On the 8th day of July, 1837, a meeting was held at the residence of S. H. Shaw for the purpose of organizing a Congregational society. Revs. Colvin W. Babbitt and E. Hazzard were present at the organization, and the former became the first pastor. The society, as formed, consisted of twelve members, two only of whom are now living—Mrs. Esther G. Sawyer, of Grand De Tour, and Mrs. Susan Hamilton, of Moline. Five of the number rest in the vihage cemetery. E. E. Gardner was the first clerk, and Reuben Pritchard and Samuel Anthony, the first deacons.


The Congregational Church was the first to be erected in Grand de Tour, and costt nine hundred dollars. It was commenced April 18 and dedicated November 12, 1848. Rev. L. H. Loss, of Rockford, preached the dedication sermon. The first trustees, Ruel Peabody, N. C. Tyrrell and G. W. Southwick, were appointed April 12, 1848. On the 21st day of that month W. G. Dana and wife, members of the church, presented the lot on which the building stands. The building committee were F. W. Southwick, J. M. Gould and R. M. Pearson, the latter of whnm was the first pastor. The lumber was bought in Chicago and hauled out by Ruel Peabody. The society is now disorganized and the church used as a society and town hall.

The Episcopal Church was commenced in April, 1849, and completed in the year following. The Ladies' Sewing Society paid the first one hundred dollars for lumber, which was bought in Chicago by E. W. Dutcher, who hauled the first load. In June, 1849, the corner-stone was laid in the presence of twelve ladies and fourteen gentlemen. In an excavation in that stone a tin box was placed containing the following articles: a Bible, prayer-book, a copy of the Constitution of the United States, of the Declaration of Independence, of the Constitution of Illinois.

The names of the resident minister—A. J. Warner; Bishop of Illinois—Philander Chase; church wardens—S. M. Harris and Carlton Bayley; vestrymen—S. C. Colton, Solon Cumins, Leonard Andrus, H. H. Paine and E. W. Dutcher; building committee—S. M. Harris, H. H. Paine, E. W. Dutcher, Leonard Andrus, Solon Cumins and George Gushing; the names of subscribers to the church fund, of communicants twelve in number, the names of the founders of the town, also gold and silver coin of the United States, from ten cents, silver, to $10, gold, in all, $19.35. The box was then hermeti­cally sealed and placed in the stone, which was located at the southwest corner of the building. The house was consecrated by the name of St. Peter's Church, by Bishop Henry J. Whitehouse, October 22, 1855. It cost $1,800, and was first occupied by Andrew J. Warner, pastor. Rev. Jones, of Dixon, now officiates. This church was the fifth of its denomination in Northern Illinois, the others being one at Galena, St. Paul, and two at Chicago, the St. Tames and Trinity.

The First Episcopal minister, Bishop Chase, preached in the house of E. H. Shaw on an evening of June, 1837.    The pulpit was a three-legged stool set upon the table and covered with a towel, while the light was reflected from tallow candles.

 

The Episcopal Church was commenced in April, 1849, and completed in the year following. The Ladies' Sewing Society paid the first one hundred dollars for lumber, which was bought in Chicago by E. W. Dutcher, who hauled the first load. In June, 1849, the cornerstone was laid in the presence of twelve ladies and fourteen gentlemen. In an excavation in that stone a tin box was placed containing the following articles: a Bible, prayer-book, a copy of the Constitution of the United States, of the Declaration of Independence, of the Constitution of Illinois; the names of the resident minister—A. J. Warner; Bishop of Illinois—Philander Chase; church wardens—S. M. Harris and Carlton Bayley; vestrymen—S. C. Colton, Solon Cumins, Leonard Andrus, H. H. Paine and E. W. Dutcher; building committee—S. M. Harris, H. H. Paine, E. W. Dutcher, Leonard Andrus, Solon Cumins and George Gushing; the names of subscribers to the church fund, of communicants twelve in number, the names of the founders of the town, also gold and silver coin of the United States, from ten cents, silver, to $10, gold, in all, $19.35. The box was then hermeti­cally sealed and placed in the stone, which was located at the southwest corner of the building. The house was consecrated by the name of St. Peter's Church, by Bishop Henry J. Whitehouse, October 22, 1855. It cost $1,800, and was first occupied by Andrew J. Warner, pastor. Rev. Jones, of Dixon, now officiates. This church was the fifth of its denomination in Northern Illinois, the others being one at Galena, St. Paul, and two at Chicago, the St. Tames and Trinity.

The Methodist Episcopal Church edifice was built by Cyrus Chamberlin, who commenced it in April, 1857, and completed it that year. It was dedicated January 23, 1858, by Rev. T. M. Eddy, assisted by the presiding elder, Rev. Luke Hitchcock, and the circuit minister, Henry L. Martin. The church cos: $2,500. The people of that vicinity paid Mr. Chamberlin $500 during the nex year. Trustees—J. H. Winans, Joseph Cunningham, J. C. Boyd, Joseph Liney. John Cool, J. L. Brown and Jacob Myers. The present pastor is James L. Backus, of Dixon. Joseph Cunningham is Superintendent of .the Sunday School. The first temperance society was organized February 25, 1839. The first officers were: President, Samuel Anthony; Vice-President, Cyrus Cham­berlain; Secretary, Chester Harrington; Treasurer, Moses Crombie; Directors, Joseph Cunningham, N. C. Tyrrell, Hugh Moore and Edward Wright. Num­ber of members—males, 42 ; females, 29; total, 71.

The first Methodist minister was O. F. Ayres, who formed a class in 1839.


The Sons of Temperance now have a society there. They meet each Wednesday evening in their town hall. The first abolition society was organized Februarys, 1839. The officers were : President, Hugh Moore; Vice-President, Joseph Cunningham; Recording Secretary, Chester Harrington; Corresponding Secretary, S. N. Anthony; Treasurer, A. B. Atwood; Directors, N. C. Tyrrell, Moses Crombie, Cyrus Chamberlain and Samuel Anthony. Number of members—males, 29 ; females, 23; total, 52.

 

History of Ogle County-1878

 

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