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History of the Presbyterian Church in the State of Illinois
(Pope County Excerpt)
A. T. Norton. St. Louis: W. S. Bryan, 1879

Transcribed by ©K. Torp

GOLCONDA Church, Pope county,
was organized Oct. 24, 1819, by Rev. Nathan B. Derrow, with sixteen members. Here is a verbatim copy of the original record....

GOLCONDA, ILL., Oct. 23, 1819.

"This day a number of persons convened at the Court-house in Golconda, for examination preparatory to the planting of a church in this place. Sixteen persons, whose names are hereafter recorded, gave in their names for members in a Presbyterian Church in this place, and after inquiry respecting their belief and practice, it was resolved to be planted in a church state tomorrow. Accordingly, on Lord's day, the 24th of this month, after a discourse from Rom. 4th chapter, the church was planted by the persons aforesaid making the following Confession and Covenant. [omitted.] They are, therefore, hereby declared a regular church of Jesus Christ, and as such recommended to the fellowship of sister churches and to the attention of the ambassadors of Jesus.
By me,
N'n. B. DERROW, V. D. M.,
"Missionary for Connecticut."

James E. Willis, Eliza Willis, Joshua Scott, Jane Scott, David B. Glass, Francis Glass, Agnes Glass, George Hodge, John Hanna, Margaret Hanna, George H. Hanna, William P. Hanna, Jane Hanna, James H. Hanna, Benjamin Spilman, Nancy R. Spilman.

ELDERS : James E. Willis was the first. The Elders since appointed are these:

John Hanna, Benjamin Spilman and Joshua Scott, March 18, 1820;
George Hodge and William Sim, Nov. 26, 1822;
Francis Glass and Joseph Glass, Nov. 27, 1824;
William A. Glass and John C. Hanna, June 11, 1844;
Samuel D. Hemphill and J. E. Y. Hanna, Oct. 21, 1860;
John V. Schuhard, M. D., Jan. 11, 1868;
William P. Sloan, Feb. 6, 1869;
W. S. Hodge, Feb. 12, 1871.

The five last named are the present (1879) Elders.

Of their Ministers.
Nathan B. Derrow did not visit the church after its organization. Robert A. Lapsley gave them some ministerial services. B. F. Spilman was their next minister. I think it very certain he preached his first sermon here after his licensure, probably on the second Sabbath of December, 1823. It is quite clear that he made his home at Golconda from that time until the beginning of 1832. He seems indeed to have given that church all the ministerial labor it enjoyed from December, 1823, to Nov., 1845. A portion of the time his appointments with them were regular. More often occasional, and the occasions far between.

To him succeeded William A. Smith, in the latter part of 1845.

John P. Riddle gave them some supply from November, 1852, to November, 1854.

Wm. R. Sim was their minister from February, 1861, till about the time of his death, which took place July 7, 1864. He died and was buried at Golconda.

R. Lewis McCune gave them some supply from November, 1864, to March, 1865.

Solomon Cook was with them from May 26, 1867, to the spring of 1872. The last six months of this time he was pastor.

A. A. Mathes supplied their pulpit for two years from March 25, 1873.

In March, 1877, J. M. Green, of Shawneetown, held a meeting with the Golconda Church, at which thirty-two persons were received on profession. About fifteen of these are still reliable members.

Sherman M. Burton took charge of the church as pastor Feb. 26, 1877, and still continues (1879). This congregation has from the beginning had two places of worship—one in the village of Golconda, the other in the country, on the Vienna road. In town the place of meeting was the court-house, or school-house, or in a building called the Union Church, until, in 1869, they entered their own house, a fine structure of brick, erected at a cost of $8,000.

In the country, the place of meeting was at the house of Francis Glass—two and a half miles west of Golconda—until about the year 1832. Next at the house of David B. Glass—four miles west of Golconda—until about 1840, when a building was erected called Bethel Church. It was a frame building—never entirely finished—and was used until about 1858. It was then sold and the proceeds put into a building called "Bethany" Church, the title to which was with the Cumberlands. The Presbyterians assisted largely in its erection and occupied it jointly with them until 1877.

The next summer our people erected for themselves a neat frame house, called "Prospect" Church, which was dedicated September 1, 1878. It is located at the middle of N. W. quarter Sec. 33, T. 13, S. R. 6 E, of third Principal Meridian.

In April, 1871, a church called GROVE was organized, with seven members, about three miles southeast of where Prospect Church now stands, a site selected, and some means for building secured. But the enterprise was abandoned, and the members re-united to Golconda Church.

There have been connected with Golconda Church, from the beginning, two hundred and sixty-five members. The present number (1879) is 96. Sabbath-schools are maintained both in town and country, and both are conducted with great vigor.

Connected with the country part of Golconda Church is an interesting and venerable widow lady—Mrs. Agnes Hanna. She was born in North Carolina in 1796. She is mother of Elder J. E. Y. Hanna, and resides with her daughter, Mrs. J. S. Crawford, near Prospect Church. Her maiden name was Crawford. Her father, John Crawford, was one of the first pioneers in the Illinois country. Mrs. C. P. Bosnian, of Allen Springs, Pope county, Ill., has published some interesting facts concerning him......

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