Other County Histories | Civil War | 1886 | 1913 Vol. 2 | 1916 | Depression |
Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 1. History

by Major A. J. Roof. 1913

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Page 196


The First Methodist Episcopal church of Chillicothe was organized in the autumn of the year 1862. Rev. John Moorehead was the first pastor with Rev. T. B. Bratton as presiding elder. The charter members were Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Meek. Associated with them were Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Greenville, Mr. and Mrs. B. T. Berry, Mr. and Mrs. Bluford West, J. E. Jameson, John Austin, and Emma Sharp. The visitors present were Mr. and Mrs. D. Procter, Mr. and Mrs. Rudolf, and Mr. and Mrs. Raynard.

The first church building was located at the corner of Locust and Ann streets, where Phillips' garage now stands. This building was purchased from the trustees of the Congregational church, May 19, 1864.

The first reported statistics of the new congregation that we have were given in by Rev. W. J. Martindale in 1866, when he reported seventy-three full members, sixty-five probationers and five local preachers; church valued at $1,500. The benevolences raised that year were: Conference claimants, $3.70; missions, $17.35; tracts, eighty-five cents; and Sunday School Union, $3.90. He also reported one Sunday school, with fifteen teachers and sixty pupils. The salary estimated for the year was $800, of which they paid $678.55. It was during Reverend Martindale's pastorate, November 13, 1866, that this church building was sold, after having purchased the site on the corner of Webster and Cherry streets, on which the church now stands. On the 24th day of the previous May here was erected a substantial two-story brick church which was finished in 1867. This building was removed in 1903 to make room for the present commodious and beautiful structure, erected at a cost of $22,000, which stands as a monument to the splendid leadership of that most efficient and faithful pastor, the Rev. I. S. Ware. The new church was completed and on February 28, 1904, Chaplain McCabe dedicated it free from debt.

Chillicothe first appears in the list of appointments in 1863 with T. A. Bratton as pastor. As nearly as we can compile the record it is as follows:

1862, John Morehead; 1863, T. B. Bratton; 1864, no record; 1865, 0. F. Comfort, one year; 1866, W. J. Martindale, one year; 1867, J. W. Alderman, one year; 1868, N. P. Heath, one year; 1869, J. W. Flowers, one year; 1870, Samuel Huffman, one year; 1871, T. J. Williams, two years; 1873, C. H. Stocking, two years; 1875, J. M. Greene, one year; 1876, W. H. Welton, two years; 1878, M. L. Curl, three years; 1881, H. B. Seeley, one year; 1882, D. B. Lake, two years; 1884, J. R. Noble, one year; 1885, J. R. Sasscen, one year; 1886, F. M. Green, three years; 1889, T. J. Wheat, transferred in the midle of the year and S. W. Richards finished the year; 1890, W. M. Sapp, three years; 1893, J. W. Anderson, four years; 1897, J. O. Taylor, three years; 1900, I. S. Ware, four years; 1904, W. J. Christy, located in 1905 and Geo. P. Sturges finished the year; 1906, Geo. P. Sturges, two years; 1909, E. O. Cole, present pastor.

The membership roll of this church numbers three hundred and thirty-one.

The board of trustees are Ed Y. Price, chairman; John Atwell, J. A. Spencer, J. D. Evans, F. L. Arthaud, B. F. Beazell, Geo. Nichols, W. F. Starkey, and Wm. G. Keath.

Ladies Industrial Society: President, Mrs. E. C. Deardoff; vice-president, Mrs. J. A. Spencer; secretary, Mrs. J. M. Darr; treasurer, Mrs. Harry Brown. Membership consists of all the ladies of the church.

Woman's Foreign Missionary Society: President, Mrs. F. L. Arthaud; vice-president, Mrs. J. B. Tanner; recording secretary, Mrs. M. E. Gibson; treasurer, Mrs. G. A. Dunsworth; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Lora B. Hall.

Epworth League Cabinet Officers: President, Wm. J. Olenhouse; first vice-president, Jane Evans; second vice-president, Mrs. F. O. Cole; fourth vice-president, Elizabeth McGrew.

Sunday School: Superintendent, F. L. Maxwell; assistant superintendent, F. L. Arthaud; secretary, Mabel Heger; treasurer, Ruby Spence; librarian, Mildred Beane; chorister, A. E. Hart.


It is a source of regret that the early history of this organ ization is not to be had on account of the destruction by fireof all records. The first -available history finds the congre gation worshiping in the brick edifice that stood at the corner of Webster and Elm streets. While yet in its infancy it had to meet the vicissitudes of the Civil war. It was shaken from center to circumference and disrupted in that awful crisis when brother was arrayed against brother and father against son. The church was divided into two factions, one of which remained at the old brick church and the other took up quarters in a house on the site of the present new edifice. Octo ber,1869,acommittee from the First church, consisting of Dr. E. S. Poindexter, Rev. G. W. Rogers, and Deacon Allnutt and one from

the other faction, consisting of Deacon Bernard, A. J. Stewart and Z. N. Goldsby, met in the library of the

Chillicothe Female Seminary, with a view of agreeing on terms of union by which the two factions could unite. It was agreed to dispose of the old brick church, give letters. to all who desired them that they might unite with the church, corner Clay and Vine streets, which was to reorganize as the First Baptist Church of Chillicothe. This organization was completed November 3, 1869. Arduous were the labors of the faithful few, but step by step were made possible the blessings of the church of today, and among those whose mem ories are cherished and whose names are indissolubly inked with the upbuilding of the church and congregation, are Walden, Wright, Poindexter, Bearce, Bennett, Trumbo, Warder, Spencer, Norville, Harris and Slack. These have found the great

majority, and their works do follow them. The pastors of the church have been Revs. Walden, Berry, Maple, Johnson, Colwell, Beeson, Felts Richardson Scott, Williamson, Talbott, Williams, Bibbs, Pitts, Palmer, Gee, Smith and Davidson. In 1882 the Ladies Aid was organized and proved an important factor. The B. Y. P. U. was organized in 1895. April 10, 1893, the first steps were taken to build a new and commodious church edifice and on June 17, 1903, a contract for construction of the building was let at $13,500, exclusive of heating, art glass, plumbing, seats, frescoing, light fixtures and walks. The corner stone was laid September 7, 1903, under the auspices of the Masonic order, assisted by the pastor, Rev. Ray Palmer. The completed edifice cost the congregation $16,525, and was finished in April, 1904, the dedicatory services being held Sunday, May 1, 1904. The church is free of debt and has a comfortable balance to its credit in the bank. The Sunday school is one of the largest, if not the largest in the county and is under the superintendency of Nat L. Thompson; enrollment, 310.


organized September 21, 1868; consecrated May 11, 1875. Rev. Mr. Sheetz named the following suitable vestrymen: W. L. Harding, Dr. Churchman, Wm. Stattee, W. H. Norville, O. M. Towner, E. H. Lingo. November 30, 1868, Rev. Francis P. Moore accepted the call as rector. July 12, 1869, plans were consummated for the erection of a church building. March 15, 1873, Rev. R. I. O'Connell, rector. Font installed in May, 1883. In September, 1879, a pipe organ was installed at a cost of $600. The present organization includes Rev, Oscar Homberger, Ph. G. D. D. S., rector; A. McVey, senior warden; Dr. R. Barney, junior warden; J. Hawley, H. Hunt, A. J. McDowell, W. Voelker, Fred Harris, R. Nuttall, W. Walsh, C. B. Swan. Present membership, 250,

including children. The Andrew Leeper Memorial Parish House just completed at a cost of $3,500; chapel also

equipped; improvements during 1912 amounting to $6,000. The church property is valued at $18,000. C. B. Swan, superintend Sunday school; enrollment, 35. The Athletic Association has a membership of 200; the parish gymnasium is open daily from 3 to 10 P. M.


The first knowledge of Methodism in Missouri was in 1806; in 1815 it found its way into Boone county and later in 1824 into Ray county. The preacher, in what was known as the Fishing River Circuit, penetrated north Missouri in the year 1833, which was the birthtime of the church in the Grand River valley. At this date there were some 5,000 members and twenty preachers in the state. North Grand River Circuit was established in 1833 by Rev. J. McMahan, who remained in charge for two years. He was followed by Rev. T. J. Ashby in 1835; then came Rev. Lorenzo Waugh in 1836, In 1837 the charge was to be supplied. In 1838-39 Rev. Reuben Aldridge; in 1840, Rev. Harvey Blaisdell; in 1841-42, Rev. Const. Dryden; in 1843, Rev. John T. Porter; in 1844, Rev. J. K. Hawkins; Rev. Alexander Best was the pastor in the year of 1845 and he was followed by Rev. David Penny, 1846-47; Rev. Richard Winshell, 1848-49; Rev. E. Robinson, 1851; Rev. J. W. Ellis, 1852; Rev. W. L. Ellington, 1853; Rev. W. F. Bell, 1854; Rev. Wm. Penn, 1855; Rev. W. G. Miller, 1856-57; Rev. R. A. Austin, 1858; Rev. Wm. Penn, 1859-60; Rev. E. K. Miller, 1861; left to be supplied, 1862-63-64; Rev. J. D. Vincil, 1865; Rev. S. W. Cope, 1866; Rev. W. G. Miller, 1867; Rev. W. M. Newland, 1868-69; Rev. W. B. Chapman, 1870-71; Rev. W. C. Cunningham, 1872; Rev. S. W. Cope, 1873-74; Rev. A. P. Linn, 1875-76; Rev. R. H. Cooper, 1877-78; Rev. J. 0. Swinney, 1879; Rev. T. Penn, 1880-81; Rev. J. Y. Blakely, 1882; Rev, J. A. Beazle, 1883-84; Rev. C. Grimes, 1885-86; Rev. A. G. Dinwiddie, 1887; Rev. Z. M. Williams, 1888-89-90; Rev. J. R. A. Vaughn, 1891; Rev. A. G. Dinwiddie, 1892; Rev. Robert White, 1893-94; Rev. J. S. Smith, 1895; Rev. J. M. O'Brian, 1896-97-98; Rev. E. C. McIlvoy, 1899-1900-01-02; Rev. J. H. Jackson, 1903-04; Rev. T. W. Alton, 1905-06; Rev. O. B. Holiday, 1907; Rev. C. R. Lamar, 1908; Rev. M. H. Moore, 1909-10; Rev. W. A. Hanna, 1911-12. Church enrollment, 560. Aaron Gale, superintendent Sunday school; enrollment, 450. The present church edifice erected at the corner of Clay and Elm streets, of Milwaukee brick, was completed on the 5th day of April, 1901, at a cost of $17,000, the location being on the lot just south of the old frame structure in which the original congregation worshipped so many years.


The church was organized in 1853 with sixteen charter members, among whom were James Hutchinson, Samuel Crawford, Benjamin Edrington and Stillman Mansur. The organization of these few faithful ones took place in the courthouse. Some time later John Graves donated a lot, corner of Clay and Washington streets and here a house of worship was erected in 1854. As the congregation increased in numbers year after year it was decided to purchase a lot more remote from the business section of the city and in 1888 a new brick edifice was constructed at the corner of Jackson and Cherry streets. The present pastor is Rev. F. B. Elmore. The Sunday school is one of the largest in the county with John H. Lowe as superintendent.


The present St. Columban's was built in 1879. The cornerstone was laid May 25th by the Rt. Rev. J. J. Hogan.

The Rt. Rev. Abbot Frowen Conrad, O. S. B. of Conception, Missouri, preached the German sermon. Rev. Michael Richard of Quincy, Illinois, delivered the English discourse. The dedication of the church occurred November 23, 1879. Rt. Rev. J. J. Hogan officiated and Father Michael preached again on this occasion.

The year 1904 was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the building of St. Columban's church. To show their gratitude to God for the many favors received during the quarter of a century, the members of the congregation celebrated the event by donating a new main altar to the church. Other improvements were made in the sanctuary, in all costing about $2,500.

From September 25 to October 2, 1904, a mission was given by the two Franciscan Fathers, Pancratius Schulte and Titus Hugger.

On the feast of St. Francis, October 4th, the altar was erected. Father Titus said the first mass on it, October 7th. The anniversary celebration ended December 8th with forty hours devotion, closing at the same time the jubilee of the Immaculate Conception.

The founder of the church in Chillicothe is the Rt. Rev. J. J. Hogan, at present bishop of Kansas City, Missouri. Father Hogan came to Chillicothe in I857. At that time there were very few Catholics in the city and surrounding country. He succeeded, however, in collecting the scattered flock and forming the nucleus of the present thriving church in this city. He built the first church in Chillicothe in 1858, on the same block on which St. Joseph's church is now situated. The church was dedicated Ascension Thursday, May 17, 1860, by Bishop O'Gorman of Omaha. Father Hogan remained pastor of Chillicothe until 1868, when he became first bishop of the newly erected diocese of St, Joseph, Missouri.

After Father Hogan, Rev. R. S. Tucker had charge of St. Columban's church until 1869. The parish was then administered by Reverend Gestach, until 1870.

Rev. A. J. Abel became pastor 1870-1872. He was succeeded by Rev. J. J. Kennedy, 1872-1873. The pastorate of Rev. John Hayes was in the year 1873-1874. Rev. E. J. Sheehy then took charge of the congregation from 1874 until 1878. Father Hayes died while he was pastor of St, Columban's church, April 18, 1874. Under Father Sheehy's administration in 1878, the congregation was given over to the Franciscan Fathers. The death of Father Hayes created a feeling of profound sorrow among the Catholic population, who were devotedly attached to him and this feeling was shown by the community generally for although he had been here only a few short months the good name of Father Hayes was Not unknown to our people. He was a young minister of full talents, great amiability of character, full of piety, good works and zeal for the cause of his divine Master and during his pastorate of only about nine months in this city had completely harmonized all elements in his church and gained the love and affection of his people, we are assured, to an extent not enjoyed perhaps by any of his predecessors since the days when Father Hogan was their pastor. Father Hayes was born in Limerick, Ireland, and was educated in France. He came to this country about 1870 with his cousin, Rt. Rev. John Joseph Hogan, when the latter returned from the Ecumenical council.

In consequence of the persecution of the church in Germany, hundreds of Franciscans came to the United States in 1875. These exiles were received with open arms by the American bishops, and by no one more cordially than Bishop Hogan. It was in consequence of the German "Kulturkamph" that the Franciscans came to the diocese of St. Joseph. Two houses of the order were established in the diocese, one at Wien, in 1877 and the other at Chillicothe in 1879.

Father Francis Monning was the first Franciscan appointed pastor of Chillicothe. He came here with Father Bonaventure about the middle of October, 1878. The formal erection of the Franciscan residence in Chillicothe occurred July 2, 1879. Father Francis was made superior with Fathers Bonaventure and Theodore as assistants. In 1878 Father Francis bought a whole block in the northern part of the city near the Academy of St. Joseph. There he built the present church in 1879; in the same year he also built a residence back of the church for the Franciscan community. The next year a mission was given by the Benedictine fathers. In 1882 Father Francis was removed from Chillicothe. After that he labored with great success in St. Louis, Missouri, Cleveland, Ohio, and Memphis, Tennessee. His untimely death in 1894 caused great sorrow wherever he was known. On Christmas Eve of that year he fell into a tub of boiling water from the effects of which he died in a few days, December 30, 1894. He was succeeded by Rev. Clementine Deyman, O. F. M. The latter remained four years in Chillicothe. During this time the churches at Leopolis and Indian Grove were built. Father Clementine was an author of no mean ability. He wrote some books and translated others. In 1886 his superior sent him to California. He died of Bright's disease at Phoenix, Arizona, December 4, 1896.

Rev. Hugo Fessler, O. F. M., became the pastor of St. Columban's in 1886. He was relieved of his charge after two years or in 1888. During his pastorate the pipe organ was purchased and St. Mary's Hospital founded. Two Redemptorists fathers, Reverends Kern and Meurer gave a mission in Father Hugo's time.

The next pastor was Rev. Fidelis Kaercher, O. F. M. He came to Chillicothe in 1888 and remained eight years. He was succeeded in 1896 by Rev. Honorius Busch, O. F. M. In 1892 Father Fidelis planned some improvements. A new residence for the Franciscan community was begun. It was completed the following year and on the 10th of August, 1893, they took possession. In the meantime work had been commenced on a new addition to the church. A transept and sanctuary were added, making St. Columban's one of the largest and most beautiful churches in North Missouri. The addition was finished in 1894 and on the 24th of October was dedicated by Rt. Rev. M. F. Burke. Shortly before the dedication a mission was given by Father Francis, former pastor of the congregation, assisted by Father Daniel. Pastors who followed Father Fidelis are: Fr. Honorius Busch, O. F. M. (1896-1908); Fr. Valerius Nelles, O. F. M. (1908-1912); Fr. Bernardine Weis, 0. F. M. (1912-).

In the year 1895 the Rt. Rev. Bishop divided the parish in Chillicothe and formed a new congregation out of the southern part of the city, the dividing line being Jackson street. A church was built the same year and dedicated to St. Joseph. The present pastor of St. Joseph's congregation is Very Rev. J. J. Kennedy, who thirty-three years ago pastor of St. Columban's church.

The following fathers in charge of the missions have been stationed here in the last twenty-five years: Rev. Bonaventure Faulhaber, O. F. M. (1878-1879, 1896-1901); Rev Theodore Arentz, O. F. M. (1879-1882) ; Rev, John Rings, O. F. M. (1879-1882); Rev. Patrick Degraa, O. F. M. (1882-1887) ; Rev. Bernardine Weis, O. F. M. (1882) ; Rev. Victor Aertker, O. F. M. (1882-1885) ; Rev. Hugo Fessler, O. F. M. (1885-1888); Rev. Angelus Bill, O. F. M. (1886-1888) ; Rev. Heribert Stotter, O. F. M. (1887-1894); Rev. Arsenius Fahle, O. F. M. (1888-1897); Rev. Nazarius Kaiser, O. F. M. (1894-1896); Rev. Marcellus Buehlman, O. F. M. (1897-1906); Rev. Columban Valentine, O. F. M. (1901-1903); Rev. Gabriel Lucan, O. F. M. (1903); Rev. Earnest Kaufhold, O. F. M. (1904-1906); Rev. Lawrence Pauly, O. F. M. 1906; and Rev. Alexander Dorenkcuper, (1906).

The first one buried by the Franciscans in Chillicothe was John Kappus October 21, 1878. He died October 19.

It seems that no death register was kept in St. Columban's prior to the advent of the Franciscans, at least none can be found. In the old Altar Society book one death is found registered, that of Mary McKeon, born March 16, 1871, died August 9th, and was buried the 11th. The first one baptized in the new church was Ray McNally. The first wedding was Charles Carr and Mary Curran.

In 1880 Father Francis built the present parochial school building. Shortly afterwards a storm damaged it considerably, blowing off the roof and injuring the walls. Nothing daunted, the intrepid father went to work and built it up a second time.

St. Mary's Hospital, a few blocks northeast of the church, was completed in 1888, at which time the sisters moved in, and were ready to begin their errand of mercy. The consummation of this work was made possible by the liberality of the citizens of Chillicothe, without regard to religious belief, many non-Catholics being reckoned among the most liberal benefactors of the institution. Such was the beginning of St. Mary's Hospital. Begotten in mercy, and born of charity, it stands a monument of practical Christianity, The sisters have proved themselves worthy of the confidence reposed in them by their generous benefactors.

Since its establishment the hospital has twice been enlarged, the first time in 1892, and again in 1903. It now forms quite an imposing building, perfectly equipped with all modern improvements, for the convenience of patients. The location of the institution is excellent, being situated in the highest and most healthy part of the city.

St. Mary's Hospital is a charitable institution. All are welcome within its sacred precincts, the poor and needy, as well as the rich. It is conducted on the broad principles of Christian charity, which extends to Jews and Gentiles, as well as to those within the fold.

On October 4, 1880, Father Francis Monning established a branch of the Third Order of St. Francis, in Chillicothe. This branch has continued ever since and has contributed not a little to promote in the congregation the spirit of the Seraphic Father. On February 10, 1881, the confraternity of the cord of St. Francis was also erected.

The Western Catholic Union of St. Columban's congregation is also a fraternal society. St. Patrick's branch of the W. C. U. was organized April 6, 1902. The society is in a flourishing condition.

At present St. Columban's church has three sodalities, the Young Men's, the Young Ladies' and the children's sodalities. The children's sodality was erected in 1894. The present Young Men's sodality was organized in 1901. It was formally aggregated December 8, 1904. The organization of the Young Ladies' Sodality was likewise effected in 1901,and aggregated December 8, 1903.


This church was organized in 1898 by Revs. J. C. Hanner, general missionary evangelist, and B. Winget, missionary secretary, both of Chicago, Illinois. They held a two-weeks' revival meeting in the Protestant Methodist church, in the southern part of Chillicothe and at the close of the meeting they bought the church property and afterward the class built the parsonage. The first pastor was Rev. Chandos Smutz, a young local preacher who was appointed by the district elder. The first board of trustees were T. B. France, L. D. Turner and H. Hull. The church was dedicated by Rev. B. Winget. The following preachers have served as pastors of this church: Chandos Smutz, Frank A. Reeves, J. W. White, Wm. Vimont, F. N. Ahern, John R. Bales, Robert B. Ralls, S. B. Leatherman, Frank C. Smutz, C. W. Lent, Chas. Wickam, and A. W. Nichoalds. The pastor now in charge is Rev. X. Atchinson; trustees, Dave Mallet, John Cornelius, and George Samuels. The church is located on the corner of Graves and Curtis streets.


was organized at the Wolfskill school house, three-fourths of a mile south of the present edifice in the fall of 1860, by Rev. Samuel L. Alexander in charge, assisted by the Presiding Elder Rev. W. G. Caples. Following were the charter members: David Mumpower and wife, Joseph Wolfskill and wife and John A. Mumpower. These were all of the first members. John A. Mumpower was licensed to preach in Chillicothe, August 19, 1862, and was soon after admitted into the Missouri Annual Conference and has been engaged in active work fifty years, filling every appointment made by the conference. He served as presiding elder in nearly every district in the conference and is still an active member now stationed at Shelbyville, Missouri. The ministers who have occupied the pulpit of this church since its organization in 1860 up to the present time follow: Revs. W. T. Ellington, ___ Metcalf, E. K. Miller, John Garr, R. H. Jordan, W. P. Caples, A. M. Keirgan, Westey Hatton, J. W. Huffaker, M. G. Gregory, A. J. Wosley, W. E. Dockery, H. C. Bolen, R. H. G. Keisan, H. H. Craig, W. C. Maggett, J. C. Carney, B. F. Hall, R. M. Dameron, J. S. Rooker, W. A. Smith, L. P. Siceloff, S. H. Renfrow, John H. Hubbard, J. B. Rice, J. A. Mitchell, C. W. Herly, W. P. Owen, E. M. Capp, Henry Neighbors, J. D. Hunt, Geo. W. Mast and E. F. Cooley, now in charge of the church.


The followers of Richard Allen and John Wesley of the negro race assembled themselves together in Chillicothe in 1869, with Rev. Sylvesta Dines, of Brunswick, Missouri, for the purpose of organizing the First African Methodist Episcopal Church. Jacob Crews, Sr., James Southers and ___ Baker, officers. The first pastor was Rev. B. F. Watson, who further perfected the organization by adding Phillip Crews, Henry Graham, Henry Williams, William Moore and Charles Crews to the list of church officers. The present officers are as follows: Stewarts: Henry Williams, Edward Brown, Benjamin Longdon, Clem Brown, Benjamin Bland, Chauncey Curry, Lloyd Clark and W. B. Longdon. Trustees: William Ballew, William Botts, Henry Williams, Charles Woods, and Henry Blackwell. Pastors have served the church in the order named: Corbin, Parks, Hubbard, Ousley, Stewart, Triplett, Bird, Terrill, Taylor, Hawkins, Taylor, Henderson, Sexton, Alexander, McDonald, Triplett, Runyon, Richardson, Guy, Bias, Page, Brown, Anderson, Richardson, Peck, Leach, Doby, Rogers, Longdon, Ponder, Harris and Oakes. The church and Sunday school is prosperous with good membership and attendance. The present pastor is Rev. Wm B. Longdon.

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