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Solomon Valley Chronicles



Churches



Methodism in Northwest Kansas

ALMENA.

When the class at Almena was organized is not known. It was early a part of the Long Island Circuit, which was organized in 1879. Almena appears in the Conference appointments as the head of a charge in 1888. Colson, Fairview Center and Kinderhook have at different times been attached to the circuit . The Almena class was organized by G. W. Moxley, a local preacher, and was composed of nine members, of whom "Father" Cast and John F. Lisby, with their wives and Mrs. Haskin, are remembered as having been worthy of special mention. At present Calvert is the only church outside of Almena. Here there are nineteen members and a Sunday School with an enrollment of forty. J. W. Ballard is the class leader at Almena, Mrs. Anna Hays and Mrs. Joseph Farland are stewards. J. W. Ballard, Dr. C. E. Sabelins and Samuel Combs are trustees.

Mrs. Neicewanger is Sunday School superintendent, Mrs. Will Young president of the Epworth League, Mrs. Farland president of the Ladies' Aid Society, and Mrs. Elsie Vaight president of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society. The superintendent at Calvert is R. J. Towne, and Thomas Beber is class leader. This class was organized in 1910 by Rev. G. Johnson, assisted by Rev. T. J. Furbes, a local preacher residing on the charge.

The church was built during the pastorate of Rev. A. C. Henslee in 1897; the parsonage was built in 1907, during the pastorate of L. M. Alexander. The church is valued at $2,000, and the parsonage at $1,800. The charge paid in 1918 a salary of $1,000. The membership of the charge is 126.

The following pastors have served the charge: G. W. Moxley, 1888-9; W. S. Campbell, '90; S. A. Green, '91; R. Tomlinson, J. W. McPeek, '92; J. P. Smith, '93-'94; A. C. Henslee, '95-'98; G. W. Morley, '99; M. J. Bailey, 1900-03; W. H. Hampton, '09; L. M. Alexander, '07-'08; J. F. Clark, '09; G. Johnson, '10; F. D. Funk, '11-'12; L. Munro, '13-'14; B. Cook, '15-'16; W. J. Ward, '17; C. H. Cowman, '18.

[Source: "A History of Methodism in Northwest Kansas", by William Henry Sweet, 1920; pages 196-197.]

BOGUE.

This charge has been in existence since 1906. J. W. Leggott was the first pastor. At the close of the first year he reported 42 members and 7 probationers and a parsonage worth $500, while the charge paid $40 to missions. In 1910 0. M. Freeman was pastor and a church was built costing $1,800, and dedicated free of debt. This year $144 was paid to missions, though the membership was but 40. This year the pastor reported 4 Sunday Schools with an enrollment of 175. In 1913 another church was built at a cost of $3,000.

[Source: "A History of Methodism in Northwest Kansas", by William Henry Sweet, 1920; page 200.]

HILL CITY.

Hill City is the county seat of Graham County. It is situated on the Lincoln branch of the U. P. railway, about half way between the sixth principal meridian, which is the eastern boundary of the Conference and Colorado.

It appeared in the list of Conference appointment first, in 1890. M. J. Bailey was pastor. In 1890 he reported 41 full members and 4 probationers. After Bailey there were in '91, A. D. Beckhart; '92, R. A. Hoffiman; '93, R. B. Beaty; '94, L. A. Dugger; '95, Geo. Nulton; '96-97, C. W. Talmadge; '98-99, W. M. Sedore: 1900, W. E. Green; '01, W. C. Jordan; '02-03, A. C. Northrop; '04-05, S. W. Taylor; '06-07. J. A. Schuler; '08, W. T. Carter; '09, I. L. McKean; '10, J. B. Gilmore; '11; J. M. Miller, '12, J. A. Green; '13-14, M. R. Starbuck; '15, L. Munro; '16-17, A. L. Carlton.

The first church property was a parsonage worth $800, reported in 1894. The membership at that time was 77 full members and 7 probationers. In 1901 there was a church valued at $3,000. Where they worshipped in the previous years the writer has not been informed.

The first marked increase in membership was during the pastorate of S. W. Taylor, 1904-05, when 123 full members were reported.

Statistics for the year 1917 show the following: Church, $5,000; parsonage, $2,000; members, 94; expenses, $118; F. M., $23; H. M., $16; Gd. total, $495; Pastor, $1,320; D. S., $96; Bishops, $15; C. Cs., 40; S. S. Os. &Ts., 16; Enrl., 181; Av., 95; Exp., 100; W. F. M. S., $73; W. H. M. S., $5; Ep. L., Sr., 25; Jr., 30

[Source: "A History of Methodism in Northwest Kansas", by William Henry Sweet, 1920; page 217.]

KANONA.

Kanona is a circuit having two appointments, at each of which there is a church building, which affords good accommodations for the people of that community. That at Kanona is valued at $2,000, and the Olive Chapel is worth $1,000. The pastor writes that the latter is being reconstructed and will be improved, so its value will be increased to $1,800.

The trustees at Kanona are G. A. Brown, John Fawcett, Charles Orr, G. E. Cody, Adolph Johnson. Stewards are A. Johnson, S. E. Cody, Mrs. Fawcett. At Olive Chapel the class leader is J. E. Plotts. Sunday School superintendent, A. R. Castor. Trustees, J. E. Plotts, V. R. Castor, Carl Miller, Jay Jordon, Roy Plotts. Stewards, Mrs. Florence Cramer, Mrs. J. E. Plotts, Mrs. Carl Miller.

It is not known just when either class was organized or who were charter members, but Kanona appears as the name of a charge in the Conference minutes of 1891.

The following men were appointed to the charge since that date. In 1891 J. H. Hoff was appointed to the charge. From '91 to '96 no pastor was sent to Kanona. In '96, W. W. Armstrong. From '96 to 1901 was another break. In the latter year J. A. Arnett was appointed; '02, G. Johnson; '03, B. F. Hutchins; '04, J. S. Davis; '05-'06, W. H. Hampton; '07; W. E. Caldwell; '08, W. H. Meredith. Another break has to be noted at this time. From 1909 to 1915 no pastor was appointed. From this viewpoint it is difficult to see why this break should have come. The charge paid the full amount apportioned to the pastor in 1909, and he reported 154 full members and 35 probationers; and two Sunday Schools, with an enrollment of 162. There were two churches, valued at $5,000, and a parsonage worth $800. The pastor appointed in 1915 reported the two churches and the parsonage. There were 93 full members, and two Sunday Schools, with an enrollment of 172.

Statistics given in 1917: Two churches, $4,500; parsonage, $500; full members, 91; current expenses, $40; support pastor, $660; D. S., $48; Bishop, $12; C. C.'s, $24; F. M.'s, $16; H. M.'s, $144. Grand total, $443. Two Sunday Schools: Officers and teachers, 26; enrollment, 159; average, 70. Epworth Leagues: Senior, 27; Junior, 38.

[Source: "A History of Methodism in Northwest Kansas", by William Henry Sweet, 1920; pages 221-222.]

LENORA.

This name is found in the list of Conference appointments first in 1892. J. H. Hoff was the pastor. He reported at the close of his first year a membership of 91 full members and 18 probationers. There were three churches, valued at $2,200, and a parsonage, estimated to be worth $200. The pastor had baptized four children and six adults. There were two Sunday Schools, having 15 officers and teachers, and 80 scholars. They paid the pastor $430. Those who succeeded Hoff as pastors were: In 1893-94, M. L. Kerr; '95-'96, C. A. Davis; '98-'99, M. 0. Myers; 1900, E. H. Tannehill; '01, I. L. Clark; '02, G. W. Hood; '04-'05, Thomas Muxlow; '06-'08, A. W. Dorsey; '09-'10, W. C. Littell; '11-13, C. R. Flowers; '14, G. Mann; '15-'17, F. Blanding.

As noted above, at the beginning the charge was a circuit, in which there were three churches and two Sunday Schools. In 1897 two of the churches had been placed with other charges, leaving Lenora a station, though two Sunday Schools were still reported. The report for 1901, found in the minutes of 1902, shows that the work had greatly declined in the charge. There were but 37 full members of the church, and two probationers, one Sunday School, with an enrollment of only 50 scholars. The parsonage was improved in 1905 by the expenditure of $500, raising its value to $1,000. In 1909 the church was improved to the amount of $1,500, bringing its valuation to $4,000.

Though Methodism has not flourished greatly at Lenora, there are hopeful indications for the future. The Sunday School is the largest in the history of the charge, and there are 48 members of the Epworth League, and 25 of the Junior. Another favorable indication is that the contribution to the benevolences is much increased, and the pastoral support is greatly improved.

The last report shows as follows: Church, $2,500; parsonage, $1,000; members, 174; current expenses, $50; support pastor, $1,090; D. S., $72; Bishop, $18; C. C.'s, $36; F. M.'s, $46; H. M.'s, $35. Grand total, $403. Sunday School: Officers and teachers, 14; enrollment, 175; average, 70; expenses, $73. Epworth League: Senior, 48; Junior, 25. W. F. M. S., $19.

[Source: "A History of Methodism in Northwest Kansas", by William Henry Sweet, 1920; pages 224-225.]

MORLAND.

Like most other classes in this section of the state, the date of the organization at Morland is not known. It first appears in the list of appointments in 1893. It was left to be supplied, and J. A. Stone was sent as the supply. At the next Conference he reported sixtyfive full members and forty-eight probationers. A. T. Mitchell was the next pastor.

In 1896 Morland was connected with Hoxie. They continued so connected till the year 1899, and during those years the charge was served by W. E. Cox. Since that time Morland has been served as follows: In '99, F. G. Griffith; 1900, J. B. Lewis; '01-'02, L. H. Smith; '03-'04, W. M. Garner; '05, B. D. Brooks; '06-'08, W. S. Harper; '09-'10, J. A. Templin; '11-12, M. R. Starbuck; '13-14, C. A. Davis; '15-'17, I. L. McKean.

The first property reported was a parsonage valued at $450 in 1901. In 1904 there was a church worth $2,000, and $2,015 was paid that year for building and improving church property. In 1906 $1,000 was added to the value of the church, and in 1907 $400 had been added to the value of the parsonage, bringing it to a valuation of $1,000. In 1916 a second church had been built on the charge, bringing the value of the churches to $5,400.

The largest enrollment in both church and Sunday School was in 1909, under the pastorate of W. S. Harper. There were 198 full members and 29 probationers. Four Sunday Schools were reported, having 40 officers and teachers and 300 scholars. The most contributed for missions was reported by M. R. Starbuck in 1911, $130 for Foreign, and $51 for Home Missions.

Pastor's salary, $1,100; Morland pays $800, Sequin [sic] $200, Penoka [sic] $100.

Statistics for 1917: Two churches, $6,000; parsonages, $1,000; full members, 154; preparatory, 200; expenses, $200; support pastor, $1,250; D. S., $88; Bishop, $22; C. C.'s, $44; F. M. S., $75; H. M. S. $65. Grand total, $964. Two Sunday Schools: Officers and teachers, 37; enrollment, 267; average, 160; expenses, $120. Epworth League: Senior, 30; Junior, 18.

[Source: "A History of Methodism in Northwest Kansas", by William Henry Sweet, 1920; pages 231-232.]

NORTON.

What is reported to have been the first Methodist sermon in Norton was preached by Rev. Mr. Vance, a superannuated minister, in 1874. Irregular services followed this until in 1875, when Rev. R. H. Seymour and others established a regular preaching appointment in the village. In March 1876, the Norton Methodist Episcopal Church was organized by Rev. Seymour with the following charter members: David Close, Ellen Close, Eli Dopps, Lizzie Dopps, D. M. Robinson and Mrs. Di M. Robinson, and possibly others. At the annual session of the Kanas [sic] Conference, held in the same month, Norton was made the head of a circuit, and Rev. R. H. Seymour was appointed preacher in charge, and continued as pastor until July, 1878.

On October 9, 1879, the organization was duly incorporated, according to the laws of the State of Kansas, as "The Norton Methodist Church and Parsonage Association," with D. M. Robinson, David Close, Eli Dopps, J. H. Phelps and J. R. Hamilton trustees. On January 14, 1902, an amended charter was issued, changing the official name to "The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Norton, Kansas," and specifying that the purposes for which the corporation was formed were to buy, sell and lease real estate for church, parsonage and library purposes, and to establish and maintain libraries and reading societies." The number of trustees was increased to seven, and the names of those serving for that year were D. M. Robinson, David Close, F. M. Snow, J. G. Stapp, T. I. Foster, M. P. Ward and L. J. Holcomb.

The first regular preaching place was in a log building on the west side of State Street, north of Washington. This was followed with services in the rear of the postoffice in a building owned by W. B. Rogers. After the erection of the school house services were held in it, until the Presbyterians built their new church, on the corner of Wabash and Lincoln Streets. Through their kindness the Methodists shared with them in the use of the splendid structure. In 1881 the need of a permanent church home was felt by the membership, as well as the leaders of Norton Methodism, and a site was secured on North Norton Avenue. By the untiring efforts of all interested, "The Stone Church" was finished and dedicated in 1882. Rev. H. G. Breed, the Presiding Elder, and Rev. W. J. Meredith, the pastor, officiated at the dedication. This building served its purpose well for more than twenty years, and not until 1905 were plans perfected for a more modern and commodious structure. On July 1, 1904, lots were purchased on North State Street as a site for a new church. In the spring of 1905 plans were selected and arrangements made for a more modern building. Work progressed rapidly, and on August 10 the corner stone was laid, with appropriate ceremonies by Rev. W. J. Meredith, Presiding Elder; Rev. H. J. Lorenz, pastor, and Hon. George E. Griffin, mayor of the city of Norton, in charge of the service. The building was hastened to completion, and on December 17, 1905, was dedicated to the service and worship of Almighty God. Mr. J. M. Powell of Buffalo, N. Y., had been secured to manage the financial claims of the day, and the building was dedicated by Rev. W. J. Meredith and Rev. H. J. Lorenz, amid the rejoicings of a happy people.

Since the organization of the charge the following pastors have served the work: In 1876-1877, R. H. Seymour; 1877-1878, Allen Enyart; 1878-1879, W. A. Saville; 1879-1880, R. Bisbee and S. Crouch; 1880, for three months, J. T. Britain; 1880-1882, J. W. Graham; 1882-1884, W. J. Meredith; 1884-1885, H. M. Mayo; 1885-1887, E. H. Fleisher; 1887-1889, L. O. Housel; 1889-1891, W. R. Pierce; 1891-1896, J. L. King; 1896-1898, A. N. See; 1898-1900, S. L. Semans; 1900-1906, H. J. Lorenz; 1906-1908, L. A. McKeever; 1908-1912, B. F. Thomas; 1912-1913, W. G. Smith; 1913-1914, W. B. Read; 1914-1915, C. A. Fellows; 1915 to the present, U. S. Brown. Many changes have been made in district boundaries and Norton has been identified with five districts and has had the following Presiding Elders and district superintendents: 1876-1878, W. J. Mitchell, Beloit District; 1878-1882, R. A. Caruthers, Kirwin District; 1882-1886, H. G. Breed, Kirwin District; 1886-1890, S. A. Green, Norton District; 1890-1896, E. W. Allen, Norton District; 1896-1898, M. M. Stolz, Norton District; 1898-1904, L. O. Housel, Norton District; 1904-1909, W. J. Meredith, Norton District; 1909-1910, C. W. Wynant and L. E. Rockwell, Belleville District; 1910-1916, M. F. Loomis, Colby District; 1916 to the present time, M. G. Terry, Colby District.

Norton charge has been well organized from its early history, maintaining one of the best Sunday Schools in Northwest Kansas. The organization of a Methodist Sunday School was perfected in the early eighties, and for years the superintendents were such splendid church workers as C. D. Jones, Frank Baker, L. H. Thompson and G. C. Wright. In 1907 John H. Bailey was elected superintendent and served for eight years, being succeeded by Guy H. Jaggard, who served for one year and was succeeded by the present superintendent, Mrs. C. B. Walker. The school now numbers thirty officers and teachers and a total enrollment of 415. The Epworth League was organized October 3, 1893, and has a membership of forty-two.

A well organized Junior Church is maintained and has an enrolled membership of forty-seven boys and girls between the ages of eight and sixteen years. Two active Ladies' Aid Societies are doing splendid work. The Ladies' Aid Society is composed of the older ladies of the church and is under the presidency of Mrs. Alice Campbell. This organization has contributed to the various departments of church work an average of about $150 per year. The Methodist Episcopal Guild is composed of the younger ladies of the church and has been active in church and community interests. Mrs. J. M. Scott is president, and the contributions of this organization exceed those of the older society by a small margin. For many years, the church has maintained a strong Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, the beneficial influences of which have reached to many foreign lands. Mrs. C. D. Jones is the president and the offerings of this society in 1916 amounted to $135. One of the most helpful organizations of the church is the Methodist Social Club, which is composed of all the members of the church, and is in charge of one of the regular prayer meetings each month. It is a thoroughly organized plan for the development of the social life of the church and has been most helpful.

Norton has entertained the Northwest Kansas Conference twice, in 1891, with Bishop S. M. Merrill presiding, and in 1907, with Bishop Luther B. Wilson presiding. The Conference session of 1891 is remembered on account of the snow blockades, and the fact that Bishop Merrill was detained at Mankato and did not reach the seat of the Conference until Saturday evening. From the organization of the society to the present time, Norton has been recognized as one of the important churches in Northwest Kansas Methodism. Her pulpits have been supplied by the strongest men of the Conference, her growth has been steady and continuous, until with her present membership of 330 her future is full of promise. The following notes are worthy of record:

April 3, 1895, J. L. King reported that he closed his pastorate of four years. The year just closing had been a good one; seventy had joined the church during the year.

March 4, 1908, L. A. McKeever had enjoyed a good revival. Presiding Elder Meredith preached three sermons at the opening of the meeting, and J. P. Brushingham spent two weeks on the charge, with gracious results. Fifty-five members of the church took the "win one" pledge. Eighty were converted or reclaimed, and sixty-six united with the church. There were sixteen men over forty years old.

The minutes of 1917 give the following church property: Church, $8,000; parsonage, $2,000; current expenses, $396; full members, 321; preparatory, 15; salaries pastor, $1,500; D. S., $104; Bishop, $26; C. C.'s, $65; benevolence F. M. S., $185; H. M. S., $92. Grand total, $1,146. Sunday School: Officers and teachers, 30; enrollment, 412; average, 161; expenses, $274. Epworth League: Senior, 391; Junior, 46. W. F. M. S., $135.

[Source: "A History of Methodism in Northwest Kansas", by William Henry Sweet, 1920; pages 241-245.]

A History of the Church of the Brethren in Kansas

Maple Grove, aka "The Colony"

Kansas history presents a number of cases of colonization by various churches and nationalities. Thus, there are the German Russians in Russell, Rush, and Ellis counties and the Mennonites in Reno, Harvey, Marion, and McPherson counties. While there are references made from time to time to a Brethren colony and while several may have been projected, but one actually materialized. It was known as the Maple Grove colony. Something should be said about this experiment.

The Maple Grove enterprise was entered into with all the enthusiasm which characterizes anything so novel. Not only was Montgomery county, Iowa, stirred up but other congregations as well furnished emigrants for the western experiment. The Bethel church at Carleton, Nebraska, found itself depleted of members who were seized with the contagion. The movement was popular from the start. N. C. Workman of Sciola, Montgomery county, Iowa, was one of the leading spirits in the colony.

With several other families, Workman started from his home on March 19, 1879, and after a twenty-day journey halted his caravan at Norton, Kansas, on April 8. He found several members already there. The first church services were held on May 11. Many calls for preaching were received. By June 5 there were over thirty members on the site of the colony. Attorney J. R. Hamilton of Norton was the locating agent and attorney for the colony. On October 4 and 5, 1879, the first love feast was held in Norton county. Fifty-three surrounded the tables and ten members were received on that occasion.

Within a year the Maple Grove colony was in want. There was no rainfall and the crop planted in 1879 failed. In July, 1880, the colony was in narrow straits. Some members did not even have salt for corn bread. The East was urged to rush aid to the sufferers, the states east of Illinois being advised to send money on account of the expense of shipping food stuffs.

August brought no rain, hence the needs of the colonists waxed worse and worse. "Still more provisions and clothing or money are actually needed by our society to see us through. We now have the promise of free transportation of goods for the use of the society over the lines of the Illinois Central, Chicago and Northwestern, the Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern, and also the Hannibal and St. Joseph...West of us we have the same promise over the Burlington and Missouri from Atchison to Arapahoe, Nebraska, and also over the Central Branch of the Union Pacific from Atchison to Logan, Kansas."

N. C. Workman describes conditions as follows on September 21, 1880: "We are left without anything in the way of eatables. Twenty-one counties are included in the district covered with the awful drouth; 15,263 families left without food There are 900 families in our county depending on the charities of the people for a living No other society in the counties named is doing so much in relieving the needy as the Maple Grove Society. The county central committee fails to get provisions, sends agent after agent, they come back discouraged and say 'The Dunkards' are the only people that can get aid.' The railroads here in Kansas have broken their contract twice; we are now arranging the third time with them." The free transportation arranged for was to cease Jan. 1, 1881.

About the middle of October, 1880, a heavy snow fell, with a driving wind, and the ground froze hard. One correspondent remarked that this was very hard on roasting ears and watermelons, "which we have an abundance of just now." Help was still needed. In January, 1881, three carloads of relief and $40 in cash were reported as having been sent by the Brethren of Waterloo, Iowa. Naperville and Lanark, Illinois, each sent a carload of supplies, and others whose names do not appear, helped relieve the needy.

Notice was given by the Missouri Pacific railroad that after Jan. 31, 1881, it would transport no more goods or provisions free unless the Brethren would take charge of the relief work of the whole county, as the company would thereafter recognize but one society in a county. The Brethren feeling this to be too great a responsibility, asked that donations in the future be sent in cash only until further notice.

By February, 1881, the crisis was past. N. C. Workman wrote: "We believe by close living and strict economy that we can get through until harvest time. We are also furnishing two carloads of seed wheat to be distributed among one hundred and thirty families, giving each family six bushels. The above mentioned families are all living outside the church colony and society. We have also divided other provisions to hundreds outside of the society, without regard to faith, creed, color, or politics."

H. M. Blue, treasurer of the Maple Grove society, reported on March 1, 1881, that he had received $1,054.86 in cash for the needy in that section. Later he reported $179.61 additional.

Despite these reverses Maple Grove prospered. In 1882 there were 140 members. A further account of the congregation is to be found in the list of sketches of local churches elsewhere in this book.

[Source: "A History of the Church of the Brethren in Kansas", by Elmer LeRoy Oraik, 1922; pages 42-45.]

MAPLE GROVE

The details of the origin of this church are unique and are to be found in chapter four of this book. Suffice it to say here that Maple Grove was a colony of Brethren organized in Montgomery county, Iowa, to settle in Kansas. N. C. Workman was the guiding spirit of the enterprise.

Chapter four traces the experiment through the trying times of the year 1879-1880. The year 1881 apparently brought better prospects for the church, in spite of the spirit of division so prevalent in the church in general. "Conservatism and Progressionism," wrote N. C. Workman, "are scarcely mentioned among us and when it [sic] is, it is only to express our pity for the disturbers of our peace in the Brotherhood. We are too busy here in our church to find time to dispute about unimportant matters. We have council every four weeks and five regular appointments for preaching, besides social meeting every Thursday evening. Our meetings are all well attended and much interest is manifested."

However, in 1882, Elders Workman and Shaffer and Bro. Jarboe moved away and the remaining ministers, among them Michael Lichty, along with a large proportion of the membership because Progressives. There were one hundred and forty members in 1882. The Maple Grove Progressive church, located at Rockwell City, was organized in 1883, by Jacob Armsberger, formerly a Conservative minister. Mount Zion, another Progressive church, joined the Maple Grove church on the east. For a time K. Heckman, one of the Conservative ministers, associated with the Progressives.

The following have been elected to the ministry by the Maple Grove congregation: Isaiah Harader (September or October, 1883), J. R. Garber (1883), G. M. Throne (November 16, 1887), George H. Friend (January 9, 1897), A. J. Wertenberger (May 26, 1900), Charles Albin (January 11,1921), and Guy Ankenman (January 11, 1921). There have been at least three ordinations: G. M. Throne (May 8, 1898), A. J. Wertenberger (October 30, 1909), and C. 0. Bogart (October 30, 1917). The oversight has been in the hands of the following brethren: N. C. Workman, Isaac Studebaker, Powell B. Porter, John Ikenberry, J. R. Garber, J. B. Wertz, G. M. Throne, I. S. Lerew, B. E. Kesler, A. J. Wertenberger, and J. E. Small.

The Maple Grove congregation enjoys the distinction of having had possibly the only sod church among the Brethren in Kansas. It was built in 1879, and was in use until at least 1884, when incessant rains made it of little use. Various school houses were then used for some years, among them Murphy and Lone Hand. On September 24, 1893, the new church was dedicated by Elder B. B. Whitmer. It is located fourteen miles northwest of Norton. In 1916, an addition was built to the church.

In October, 1919, August Becker became pastor of the Maple Grove congregation, which position he held for a time. He was succeeded by John Oxley, the present, pastor (1921). A revival, conducted by C. C. Meyers from December 12, 1920, to January 11, 1921, resulted in twenty-three accessions.

[Source: "A History of the Church of the Brethren in Kansas", by Elmer LeRoy Oraik, 1922; pages 178-179.]



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