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First Presbyterian Church & Cemetery
Township 2 South, Range 3 West, Section 19
Sawyer's Point, Nashville Township, Washington County, Illinois


First Presbyterian Church
Nashville, Washington County, Illinois
postcard of First Presbyterian Church
Postcard Photograph
Photograph courtesy of Frank Absher

First Presbyterian Church
Sawyer's Point,Washington County, Illinois
Excerpt from:
1879 History of Washington County, Illinois
      Brink, McDonough & Co.; Philadelphia;   Corresponding Office, Edwardsville, ILL.; 1879
Presbyterian Church
By Rev. John C. Wagaman
      The first organization was made October 23d, 1832, at Sawyer's Point, under the name of Elkhorn Presbyterian Church.
      The committee appointed at a previous session of the Kaskaskia Presbytery to organize the church consisted of Rev. John Mathews and Rev. John Montgomery.
      The parties desiring organization met with the committee at Sawyer's Point and signed the necessary covenants. Their names were, Cyrus Sawyer, James B. Sawyer, Stephen Balch, A. P. Balch, Rebecca Sawyer, Prudence Sawyer, Emeline Balch.
      An election for ruling elders resulted in the choice of Cyrus Sawyer, J. B. Sawyer, and Stephen Balch. They were ordained on the 11th of November following by Rev. John Mathews, their first minister.
      On the 21st June 1834, the session received its first new members, Calvin and Jane Balch.
      On the 3d of November, 1837, Rev. Cyrus Riggs succeeded Rev. Mathews as pastor of the church. The society continued to grow slowly but steadily. In August 1846, Rev. William Gardiner succeeded Mr. Riggs, and supplied the church with preaching for one year. He was followed by Rev. John S. Howell, in July '48, and served the church until April, 1850.
      On the 12th April, 1849, members of the church met at the house of Hugh Adfams, and James Wilson was chosen to the office of ruling elder, and ordained by Mr. Howell. As the church increased in membership and material wealth, it was deemed necessary to add more officers, and in April, 1850, Geo. S. Lyon was made an elder, and in teh following year, '51, Hugh Adams was chosen an elder. The county seat having been located at Nashville, which was not far from Sawyer's Point, it was deemed advisable to move the place of preaching to the town. The church obtained leave of the Presbytery to change the name from Elkton to Nashville Presbyterian Church. In the absence of any church building the residence of Mr. Zenas Vernor was used as a place of worship whn not occupied by the Methodists.
      In 1851, a frame building was erected near the center of town as a place of worship, on a corner lot opposite the Court House Square, at a cost of about $1,400; this, however, was not the whole cost of the church, which would have been greater had not several of the members donated their labor to aid its erection. Some of the lumber was hauled by ox teams from a saw mill in Jackson County.
      Mr. Gardiner continued his labors with the church and removed from Carlyle to Nashville. He became infirm in health, and was not able to preach in the new church, although it was built under his auspices. He died January 3d, 1852. The charge remained vacant until April, 1853, when Rev. A. D. Wallace was invited to supply the pulpit for one year, and in June, 1854, he was regularly installed pastor of the church. He was the first regularly installed pastor, although the church had enjoyed preaching at stated times for about twenty-two years.
      The first record of the Kaskaskia Presbytery meeting with the Nashville Church is April 8th, 1853, and the following statistics appear in the session book: Members added on cerificate, 4. Toatla in communion, 38. Infant baptism, 1. Number of families, 20. Monies collected for Domestic Missions, $12. Foreign Missions, $12. Presbytery tax, $4. Congregational, $360. Mr. Wallace continued to serve the church until April, 1863. He was succeeded by Rev. A. N. Darsey, who filled the pastorate until the spring of 1864, when owing to ill health he was compelled to cease preaching. His successor was the venerable Mr. Stafford, one of the early pioneer preachers. he remained with the church during the year and was followed by the Rev. William Bridgman, of Ohio, who preached one year, and was succeeded by the Rev. T. D. Davis, who likewise preached a year. On the 1st December, 1868, Rev. J. C. Wagaman was called to the pastorate and remained until May, 1872. The church continued to grow in numbers, influence, and material wealth.
      In 1872, Mr. Wagaman gave up the charge, being in bad health, after which a young man named Henderson supplied the pulpit for a few months, and was succeeded by the Rev. Wm. Rodgers, and he by Rev. A. K. Crowe, who remained but a short time. Mr. Tucker, a licentate, was employed to preach, and was in a short time succeeded by Rev. O. S. Thompson. The church under his charge continueds to thrive. There were likewise added to the eldership, L. M. Sewall, G. W. Cone, C. F. Hartman, while L. Krughoff and James Anderson were chosen deacons.
      Mr. Thompson being called to the Belleville Presbyterian Church, the pulpit remained vacant for a season, when Rev. H. O. Tucker returned and was employed to preach. He served the church about a year. The recent financial embarrassment affected the church, and it continued without a regular pastor for some time. Meantime the Sabbath-school was carried on under the superintendence of George S. Anderson; and the prayer-meeting was also kept up. during 1878 the pulpit was supplied by Rev. E. W. Clark, of Richview. Mr. Wagaman having returned to Nashville has also preached occasionally, and during the winter of '78-'79 has preached alternate Sabbaths.

This information is from the research of : Karla Shreeman Skabialka © 2012
All rights are reserved and all copyrights remain.
An earlier transcription, done by Elza, Rae, & Earl R. Smith in 1975 has been found and added. *before a name means I didn't find the stone in 2012. KSS
The cemetery is overgrown. KSS
BAIRD, Andrew 10 ??? 1880 5 Feb 1889  
BAIRD, Robert 12 Dec 1885 24 Dec 1885 Same stone as Andrew
BAIRD, John   17 Feb 1885 Aged 78 years
BAIRD, Jane wife of John   6 Jan 1886 Aged 68 years
same stone as John
PHILLIPS, Hattie C.   ?? Dec 189?1 w/o L. I. Phillips dau/o A & M WILLIAMSON
WILLIAMSON, Ida 1857 1888 s/s Eliza McKelvey
McKELVEY, Eliza 1853 1884 s/s Ida
WILLIAMSON, Mahala C.18261910single marker
w/o A. L.
WILLIAMSON, A. I.   10 May 1880 Aged 57
Large family monument
WILLIAMSON, Mahala C.18261910on monument
WILLIAMSON, Cyrus S. 18 Jan 186515 y 11m 7 d
on monument
WILLIAMSON, George E. 17 Apr 18633y 2m 16d
on monument
WILLIAMSON, Emma C.  22 Sep 18587y 6m 13d
on monument
*WILLIAMSON, Daughter9 Mar 185122 Sep 1858d/o A. L. & M. C.;
7y 6m 13d twins or a 2nd stone
G. M. S.  Small stone marker
SAWYER, Infant13 Apr 18603 Jul 1860J. H. & J. A. Sawyer
SAWYER, Infant 2 Oct 1852Aged 3 mo
SAWYER, Infant Son5 Sep 18582 Nov 1858J. H. & J. A. Sawyer
SAWYER, Mary A. 1 May 1862Dau/o F. M. & E. F.
2y 6m 23d
B. S.     Small stone marker
G. B.     Small stone marker
?G. S.     Small stone marker
SAWYER, Cyrus13 Apr 180017 Oct 1848 
SAWYER, Gardner M. 2 Oct 1854S/o I. U. & J. ?
*SAWYER, Cornelia 26 Oct 1857d/o D. M. & A. E.;
17 m 22 d
*SAWYER, Infant19 Jan 183921 Jan 1839s/o C. & R.
*SAWYER, Charity22 Jun 184129 Sep 1846 
M. E. H.   Small stone marker
*BALDERSTON, Cordelia A.21 Dec 18535 Dec 1855d/o T. & M. A.
*BALDERSTON, Sophronia A.22 Aug 182410 Dec 1873d/o T. M. A.
*BOUCHER, Infants 6 Sep ????6 Sep ????twin daughters of J. V. & F. B.
*JACKSON, Mary J. 15 Jun 181112 Jan 1861d/o M. & N.
*WESRMAN, Nancy M.9 Aug 18586 Oct 1858d/o J. A. & A.
1 m 28 d
*WESRMAN, William R.  22 Mar 1865s/o Jno. & Julia A.
2 y 11 m 30d

Book Page Name Date of Death Burial Notes
Washington Co. IL
Book 5
13 May 1921 1st Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Sawyer's Point
Nashville Township
born 27 Nov 1856
in Washington Co., IL.
daughter of Timothy Balderson of Belmont OH
& Mary Smith of Jennsy, Iowa
informant - Sadie Balderson

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