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Mt. Pulaski , Illinois
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July 13, 1961     Times
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July 13, 1961
 

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Methodist Church Founded 120 Years Peter Cartwright Preached Here Back In 18S0's The Methodist Society of Mount Pulaski was the first religious organization in the town after its establishment in 1836. The Society was organized at the home of Dr. John Clark, in 1841. Among the early pastors were Samuel lampett, Samuel H. Martin, and Hardin Wallace. The latter held one of the most successful series of protracted meetings known to the county in pioneer days. Over 50 addi- tions were made to the member- ship of the church. Until 1851, church services were held at Dr. Clark's residence and in the village school house. Peter Cartwright, the famous pioneer preacher who lived on a farm near Springfield, was the Presid- ing Elder of the District and fre- quently held meetings and preached here in the early days of the Society. In 1848, a movement was start- ed by the Society to build a church. A meeting was held on Dec. 12, 1849, and the following trustees were elected for a term MINISTERIAL LEADERS, PREACHERS AND PASTORS IN THE HISTORY OF THE MOUNT PULASILI CHURCH The first Methodist sermon was delivered in a school house by a local preacher, Brooks Randolph, around 1840. The first presiding elders were S. W. D. Clark, Peter Akers, and Peter Cartwright. The first pastors to preach here were Fortner Crissy, D. H. Hut- ton, Father Watt, Dr. Lord E. King and Hardin Wallace. The following regular pastors served the church through the years since: 1849--J. C. Baker 1850--J. C. Rucker 1851nW. Pittner 1852-3--L. Anderson 1854--A. R. Garner 1855---R. Bird 1856--W. B. M. Colt 1857mB. Bartholo 1860-1--J. Everly 1862-3--W. B. Barton 1864--B. Bartholo 1865---S. E. Pendelton 1866--J. B. Hours of three years to secure a lot for building purposes: John Harry, John Clark, Norman Norton, James J. Snyder and John M. Downing. In 1851 on May 21st, a lot was secured at the corner of Jefferson and Vine Streets in Mount Pulaski and a small frame church building was erect- ed thereon. The Mount Pulaski Circuit was established in the county, and to hold all their property, the circuit was incor- porated in 1852 and the trustees named were: John Randolph, Daniel Clark, Issac Clark, Joseph D. Dement and William Leimly. At this time the Mount Pulaski Society was the leading Metho- dist organization in the county and the head of the circuit. The circuit included 14 societies: Mr. Pulaski, Zion, Dalbey's, Day's School House, Two-Mile Downing's, Hurricane Poini Whiteman's, French's, Metcalf's Bateman's, Sugar Creek, Moun Pleasant and Postville. On or- ganization of the churches at Lincoln and Lawndale in 1853, these were added to the circuit. Lincoln took the place of Post- ville, making 15 appointments in the circuit. In 1853, the circuit created in Mount Pulaski Town. ship was then known as the Union camp ground. In 1860, the circuit was divided in two cir- cuits, Lincoln and Mount Pulas. ki. The Mount Pulaski included Chestnut, French's Chapel and Pleasan Valley. Some years later, Lath am was added. In 1861, the trus- tees were John Clark, Alexander Mills, Creed H. Dawson, George A. Robinson and Ninnian R. Cass, who purchased lots for the erec. tion of the parsonage. In 1884, the Society erected a new church on the site of the old one. It cost about $3000 and was dedicated Nov. 9, 1884 by the Presiding Elder Prentice of Springfield, and Professor Adams of Bloomington. The present church structure was built in 1907 using the old building as a basis. It was Gothic in design, 50 by 53 feet in dimensions. It contained an auditorium and a Sunday School room on the first floor with a small dining room, kitchen and furnace room in the basement. Those on the building committee were Rev. H. B. Mont. gomery, C. M. Sllkey, M. A. Crane, J. M. Gray and Robert Altchison. In the spring of 1923 the rest of the basement was excavated, conereted and refinished by do- nated labor, making a large din. lng and assembly room, kitch. en, toilets and a new furnace room. Rev. James E. Reynolds was pastor at that time. The building committee consisted of William Beckers, Albert Shell. hammer, Albert Alispach and John Hershey. Of late years, the old" Mount Pulaski Circuit has disappeared. Cornland, Chestnut and Latham had become separate churches, Pleasant Valley was abandoned. French's Chapel has been attach- ed to the Elkhart Church, and Mount Pulaski has become a sta- tion church. LADIES AID SOCIETY The Ladies Benevolent Aid So- ciety of the Mount Pulaski Meth- odist Church was organized in October 1883. The pastor at that time was Rev. W. R. Howard. The prime object of the society was to assist in rinsing funds for the building and furnishing of a new church in the aforesaid vil- lage. Mrs. Mary Upp was elected secretary of the Aid Society July 6, 1911, and served one year. She was then elected again in 1915, and served until Dec. 6, 1945, a total of 31 years. In November, 1940, the aid was called by a new name. It was to be known, and still is. "Woman's Society of Christian Service." Only the name changed, as the services were just the same. 1867---G. Garner 1868---J. B. Houts 1869--Supplied by Bankston 1870---D. A. Grimes and R. C. St. Clair 1871-2--T. D. Weerns 1873-4---D. E. May 1875--J. C. Kellar 1876---C. E. McClintock 1877--A. B. McElfresh 1878---J. W. Lapham 1879-80--C. Powell 1881-2--W. C. Lacy 1883-4---W. R. Howard 1885-7--P. F. Gay 1888-9---G. Cunningham 1890-1--P. Slagel 1892-3--J. A. Burks 1894-5---J. H. Hartwick 1896.8---F. S. Artz 1899.01nW. W. Theobald 1902-04---F. W. Greer 1905-08---H. B. Montgomery 1909-10--G. W. McConkey 1911-13--A. A. Heinlein 1914-15---W. M. Carter 1916-18---Wm. Cross 1919-20----C. A. Ward 1921--$. C. Bell 1922-24--J. E. Reynolds 1925.27--S. H. Hoar 1928-34---H. M. Blout 1935.36---T. L. Kneebo 1937-51--F. E. Neumeyer _, 1952-55--Richard Muhle 1956-61---John E. Muir 1961. ----Clifford smith CELEBRATED IN 1951 The church celebrated i$1 tennial in 1951 The Cen_lr, Committee consisted of .,'-$. E. Neumeyer, Albert Sh.l er, Harold Donnan, M bert and Louis Schafer. In 1958 the church ed to face a real the explosion in of the Illinois Central on June 1, 1958, damage was done to The congregation had whether to repair the ture or to build a In January of 1962 a tional MeetIng was was voted to build a ch. The new building (Continued on next FOUR IMPORTANT STEP5 SECOND CHURCH--1884 In .The Growth Of The Mount Pulaski METHODIST CHURCH FIRST CHURCH--1851 THIRD CHURCH--1907 1959... And Looking Forward o +he Mounf Pulaski of TomorrOW' We are Very Proud of Our New Church Home.