The Baptist church
The church was organized August 12, 1855, by delegates from the First Baptist church, of Monmouth. Elder James Hovey was chairman of the council and C. R. Smith clerk. Ten persons were received as constituent mem bers: Jacob, Eliza, Elisha and Mary MeCormick, A. C. Martin, Margaret Martin, Asa Richardson, Thos. and Mrs. Shoemaker, and Mrs. New- • ell. Jacob MeCormick was chosen clerk of the society, and Rev. James Hovey was called as pastor. In the fall of 1855 it was resolved to build a house of worship, 30x40 feet, and the building was completed and dedicated January 17, 1869. It cost a little less than $1,000. It stands in the north part of the village and is still in use. The pastors of the Baptist church were: S. Brimhall, 1862; B. F. Colwell, 1864; E. J. Lockwood, 1867; H. E. Norton, 1868; Har ry Taylor, 1871; —. —. Seward, 1873; —. —. l,eckman, 1873; J. B. Fuller, 1875; E. S. Chev erton, 1878; H. H. Depperman, 1881. Mr. Depperman gave up his charge in 1884, and soon afterward the society practically went out of existence. October 11, 1900, it was reorgan ized by delegates from Monmouth, Rev. W. J. Sanborn, of the First Baptist church, of Monmouth, acting as moderator of the council, and J. D. Gunter clerk. Nine persons were received as charter members: W. J. Smith, Mrs. W. J. Smith, Miss Jane Irvine, R. W. Dennis, Mrs. E. M. Dennis, E. B. Hicks, T. W. Gunter, Mrs. L. A. Gunter, J. D. Gunter. J. D. Gunter was chosen clerk of the church. November 4, 1900, Rev. J. H. Delano, D. D., of Monmouth, was called as pastor and accepted, and is still serving in that capacity. The church has fiftyeight members.
The Methodist Church of Kirkwood
The Church was organized in 1857 by Rev. Morse, the original class consisting of twenty-two members. The first services were held in the public hall, then the congregation worshipped for several years in the Presbyterian church. In 1866, during the pastorate of Rev. James Tubbs, the present church edifice was erected at a cost of $8,500. By the untiring efforts of the pastor, the church was dedicated free of debt, Dr. Eddy, of Chicago, preaching the dedicatory sermon. In 1883 the building was remodeled at an expense of $3,100. The new parsonage was built in 1892, during the pastorate of Rev. J. D. Smith, the cost being $1,700. The property has one of the most desirable locations in Kirkwood, and is in good repair. Much of the success and prosperity of the congregation is due to the efforts of Rev. James Tubbs, who was its pastor for a number of years. Rev. J. A. Riason is the present pastor, and the membership is about 200.
The United Presbyterian church of Kirkwood
The church was organized at Center Grove school house November 4, 1858, by a commission from Presbytery, consisting of Rev. David A. Wallace, D. D., and Elders M. D. Campbell and J. "W. Woods. About a year prior to this time the first services in the community had been held by Rev. Marion Morrison, who preached in a school house near the town. The. first meeting looking toward the organization of the church was held at the home of J. S. Faris. March 1, 1856, Boon's hall was secured as a place for worship, and the people were provided with preaching by the Presbytery during the summer and autumn. The church was organized with fifteen members, namely: Jonathan Bid- die, Mary Jane Biddle, David Irvine, Jane W. Irvine, Matthew Wood, Mary Ann Wood, James H. Martin, Mary R. Martin, Leander Findley, Sarah Pindley, Mark Campbell, Lucinda Campbell, John W. Woods, Nancy Woods and Janet Scott. Three elders were chosen, J. W. Woods, Leander Findley and Matthew Wood. The name of the congregation was the Young America United Presbyterian Church when first organized, but was changed to the Kirkwood United Presbyterian church in 1874. For five years the church met in rented halls. In 1861 they took steps toward the erection of a house of worship, and had it ready for worship on November 1, 1863. It was a frame building, with a capacity of about three hun dred, costing about $2,800. In 1896 the old building was removed and a more modern structure was built at a cost ot $6,500. The following named persons have served the congregation as pastors: Rev. S. R. Moore, 1863 to February, 1864, but never installed; Rev. J. B. Foster, June, 1864, to August, 1867; Rev. W. J. McSurely, October, 1867, to December, 1868; Rev. J. M. Waddell, April, 1869, to 1876; Rev. L. N. Lafferty, July 8, 1S77, to December, 1883; Rev. W. T. McConnell, April, 1884, to March, 1890; Rev. H. P. Jackson, December, 1892, to August, 1894; and Rev. R. W. Nairn, who was installed in November, 1894, and is serving the congregation as pastor at this time. The present session of the congregation consists of J. F. Thomson, J. M. Hogne, J. M. Graham, and H. S. Sherman. The congregation has a membership of 190.
The Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood
was organized as the Presbyterian church of South Henderson at a meeting held in a school house about two miles southwest of the town in the early part of 1856. Schuyler Presbytery had appointed as a committee to perfect the organization Rev. J. H. Nevins, Dr. R. C. Matthews, Hiram Norcross, and James Boggs. The orgaization was effected with twenty-six members, and with Jacob Ackerman, Nathan Carr and Alex. M. Hervey as ruling elders. Rev. J. H. Nevins was the first pastor, and was followed in turn by Rev. W. L. Lyons, Rev. G. W. Ash, Rev. J. W. Allen, Rev. G. N. Johnson, Rev. E. W. Thompson, Rev. E. J. Rice, Rev. J. G. Cunningham, Rev. J. M. Ross, and Rev. George J. E. Richards, the present pastor, who came in 1900. The first house of worship built by this church was a small frame structure, 20 by 30 feet, in the south part of town, erected in 1858. For two or three years the building was occupied by the Methodists on alternate Sabbaths. It was finally sold to the Catholics and moved from the lot. The present edifice was erected in 1868 at a cost of about $8,000. It has since been remodeled, and is now a modern and convenient building for the purposes intended. The membership of the congregation at present is about 200.
A Universalist Church
The Church was organized in Kirkwood in 1860 with thirteen members. For some time services were held in Ray's hall, but in 1866 a church building was erected at a cost of $4,000. It was rebuilt in 1869 at an additional cost of $3,000. Among the pastors of this church were Rev. C. L. Walsh, Rev. A. Clayton, Rev. A. Tibbitts, Rev. Hibbard, Rev. L. H. Tabor. For a number of years only occasional services were held, and in 1889 the building was sold and the organization was disbanded. The old building was remodeled and is now an opera house.
A Catholic church existed in Kirkwood for a number of years, but its history is now difficult to obtain. In 1867 or 1868 the congregation bought the old Presbyterian church and moved it to the north part of the village, near the school house, where it was used until late in the 80's. In 1889 the building was sold to Dr. Gilfillan and made a part of his hotel and sanitarium, now the Columbia hotel. The church had its resident priest for a number of years.
The Christian Scientists have a society here with about twenty members, and Mrs. G. W. Cave as reader. They have a neat little church in the southeast part of the village.
History of Warren County
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