Livingston County, Illinois
The first religious organizations and buildings were, of course, as in all our new countries, by that glorious band of pious pioneer preachers, the Methodists. There is something so natural in their doctrines and so artless in their way of advancing them, that the history must be blind to one of the brightest lights which fails to give these plain privates their proper place in its pages.
From here and there in the log school houses, where earnest worshipers alternately wept, sung and clapped their hands, have grown the full fruition of all those early hopes and prayers.
The churches at present organized within the county are :
Methodist (by Conference Report of 1877) — Fairbury, Fairbury Circuit (2), Forrest, Chatsworth, Avoca (2), Pontiac, Saunemin, Rook's Creek (2), Waldo and Nebraska (3), Reading (2), Cornell and Newtown (2), Odell, Nevada, Dwight ; total, 14 charges, 21 churches, 2,561 members. Value of houses of worship, $83,900. Number of Sunday schools, 34 ; scholars, 3,243.
Presbyterian—Pontiac, Cayuga, Dwight, Union, Fairbury, Reading, Chatsworth ; total, 7. Membership, 560. Value of church edifices (estimated), $40,000.
Baptist—Pontiac (2), Dwight (2), Odell, Nebraska, Fairbury, Ocoya ; total, 8. Membership estimated at about 450.
There are six Christian churches, with an estimated membership of 400.
There are four Congregational churches, with about 300 members.
There are eight Roman Catholic churches in the county : Pontiac, Nebraska, Odell, Union (German), Dwight, Broughton, Fairbury, Chatsworth, and a station at Cornell, embracing, in the aggregate, 1,135 families, with probably not less than 3,500 communicants who have received confirmation.
There are a few other scattering churches, or bare organizations, of which statistics cannot be found.
[The History of Livingston County, Illinois - Wm. LeBaron, Jr. & Co. (1878)]
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