Excerpt From the History of Adair, Sullivan, Putnam and
Schuyler Counties, Missouri
The Goodspeed Publishing Company 1888
The Methodist Church The first preacher to come into the county
was the Rev. John Curl, a Baptist, who lived in the north part of the county,
in or not far from the Dennison settlement. Soon afterward there was preaching
at John Hatcher's house, in
the south part of the county. This was in 1841 or 1842. In the summer, however,
the preaching was in the grove. The first camp meeting was held in 1842,
about three miles west of Milan, by the Methodists, and as the division
in the Methodist
Church on the slavery question had not then occurred, all the Methodists who
could reach the place participated in the services. The preachers present
were George Land, James McClaskey and George Conway. The meeting was a
very interesting one, and lasted about thirteen days. There were 300 persons
as now remembered there were about thirty conversions.
The Rev. Jesse Goins
was also in the county very early, as is elsewhere related. After the division
in the Methodist Church, the Rev. John Martin was probably the first minister
to the Methodist Episcopal Church South to preach in the county. In fact, the
entire body of Methodists in Sullivan County united with the southern wing
of the church; others of its early preachers were the Rev. Mr. Spencer
and the Rev. Mr. Shiver.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was re-established in Sullivan County in 1859, under the name of the Wintersvillo Mission,
which belonged to the Grand River District, Missouri Conference. The pastor was Rev. P. W. Duree, Rev. E. Lathrop,
presiding elder, and the first quarterly conference was held at
Elm wood school-house, at which six classes were represented.
Milan Mission was founded in 1860, with Rev. N. Cordry and
Rev. D. Arnack, pastors. A good year's work was attended
with a revival and many additions to the classes. In 1861 the
Rev. J. M. Oyler was presiding elder, and Rev. N. Cordry, pastor.
During the years 1862 and 1863 Rev. William Hanly was pre-
siding elder, and Rev. S. Norman, pastor. For two years—1864
and 1865—no historical data was preserved, and the War of the
Rebellion caused all work of the church to cease. Occasionally
during these years appointments were made, but the bitterness of
the Civil War almost endangered the lives of the preachers, as
the Methodist Episcopal Church remained on the side of the
Government. Others, however, were as bitterly persecuted and
proscribed by the opposition. In 1865 Rev. F. H. Graham
preached occasionally. In 1866 Milan Circuit was formed, Rev.
Z. S. Weller, presiding elder, and Rev. J. W. Prince, pastor. This
was a year of great persecution and little prosperity, and the end
of the year found the classes much demoralized, many having
left the connection.
In 1867 Rev. J. C. Myers was pastor. The Deeds class was
organized with 100 members. There were some additions made
by means of revivals and some withdrew, being dissatisfied.
Rev. W. B. Moody was pastor in 1868, and remained three years.
In 1870 Rev. N. Shumah, D. D., was presiding elder. During
these years there was no revival, and the membership decreased
50 per cent by removals and withdrawals. The Deeds, Elmwood
and Fairview classes were dropped from the charge, and in 1870
McCIaskey's, three miles west, was added. In 1871 Rev. N.
Enyeart was pastor. A new district was formed as Princeton,
this district embracing Milan, with Rev. 8. N. Warner presiding
elder. In 1872 Rev. S. Knupp was appointed pastor, and Colfax
was the name embracing the entire work in the county. In 1873
Milan was reattached, and Rev. S. Knupp was pastor. Rev. M.
F. Olp became pastor in 1874, and remained three years. At the
age of forty he married. During his second year at Milan he
was stricken with severe paralysis from which he never recovered,
dying after being confined to his bed for many months. His
wife did not long survive him, and now his little daughter is
fostered by the conference.
In 1879 Rev. E. J. King was pastor. He was instructed to live in Milan, and to reorganize a class.
Twenty-two united under his call for reorganization. In 1878 Rev. A. Cluster was the pastor.
Pollock was now organized, and the western part of the circuit was detached and organized
as Colfax, with Rev. B. F. Warner, pastor. Rev. A. Cluster built a neat parsonage in Milan.
Rev. I. I. Ware, in 1884, added to it a large kitchen, and it is now a comfortable house.
Rev. A. Cluster was pastor in 1879, when his health failed, and he was succeeded in 1880 by Rev.
William Stanner, who was also pastor in 1881. During this year
$800 was raised for a church at Colfax. In 1882 Rev. L. T.
NcNeiley was pastor, and remained three years. He was an
honored preacher of the gospel, and died in April, 1885, having
served the church until within about a month before his death.
Rev. J. S. Wilson followed, remaining one year. He was succeeded by the present pastor,
Rev. S. Taylor. The congregation now uses the church building of the Methodist Episcopal
Church South, but expect soon to have a commodious house of worship of their own.
The present membership of the church at Milan is 130.
The Greencastle Methodist Episcopal Church was reorganized
in 1875, by Rev. Ira L. Terry, with about seventeen members.
The first pastor was the Rev. Samuel Crump. The others have
been Revs. B. F. Warner, W. H. Turner, R. L. Thompson, William A. Presson, T. S. Corhran, and A. H. Powell, the present pastor. The membership of the
church at tins' time is about fifty-eight, and services are held in the church edifice of the Methodist Episcopal Church South.
Prairie Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1869, by the United Brethren in Christ and the Methodist Episcopal Church, but the
building now belongs exclusively to the latter denomination. It is 30x40 feet in size, is a frame structure, and stands on Section 32. The society of the Methodist Episcopal
Church to which this building belongs was formed about 1860; it belongs to the Green City Circuit, and has about twenty members. The present pastor is the Rev. A. H. Powell.
Mount Zion Methodist Episcopal Church was organized July 20, 1860, by the Rev. S. G. Anderson. The first members were David Moore, leader; C. A. Moore,
Henry Boner and his wife, Mary, G. W. Cannon, his wife, Sarah, and their son, Alexander, William H. Harris, and B. J. Harris, his wife. Meetings were at first held in a little
log school-house, and afterward in a frame school-house. The present frame church building was erected in
the fall of 1886; it is a one-story structure, and cost $1,000. It will seat 300 hundred people, and is situated on the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 4,
Township 61, Range 19. It was dedicated December 19,1886, by Elder Ferrell. The money for building this church was contributed by persons belonging to different denominations,
and by liberal contributions from those not belonging to any church. The ministers in charge
of this church have been the Revs. S. G. Anderson, Nathan Cordry, J. McKnight, D. Arnack, George Walker, Frank Reader, B. F, Stauber, Mr. Fifield, S. T. Lintner, John Scott,
L. T. McNeiley, B. F. Warner, Henry Crampton, J. O. Taylor, E. Rigell, James A. Stille and J. A. Schrette. The present membership is fourteen, many having removed, and
quite a number having died.
Sticklorville Methodist Episcopal Church was
organized in the spring of 1878 by the Rev. Benjamin K. McLean, who was the
first pastor. For a time after its organization it was a part of
the North Chariton Circuit, but in the spring of 1879 it was
changed to the Sticklerville Circuit, with the Rev. William Stanner as pastor.
He was followed by the Rev. B. F. Warren, and he by the Rev. J. O. Taylor. In
1882 the church was transferred to the Greencastle charge, with the Rev. William
H. Turner as
pastor. In 1884 it was placed under the Greencastle and Green
City charge, with the Rev.R. L. Thompson as pastor, who was
followed by the Rev. William A. Presson, and he by the Rev.
William Corkran, who died during his term, and his appointment
was filled out by the Rev. Ira L. Terry. The Rev. A. H. Powell
is the present pastor, services being held semi-monthly. A frame
church building, 30x40 feet, was erected in the fall of 1878, at a
cost of about $1,000. It is located at Sticklerville, and was dedicated in the
following winter by Elder J. F. Messuer.
The Sticklerville Methodist Episcopal Sunday-school was organized
in 1878, with D. H. Ludden, superintendent. The present superintendent is J. E. Hartzler, and the present membership is about 140. The average attendance during the last year has been about 100,
and it is thought this is the_largest Sunday-school in Sullivan County.
The Green City Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1881, mostly from the Kiddville society, which had been organized many years before. The Green City Church was
organized by the Rev. B. F. Warren, who was the first pastor, and who was succeeded by the Ret. James O. Taylor, Rev. R. L. Thompson, Rev. A. Presson, Rev. F. S. Corkran, who diod during
his appointment, which was filled out by the present pastor, Rev. A. H. Powell. The membership at present is forty-seven. A frame church building was erected in 1881, 30x50 feet, at a cost of
about $1,500. It is still uncompleted, and has not been dedicated.
Fairview Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1884, by Rev. William H. Presson, from Rose Hill and Pleasantville societies, with thirteen members: Alexander Edson
and Julia J. Edson, his wife, E. D. Beatty, Ida Beatty, Margaret Beatty, Elizabeth Beatty, Anna Beatty, Elizabeth Finley, Virgil Beatty, Margaret Spray, Margeline Page, Zeviah Edson, J. J.
Edson. The present membership is also thirteen. A frame
church building, 30x40 feet, was erected in 1883, at a cost of
$1,177. It stands on Section 32, Township 62, Range 18. It
was dedicated February 3, 1884, by Elder M. L. Curl. The
trustees for tho erection of tho building wore E. R. Rira, John
Summers, J. J. Edson, Alexander Edson, Daniel Lafever, J.
A. Ammerman, Charles E. Walker, E. D. Beatty and Theodore Taylor. The present trustees are Daniel Lafever, C. E.
Walker, Milton Amez, Dr. B. F. Bunch and J. J. Edson.
This society is a part of the Greencastle and Green City Circuit. Services are held monthly, Mount Pleasant Society being on the same appointment.
The Methodist Episcopal Church South has always had,
since the division in the Methodist Episcopal Church in
1844-45, numerous classes or church organizations in the
county. It is believed that in what is now the Milan Circuit
the class at Bald Knob school-house was the first one organized.
Then followed that at the Gose schoolhouse; that at Elm
Woods school-house; at Greencastle, which has a church build-
ing; that at Pleasant Grove school-house; at Milan, which has a
church building, which was dedicated in 1879; at Frazier schoolhouse, and that
at Boynton, making eight in all on this circuit.
The classes on the Humphreys Circuit were organized
the following order: first, the Judson or Triplett school-house
class; second, Eggleston school-house; third, Martin's schoolhouse; fourth, the
class worshiping alternately at the Cherry Grove school-house and the Black Oak
school-house; fifth, the Humphreys class; sixth, the classat Galt, in Grundy
seventh, Fairview school-house, and eighth, the Bairdstown class, which uses
a church building owned equally by it and the Methodist Episcopal Church at Bairdstown.
The Humphreys class was organized in the fall of 1885,
as a result of the labor of the Rev. R. D. Morrison, at present judge of the probate court of the county, who preached
his first and second sermons there in the Baptist Church
building on Thanksgiving day, 1885. The Rev. Mr. Morrison continued to preach at Humphreys until September, 1886, when
he was succeeded by the Rev. C. N. Broadhurst, at which time the Humphreys Circuit was organized. The Rev. B. D. Sipple
was appointed in the fall of 1886, and returned to the charge in the fall of 1887. The lumber is now (October, 1887) on the
ground for the erection of a new church at Humphreys, 28x42
feet in size, and 18 1/2 feet to the ceiling. It is to stand on two lots donated to the cause by J. M. Stringer. The Rev.
Mr. Sipple is also exerting himself with a good measure of success to have church buildings erected by other classes, in order that it may not be necessary much longer to depend on schoolhouses.
Browning Circuit comprises the Knifong Grove class, of which a history is introduced below, the Scottsville class, the Browning class, the Wesley Chapel class, the oldest in the circuit, located in Linn County, and the Hamilton school-house class. This circuit is now in charge of Rev. J. S. Rooker, and
the Milan Circuit is in charge of Rev. H. L. Davis, who succeeded the Rev. C. N. Broadhurst in the fall of 1887, and as was stated above, the Humphreys Circuit is in charge of the Rev. B. D. Sipple.
The Southern Methodists.—The Methodist Episcopal Church South camp meeting ground, of Bowman Township, was organized about 1852. It was located in Section 13, Township 62, Range
22, and flourished like a green bay or fig tree for a decade of years. Tents and sheds were erected for the accommodation of both people
and animals, and it was a permanent organization until the breaking out of the Civil War, when all was burned to the ground. It was
organized by the Rev. Jacob Wattenbarger, Rev. Mr. Dockery and Rev. Mr. Naylor. Many conversions were the result of their
labors, and much permanent good was accomplished, but after the war it was never reorganized.
Knifong Methodist Episcopal Church South was organized with M. R. Jones, clerk, George Jones, class-leader, P. W. Christy, C. M. Harris and William Martin, stewards. In 1883
a movement was set on foot to build a one-story frame church, with a seating capacity of 400. It was completed in 1885, at a cost of $800. It stands on the northeast corner of the
northeast quarter of Section 36, Township 61, Range 20. It was dedicated Sunday, July 12, 1885, by Elder M. R. Jones. The
pastors have been Elder M. R. Jones and Elder John Anderson. The present membership is about eighty; Knifong Grove class
and Bundridge class united in a permanent class when the above church building was erected.
Greencastle Methodist Episcopal Church South was organized about 1845, by Rev. Daniel Burford, with some seventeen members. Services were first held at the residence of Isaac
Langley and William B. Jones, south of where Greencastle now stands. The first church edifice was erected in 1857, a frame structure, 30x40 feet, and cost about $650. It was built by Job
S. Marshall. It was remodeled and repaired about 1867 at a cost of $450. The present frame building was erected in 1886.
It is 30x50 feet in size, cost $1,500, and stands on the original church site. The present pastor is the Rev. C. N. Broadhurst, who is in his second year, and the present membership is fortyseven.
Services are held once each month.
The First Presbyterian Church - This church was organized in Sullivan County, September 5, 1865, by Rev. William Reed,
with the following members: James Beatty and wife, Alexander Connel and his wife, Margaret, Robert Cochran, Sr., William Cochran, Sr., William Murdock and wife, Thomas Ross and wife,
Mary Sterling, Margaret Caldwell, Sarah Connel and Jane Graham. From the time of its organization this church worshiped at the Wilhite school-house, McClaskey's school-house, and the
Sterling school-house, until the summer of 1875, when they erected a frame church building, 30x45 feet in size, which cost $1,400. It is situated on Section 12, Township 62, Range 20. It was dedicated in the
fall of 1875 by Rev. Duncan Brown and Rev. D. A. Wilson. Since the Rev. William Reed left the pastorate the pastors have been Revs. John Newton and A. G. Wilcox, who were supplies, D. A. Wilson, and the Rev. C. P. Blayney, who is
now pastor. The present membership of the church is sixty-five. The Revs. William Reed, John Newton and A. G. Wilcox also served the Bird's Eye Ridge Presbyterian Church at the same time they were with the First Church. Rev. Mr. Wilson
also preached for the Milan Presbyterian Church as well as the
other two, up to 1881, after which he preached for the First
Church and the Milan Church until about June 1, 1886. He
was succeeded in both by the present pastor in April, 1887.
The Milan Presbyterian Church was organized June 2, 1881,
by the Presbytery of Palmyra. Its original elders were James
Beatty and Vincent C. Bates, and other members, Margaret C.
Beatty, Macedonia Bates, Fannie C. Swallow, Martha E. Wilson,
Sarah J. McKinney, Sarah Bonar, Clara Oven, Alice C. Hatfield,
Reese W. Davis, Margaret Davis, Elizabeth M. Davis, Annie C.
Pattison, Maria Meals and Annie Foster. The church building
was erected in 1881, at a cost of $1,800. It was dedicated soon
after its completion by the Rev. J. D. Wallace and the Rev.
D. A. Wilson, D. D., the latter of whom was the first pastor, and
was succeeded in April, 1887, by the present pastor, Rev. Charles
P. Blayney. The present membership is twenty-five, and the
present trustees are James Beatty, Alexander S. McDuff and
John M. Swallow.
The Cross Roads Presbyterian Church was organized in
1883, by the Rev. D. A. Wilson. The first members of the
church were David Herr, wife and sister; Elizabeth McCullough,
Mrs. Mary Troyer, Misses Lydia, Hattie and Mary Troyer and
Lewis Troyer. A frame church building was erected in 1883
at a cost of $2,000, which sura was donated by Webster McCullough (deceased). This building is located on Section 11, Township 61, Range 20. It was dedicated soon after its completion by the
Rev. Mr Tatlow, of Edina. The Rev. Mr. Wilson remained pastor until about June 1, 1886, since which time the church has had no regular pastor, the building being used by all denominations, and
the pulpit being occupied by ministers of all denominations according to the convenience of the ministers themselves. The present membership of the church is nine.
Bird's Eye Ridge Presbyterian Church was organized at Bird's Eye Ridge school-house, in Union Township, August 4, 1866, by the Rev. William Reed, of Trenton, Mo., and Elder James Beatty, of
Milan, Mo., with the following members: I. Comstock, Mercy Comstock, William Taylor, Elizabeth J. Taylor, Davis Hudson, Nancy Hudson, James Davis and Sarah
Davis. Services were held at Bird's Eye Ridge school-house,
until 1872, after which they were held at Prairie Chapel until
1881, when the society erected a frame church building at
Green City, about 28x46 feet in size, at a coat of $1,500, and it
was dedicated in the fall of the same year by Rev. William
Reed, first pastor of the church. He was followed by Rev.
Isaac Newton, Rev. D. A. Wilson and the present pastor, Rev.
W. H. Day. The present membership of the church is about
The First Cumberland Presbyterian Church - This church was organized July 28,1855, at the house of Christopher Cooper, in Bowman Township, Section 15,
Township 62, Range 22. It was known as the New Mount Pleasant Church. It was organized by the Rev. J. E. Nevins, the charter members being Christopher Cooper, William M.
Houston, Susan Tunnell, Elizabeth Grimes, Rebecca Grimes, Mrs. Mary Numan, and the ruling elders were Christopher Cooper, John H. Johnston and John H. Snapp; John H. Johnston
was the clerk. The organization has since continued in existence except that during the Civil War it was abandoned, but up to this time the society has
not erected for itself a church building, holding services in the Peterson schoolhouse, and in Union Grove Church. The present membership is thirty-five. Following are the names of the
present elders: H. M. Cooper, William McGee and John L. Todd. The ministers of this church, have been the Revs. J. E. Nevins, William M. Houston, J. R. Trousdale, J. W. French,
P. W. Wynn, James M. Ragan, Thomas Montgomery and J. R. Atkinson. In this connection it may be stated the first sermon preached in Sullivan County by a minister of the
Cumberland Presbyterian Church was by the Rev. William M. Houston.
In 1856 the Cumberland Presbyterian camp ground was organized on Christopher Cooper's farm, a large number of
frame tents wore erected, and services were held there one week each year for three years. The people collected from miles around in immense crowds, and it was believed much good in a
religious way was done. The year 1857 was a very dry one,
and special prayer was offered for rain each day for a number of
days during the camp meeting, and on Saturday after the meet-
ing had commenced it began to rain, and rained thenceforward
almost continuously for two weeks, and the wet weather became
almost as burdensome as the previous dry weather had been.
Some of the members complained afterward of the Eev. Mr.
Novins who corseted the camp meeting, and offered up the
special prayers fort (in, saying that " he always did overdo everything he undertook.")
Pleasant Hill congregation, of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, was organized December 18, 1868, by Rev. James M.
Ragan, services being held in the Wilhite schoolhouse, standing
on Section 12, Township 62, Range 21, in Bowman Township.
The charter members were Daniel Wilhite, and Ellen, his wife;
Jacob M. Dearing, and Emily C, his wife; Zebedee P. D. Wilhite,
and Nancy, his wife; John A. Dyer, and Sabina, his wife; John
W. Dearing, and Louisa, his wife; Bailous E. Dearing, Tilman
A. White, Amanda Dyer, Margaret J. Broyles and Josephine V.
Dearing. The elders were John W. Dearing, Jacob M. Dearing,
John A. Dyer, Tilman A. White, Collin H. Cowden, H. B. Dearing and H. D. Montgomery. The deacons were John C. McKee and Zebedee P. D. Wilhite. The ministers of the church have been
Revs. James M. Ragan, P. W. Wynn, A. T. Cooper, R. B.
Cooper, E. S. Ragan, John R. Atkins and Thomas Montgomery.
The present membership of the church is forty-nine. A Sunday-
school is conducted during the summer months, having an
attendance of about forty-six. The superintendent is H. B. Dearing.
The Christian Church In 1862 the Oak Grove school-house
was erected. It is a frame structure located on Section 7, Town-
ship 62, Range 19, in Polk Township. All denominations used
it for church and Sunday-school purposes until 1883, when the
present house was erected, at a cost of $450, and on April 24,
1886, a Christian Church organization was effected to use this
latter house for religious worship. The charter members were
W. H. Compton, H. B. Payne, W. Bennett, Thomas J. Simpson,
Jordan T. Payne, Letha Simpson, Martha E. Jones, Isa P. Payne,
William Frazier, William M. Bennett, Mary Bennett, W. F.
Emberton, Mary S. Payne, Jane Singley, Elizabeth Bingham,
William B. Payne, Martha Payne, E. W. Nicholson and wife,
John Jones, Susan Jones, Polly Jones, George Cummings and
Lou. Cummings. The ruling elders were W. H. Compton, H.B. Payne, W. Bennett, T. J. Simpson and Jordan T. Payne.
The ministering elders of the church have been Calvin Underwood and William Jones; clerk, H. B. Payne, and treasurer, T.
J. Simpson. The present membership is forty-two, and preaching is had once each month. A. Union Sunday-school is held
each Sunday, of which W. H. Compton is the superintendent, and
G. M. L. Morrison, assistant superintendent
The Humphreys Christian Church was organized in the spring
of 1883 with thirty-three members. They commenced the erection of a church building, and had it nearly completed, when on
July 13 of that year it was blown down by a cyclone. No sub-
sequent attempts to build a church have been made, but in the
spring of 1887 this organization purchased the building erected
some time previously by the Baptist Church, and have now a
temple of their own. The elders of this church have been Daniel
Mclnturff (who remained but a short time), J. B. Lockhart (who
remained eighteen months), and W. S. Trader (who commenced
his labors here in the spring of 1887). Besides preaching for
this church once each month, Elder Trader preaches with equal
frequency for a church in Boone County, one in Grundy County,
and one in Clinton County. The present membership of the
church is about fifty, and the church building they now own
cost, when new, about $1,000.
The Baptists. It is now generally believed that Bev. John
Curl was the first Baptist preacher to come into Sullivan County;
but he was not here long before Rev. Jesse Goins, who came into
the county in 1837. Other pioneer Baptist ministers were A. J.
Williford, John McAllister, Rev. Mr. Green, A. W. pole, Alton
F. Martin and J. W. Wadleigh. Rev. John Curl preached in
private houses, and in an old school-house, standing about ten
miles west of Milan, called West Locust Creek school-house, near the residence
of Gabriel Jones. Rev. Mr. Curl remained in the county until about the fall of
1840. Rev. Jesse Goins came next, if not even before Mr. Curl. He was born in Madison
County, Ky., in 1814, and, having married Mrs. Susan McDaniels
in about 1832, settled in Linn County, one mile west of Browning, and one-fourth
of a mile south of the southern boundary of Sullivan County, in 1837, taking
up forty acres of land on West Locust Creek, in Sullivan County, about one-half
mile north of Linn County, at about the same time or a little later. He preached
in most or all of the early settlements in Sullivan County, including Milan,
in which town he preached in the schoolhouse, before he was regularly licensed,
which took place in 1840.
Rev. Mr. Goins was and is a Missionary Baptist, as
have been most if not all of the Baptist ministers that have come into the county.
He was ordained in 1843, and continued to preach in Sullivan County
mainly until 1880, when he retired from the active ministry to
his farm, about four miles west and one mile south of Browning,
where he now resides. Rev. Mr. Martin also preached in Milan
school-house, which was situated on Fourth Street, near Water
Street. Rev. James Morlecet preached in Milan several times in
1842 and 1843, and Rev. A. J. Williford also about the same time,
as did Rev. Mr. McAllister, Rev. John Roan and others, from that
time on until about 1871, when a church was organized at Milan,
by Rev. Peter Sutter, with the following members: Edward Ash
and wife, James Tate and wife, A. C. Hill, Mrs. Joseph Couch
and Henry Couch and wife. Rev. Mr. Sutter remained pastor
about two years, and was succeeded, in 1873, by Rev. Jesse
Goins, who remained one year. He was followed by Rev. A.
W. Cole, who remained three years. Then Rev. J. W. Wadleigh came, and remained
two years, Rev. Mr. Belson followed, and remained two years, and was succeeded
by Rev. Mr. Graves, who was pastor only six months, when he retired, leaving the
church in a very lamentable condition, and as yet he has had no
successor. The present church building was erected in 1872-73.
It is a frame building, standing on the corner of First and Water
Streets, and cost when erected about $1,200. Upon this church
building was hung the first church bell ever heard in Milan. Upon bearing it ring for the first time, Judge R. D. Morrison
composed the a poem, which is copied by permission from his writings:
Yellow Creek Missionary Baptist Church was organized in
1856 by Rev. Henry Gibson, who was the first pastor, and who
was followed by the Revs. Hoover Gray, John Starkey, Joshua
Gray, Peter Setters, and the present pastor, Rev. J. R. Archer.
Services were first held at the residence of Matthew Kidd, and
the original members were John Starkey, Peter Setter, Mrs.
Lucinda Lair (nee Starkey) and Eveline Baker. The present
membership is about fifty-two. The present frame building is
36x46 feet in size, and was erected in 1869. It is located on
Section 24, in the western part of Penn Township.
The North Salem Baptist Church was organized in 1871 by Elder Jesse Goins. The original members were Dr. C. Harryman, Jane Baker, Maria Waters, Fanny Janes; Dr. C. Harryman was the clerk.
These few Christians served as the nucleus of a much larger body, which saw almost immediately formed. The
first church building was a frame structure, which cost about $600.
At the time of the dedication of this church edifice in 1876 the
organization had about seventy-five members, but by deaths,
removals and withdrawals the membership has been so reduced
that it is now only about fifteen. The pastors have been Jesse
Goins, 1873-74; Elder Penn, 1874-75. No pastor then until
1885, when Elder Jones served during the year 1885-86, and
then, after another vacancy in the pulpit, Elder Z. Goins began
his pastorate in 1887, and is still the pastor. The present clerk
of the organization is William Harryman.
There are other Baptist Churches in the county, most of
which, if not all, are regularly supplied by the Rev. Z. Goins, son of Rev. Jesse Goins, mentioned above as one of the earliest preachers in the county, and one who preached within its limits
about forty years.
The Missionary Baptists - Pleasant Grove (now Humphreys) Missionary Baptist Church was organized by A. M. Green. The
original members were W. F. and Julia A. Craven, E. W. Craven,
Christy A. Bailey, Martha Swiggart, V. E. Meekins, A. M.
Green, I. L. Bishop, S. E. Green and Martha Green. The first
building was erected in Humphreys in 1882 and 1883, and cost
about $1,000. This church was sold in 1887 to the Humphreys
Christian Church. The pastors of this church have been the Revs. A. M. Green, 1871; J. E. Bourlworth, A. Jackson, Sr., J.
L. Cole, G. R. M. Buson, and the present pastor, Rev. Z. Goins.
The present membership is about twenty-five.
The Catholics. - St Mary's Catholic Church at Milan was
established in 1867, with ten or twelve families, at the time of a
visit there by Bishop Hogan, of Chillicothe, Mo. Services were
hold in private houses until 1883, when the society erected a
frame church edifice, 30x60 feet in size, on the northeast corner
of Preston's addition to the town, at a cost of about $2,500, including the cost of the furniture. At the present time there are
about forty-five families connected with the church. The society
also owns a cemetery adjoining the lot upon which the church
The United Brethren. - An account of the origin of the Free
United Brethren Church has been given in the history of Putnam County. In this place it is deemed necessary only to give a summary of the various classes in Sullivan County, the classes
being named after the school-houses in which they respectively
meet Mount Zion class was organized in 1876; it has a church
building and sixteen members; Shultz class was organized in
1876, and has twenty-five members; High Point, in 1876, and
has eight members; Ross class, in 1876, and has twenty members; Clem Spring class, in 1877, ten members; Lone Star, in 1879, eleven members; in 1880 the following: Fairview, twenty-nine members; Willis, twelve members; in 1882, Woods, twenty-three members; Henry, fifteen members; Dietz, twenty members;
in 1883, White Oak, twenty members; in 1885, Cora, twenty members; North Salem, forty members; Price, seven members; Wolf, ten members; Amspaugh, forty-three members; Center Grove,
twenty-seven members; Hill, twenty-two members; in 1886, Boynton,thirty-four members; Winigan, fourteen members; Pennville, seventeen members, Sinai, eighteen members; a total of twenty-three classes and 461 members. The preachers in the county at present arc the Revs. W. H. McPherson, J. H. Harmon, John Crawford, James West, N. F. Munn, John Palmer, Benjamin Beck, Peter Creason, Benjamin Vanbibber, William Crawford and Harley Crouch.
Submitted By D. Minard