EARLY CHURCHES FOUNDED IN CALHOUN COUNTY.
Northwestern Iowa, published by S. J. Clark Publishing Co.,
Chicago, 1927, pages 535-536.
Ramona Johnsen Hartley
Calhoun County, one of the
prosperous, intelligent, moral and progressive interior counties of
Northwestern Iowa, has been building up its religious life and
institutions for seventy years. In the chronological order of their
establishment, the principal denominations have thus stabilized themselves
in this county: Christians, Methodists, Congregationalists, Lutherans,
Presbyterians, Catholics and Baptists.
There is always a dispute as
to precedence in church matters which hinge upone the definition of terms.
The Methodists and Christians were undoubtedly the pioneer denominations
to be established in Calhoun County; their missionaries came to Lake City
about the time the county seat was laid out, but that branch of the
Christian Church, commonly known as the New Lights, seems to have first
effected a substantial organization, which could be dignified with the
name of a Church, and its people undoubtedly erected the first house of
worship in the county, which they shared with the Methodists. Before the
Christian Church was completed in 1874, members of both denominations met
forworship in residences, the schoolhouse and the courthouse. All in all,
it would appear that the Christian, rather than the Methodist Church, has
the stronger claims to the first establishment of a firm foothold as a
religious body of Calhoun County.
THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.
few years after the first settlement was founded in the southwestern part
of the county, Rev. Moses Mc Daniel, a minister of the New Lights, came to
Lake City and preached first at the house of Peter Smith, one of the most
prominent of the pioneers in that region. Peter Smith, Christian Smith,
James O. Smith, their wives and a few others, organized themselves into a
regular church society, which increased in numbers as time passes, and in
1872 steps were taken to build a place of worship. Work on it was
commenced in the summer of 1873, and it was dedicated early in 1874. This
was the first building erected in Calhoun County exclusively as a place of
worship. Work on it was commenced in the summer of 1873, and it was
dedicated early in 1874. This was the first building erected in Calhoun
County exclusively as a place of religous worship, and its site is one
block north of the northwest corner of the public square. Although not as
strong as in former years, the congregation still maintains its
organization and holds regular services.
. . . . .
Contributed by Ramona Johnsen Hartley who adds this
note: "Moses E. McDaniel is my great-great grandfather. He
died in September of 1881, while serving the church at Lake
City. While researching the county records I discovered that
he performed several weddings in the county between 1870 & 1881,
including those of two of his own daughters.
grandmother McDaniel and her children remained in the area until about
1886. The names of McDaniel, Woodward, Stevenson, and Tirtlott
were in evidence in the area between 1870 - 1885."