Clay County

1915 Disciples of Christ

Bethel (Louisville)

Organized 1882; present membership, 224; value of property, $1,000; Bible school enrollment, 103.

This is six miles west from Louisville and was largely made up from Old Union, five miles west.

Bethlehem (Flora)

Present membership, 24; value of property, $1,100; Bible school enrollment, 95.

Bible Grove

Present membership, 139; value of property, $800; Bible school enrollment, 57.

Clay City

Organized 1871, by Geo. P. Slade; present membership, 88; value of property, including parsonage, $6,200; Bible school began 1872; present enrollment, 100.

About one year after Greenburg Owens settled in Clay City, he secured Evangelist Slade to conduct a meeting there, when, in the small M. E. chapel South, he formed a church of Christ with the following members: William, O. D. and Philadelphia Schooley, Greenburg and Martha Owens, Geo. W. Bailey, Josephine Driskell, Catherine Livings and Sarah A. Bassett. By meetings led by Ministers Slade and John A. Williams, the number was increased to 105 at the close of the first year. The first officers were Greenburg Owens, J. G. Alcorn and J. T. Evans, elders, with O. D. Schooley, A. G. Livings and J. D. Trains, deacons.

A brick chapel was completed in 1872 and first used for a prayer-meeting by the congregation. A parsonage was secured in 1880.

This is a congregation of fine people. While not rich in material property, they have never resorted to anything of doubtful propriety to raise money. They have respected and loved their pastors, paid all their bills promptly, commanded the respect of the community, and have always observed all the missionary days, even though they had no pastor.

The membership has been busy in doing the Lord's work, united and happy. Very few have ever had a tale of woe to tell the pastor. This admirable spirit is credited to Mr. Owens and their other good leaders. Sixty of the first 105 have passed on to the higher life. Mr. Owens was the first to go. Dr. J. T. Evans has long been a pillar of this church.


Organized 1855, by William Schooley; present membership, 328; value of property, including parsonage, $16,000; Bible school enrollment, 218.

This church was organized in an old log schoolhouse that stood a mile west of the hamlet of Flora. The following were the nine charter members: Walter Kinnaman, Henry Kinnaman and wife, Samuel Kinnaman and wife, Felin Poe and wife and James Moore and wife. All of these have finished their work in this life.

When a schoolhouse was built in the village, the congregation transferred its meeting-place there. The first chapel was completed in 1860. It cost $2,000, and served as the meeting-place for forty-three years. The present beautiful and modern building was first occupied in August, 1903, during the pastorate of A. B. Cunningham. During the same period the parsonage was built.

C. W. Marlow is the present pastor.

This congregation has had not a few royal men and women, great children of the King. Among the earlier and continuous residents the names of Wm. Kinnaman, Henry Kinnaman and wife, Joseph Luse and wife, Alvin Kenner and wife, Jere. Billings and wife, R. B. Henry and wife, S. D. Rosenburger and wife and Albert Green and wife are held in loving and grateful remembrance. From its gates have gone hundreds of faithful people to help and bless the world.


Organized 1839, by William Read; value of property, $5,000; Bible school began 1864.

In 1840 the place now known as Ingraham was called the "Forks of Muddy." Muddy was on the west and Laws Creek on the east, and between the two was Ingraham Prairie. Marysville was the little hamlet there. When the post-office was established the name was changed to Ingraham, the word "Prairie" being dropped.

William Ingraham was born in New York State in 1801. He came with his parents to Barney's Prairie, Wabash County, in 1807, and to the Clay County settlement in 1838. The same year William Read settled there. In May, 1839, he, with Mr. Ingraham, went to the home of John Rogers to talk about religious matters. They were agriculturists and had taken no part in public worship other than to pray. However, they decided that the gospel must be preached and a church organized; so it was agreed that Mr. Read should serve as evangelist, Mr. Rogers as elder and Mr. Ingraham as deacon. Then they adjourned to meet the next September. Later Mr. Rogers and Mr. Ingraham cordially exchanged their official positions as their experiences had proved their fitness. At the September meeting, Mr. Read read the following:

That we do here and now constitute ourselves into a church of Jesus Christ, to be known as "The Church of Christ in the Forks of Muddy," and that we will meet together, worship God, and build the cause of Christ in this section, and that our creed shall be the Bible and nothing but the Bible. And now all who agree to this proposition will signify the same by giving me and to each other the hand as a token of said determination.

The three men struck hands, and thus, under a pear-tree, this church was started.

Soon afterward Philo Ingraham and Eli Read moved from Wabash County, who, with their wives and the wives of the first three, made a membership of ten. They entered zealously into the Lord's work, and within a few years had organized congregations of like faith in the present-day limits of Clay, Jasper and Effingham Counties.

Within two years some Methodist brethren moved into the settlement. Soon the theological battle was on, and for a long time was both brave and bitter.

This church developed a sturdy stock of men and women, such as make the abiding world and build the Kingdom of God.

The Ingrahams, Reads, Lollars and Pixleys blessed their generation. The preachers produced were remarkable men. William Ingraham was the true overseer of this church for forty years. Dorman, Daniel and Williard F. Ingraham, William Read the evangelist, Jesse B. Shaddle (who gave over four years to his country's service), G. M. and F. M. Lollar, Gideon Bryan, Albert Meacham and Thomas Wood make up an honorable company.

From a very early date the church observed its annual meetings, which were occasions of great interest and rejoicing. The Bible school was organized by David Hedrick, a Moravian. Later, in the State of Washington, he united with the church of Christ.

The community was intensely loyal during the Civil War.

It is a significant fact that this congregation did not come to the weekly observance of the Lord's Supper till 1874.

There have been three chapels. The first was built of logs in 1848; the second of brick in 1853. Major Waller, of the M. E. Church, preached in this house once every month for a year. The third a frame was built in 1872. The Methodist brethren had the free use of this house also. Few congregations have a record that surpassed that of the Ingraham Church.

Liberty Chapel (Flora)

Organized 1911, by C. W. Marlow; present membership, 22.

This church is located five miles southwest of Flora. It grew out of the desire of a few members of the Oak Mound congregation for a more convenient place to worship. They joined with the United Brethren people in the community in building a chapel, which was deeded to them, but used jointly. A union Bible school was maintained. The Disciples increased in the community and the U. B. people decreased, so a legal transfer of the property was made in 1911, Min. C. W. Marlow leading.

The Bible school is up to date and a training-class doing good work.


Present membership, 82; value of property, $1,800; Bible chool enrollment, 45.

McKinney (Sailor Springs)

Organized 1871; present membership, 96; Bible school enrollment, 85.

This church is located on Levitt Prairie, and was first known by that name. A debate was held in the neighborhood schoolhouse in 1869 which awakened the community. There were twenty-five charter members, some of whom came from the Cooper congregation a few miles west, and others from the Slab chapel a few miles east. The chapel was built in 1871. The first elders were Daniel Reed and Joel Wammack. The church has given to the ministry W. E. Harlow and William Crackel. It is a country church that persists in living by working.

New Bethlehem, This is five miles northeast of Flora.

North Harter (Flora)

Organized 1905, by E. S. Thompson; present membership, 140; value of property, $1,350; Bible school began 1905; present enrollment, 100.

This church is located five miles northeast of Flora. It started with eighty- four members, some coming from surrounding congregations. Mr. Thompson was the efficient minister for five years. R. L. Brown followed, and A. R. Tucker is the present preacher. Walter Cox led to graduation fifteen persons in Moninger's "Training for Service." Jas. L. McDaniels is the efficient church clerk.

Oak Mound (Xenia)

Present membership, 98; value of property, $700; Bible school enrollment, 57.

This is four miles north of Xenia. It was recruited from Old Union. Here most of the young people are church-members.

Old Union (Xenia)

Present membership, 60; Bible school enrollment, 50. This is eleven miles west of Louisville.

Red Brush (Louisville)

Present membership, 31; value of property, $1,500; Bible school enrollment, 80.

Sailor Springs

Present membership, 80; value of property, $1,800; Bible school enrollment, 65.

Union Chapel (Louisville)

Present membership, 71; value of property, $1,200; Bible school enrollment, 47.


Organized 1865, by John D. Williams; present membership, 45; value of property, $1,500; Bible school enrollment, 58.

The first officers were Gillum Henson and John Dunn, elders; Hiram Gibson and Jackson Barker, deacons. The congregation prospered and did good service in its earlier years. Then a period of wars, led by ultra-conservatives, set in and crippled its usefulness for a long time. At present there are some signs of better days.

Extracted 03 Feb 2019 by Norma Hass from History of the Disciples of Christ in Illinois 1819-1914, by Nathaniel S. Haynes, published in 1915, pages 140-146.

Visit Our Neighbors
Fayette Effingham Jasper
Marion Richland
Search the Archives