pub Chas. C. Chapman & Co..

History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws online

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Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws → online text (page 58 of 79)
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early mass. And thus the old bell has returned to its early faith and
original creed.

Timothy Crosby was followed by Father Chandler, a man of great
force of character and native ability. Isaac Hawley here began to
work valiantly for the Ijord. He served as Sunday-school Superin-
tendent for several years. Father Chandler was followed by Rev.
Worthington, an excellent man and minister. Rev. John Bour-
land now put in an appearance, in his own language, he felt as though
"the devil had the hawk of his jaw on most of the town." At the
end of two years he departed to make room for one Rev. Vance.
He remained but one year. Rev. George Erwin came to Pekin as
a boy bridegroom in 1855. His sermons were concise and emj)hatic.
His personal appearance was good. Next came Rev. Gregg, a min-
ister with more brahis and mind than physic to support it. The
Church raised a purse, Mr. Sam Rhoads collecting in two hours time
^130, to help Mr. Gregg go South for the benefit of his heaUh.
He returned ere long to Pekiu, where he died. Rev. J. C. Rybolt
now steps into the j)ulpit, a man of remarkable ability and gift of
oratory. He did not grace the ])ulpit in Pekin long, as he turned
his attention to law. Next comes long John Windsor, who served


acceptably for two years. He was a good man, no higher can be
said of any.

The church sustained a heavy loss about that time in the decease
of the persons of INIrs. Whitefoot and Mrs. John Hammer, who
was a Shelton.

Rev. James Vernon followed John Windsor. He had a large
family wholly dependent upon his salary for sustenance. His cares
and anxieties were so many, and the struggle for bread and butter
so hard, that it is a wonder how he could forget his embarrassments
sufficient, to prepare his sermons, which were always polished and

Zadock Hall, known better of late years as " old Father Hall,"
now turns up again. He served full three years. He was here when
the times were stirring, and the war was upon us with all its terri-
bleness ; when women and children were weeping for their husbands
and fathers ; when maidens wer^ sad in the absence of their lovers,
and when brother was arrayed against brother, and when the South
had said " extend to us the Mason and Dixon line," and when the
North was saying back, in smoke and thunder, " unshackle those
bent forms from bondage and toil, and consent to our flag waving
over you, — the Star Spangled Banner which was bought amid peril
and blood in the Revolution."

What changes Father Hall must have beheld in his coming back
to the Church he left in its infancy. His life was so humble and
exemplary that the whole town loved him for his gentle ways, and
when there was low whisperings that perhaps a younger man might
prove more efficient, the populace arose in a mass and petitioned
Conference to send the gentle old man back the last and third year,
which its session cheerfully granted.

During Father Hall's time the Church invested (amid many mis-
givings as to the righteousness of the act) in a melodeon, at a cost
of forty dollars. There had been a feeble attempt once before to
introduce some instrumental music, in the form of a flute in the
hands and mouth of Richard Shaw, which was to be accompanied
by a bass viol, but somehow the thing wouldn't work as pure
orthodox, and the instruments were banished.

Rev. Robert Pearcc, a nephew of Rev. Robert McChaiu, the emi-
nent Scotch divine, of Edinburgh, came next. Robert G. Pearce is
an Edinburgh Scotchman, born and educated in that city, the mod-
ern Athens of the world. Rev. Pearce in stature is below the


medium, with coal black hair, as straight as a shoo string, and a pair
of eyes dark and piercing and a large and well defined mouth and
nose. But wait, he has stepped into the pulpit or rostrum. He has
opened his mouth, and now all eyes are upon him, and every ear
strained to catch each syllable as it falls from his lips, and he holds
his audience in breathless silence. The coming of Robert Pearce
was the dawning of a new era in Methodism in this city. He
opened a series of meetings with the new year of 18GG. The old
church would not begin to hold the people who thronged to hear
the little Scotch preacher. His work was full and complete and
men and women bowed before the old altar rail, who had been
called proud and haughty. Two names we have handed down on
the wings of the memory of that winter, who came out gloriously
on the Lord's side, arc Mrs. Henry P. Westerman and Emma
AVagoner. The Morks of these ladies speak for themselves.

Rev. Pearce raised the subscription and built the present edifice.
The little frame church was sold to David Lowery, who prostituted
its old sanctified walls into those of a billiard hall and drinking
saloon. Afterwards it was leased to Hight & INIiller as a livery
stable, and in 1870 it was burned down. What early associations
cluster around its old-time memories ; what scenes of joy have been
witnessed within its four old walls, when, in solemn vow and prom-
ise, men and women, with right hands clasped, vowed to love one
another till death did them part; and then what shouts of gladness
were borne out on the midnight air when some darkened soul was
born again of God; and then what hush would fall as some mother
with pale hands clasped in the cold embrace of death, was carried up
the aisles in her last earthly tenement, or some infant sweet with
white roses scattered on its silent breast. Ah, what tales'of joy and
sadness the ashes of the past could tell, if tongues to ashes were

Teis Smith subscribed $500 towards the new church, it being the
first subscrii)tion given. Reuben Bergstresser followed with .^100,
and Isaac Hawley, Mary L. Westerman, Stephen Roney and Geo.
Greigg giving the same, and thus the first $1,000 was raised. The
new church edifice was erected at a cost of $12,000. It was finished
and dedicated in April, 1867, the dedicatory sermon being preached
by the Rev. Dr. Eddy, of Chicago, and the sermon in the evening
by Rev. J. G. Evans, late President of Hedding College.

Joseph C. Hartezell was appointed in 1808. He was a young man


of fine mind and capabilities, and a graduate of the Xorthwestern
University. He served until removed South by Bishop Janes, to
fill the unexpu'ed year of Dr. Newman, of Ames Chapel, New Or-
leans, who had been elected as Chaplain of the U. S. Senate.

After the removal of Hartezell, the pulpit was filled from Sunday
to Sunday, by Professors from the Wesleyan University, or until
Rev. Joseph Millsap, Presiding Elder, could secure a minister to
fill the vacancy, which he did in May, in the person of Rev. James
B. Blakency who acted as a supply until Conference, which con-
vened in Pckin in the fall of the same year (1870), The session
was presided over by Bishop Janes, who, with a niunber of his cab-
inet, were entertained by Mr. and Mrs, Reuben Bergstresser, Mr.
B., although not a member of the Church until the year 1869, still
he saiight to labor in the Lords vineyard somewhere and for years
cast his influence in behalf of the Methodist Church and for nine
years he served as Sunday-school Superintendent. The Church
sustained a severe loss in the death of Martha Burnett, wife of Sam
Rhoads, This good woman was a power and might in her day and
many missed her cheering voice by the weary wayside. While it is
not a written law of the Church politic, yet it is conceded as a mat-
ter of courtesy to permit the Church entertaining the Conference to
pick their man at the time of the session, therefore a conmiittee
waited upon Bishop Janes and requested him to send Rev, James
W, Haney to preside over them as a Church, and in accordance M'ith
their request, he was appointed. He is the eldest son of Rev,
Richard Haney, one of the old pioneers of Western Methodism,
His address and manners are pleasing and engaging. His dignity
and pose in the pulpit could not be surpassed. As a preacher he
was immensly popular; his sermons always abounding in fine logic
and diction, and with all a splendid delivery and powerful voice,
which, at will, could be hushed to the most tragic whisper. During
the three years which he served he was for two thirds of the time
the only English speaking minister in the town. This was during
the ravages of the spinal menengitis in Pekin, and Mr. Haney's la-
bors and visits among the sick, were early and late. He made more
visits on the sick, buried more dead and married more than any
other minister ever did in the same time in Pekin. Durino; his ad-
ministration much was done to improve the church property. The
pews were cushioned, the church building was given two coats of
paint, the Smith's American organ placed in the infant room, and


the hand.some pipe organ placed in the audience room and many mi-
nor improvements were added to the church and Sunday-school in a
general way.

Rev. Haney was followed by Rev. Dr. Hugh M. Laney, a Chris-
tian gentleman, full of analysis and philosophy as well as the Gospel.
His sermons were concise and well put. His reign in Pekin was
two years. His last was marked by great im])rovement to the
church building. The two stairs were changed, the auditorium re-
freshed, the windows put into frames and hung with weights so as
to come down from the top, gas chandeliers put in, new carpets put
down, pews all repainted, and new chairs [)laced in the Sunday-
school room. This was done under the Doctor's direction and
supervision, at a cost of thirteen hundred dollars. Mrs. Westermau
])resented the mountings to the ])ulpit which she had put on fresh
for the funeral of W. W. Sellers, which took place from this church.
In the fall of 1875, Rev. Edward Wasmuth was sent to Pekin,
where he remained two years. During the fall of his first year, the
^Central Illinois Conference met in session in this city in the M. E.
•Church, Bishop Wiley presiding. The Bishoj) and Cabinet, with
•the agents, book and newspaper men, numbering twenty-five, were
entertained at Rose Villa, by ]\Ir. and Mrs. Westerman. At this
'session E. Wasmuth was returned to Pekin. Through letters of
solicitation to Aberdeen, Scotland, and to India, Mrs. Westerman
received from Lord Wm. Leslie, of Aberdeen, and from Major
Francis Gillie, of her Majesty's service in India, the money wdiich
placed the fence and pavement around the church, as also the walks
to the doors and the out-houses. Thus Auld Caledonia and India
have contributed to Pekin Methodism.

Rev. Marion F. Havermale now pnts in an appearance on the
scene, and his bright and sparkling sermons still live in the com-
munity, as they always abounded in happy hits and well-made
points, which he hurled at his hearers like sledge hammers.

Rev. R. D. Russell, the present minister, was appointed to fill
his place. Rev. Russell is a gentleman of fine intellectual ability,
pleasing address, and scholarly attainments. He graduated with
the first honors of his class from the Northwestern University at
Evanston. He is serving his people and the city in a very accept-
able manner. During his brief stay, he has already lifted some six
hundred dollars indebtedness from the Church.

And now the pen-picture is done ; the history, in much weakness,


is given. In all these years that have come and gone, the Church
has had its seasons of sadness and rejoicing. The record is made,
and the Recording Angel hath it. The Pekin Methodist Episcopal
Church will continue to stand. Blows which were meant to be
death, have been struck at her vitals, but they fell harmless and
powerless on the breast-plate which confronted them, and those who
gave with the sword, were, in turn, met with the scabbard.

German M. E. Church. — This is the finest and costliest church edi-
fice in Tazewell Co. It was erected in 1873, at a cost of -f 27,000. It
is a large brick, 55 by 85 feet, with basement story. The congrega-
tion was organized in 1842, and a building, which at present stands
on Fourth street, near the L, B. & W. Raildroad track, was erected.
Among the first pastors were Revs. Plcuel, Zimmerman, Holl,
Fiegenbaum, and Holtcamp. The present pastor. Rev. John
Schlagenhauf, came in 1878. The present membership is 200. The
congregation raise $2,000 per year. The Trustees are Luppe
liuppen, H. Feltman, John Velde, Fred Schaefer. The Stewards
are Luppen, H. Velde, Unland, Schaefer, D. C. Smith, Fred Smith,
and IT. Albertson. There is a large Sunday-school in connection
with the Church, which is presided over by Supt. E. F. Unland.
The average attendance is 360. The annual contribution amounts
to from 1350 to $400. The school has a well selected library of
450 volumes.

First Dutch Reformed Church. — The sketch of this Church is
gleaned from an historical sermon preached by Rev. E. P. Livings-
ton, Jan. 18, 1874, being the last discourse preached in the old
church edifice. When Pekin was a small village, there was felt the
pressing need of a Church. The desire for a Church assumed deffi-
iiite shape in the organization of a Sabbath-school. As early as
Feb. 21, 1836, we find J. R. Crandell as Superintendent of the
school. There were at that time four teachers and twenty-nine
scholars. This school was short lived, however. Another school was
organized Nov. 22, 1837. On the 26th of the same month a con-
stitution was adopted, which, in the main, is the one under which
the school now works, which makes this the oldest school in the
city. Until 1844 or '45 it was the only one.

As it often happens in new countries and mission fields, the Sun-
day-school became the parent of the Church. There was piety here,
and as that was called out and developed by work in the school, it
would not be satisfied until all the means of grace were enjoyed.


Hence we find the Presbyterians making early efforts to establisli a
cliurch. Indeed, Rev. jNIr. Bascom was aetuallv settled here for a
short time. Through his efforts a church was organized under the
title of the Presbyterian Church of Pekin and Sand Prairie. For
some reason this church was soon disbanded, and the field atrain left

The next effort toward a church was made by Rev. A. D. Wilson,
the energetic and ])ersevering pioneer of the Reformed Ciiurch in
the West. During 1842-3, this father in Israel pressed his wav to
this place to prepare the way for a churcli. In the spring of 1843,
Father Wilson fell in company with IMr. Daniel Bailey, on a trip to
St. Louis, and at once engaged in conversation with him in refer-
ence to the prospect of a church at Pekin. At that time the propo-
sition was made that if the citizens would raise $1,000, he (Father
Wilson) would secure a like amount. This the people accepted, and
accordingly, April 9, 1843, Rev. A. D. Wilson and George Sill
came to organize the Church, which consisted of ten members. The
Elders chosen were Charles M. Grimwood, David Bailey, and Henry
Lew. Of the original members, Mrs. Olive S. Tackaberry is the
only one living here. The first Trustees chosen were John W.
Casey, Daniel M. Bailey, David Mark, Harlen Hatch, I*. G.
Thompson, and T. J. S. Fluel. A church building was begun and
the corner stone laid July 24, 1843. The subscription in the village
amounted to %\ ,500 instead of |1,000. The day of laying the corner
stone was a gala day in Pekin. Business seems to have been sus-
jx'nded and they paraded the streets. Nov. 11, 1843, Rev. N. D.
Williamson arrived and took charge as pastor. As soon as the
building was enclosed and floor laid, services were held in this new
church, the pastor using a dry goods box for a j)ulpit. The build-
ing was not fully completed till 1847. It cost $G,000.

It was occupied for thirty years, an honor and ornanuMit to the
town. January 1, 1849, Rev. S. V. E. Westfall was called to take
charge of the Church. He was an earnest worker, and remained
with the Church until April 1, 1856. Over a year elapsed without
a pastor when. May 24, 1857, Rev. A. Lloyd was called and re-
mained until No. 1, i860, when another period was passed without
a pastor. July 1, 1861, Rev. N. D. Williamson was recalled as
stated supjily. Rev.^U. D. Gulick took charge of the Church in
Sept., 1862. The Church had experienced many seasons of pros-
perity, but it was not jDermitted to enjoy an uni;iterrupted tide of


prosperity. The deepest gloom often settled over it, but it became
recognized on every hand as one of the strongest Reformed Churches
in the West. In 1866 was the season of the greatest revival. As
many as forty in one day were admitted. May 1, 1870, Rev. Gulick
resigned and Dec. 1, 1871, Rev. A. Thompson assumed charge. In
the meantime many of the wealthier members withdrew and were
organized into a Congregational Church. Rev. Thompson's pastor-
ate was short, when (Dec, 1872) the present pastor. Rev. E. P.
Livingston, was called, and has remained with the Church since.
The fine church edifice was erected under his pastorate. In the fall
of 1872 the building of a new house of worship was agitated. The
following spring it was begun, and just thirty years from the laying
of the corner stone of the old church the corner stone of their new
Ijuilding was laid. It is a handsome edifice, and in every way in
keeping with this age of culture and refinement.

Rev. Edward P. Livingston, the present pastor of this congrega-
tion, is the son of Rennselacr and Rachel Livingston, and was born
Dec. 5, 1831. He attended the common schools and then entered
Rutirers Collco-e, New Brunswick, N. J. He was united in mar-
riage, Feb. 5, 1856, with Minnie A. Kipp, at Newark, N. J. Two
children have been born to them, to gladden and cheer their home.
Minnie A. was born in Sept., 1857, and Mary C, born in Feb.,
1864. Mr. Livingston came to Pekin in Dec. of 1872, and took
charge of the Reformed Church. As a speaker he is clear, forcible,
and effective ; as a pastor exemplary in his daily walks, pleasant and
genial, and watches with care and tenderness over those under his
charge ; as a husband and father he is kind and devoted, and as a
citizen has the respect and esteem of all.

Second Dutch Rcfonned Church was organized July 26, 1876, by
Revs. K. B. Wieland," John Miller, and E. P. Livingston, with
fifteen members. The building was erected the same year. It is a
good frame, 35 by 55 feet in size, and cost $2,500. It was dedicated
the first Sunday in October, 1876, and since has made great ad-
vances, and the pastorate of Rev. P. F. Schuolke, the present pastor,
has been especially blessed, and the meml)ership increased to 80.
Rev. K. B. Wieland preceeded Rev. Sehuelke, who came in May,
1876, and was the first pastor. The Elders are U. B. Johnson, and
W. Dickman. Deacons; D. Greon, and D.dvlok. The Sunday-
school was organized with two teachers and twelve scholars. It now
numbers 125 to 150 scholars in attendance, Henry Ploepot,


Sui^erintcnclent. Contribution, !$75 }>er year. Salary of jiastor,

Pekin Baptist Church was organize! in LS50, by Rev. G. 8. Bailey,
with four members. These were Mr. and Mrs. Lemuel Allen, Mr.
Hall anti Mrs. Haas. The congregation grew and prospered and in
ISoo, built a house of worship. A fine large brick, 40 by 70 feet,
with basement, was erected. The audience room is reached by a
short flight of stairs from an ante-room into a vestibule under the
gallery of the main room.

St. Paur.s Episcopal Church was organized in the Spring of 1850,
bv Rev. J. S. Chamberlaine. He was succeeded by Rev. Lloyd
Johnson. Rev. G. Sayres took charge of the Parish during the
foil of 1854, and remained pastor until 1859. In Feb. 1861, Rev.
C. F. Loop was called and remained till 18G3, when Rev. S. M.
Steele succeeded him and he in turn was superceded by Rev. A. B.
Russell, then by Rev. Hyde and he by Rev. T. N. Morrison.

A new church edifice was erected in 1874, on Buena Vista Ave.
and Washington St. The foundation was laid in the fall of 1870,
but as the society was unable to complete the church it was left thus
until the spring of 1874. The structure consists of two stories
proper, a brick basement and main auditorium. The building is of
Gothic style of architecture and about 35 by 85 feet in si/o. Lt is
neat and tasty and elegantly furnished.

Umver'salist ChurcJi was organized April 20, 1851, by Rev. (J. C.
Lemon, with fifteen members. A church edifice was erected in
1857, and was dedicated on the second Sunday in February 1858.
The Universalist society no longer hold regrdar services. Their
church building is occupied by the Christian Church.

<S7. Paiirs German Ecauf/clical Church is located on tlie corner of
Seventh and Ann Eliza streets; was organized with thirty mem-
bers, in 1857. The present edifice is a brick structure 45 by 82 feet,
Gothic style of architecture, and cost about t?12,000; have a parson-
age and school building costing about $3,000. The first pastor was
Rev. Wm. Lipj), wiio was succeed by Rev. Wni. Kisel, whose suc-
cessor was Rev. Wm. Kampmeier, the present pastor. The Elders
of the Church are Pleniy Voth and Gustav Vohlow. The pastor's
salary is $750, and the Church raises for all purposes $1,600 annu-
ally. The Sunday-school has an attendance of 250.

Christian Church. — On Friday, Sept. 29, 1876, a meeting was
commenced in Pekin, under the auspices of the Tazewell County


Christian Co-operation, Elder W. F. Richardson acting as their
missionary. This meeting was continued until October 29th, and
resulted in the organization of a congregation of thirty-four mem-
bers. Officers were not elected, but T. J. Collins, Joseph Hiett,
Rival Jones, and Job Hodges were chosen a business committee.
The Universalist Church edifice was rented, which is retained to the
present time. The congregation has had its trials, and they were
severe tests, and shook the faith of some of its members in the
ultimate success of the work, but it is at present in a prosperous
condition. President Everest, of Eureka College, Eureka, 111., is
the present pastor. He devotes half of his time to the work here.
They have a good Sunday-school, which is presided over by B. R.
Hieronymus, Superintendent.

In connection with the history of the city we wish to speak per-
sonally of some who have been and arc making its history, and who
are not mentioned elsewhere in this volume.

Lemuel Allen was born in the State of Virginia, March 23, 1818.
His parents, James and Elizabeth (Lee) Allen, were also natives of
that State. He came to Tazewell Co. in 1846. Previously he re-
ceived a good education in Virginia and in Morgan Co., 111., and
adopted school teaching as his chosen profession. When lie first
came to Pekin, opened a school in the old Lindley Hall, corner
of Court and Second streets. This was quite an historic old house
in the early days of Pekin. This was a subscription school, as all
schools here were at that time. About 1849, a brick building-, yet
standing in the rear of Smith's wagon factory, was erected as a
school-house and Masonic hall ; the Masons occupying the upper
story ; soon the entire building was used for school ])urposes. Dur-
ing the years from 1855 to '58, inclusive, he was Superintendent of
Public Schools at Pekin, and for ten or twelve years served as
County Commissionor of Schools. He was married Sept. 14, 1843,
to Mrs. Margaret Pratt. He has been a member of the Baptist
Church since 1841, and has been a Trustee and Deacon since the
organization of that Church here. In politics Mr. Allen is a

William II. Bates is the son of Alva T. Bates, who was born
among the Green Mountains of Vermont, and Elizabeth (Bowman)
Bates, of New York. William was born in New London, Huron
Co., O., April 28, 1841, and received his education at La Fayette
Seminary, La Fayette, Ind. He learned the printer's trade, and at
the first call for three year troops, enlisted in Co. H, 8th Mo. Inf.,
where he served with honor for over three years. At the close of
his army-life, he came to Pekin, where he engaged in the printing
and publishing business, and for many years edited the Tazewell


Bepublican, where he showed himself to be a stroncr, forcible writer,
advocating in a fearless and masterly manner, all the great political
questions endorsed by the Republican party. Emulating the ex-
ample of the best men of all ages, Mr. Bates loved and married.

Online Librarypub Chas. C. Chapman & Co.History of Tazewell county, Illinois ; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships, educational, religious, civil, military, and political history; portraits of prominent persons and biographies of representative citizens. History of Illinois ... Digest of state laws → online text (page 58 of 79)