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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 1. History
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
Rich Hill township contains the richest and best farm lands in the county, having less waste land than many of the other townships. It is Congressional township 58-23. The land in this township commands the highest market price on account of its fertility and excellent market facilities. The farms are generally owned by progressive and intelligent agriculturists and breeders of fine stock who have made a study along these lines. The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway traverses the western section of this township from north to south. It was not until the 30th day of November, 1872, that this township was organized on the petition of John M. Grant and others. For a time after its organization it was known as Grant township in honor of the petitioner. In less than a fortnight, however, the name was changed to Rich Hill on account of the great fertility of the soil. Land entries were made in this township as early as 1839, although many "squatters" were there before this date. Some of the pioneers who made entries of land in this township prior to 1840 were John Cox, J. B. Leeper, Thomas Dobbins, James White, Eli Hobbs, Charles Achley, E. D. Murphy, William Garwood, Stephen Cox, T. B. Bryan, W. E. Pearl, David Carlyle, Andrew Culbertson, Archibald Ward and others. November 3, 1840, a town site was platted by John Cox and was named Coxville, but there never was a house built there. Judge Joseph Slagle erected a mill on Medicine creek in a very early day, which was patronized by the early settlers in Grundy, Linn and Sullivan counties and the pioneers of the north and eastern part of Livingston county. Slagle's mill now exists only in memory but it will go down in history as one of the old landmarks of the county. The Adams' creamery, at one time located in this township, was a great success in its day, but it too is only referred to in pointing out locations.
UNION BAPTIST CHURCH, STURGES
On September 12, 1840, Isaiah Austin, Francis Preston, James Pennington and Elizabeth Pennington, delegates from Indian Creek Baptist church, and Elijah Merrill and James Merrill, delegates from Washington Baptist church, met at the home of Thomas Williams about five miles northeast of Chillicothe and constituted the following named persons: Win. Garwood, Thomas Williams, Nancy Williams and Zerah Williams into a church to be known as the United Baptist Church of Christ. At the next regular meeting, the second Saturday in October, the following persons were recelved into the church by letter: Isaiah Austin, Francis Preston, James Pennington and Elizabeth Pennington, Elizabeth Moberly and Nancy Wilson being received by experience and baptism. Elijah Merrill, a pioneer Baptist minister of North Missouri, was chosen their pastor and Thomas Williams was chosen church clerk. The church continued to hold their monthly meetings in private houses until June, 1844, when they began to hold meetings six miles north of Chillicothe in a newly erected log house known as the Macedonia meeting house. This house had been built by the whole neighborhood to be used as a house of worship by all the different denominations and also for a schoolhouse. There was enough of people of all creeds in the surrounding country to make a fair-sized congregation and enough children to establish a school. At the regular church meeting in July, 1859, the name of the church was changed from the United Baptist church to that of the Union Baptist church. About the beginning of the Civil war the church moved its place of worship two miles further north to the White schoolhouse. In the years 1872-73 the church erected a frame house of worship eight miles north of Chillicothe in Cream Ridge township. The church continued to worship in this house until 1898-99, when it was taken down and a neat modern house erected. In June, 1900, the new house of worship was dedicated, Rev. M. P. Hunt, of St. Joseph preaching the dedicatory sermon. This church has had the services of a number of the pioneer preachers, Elijah Merrill was the first, then came Wm. Henderson, Edward Benson, Ira Blakely, W. W. Walden, Kemp Scott, James Turner, Henry Turner and G. A. Crouch, In later years the following ministers have occupied the pulpit: I. R. M. Beeson, J. K. Steen, C. M. Williams, J. B. Harris, E. R. Dowell and G. W. Moss, while others have ministered to the church. The present pastor is Rev. W. D. Cave of Chillicothe; church clerk, T. C. Wilhite; deacons, J. E. Wilhite, R. L. Fifer and C. F. Boyd; Sunday school superintendent, F. L. Kriner. Union church has had a continuous history from its organization to the present time and in no time has it been in a more prosperous condition than at the present time. It has had since its organization some of the best and most substantial citizens of the community in its membership.
M. E. CHURCH, CHULA
The church was dedicated in 1890. The first year Rev. Chivington had charge and it was a part of the Chillicothe charge. The next year, there was organized what is now known as the Chula charge which with Chula has several country churches. The following is a list of the preachers as shown by the record: Revs. Chivington, G. F. Harmon, Fennell, J. Cobbe, J. D. Cain, J. W. Brown, Fields, Wm. McAlfresh, D. W. Sligar, W. D. Cater, Porter, W. F. Null, Wm. Vermont, W. J. Hamilton, White, J. T. Hoover, J. H. Fanning, F. V. Felt, E. V. Campbell and Clarence Fish, the present pastor. First officers recorded are A. Manso, Truman Stowell and J. H. Marshall. Present officers, (stewards), A. L. Jenkins, E. L. Tredway, Mrs. E. P. Ogan, Mrs. W. K. Thompson and W. D. Wright. The location of the church edifice is corner of Leavell and Harrison streets, Waite's addition. The church is in its original location.
BAPTIST CHURCH, CHULA
organized in 1895, with the following charter members: Isaac Baker and wife, J. W. Ballman, wife and daughter, Hattie Holding, R. J. Green and wife, E. A. Exceen and wife, W. H. Moore and wife, Sarah Owen, Henry Johnson, J. F. Davis and Saunders Russell and wife. The council consisted of Rev. J. K. Steen as moderator and C. E. Mulford, clerk, sermon by Rev. J. B. Harris. The organization was effected in the Cumberland Presbyterian church edifice, where the congregation held services until September, 1896, at which
time a house of worship had been erected and was dedicated by Rev. S. M. Brown, of Kansas City. Rev. J. B. Harris was the first pastor, who has been succeeded by Revs. G. T. Hopson, J. R. Wright, O. E. Newman, Ray York, W. H. Tol liver, E. A. Campbell, T. M. Rice, J. L. Leonard, J. D. Willis, R. M. Waddell, J. B. Richards, G. W. Mass, and Rev. B. Venable. The membership of the church numbers one hundred and fifteen. The present trustees of the church are M. D. Booth, F. V. Ross and T. J. Woods. The Sunday schoolis said to be the banner school of the county. The church edifice is situated on the main street near the business section of the town.
I. O. O. F. Chula. Chula Lodge No. 524, I. O. O. F. was instituted February 12, 1896 and the following officers elected: M. Melbourne, N. G.; F. C. Veserat, V. G.; E. F. Ogan, recording secretary; George A. Gardner, financial secretary; and Thomas Roberts, treasurer. The officers elected for 1913 are as follows: C. M. Darr, N. G.; J. E. May, V. G.; W. E. Gift, recording secretary; J. W. Jenkins, financial secretary; and F. V. Ross, treasurer. The lodge is in a prosperous condition with a membership of eighty-eight.
Rebecca Lodge, Chula. The Rebecca Lodge, No. 265, of Chula was organized on the 16th day of June, 1899, at which time the following officers were elected: Mrs. C. O. Wilson, N. G.; Miss Frances Gardner, V. G.; Miss Ida B. Scarlott, recording secretary; Miss Anna Selby, financial secretary, and Mrs. Belle Alexander, treasurer. The officers elected for the year 1913 are as follows: Miss Laura Prewett, N. G; Mrs. Mamie Graham, V. G.; Miss Fern Payton, recording secretary; Mr. W. E. Gift, financial secretary and Mr. J. W. McLoney, treasurer.
OLIVE BRANCH BAPTIST CHURCH
was organized March 1, 1909 by Rev. W. B. Alsbury, with the following members: W. A. Cox, Eliza Cox, J. C. Gallatin, Martha J. Gallatin, Gladys Gallatin, Cora Anderson, Flora M. Thompson, Malinda C. Thompson, W. B.Linville, Samuel Linville, Daisy Linville, Alice S. Adams, W. C. Anderson, I. B. Cox, Bessie Cox, C. E. Cox, E. A.Cox, C. B. Gallatin, Elva V. Anderson, Maud M.Thompson, Mary C. Linville, Effie Anderson, Bessie W. Adams, F. M. Steen, Elizabeth Steen, Alta M. Steen Lena F. Steen, Lucian Steen, Elsie Burns, J. F. Summerville, C. L. Spaulding, E. P. Spaulding and Mabel Cox. The church held its first meeting April 11, 1909. The sermon was preached by Rev. Lee Hunt of Utica, after which Rev. W. B. Alsbury was chosen chairman and the following officers elected: Earl Cox, clerk; J. C. Gallatin, F. M. Steen, C. E. Cox and W. B. Linville, deacons. April 20, 1909, it was decided to build a church, church, which was dedicated free of debt January 31, 1910. The dedication sermon was delivered by Rev. F. P. Davidson of the Baptist church of Chillicothe. The present membership is fifty. The officers at the present time are: J. C. Gallatin, F. M. Steen, C. E. Cox, W. B. Linville, Wiley C. Anderson and W. A. Cox, deacons; and C. B. Smith, church clerk.
A. F. & A. M. Lodge Chula. This lodge was first known as the Farmersville Lodge No. 388, being organized on the 13th day of October, 1831, with Samuel Wilson, W. M.; Alexander McGregor, Sr. W.; George A. Blivens, Jr. W. On the 20th day of January, 1894, a specific grand lodge of the state was convened at the hall in the village of Chula and the lodge was removed to the latter place under the old charter and number. The present officers are O. B. McCoy, W. M.; F. V. Ross, S. W.; Roy Tribble, Jr. W.; W. R. Edrington, treasurer; J. F. Harris, secretary; L. P. Carlyle, S. D.; Dick Robinson, Jr. D.; J. N. Ballinger, chaplain.
Order of Eastern Star, Chula. This order was instituted January 27, 1910, at which time the following officers were elected: Minnie L. Carlyle, W. M.; O. B. McCoy, W. P.; Elizabeth Gardner, Ass. M.; F. V. Ross, secretary; L. L. Lauderdale, treasurer; Beulah Lauderdale, Con. The order worked under a special dispensation until the annual meeting of the grand chapter, at which time a charter was granted on the 30th day of September, 1910. Chula Chapter was instituted by Emma Dale Scott, P. G. W. M., and Ida Hudson, acting grand marshal, on October 29, 1910. The present officers are Beulah Lauderdale, W. M.; O. B. McCoy, W. P.; Marie Ross, Ass. M.; F. V. Ross, secretary; L. L. Lauderdale, treasurer; Minnie Lee Carlyle, Con.; Missouri Robinson chaplain.