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Norton's First Sermon

Rev. Wainwright, a traveling missionary, preached the first sermon in Norton in June 1873. This sermon was delivered from a wagon.

Rev. Albright of Smith Center preached here in the fall of 1873 and in August 1874 Rev. Clark organized the Presbyterian Church in a tent. This was the first church organized the county (page 8)

First Presbyterian Church, Norton

The First Presbyterian Church of Norton was organized August 16, 1874, by Rev. S. G. Clark. The following members were received by certificate: Phillip Bruner, Margaret Bruner, John A. Newell, Matilda Newell, Robert Hutchinson, Elizabeth Jones, Mary R. Martin, Louisa R. Martin, Ella Jarvis and Elizabeth Jarvis. The present church building was erected in 1879. (page 10)

Norton Catholic Church 

The first Catholic services held in Norton was in 1879, by the Rev. Fr. Reichert, who continued to hold services here at regular intervals until his death in 1890.

The old school building was bought in 1889, and moved to where the present High School stands. It was fixed up as a church and continued to do service for ten years.

Fr. Fitzpatrick was stationed at Norton from 1889 to 1890. He was succeeded by Rev. W. Wenzel who remained about one year, then Rev. M. Browne of Jewell City took charge and attended Norton for 18 months. He was succeeded by Fr. Healy, who remained but a short time.

Norton was then put in charge of Rev. D. Horgan who resided at Colby and attended Norton as a mission for six years.

About this time the congregation disposed of their property on the hill and bought the Case property consisting of half a block, near the Court House square. Rev. H. Leydeckers became pastor and remained about two years. He was succeeded by the Rev. R. Daly, a young priest recently graduated from All Hallows Seminary, Dublin, Ireland. Under his able administration the congregation seemed to take on new life. He built and paid for brick Church at a cost of $12,000.00.

Up to this time, Norton was only one of the many missions from Belleville to the Colorado state line that had to be attended by the one priest. Father Daly saw the poor chance that the people had of practicing their religion so, due to his energy and ambition, he saw that each town of importance had a resident priest.

After six years of faithful service he was transferred to Chapman, Kansas, much to the regret of his many Norton friends. 

He was succeeded in January, 1907, by the present pastor, the Rev. T. P. Tuite. During his administration the church has been frescoed, a furnace installed, a new parish residence built.

In 1914 the Rt. Rev. Bishop thought Norton to be of sufficient importance to be made one of the Deaneries of the Diocese, having all the churches of seven counties in its jurisdiction.

The congregation is made up of some seventy families and the finances are in a prosperous condition.

The present officers of the church are: Rev. T. P. Tuite, Pastor and Dean; Mr. M. F. Garrity, J. E. Gleason, Frank Ward and B. P. Fleming. (page 12)

Rev. T. P. Tuite was born in Borris, Carlow county, Ireland, March 13, 1879, being one of eleven sons. He was educated at St. Joseph’s Academy, Bagnalstown, and St. Patrick’s University, Carlow, graduating from the latter institution on Mary 24, 1904. He came to Kansas in November of the same year; was pastor of Greenleaf, Washington county until January 1, 1907, then came to Norton, where he still resides, the beloved pastor of his church. In 1914, Rev. Tuite was chosen by the Bishop to be one of the Deans to assist in this Diocese, and which conveys to Rev. Tuite quite an honor, and specially so, as he was the youngest, but one, priest in the Diocese at the time. Rev. Tuite has, by his clean high ideals won a very warm place in the hearts of Norton people. (page 64)

St. Mary's Catholic Church, Densmore

St. Mary's Church at Densmore was built in 1899. Rev. Father Peter Hoeller of Cawker City had charge of this Mission at the time. Services were held here only once a month. It was a week day mission.

Shortly after the church was finished Father Hoeller was sent to Schoenchen, Kansas, and Father Gustavous LeCoutere, a native of France, was appointed to look after this little mission. He was here several months when a change was made and the priest came from the west to attend this place and Logan. The first one from New Almelo was Father L. E. Wahlmeyer, a native of Germany.  He had charge of this place until 1905, when he was appointed to Plainville and Father J. B. Varnholt [Vornholt] of that place was given the New Almelo parish and attended here.  He was the first priest to give this little mission a Sunday service.  Father J. J. Conway was later appointed assistant to Father Varnholt, and from that time until 1912 two Sundays a month were given to this charge.  In 1911 Father Conway was taken ill and sent to a hospital in St. Louis.  During his illness Father R. Fox, a native of Ireland was put in charge of this place and Logan.  He built a parish house at the latter place.  He was later sent to Greenleaf and Rev. F. G. Reidel of that place was appointed to Logan and here.  Our first American born priest was a Kansan, born in Osborne county, and who is our pastor at this time. 

From this little community two of our young ladies have consecrated their lives to the work of God. Two sisters, the Misses Lena and Emma Dorencamp, joined the St. Joseph Order at Concordia.

The following are the names of the charter members of the church, many of whom have passed to the Great Beyond: David Geary, wife and family; Patrick Conway, wife and family; Daniel Regan; Peter Donely [Donnelly], Sr; Anthony Farrell and mother; Thomas Mullen and wife; James Donely [Donnelly]; Mrs. Margaret Mullen and family; Peter Donely [Donnelly], wife and family; F. C. Stenger, wife and family; David Ferris, wife and family; Jack Conarty and wife; R. D. Cashman.

St. Mary's parish has a cemetery named Calvary Cemetery, three-quarters of a mile north of Densmore, the ground for which was donated by Peter Donely [Donnelly], deceased. (page 16)

Methodist Episcopal Church, Lenora

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Lenora, Colby District of the Northwest Kansas Conference, was organized in the early eighties, and until the year 1885, held their services in a log church just east from the corner from where the present building is now located.

The present church was erected in the summer of 1885, the parsonage property being acquired several years later.

The present valuation of the property of the church is about $4,000 with no debts of any kind against it.

It was at first a part of a circuit of which Kirwin was the head and was supplied by Rev. Dalton who came from Kirwin nearly sixty miles east down the valley.

This church has passed through all the trials which are incident to the pioneer church of the west, but like all who put their trust in God, come forth more than conquerors.

Hundreds have bowed at her altars and found the Christ. The membership has steadily increased year after year until at the present time more than 150 names are enrolled upon her register.

The following men have held the office of District Superintendent: John Bull, E. W. Allen, F. G. Baker, J. W. Lockwood, J. W. Snapp, and M. G. Terry the present incumbent.

The following is a partial list of the men who have served as pastors: Revs. Dalton, Joseph Baker, J. H. Hoff, M. L. Kerr, C. A. Davis, E. J. Rhoads, M. O. Mowyer, I. L. Clark, W. C. Little, Thos. Muxlow, A. W. Dorsey, C. R. Flowers, Grant Mann, and Fred Blanding.

Her hand has ever been extended toward the needy and afflicted, and although not perfect nor yet satisfied with her achievements, she "presses on toward the prize of the mark of her high calling in Christ Jesus." (page 23)

Christian Church, Lenora

The Christian church of Lenora was organized May 5, 1905 with B. W. Mulkey of Norton county as pastor, and Bros. John Epperson and William James as Elders, and Bros. Carrie Smith and Henry Tuggle as Deacons, with the following members:
J. C. Epperson and wife; William James and wife; D. S. Logan, wife and three children; Amos Huff, wife and three children; E. P. Edgenton, wife and one child; Edward Eagleberger and wife; Henry Tuggle and wife; Ora Hickman and wife; J. W. Moye, wife and two children; Fannie Bozarth; Frank Bozarth and wife; Mrs. John Hays; High DuBois and wife; William McCready and wife; Thomas Morford and wife; Edward Morford; Miss Grace Frayier; Mr. Heine; Carrie Smith; Samuel Bangel; Jesse Bangle; Mrs. Samuel Hodge; Mrs. C. A. Taylor; Mrs. Govsbery.

The present membership is about 60.

Brother Mulkey continued to serve the church as pastor, with the exception of about one year, during which time Bro. C. E. Early, was pastor.

The present pastor, James C. Owens was born in Iowa and came with his parents to Washington, Kansas, in September 1881. He was educated in the country schools and the Friends Academy of Washington. After finishing his schooling in the Academy he engaged in the barber business for twelve years. During this time he spent much time in the study of law, afterwards he was employed in the county attorney's office as Assistant to the county attorney, resigning this position to enter the bible department at Cotner University, from which place he came to Lenora and took up the pastorate in February of 1916. He served as Student pastor in the Lowe Center church in 1915. (page 23)

Congregational Church, Lenora

Rev. Bonnet held a revival in the little log school house in the winter of 1883 at which time he organized the Congregational Church. The next summer, 1884, the first church building was built in Lenora, being the Congregational Church. The M. E. people worshipped in the same building for two years before they built their church.

The names of the ministers from 1883 to 1916 are: Revs. Bonnet, Northrup, Gorge, Buck, Everts, Girley, Kirns, Brown, Wood, and Maston the present minister. (page 24)

The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Norton, Kansas

What is reported to have been the first Methodist sermon in Norton was preaches by Rev. Mr. Vance, a superannuated minister, in 1874. Irregular services followed this until in 1875 Rev. R. H. Seymour and other established a regular preaching appointment in the village. In March 1876 the Norton Methodist Episcopal Church was organized by Rev. R. H. Seymour with the following as charter members: David Close, Ellen Close, Eli Dopps, Lizzie Dopps, D. M. Robinson, and Mrs. D. M. Robinson and possible others the exact date of whose membership has been questioned. At the annual session of the Kansas Conference held in the same month Norton was made the head of a circuit and Rev. Mr. Seymour was appointed preacher in charge and continued as pastor until July 1877.

On October 9, 1879 the organization was duly incorporated under 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 as 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 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 and this was followed with services in the rear of the post office in a building owned by W. B. Rogers. After the erection of a school house services were held in it until the Presbyterians built their new church on the corner of Wabash and Lincoln Streets when by their kindness the Methodists shared time with them in the use of the then splendid structure. In 1881 the need of a permanent church home was felt by the membership as well as the leaders of Methodism and a site was secured on North Norton Avenue and 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 officiating 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 St. as a site for a new church and in the spring of 1905 plans were selected and arrangements perfected for the erection of a more modern building. Work progressed rapidly and on August 10 the cornerstone 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 in charge of the service. The building was hastened to completion and on December 17 dedicated to the service and worship of Almighty God. Mr. J. M. Powell of Buffalo, New York had been secured to manage the financial claims of the day and the building was dedicated by Rev. W. J. Meredith, Presiding Elder and Rev. W. J. Lorenz, Pastor, amid the rejoicings of a happy people.

Since the organization of the charge the following pastors have served the work: 1876-1877, R. A. Seymour; 1877-1888, Allen Enyart; 1878-1879, W. A. Seville; 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. C. Housel; 1889-1991, 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; 1808 (sic)-1912, B. F. Thomas; 1912-1913, W. G. Smith; 1913-1914, W. B. Read; 1914-1915, c. A. Fellows; 1915 - to the present time, U. S. Brown. Many changes have been made in district boundaries and Norton has had a large number of presiding elders and district superintendents. The following have served in the office: 1876-1878, W. J. Mitchel, Beloit District; 1878-1882, R. A. Caruthers, Kirwin District; 1882-1886, H. G. Breed, Kirwin District; 1886-1890, S. A. Greene, 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 for six months each, Belleville District; 1910-1916, M. F. Loomis, Colby District; 1916 - to the present time, M. G. Terry, Colby District. Norton has entertained the annual conference twice; in 1891 with Bishop S. M. Merrill presiding and in 1907 with Bishop L. B. Wilson presiding. From the organization of the society to the present 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 the present strong membership of more than three hundred and her fairly modern church plant entirely free from indebtedness the future of the organization is full of promise. (page 30)

Mrs. U.S. Brown came to Kansas with her husband in 1899 and settled at Logan. She immediately made her influence felt in the parsonage home and for years she has been a most efficient church worker in the charges they have served. She soon became prominent in church, missionary and college activities in the Northwest Kansas Conference and has born her part in many of the advanced movements. During her residence in Salina from 1907 to 1913 which resulted in the erection of the Y.M.C.A. building, was a charter member and officer of the University Guild and the University Methodist Church. In 1912, at a meeting of the Topeka Branch of the Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society held in Denver, she was elected Conference Secretary and since that time has been very active in Missionary work. She is a pleasing platform speaker who is in demand for Missionary addresses. Under her leadership the numebr (sic) of Missionary Organizations in the conference has doubled and the cash offerings for the work have increased from $1,800 to $4,500 per year. For the past two years she has been a resident of Norton. (page 64)

The Baptist Church in Norton

This church was organized about a quarter of a century ago, and worshipped for some time in a hall in the city. Some years later they built the present house of worship. 

Since its organization it has had among its pastors, Dr. Haggard, of Phillipsburg; Mac D. Thompson; Rev. Mr. Hughes; Rev. E. H. Teall; W. H. Vancleave; Rev. Gurlie; and Rev. T. J. Duvall, the present pastor, who is now in his third year’s work. There have been several other pastors whose names are not now at hand. These all did effective service and we are sorry that their names are not mentioned herein.

The church maintains regular preaching services every Sunday and 11:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. The Sunday School meets at 9:45 and the Young People meet at 6:30. They also have a Ladies Aid Society and a Woman’s Missionary Society. These meet at stated intervals and are doing much valuable assistance to the cause. The weekly prayer meeting is held each Wednesday at 7:30.

In their letter to the association this year the church reported 212 members 69 being non-resident. Of this number 45 are males. About 55 members have been added since the present pastor came onto the field. They expect to hold a revival meeting in the very near future and trust that others may be added to the membership. The church also seems to be growing in brotherly love and in the graces of Christian living.

While the church in the city is not as strong as many others in the Baptist family it is modestly proud of the great denomination to which it belongs. Should it count infants and children of young and tender age it would stand, in the point of numbers, aside from one other church. It stands for a regenerated church fellowship and cannot, therefore, accept those who have not reached the years of accountability. They claim that the Bible is the only rule of faith and practice in religion and so, recognize no authority ecclesiastical, clerical or state above them. They believe in the separation of church and state, that all members are free and equal, hence they are brethren or members one of another. They believe in taking their converts down into the water, there burying them with Christ by baptism into death, and raising them up to walk in newness of life. They rejoice that many of their principles have been recognized by others who have adopted them. Not the least, however, is the fact that Thomas Jefferson got his ideas of our National Constitution from the study of Baptist Church government.

This denomination count their communicants in every quarter of the globe. They now number, according to Dr. McGlothlin, about 8,000,000. From them (The Baptist) modern Missions had its rise, and many other noble institutions.

The denomination has recently adopted a five-year program which is unique in that no other people in the history of Christiandom (sic) has attempted so stupendous a scheme. Before them are goals of magnitudinous (sic) proportions. Their face is toward the future.

Rev. T.J. Duvall was born in Nolan, Kentucky. He graduated from Georgetown College in 1893; from the Louisville Seminary in 1895. He has served, as pastor, Brandenburg, Vine Grove, Sand Hill, Munfordsville, New Highland and Louisville churches. From 1903 to 1907 he was pastor in Missouri. Come (sic) to Norton in 1914, and accepted the pastorate of the Baptist church, which he still holds, and is loved and respected by the good people of the entire community. He is a tireless worker in the field, and a kind and courteous gentleman to meet. Rev. Duvall’s father was a captain in the Confederate army but the Reverend is a true union man through and through in spite of his Southern blood and teaching. (page 64)

M.E. Church, Norcatur [photo p. 43]

The Norcatur Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in September 1885, at the home of Joseph Reager, one and one-half miles east of town, with a membership of thirteen, viz. Joseph Reager, Rachel Reager, Worth Reager, A. P. Coppage, John Dawsey, Catherine Dawsey, J. B. Raymond, Alice Reymond, Lulu Hughes, Sarah LaSalle, Mary Johnson, H. H. Chapin, O.V. Chapin. Mrs. Mary Reager and Worth Reager are the only ones of all these names who are still members of the church at Norcatur. Some of the others have gone elsewhere, and some have joined the Church Triumphant.

The class was organized by Rev. Reuben Bisbee. He was the pastor from the time of its organization till the spring of 1887. Soon after organization the class was moved to Norcatur and the first Quarterly Conference was held in the autumn of 1885, in the upper room of the Clinton Worrall store building. The Sunday School was organized in that same “upper room” in the spring of 1886. A. P. Coppedge was the first superintendent. Later in the same year, the Sunday School and Church services were taken to the new school house; the first school building in Norcatur. In 1898 the First Methodist Episcopal church building in Norcatur was erected. It was dedicated in September of that year, which was the second year of the pastorate of Rev. J. C. Osman. The first parsonage was located about three blocks south of the church. In 1903 while Rev. R. S. Rutledge was pastor, the old parsonage was sold and purchase made of two lots and a house in the same block with the church. 

In 1906, the second year of Rev. N. S. Ragle’s pastorate, the church building was reconstructed and enlarged, with new seating. We now have a building of three commodious rooms and a pastor’s study. This building stands as a real monument to Methodism in Norcatur.

The church has never been without a pastor since its organization. The pastor has usually served some other work in connection with it; but the Norcatur class deserves large credit for the way it has supported its cause during all the years. It has not only lived, but grown.

During the last Conference year, closing in March 1916, the Methodist church at Norcatur pledged $540.00 to be paid to the Kansas Wesleyan Endowment, in five yearly payments, or sooner if desired. $200 of this was paid last year; $158 was paid on regular benevolences; $670.00 for local expenses, making a cash outlay of $1,028 and $240 in pledges not yet due.

This year the local benevolent apportionments are a little higher, and the church has already pledged $100 to Bethany Hospital, and $780.00 to the Retired Ministers’ Endowment Fund. We will soon put electric lights in the church and make some other needed improvements, costing $300 or $400. The necessary material for this is now ordered.

The official members at this time are: C.C. Andrews, Wm. Orchard, J. W. Reager, Myrtle Hoskins, B. W. Vernon, Birdie Hollister, Anna Reid, Ethel Brower, C. E. Brower, and Wm. Reager.

The following is a list of pastors who have served the church since the time of its organization:
Reuben Bisbee Sept. 1885 – March 1887
L. B. Lucas 1887-1889
George Nulton 1889-1891
H. P. Mann 1891-1892
M. W. Whelan 1892-1894
J. A. Clinger and E. E. Mamon 1894-1896
W. O. Allen 1896-1897
J. C. Osman 1897-1900
A. B. Conway 1900-1902
W. W. Hurlbut 1902-1903
R. S. Rutledge 1903-1905
N. S. Ragle 1905-1908
E. V. Allen 1908-1911
M. G. Terry 1911-1912
Erwin F. Sitterly 1912-1913
T. N. Nixon 1913-1915

The present pastor, Rev. C. H. Cowman, came in 1915 and is having excellent success in his work and it is hoped that he may long remain and that success may follow all the efforts he may make.

Several of the pastors above named have gone to their reward, but the first of all, Brother Reuben Bisbee is still on the firing line. He is pastor at Reamsville, Kansas, at this time. (page 43)

The Christian Church in Norcatur

About 19 years ago a few earnest disciples of the Lord Jesus, seeing the need of a church in this place, devoted to the restoration of primitive Christianity, called J. C. Lemon, an evangelist, to hold a meeting.

After preaching the pure and simple gospel for a month, he organized the First Church of Christ in Norcatur in the fall of 1897, with thirty charter members. A Bible School was started, all meetings being held in a room of the public school building until the purchase of a hall on Main street which was fitted up for a church. This made a convenient home for the congregation until the fall of 1905, when the present church building was erected.

In January 1906 the new church property valued at $4000 was dedicated, free of all incumbrances (sic), by L. L. Carpenter of Wabash, Indiana. 

One of the first ministers was John Wintjen, who preached at intervals. Walter G. Menzies, a young Scotchman (sic) next ministered to this congregation. He has been serving as missionary in India for the past fifteen years. 

Other ministers were: F. W. Harmon, B. Ogden and A. W. Henry.

Revival meetings have been held by the following evangelists: W. R. Gill, E. W. Yocum, G. C. Johnson, Rev. Gillette, A. W. Henry, J. A. W. Brown and F. A. Woten. These men have been instrumental in building up the church in numbers and spirituality.

The present membership is about 100. Of the charter members only two remain: Mattie E. Bell and Mrs. Sol Holben.

The church has supported a good Bible School continuously since its organization, having an average attendance of seventy at the present time. J. W. Deeter, publisher of the Norcatur Dispatch, is the present superintendent and is doing faithful work, and the community at large owes a great deal to Mr. Deeter. The church owes, probably more to the faithful and consecrated efforts of L. W. Hicks than to any other man. He having served in some office in the church and as Bible School superintendent the greater part of the time since its beginning until October 1, 1915, when he was called to his reward.

The Christian Church at Norton

In September 1875, Elder McGuire organized the Christian Church at Neighborville now Calvert. The following people were charter members: C. Decker, Mrs. C. Decker, Miss Mary Decker, Richard Williams, Elizabeth Williams, Joel H. Simmons, Nathan Payton, Mrs. M. J. Payton, Miss Susan Payton, Albert Graves, Mrs. E. S. Graves, Joshua Lieurance, Mrs. Sarah Marsh and Mrs. Emaline Oliver. Richard Williams was the first Bishop and Joel H. Simmons the first deacon. They held meetings in the Beiber [Bieber] school house and then moved to Norton and held meetings for some time in the court house; afterwards meeting in an old school house owned by Wright Bros. The present church was built in 1884. The church now has a membership of over 230. the pastors from 1875 to 1885 were James McGuire, J. W. Randal, A. Williams, Lewis Bauer, E.A . Barber, George E. Dow, and J. W. B. Smith.

We are very sorry that we cannot give the pastors from 1885 until this time, and also a photo of the church; at this time the church has no regular pastor and the members could not give us the facts that we desired. (page 65)

The Church of God, Norton, Kansas

The first minister of the Church of God to preach in the county was John E. Roberts of Denver, Colorado, who conducted a revival meeting at Oronoque in 1896. At these meetings Mrs. I. N. Cope and daughters Flora and Bertha were converted to the faith. Also Mrs. D.C. Mosier and several others. Not long after this, Elder J. B. Peterman came from the state of Washington and conducted revival meetings and later was married to Miss Flora Cope. They together continued to preach the gospel in Norton county.

Some time after this Inez Cope came into the faith. These sisters were all three called to preach the Gospel and were faithful workers for several years in the Missionary Training Home in Kansas City which is still being conducted by Mr. and Mrs. Peterman.

Several camp meetings have been conducted in Norton since 1905 by the following ministers: J. B. Peterman, J. M. Harrington, George Vilguith, A. A. Kenzie, S. G. Briant, Mrs. May Adams, Mrs. Effie Lavell and others.

In 1908 the Copes moved and the following year Inez Cope and Claudine Heald began revival meetings in the city, assisted by Bertha Cope, Inez Gilder and Sarah Drots. These young women had all been faithful workers in the Kansas City Missionary Home.

In 1911, Inez Cope and Inez Gilder, who were called “the two Inez’s” went a few miles east of Norton to assist an evangelist in a revival meeting. The evangelist was called away the second day of the meetings and these two young women toiled away for three weeks. Their efforts were crowned with the conversion of 27 souls, the most of whom are faithful yet.

Mrs. Effie Lavell was pastor of the Norton congregation in 1913. This same year Inez Cope was married to Elder C. E. Bright and the following year they were chosen as pastors of the congregation, which work they have kept until this summer. As they desired to take up the evangelistic work again, G. T. Neal and wife were asked to relieve them of their charge. 

Besides pastoring the charge at Norton, Mr. and Mrs. Neal have several country appointments.

In 1908 there were eight members of the Church of God in Norton county, and now there are over 100 with good prospects ahead. (page 66)

Christian Church, Edmond

The Christian Church at Edmond was built in 1904. George Long, L. D. Wells, James Hoffman and C.I. Griffith were the early workers and to them and a few others are due the credit. The first pastor was Charles Early, who now lives at Hill City. Pastor Hibbs, another pastor, is now at Downs, and at the present time a pastor from Lenora fills the pulpit. The church now has a membership of seventy-five.

United Brethren Church, Edmond

The United Brethren church was organized by Rev. Haresnipe, May 31, 1888. The first board of trustees were: John W. Horn, Wm. L. Green, Samuel B. Richardson, W. H. Cummings. They worshipped in a stone building originally built for a school house, but transferred to the Congregational people and later sold to the U. B., and this has continued to be their place of worship until February of this year when it was sold.

United Brethren Church of Clayton

The first organization was at what is known as old Clayton, in 1879. Rev. Goss organized the class with the Salisbury’s, Brooks, Leighliter’s and others as charter members. A sod church was built and answered purpose for religious services until the class was moved to new Clayton and reorganized in 1886, by the Rev. Bloid. Services were held in the school house until 1900, when the present church house was built. Rev. John Courtner and Rev. Harris were the pastors during the time of raising the money and building the church.

This church has had a steady growth since the beginning, having maintained an evergreen Sunday school since 1886. Many of its converts have gone to other parts of the country. Some of the charter members have gone to their reward.

The present membership is one hundred and thirty-five; the Sunday school enrollment is one hundred and thirty-five; C. E. [Christian Education] enrollment is forty. It has a Ladies Aid and a Woman’s Missionary Society.

This church has been and now is an active agency in the betterment of the people of Norton county.

The following pastors have served in this church:
Rev. Bloid – 1886-1887.
Rev. Glandon – 1887-1888.
Rev. Martin – 1888-1889.
Rev. Shafer –1889-1891
Rev. Bibler – 1891-1892
Rev. Bonnette – 1892-1893
Rev. Tasker – 1893-1896
Rev. Courtner – 1896-1899
Rev. Harris – 1899-1901
Rev. Herrick – 1901-1902
Rev. Riser – 1902-1906
Rev. Hite – 1906-1907
Rev. Church – 1907-1909
Rev. Livingston – 1909-1910
Rev. Catherman – 1910-1911
Rev. Deardorf – 1911-1912
Rev. Wolmer – 1912-1913
Rev. Grantham – 1913-1915
And the present pastor, Rev. J.H. Frazer.

The first sermon preached in Norton county was in June 1872. Elder Towne of the Christian church was the preacher. Services were held in Jim Hall’s home [near Almena]. Elder Gibbs was the first permanent minister in the county. He preached for the Baptist people. (page 101)

Oronoque churches

The Christian church, organized in 1905, the new church building built in 1907, has a membership of 60. The Baptist church, orgainzed (sic) in 1906 has a membership of 100. (page 103)




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©2005 Ardie Grimes.  Transcribed from Norton County News Historical Number 1870 - 1916, re-organized and re-formatted for ease of use. These pages are dedicated to free access to records, documents and photos of historical and genealogical value. Documents contained herein may be copied for personal, non-commercial use as long as this statement remains on all copied material.   These records, documents and photos may not be reproduced, published or re-published for any reason, in any format,  including electronic (web pages or CD's) and print, without prior written consent of the contributors or copyright holders.

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Ardie Grimes 


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Last updated 26 February 2005