Transcribed from A History of Meade County, Kansas by Frank S. Sullivan. ; [c1916] ; Crane & Company. Transcribed by Carolyn Ward, September 2006.

1916 A History of Meade County, Kansas



The history of civilization shows that the missionary followed closely the discoverer, and so we find the early settlers of Meade County active in the organization of religious societies, long before the organization of the county.

The first organized church in the county was the First Congregational Church of Crooked Creek, organized in 1879. On October 1st, 1879, Geo. S. Emerson deeded to Silas E. Ayres, W. D. Ayers and H M. Fordes, Trustees of said church, a plot of ground in the southwest corner of the southwest quarter of Section 6, Township 30, Range 26, described in the deed as follows: "After allowing for the road on section line and extension four hundred feet, and three and a half feet east and west, and two hundred and sixteen and one quarter feet north and south."

A church building was erected on this giant and a cemetery provided for, which cemetery still marks the spot. Rev. Mr. Feemster was the first pastor. This church was regularly organized, but was not incorporated.

The first incorporated church was Pleasant Prairie Congregational Church, incorporated March 18th, 1881, more than four years prior to the organization of the county, with John Schmoker, Peter Blair and Christian Schmoker as trustees. Services were held at the old Belle Meade schoolhcuse.

Next to incorporate was the Meade Center Metho-



dist Episcopal Church, incorporated March 26th, 1886, with George W. Evington, Samuel D. Huffman, David Truax, Sam Lawrence and Geo. Wallace as trustees. This church was organized by Rev. J. N. Stamper, who was its first minister, and, it is said, preached the first sermon in Meade.

Closely following this was the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Fowler City, incorporated June 18th, 1886, with James B. Brewer, George Fowler, Smith S. Pine, Alfred V. Carpenter and Alexander A. Major as trustees.

Then came the Church of Christ of Meade Center, incorporated Aug. 9th, 1886, with F. P. Scott, A. D. McDaniel, A. J. Davis, M. B. Peede and C. G. Allen as trustees. This church prospered for a time, but later languished, and the church building was afterwards secured and used by the First Baptist Church, organized in 1899.

Next was the First United Presbyterian Church of Meade Center, incorporated Jan. 14th, 1887, with H. I. Stevens, Edward Tring, E. D. Smith, M. E. Huston and M. W. Milligen as trustees. As an organization this church never obtained a permanent foothold, and most of its members united with the First Presbyterian Church of Meade Center, which was incorporated Jan. 22nd, 1887, with Edward Dool, Edward P. Boyle and James A. Lynn as trustees.

On Feb. 22nd, 1887, the First Methodist Episcopal Church of West Plains was incorporated, with Benj. P. Bruce, Fred Baddeley. Thos. Beaty, Harry B. Stone and Ernest Russell as trustees. This church maintained its organization until the city of West Plains was practically depopulated, when it lapsed.


The Crooked Creek Methodist Episcopal Church was incorporated Oct. 6th, 1887, with J. W. Brock, Wm. J. Brown and John L. Smith as trustees.

The First Baptist Church of Meade was incorporated Aug. 24th, 1899, with William T. Dick, Mrs. M. A. Williams, X. B. Sawyer, A. V. Angel and H. G. Yocum as trustees. The first pastor of this church was Rev. J. M. Robinson.

Then came the First Baptist Church of Plains, incorporated Jan. 22nd, 1904, with Luellen Edwards, A. J. Parsons, J. W. King, G. W. Gillidett and J. B. Sullivan as trustees. Coincident with the organization of this church a building was erected by popular subscription, which building, while being primarily under the control of the Baptist Church, was to be opened freely to any other denomination desiring to use it.

April 7th, 1904, the Evangelical Lutheran St. Johannes Congregation or Society, Odee Township, was incorporated, with Henry Borchers, Henry Winter and Henry Eckhoff as trustees.

The Free Methodist Church of Mertilla was incorporated May 20th, 1908, with C. F. Bowyer, George W. Branstetter, J. S. Cornish, P. L. Triplett and Albertus Fry as trustees.

This was followed by the Methodist Episcopal Church of Plains, incorporated Aug. 19th, 1910; A. S. Prather, A. L. Driver, O. D. Overton, N. A. Geisinger and H. M. Wooten, trustees.

Next was the First Christian Church of Fowler, incorporated Jan. 5th, 1911; J. G. Clark, J. L. Runyan, W. E. Carr, John W. Sims and George Lasater, trustees.

After this was the First Baptist Church of Fowler,


incorporated June 21st, 1911; William T. Dick, Charles VanDoren and John Foster, trustees.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Uneda came last, incorporated March 24th, 1913; Geo. P. Gamble, H. H. Ford, J. W. Steele, O. J. Easton and P. J. Mitchell, trustees.

In addition to these churches there were, first and last, many others maintaining organizations that were not incorporated under the State laws, some of which are still active. Among the latter are the Roman Catholic Churches at Fowler, Plains, and Meade, the last named of which is among the oldest churches in the county. In October, 1888, this church purchased about a quarter of an acre of ground lying just north of Block 25, First Addition, and erected a building thereon, which was used until a few years ago, when, it being considered no longer fit, it was razed, and the present church built.

Then there is St. Augustine Protestant Episcopal Church of Meade, built in 1911, and the Christian Church, organized in February, 1916; the Friends, who have just completed in Fowler the most modern and beautiful church building in the county. The Mormons have an organization in the country south of Missler, and the Mennonite Church in what is known as "the Colony," south and east of Meade.



The public schools of Meade County compare most favorably with those of other counties of the State. The county is divided into 44 school districts, having a school population of 1,738, and employing 72 teachers.

Both Meade and Fowler maintain well-equipped accredited high schools, the former employing 14 instructors and the latter 12. Plains employs 5 teachers.

Of the teachers employed in the public schools, 24 hold State certificates, 9 hold Normal Training certificates, 13 have first-grade county certificates, 12 second-grade, and 14 third-grade.

Each of the towns has splendid modern school buildings, and many of the country districts have school houses that would do credit to any community.

The average wage paid teachers for the year 1915-16 was $90 per month, for high-school teachers, $70 per month for teachers in the grades, and $55 per month in the rural schools.




Meade County is noted for its Fraternal Societies, and probably, in proportion to its population, has more fraternalists than any other county in Kansas.

The M. W. A. have a camp at Plains, organized in 1904. Plains Lodge No. 367, A. F. & A. M., was organized in February, 1912.

Fowler Lodge No. 519, I. O. O. F., received its charter on Oct. 10th, 1901; Fowler Rebekah Lodge No. 406 was chartered Jan. 21st, 1902; Fowler Camp No. 1768, M. W. A., received its charter on March 3rd, 1898; and Friendship Camp No. 1768, R. N. A., was chartered Dec. 5th, 1908.

The city of Meade is especially distinguished as a fraternal center.

Of the lodges still active, the oldest is Webb Lodge No. 275, A. F. & A. M., its warrant bearing date Feb. 16th, 1887; Webb Chapter No. 304, O. E. S., was chartered on May 14th, 1908; and on Feb. 16th, 1909, the 22nd anniversary of the blue lodge, a warrant was issued for Meade Chapter No. 46, R. A. M.

A charter was issued for Meade Lodge No. 523, I. O. O. F., Oct. 10th, 1901; for the Meade Rebekah Lodge No. 422, on Sept. 19th, 1902; for Meade Encampment No. 138, on Oct. 10th, 1907; and a warrant was issued for the Canton of Patriarchs Militant No. 8, on Nov. 6th, 1907.

Meade Lodge No. 22, K. of P., was organized in November, 1911.



Meade Center Lodge No. 247, A. O. U. W., was granted a charter on Sept. 4th, 1902.

A charter was issued to Meade Camp No. 1738, M. W. A., on Aug. 12th, 1892; and to Middlemarch Camp No. 622, R. N. A., on April 10th, 1902.

Meade Council No. 225, Sons and Daughters of Justice, was organized in February, 1906.

Meade Center Post No. 388, while previously existing, was reorganized in 1909.

Artesian Camp No. 201, W. O. W., was organized in JuIy, 1915.

Meade also has an organization of the A. H. T. A.

Three members of the Meade organizations are at present the heads of three great orders, viz.: R. M. Painter is Department Commander of the G. A. R. of Kansas; O. R. Stevens is Grand Patriarch of the Grand Encampment, I. O. O. F.; Frank S. Sullivan is Grand Chancellor of the Knights of Pythias, Grand Domain of Kansas.

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