation it was decided to raise a subscription for the purpose of building a house of worship. About that time the Second Presbyterian church building was offered for sale, situated on the corner of Spruce and Washington streets. At a second meeting held a few weeks later it was decided to buy that building, rather than erect a new one. In the fall of 1883, they bought of the trustees of the Second Presbyterian church, their house of worship for $2,150. After obtaining possession, and decorating, and altering the inside, upon Thanksgiving day, the same year, by the Right Rev. P. J. Baltes,bishop of Alton, it was dedicated to the worship of God, and celebrated first mass in it. The same day the congregation was organized with Rev. F. A. Marks, as pastor, Henry Scheffer and Charles Schmeider, trustees. On the night of Sept. 19th, 1884, this house of worship was destroyed by fire, the loss of which was not less than $5,000 to the congregation. A subscription for a new church was at once put into circulation, which found liberal response from the church and community. In the spring of 1885 the erection of anew building began, and in due time a new edifice of Gothic style, at the cost of $6,500 was dedicated. In 1896, this church bought the church building formerly occupied by the German Evangelical Lutherian Church, and moved it just north of where now stands the church of the Holy Ghost, and fitted it, and seated it for a parochial school. The school opened Monday Sept 1, 1896, with 40 scholars, and Mr. Edward Hoheiset of St. Louis, teacher. He taught here for three years. After him the sisters of St. Francis, Milwauke, Wis., took charge, and have continued since. Pupils number at present about 45. In January, 1899, the church bought the residence just North of the church, called the Hays property, for a parsonage. The church at present numbers about 60 families.
[History of Jerseyville, Illinois 1822 to 1901; by Rev Marshall M Cooper 1901. Transcribed by Tammie]

St. Patrick's Catholic Church of Grafton was established in 1871, with Father B. N. Bourke as pastor during its first year, he being succeeded by Father Edward McGowan, who remained until 1875. During the succeeding year, Father Thomas Cusack was the priest-in-charge, and then 1876, Father D. J. Ryan assumed the duties of the parish, discharging them until 1878. The next pastor was Father Winterhalter, who remained a year, when he was succeeded by Father Rosmeller, the latter remaining until 1884, when Father Marks was placed in charge, and he remained until July 1885. Father Thomas Masterson was priest of this parish from 1885 to 1892, when he was succeeded by Father Joseph Finnegan had charge until 1898, when he was succeeded by Father C. S. Bell, and in 1903, Father Bell was succeeded by Father C. E. Snyder. In 1912, Father August C. Van Rie became the pastor and in the spring of 1913, Father D. J. Doyle came to the church, remaining until the fall of that year, when the present pastor, Father Charles F. Fanning took charge.
[History of Jersey County, Illinois, 1919, by Oscar B. Hamilton, President Jersey County Historical Society. Transcribed by KP]

Colored Baptist Church
This church was organized in the year 1858, by Elder James H. Johnson. The first officers were: P. S. Brayden, W. M. Phillips, and Samuel Evans, trustees; with P. S. Braden, clerk, and W. M. Phillips, treasurer.
Among- the charter members were: Cynthia Brown, Henrietta Johnson, John Barton, America Barton, W. M. Phillips and Samuel Evans. They held their meetings for some three years in private residences, but about the year 1860, the present church building was erected. It is a brick structure, 30x50 feet, and cost $1,500.
The pastors of this church have been: Revs. J. H. Johnson, Jackson Robinson, G. M. Davis, L. A. Coleman, J. W. Jones, S. P. Griswell, Banjamin Williams, J E. Jackson, and A. W. Collins. Have no pastor at this writing, 1901.
The present deacons are William Swann and John Matthew, and Miss Celia Evans, clerk. Membership is 30.
[History of Jerseyville, Illinois 1822 to 1901; by Rev Marshall M Cooper 1901. Transcribed by Tammie]

Episcopal Church of Jerseyville
In April 1868, the Rev. C. S. Abbott, then rector of St. Paul's church, Alton Ill., occasionally held services in Jerseyville, during which services, there were seventeen persons baptized, and five confirmed. Rev. D. W. Dresser also made occasional visits.
The membership of this church was composed of Mary A. Davenport, Ann Landon, Cecilia K. Gibson, Elizabeth F. VanHorne, Alice L. Titus, Francis A. Knapp, Allen Marshall, Cornelia Cockrell and Elizabeth Coddington, all of whom were communicants before Jan, 1st, 1869.
In May, 1869, the Rev. George Gibson was commissioned missionary for Jerseyville and Carrollton, and there labored for two years. The Rev. H. G. Perry shortly followed and served for about two years. From this time, for about 10 years to 1879 services were almost entirely discontinued.
In Feb. 22,1879, Right Rev. G. F. Seymour, D. D.,L.L.D., appointed Rev. G. W. G. Vanwinkle from New York City, to take charge of this work in Jerseyville and Carrollton, which he did. On the 22nd day of April, 1879, the congregation met and a petition was prepared asking to be organized as a mission. This was sent to the Bishop in May, and the Bishop approving the action appointed the following named persons as officers, which names were respectfully proposed by the congregation, E. L. H. Barry, M. D.,S. W.;J. G. Blish, J. W.; H. N. Wyckoff, T.; John Fox, S.
On the 6th day of May, 1879, the Bishop signed a certificate signifying his consent and approval and making the appointments of the officers according to the laws of the church.
Immediately after this action, steps were taken towards the erection of a house of worship, which soon resulted in the cash purchase of land enough on which to build a church edifice
and rectory, which the congregation hoped soon to erect.
The building committee was composed of Dr. E. L. H. Barry, Charles Catt, John Fox, M. E. Bagley, and the rector, Rev. G. W. G. VanWinkle. On July 22, 1880, with appropriate ceremonies the corner stone of the new edifice was laid. There now stands a neatly constructed brick edifice, beautifully located on East Pearl St., at the cost of $4,500.
For the erection of this church building, much credit is due to Dr. E. L. H. Barry, for the skill, and devotion he had in the cause of its erection. June 2nd, 1881 this new church building was dedicated with appropriate services conducted by Rev. G. P. Betts, of the Trinity church, St. Louis, and Rev. T. W. Haskins, Alton, 111. and Rev. Wm. Elener, of Jacksonville, assisting. Among the Rectors Rev.Wm.T. Witmarsh, Rev. Mr. Harrison. Rev. F. W. Cornell gave services through 1896; Rev. E. D. Irvine came in March, 1897; Rey. H. A. Stowell came in March, 1901.
[History of Jerseyville, Illinois 1822 to 1901; by Rev Marshall M Cooper 1901. Transcribed by Tammie]

Methodist Episcopal Church
Except by occasional itinerant preachers, there was no regular preaching by this denomination until in 1837, when Rev. J. B. Wollard and Rev. Willliam Gannaway became preachers in charge of the Jerseyville circuit. In the year 1838, Alton District of Illinois Conference sent Rev. George W. Robbins and Rev. William Meldrum to this circuit. In an upper chamber of the home of Josiah Mulkins, on the southeast corner of State and Pearl streets, in July, 1839, a class was organized, from which has grown the present Methodist Episcopal church of Jerseyville. The class consisted of the seven following persons: Samuel Pittman, Richard Johnson, Josiah Mulkins, Hanna Hankins, E. Van Pelt and Sarah Van Pelt. Samuel Pittman was the first class leader. At this time Jerseyville was included in the Grafton circuit, and Rev. Norman Allya and Rev. N. P. Heath were the first regular preachers this church ever had after organization. At this time the honored Peter Cartwright was presiding elder, this being included in the Jacksonville district.
Among the circuit riders appointed to this work were Rev. W. S. McMurray, in 1840; James H. Dickens and Joseph Kelly, 1841; Lewis Anderson and S. H. Shaw, 1842; C. D. James and J. P. Sebastin, 1843; C. D. James and Chas. Holliday, 1844. In 1845 this was made Jerseyville circuit, and the following preachers were sent: Revs. James Leaton and L. C. Pitner; Revs. John Mathers and Joseph Lane, in 1846; Revs. Elijah Corrington and T. N. McCorckle, 1847; Revs. T. W. Jones and J. H. Dodson, 1849; Revs. C. W. Lewis and John Sappington, 1850; Revs. S. H. Culver and Z. R. Piercy, 1851. In 1852, Jerseyville was made a station and included in the Alton district.
The first church edifice erected was from 1843 to 1847, It was a frame building 34x40 feet, and cost $900. The lot on which it stood was on the corner of Liberty and Exchange
streets, 100x110 feet, and was the gift of Maj. Gershom Patterson. The church was dedicated by Rev. Peter Akers, D. D., in 1847. In these days revivals were common and many turned unto the Lord. (Very different these days.)
On the 17th of August, 1868, the corner stone of the new building- was laid by Rev. B. F. Crary, D. D., assisted by Revs. I. N. Hill, Samuel Walker, E. A. Hoyt and J. W. Coldwell. It was dedicated January 1, 1871. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Bishop Thomas Bowman, D. D., assisted by all the pastors of Jerseyville, with many others.
The trustees who presented the church to Bishop Bowman were: John F. Smith, Joseph G. Marston, C. M. Hamilton, Francis Osborne, John Christopher, Chas. N. Adams, and Charles Brooks. The edifice is 42x72 feet on ground area and cost $12,000. The building committee consisted of Wm. Emblev, J. E. Van Pelt and Francis Osborne. The first two were succeeded by Ezekiel Davison and Clarence Hamilton.
During the thirty-two years intervening between the organization into a class, July, 1839, to the year of dedication, 1871, the following preachers served this church, viz, Revs:

S. H. Culver, 1852-3 D. W. Phillips, '76-9;
A. S. Risley, '53-4 J. W. Van Cleve, 79-'80;
J. W. Coldwell, '54-5; Eugene May, '80-2;
O. F. Houts, '55-7; C. E. Cline '82-3;
J. W. Coldwell, '57-8; F. M. Van Treese, '83-5;
H. B. Taylor, '58-9; J. A. Scarritt, '86-7;
Dr. J. B. Corrmgton, '59- '61; John Leeper, '88 '90;
Joseph Earp, '61-2 J. Earp, '91-2;
Dr. Van Cleve, '62-4; N. Crow, '93-5;
Wm. Cliff, '64-6; C. Nash. '96 7;
J. W. Coldwell, '66-9; G. W. Shepherd, '97-8;
W. H. Reed, '69-'71; C. Nash, '99;
J. W. Phillips, 71-3; C. B. Besse, 1900, and remain the present pastor.
F. L. Thompson; '73-6;  

The church has about 300 members. It supports a good Sunday School, with J. W. Becker as its present superintendent; twenty teachers and an enrollment of 275.
[History of Jerseyville, Illinois 1822 to 1901; by Rev Marshall M Cooper 1901. Transcribed by Tammie]

German Evangelical Church of Peace
This church was organized in 1870, with the following officers:
Charles Jacobs, president;
William Dopper, vice-president;
Henry Brandt, secretary;
John Boon, treasurer.
Its charter members were: Adolph Bayer, Chas. Ruetter, Henry Bayer, Henry F. Bayer, Wm. Egelhoff, Conrad Bayer, V. Vellinger, Henry A. Brandt, Chas. Jacobs, Jacob Gammindinger, Paul Glohr, John Boon, Jacob Fryger, Louis Grosseau and Wm. Dopper.
The following have been the pastors: Revs. Anton Michael, Weissinger, Fred Eshenfeld, Rieder, Fred Schmale, Edward Wurst, Nathaniel Lehman, E. Durand, 0. Breuhaus, A. B. Ballhorn, and A. Hils, who was the last pastor. Rev. A. Hils began his labors with this church October 1, 1898, and was installed Nov. 13, 1898, by Pastor Wm. Hackman of Alton, Illinois. The corner stone of the present house of worship was laid Sept. 27, 1896. The resident pastors of the evangelical churches of Jerseyville were present and assisted in the ceremonies, viz: Rev. I. C. Tyson, of the Presbyterian church; Rev. J. J. Porter, of the Baptist church; and C. Nash of the M. E. church.
The present house of worship was dedicated March 14, 1897. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. A. Ballhorn, assisted by Rev. Reusch of Brighton, Ill..; Rev. Fred Schmale of Nashville, Ill..; and Rev. W. Hackman of Alton, Ill. Cost of the present house of worship was $3,500.
The present officers are: C. C. Borger, president; John Schneider, vice-president; Wm. Brockman, secretary; and Fred Schmidt, treasurer. At present the church is without a pastor.
[History of Jerseyville, Illinois 1822 to 1901; by Rev Marshall M Cooper 1901. Transcribed by Tammie]

In a brief, the following is a summary of the churches of Jersey County:
Jerseyville has two Baptist Churches, one for white persons and one for colored ones; a Methodist Episcopal Church; a Presbyterian Church; an Episcopalian Church; and Evangelical Church; the Holiness Church of God; a Chritian Science Society; and two Catholic Churches, St. Francis Xavier and the Church of the Holy Ghost.

Fidelity has one Baptist Church and one Methodist Episcopal Church
Paradise has one Baptist Baptist Church
Kemper in Ruryle Township, has a Baptist Church, a Congregational Church and a Bethel-Baptist Church.
Delhi in Piasa Township, has a Baptist Church
Newbern in Mississippi Township, has one Cumberland Presbyterian Church; and Dow in the same township, has one Christian Holiness Church.East Newbern has a Bethel, Methodist Episcopal Church.
Elsah has one Methodist Episcopal Church, and St. Michael's Catholic Church
Grafton in Quarry Township, has one Baptist Church, one Methodist Episcopal Church, St. Patrick's Catholic Church, and the Hartford Methodist Church
Rosedale has one Methodist Episcopal Church. Meadow Branch in Rosedale Township, has one Methodist Episcopal Church and in Nutwood in the same township, has a Union Church
Fieldon in Richwoods Township, has one Cumberland Presbyterian Church and one Evangelical Church
English Township has the Bethany Baptist Church and St. Mary's Catholic Church
Otterville in Otter Creek Township, has one Baptist Church, one Methodist Episcopal Church, one Shiloh Methodist Church and one Salem Methodist Church

The Methodists Churches at Elsah, Salem, Otterville and East Newbern are connected with the Elsah circuit of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Grafton, Hartford, Rosedale, Meadow Branch and Shiloh Methodist Churches are attached to the Grafton circuit of that denomination. The Methodist Churches at Fidelity and Paradise are connected with the Medora circuit of that denomination. The pastor of the Evangelical Church at Jerseyville also has charge of the Fieldon church of that denomination. The other churches, outside of the cities and villages named, in the majority of cases have no regular pastors.

The total number of Protestant Churches in Jersey County is thirty-three, and the total number of Catholic Churches in the county is five. The total value of the Protestant church property is $185,000.00. There are thirty-four Sunday schools in Jersey County. Enrolled in these Sunday schools are 3,674 pupils, with an average attendance of 1,492. Every township in Jersey County is organized by the Sunday School Association.
[History of Jersey County, Illinois, 1919, by Oscar B. Hamilton, President Jersey County Historical Society. Transcribed by KP]