Phelps Chapel, Richland Township, Marshall Co IL


The first Methodist preaching was by Rev. William Royal, at the cabin of Mrs. Bland, in 1831.

In 1832 Rev. Jesse Hale was pastor of Pekin Circuit. He preached at the cabin of Mr. James Dever, and also at that of Mr. Timothy Owens, on Crow Creek, near the mill built by himself and his brother Roderic. .

Rev. Zadoc Hall followed in 1833, on the same charge. He organized the first society, consisting of Mrs. Mary Dever, Mrs. Nancy Bird (formerly Bland), Mrs. Nancy Dever, John Dever, Robert Barnes, Julia Burnes, William Gallaher and Emily Gallaher. The first three were received by letter ; the others on probation. Robert Barnes was appointed class leader, which position he filled many years. .

In 1832 or '33 Mr. James Dever organized the first Sabbath school within the limits of Marshall County. It was a union school, supplied with union hooks. Uncle Robert Bird, a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the only praying man at the time, was acting Superintendent.

Under Rev. Hall's administration Mr. Timothy Owen and wife were converted, and with Roderic Owen and wife, who were members before, united with the class on Round Prairie.

When Mr. John Dever's double cabin was built, the services were generally held in it, until the erection of .a school house on the farm of Timothy Owen, in 1844. Here preaching was held for several years, until the erection of Phelps Chapel, in 1852-3. The subscription paper for the church is dated March, 1851.

The following were the Trustees: Timothy Owen, John A. Keedy, James Thompson, Martin Hoover, Abram Keedy, John Wilson and Robert Barnes. Of these Timothy Owen, J. A. Keedy and Martin Hoover still survive.

Samuel Henthorn, Arcene Pichereau and H. B. Barnes were constituted the building committee, The land-two acres, was donated by Mr. James Thompson. Mr. Samuel Wilson, of Lacon, built the church.

The house was used before fully completed. It was finally finished and dedicated September 6, 1853. Rev. J. W. Flowers preached the dedicatory sermon. At the suggestion of Rev. Zadoc Hall, the pastor, it was called Phelp's Chapel, after the distinguished Asahel E. Phelps.

In the fall of 1856, under the pastorate of Rev. John Grundy, a parsonage was commenced on the same lot as the church. It was completed and fully paid for under the administration of Rev. A. C. Price.

The following Methodist ministers have preached in the Township:

[Source: Record of Olden Times or 50 Years on the Prairie by  Spencer Ellsworth, 1880, Pages 473-475, Contributed by Nancy Piper]

Subscription to Repair Phelps Chapel

(Early 1900's)

Contributed by Jane Foster - Transcribed by Nancy Piper
Subscription to Repair Roof, Paper and Put in First Class Order Phelps Chapel.  Let Everybody give something to keep up one of the most sacred land marks of Marshall County.

J. Thompson $20.00 R. M. Carrithers $2.50
Mary F. Dever $5.00 Mrs. Remley & Emma $5.00
J. Dever $5.00 Mrs. Hull $5.00
A D R $5.00 Mary A. Ramsey $5.00
J. W. Iliff $20.00 Wm. J. Ramsey $5.00
J. O. Ramp $5.00 Ora C. Hickman $1.00
E. W. Kunkle $1.00 Mr. Remley $5.00
Wm O. Kunkle $1.00 J. Owen $1.00
Wm. Dennis $1.00 Alvin Henry $1.00
W. ? Kunkle $5.00 Corrie Held $1.00
G. W. Kunkle $1.00 Ms. McNut Ansky $2.00
J. D. Holland $5.00 Horace S. Ramp $1.00
Sam Buck $5.00 W. J. Tool $20.00
Geo. Ramley Jr. $5.00 Luella Crank $1.00
Wm Moen $1.00 Frank N. Rood $5.00
S. Welty $10.00 Robert Dennis $2.00
N. Stroup $1.00 Willis Gertie $2.00
L. Kunkle $1.00 Mrs. A. Snowdon $10.00
Wesley Myers $1.00 W. H. Gray $15.00
Jas. Crank $1.00 Wm. Dennis, Sen. $1.00
Clara Crank $1.00 Mrs. Carithers $2.00
J. P. Arrive $1.00 Bell Barnes $5.00
    George Laible $1.00

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