Ecclesiastical: [From Goodspeed 1889]
Methodist Church, South - The first Methodist society was organized near Licking, at Carter's house, about 1840, but for the thirteen succeeding years services were held irregularly or not at all.
The Methodist Church, South, of Licking, was organized in 1854, by Rev. T. O. Smith, in the old log school-house, P. D. Mitchell and wife and James Adkins being among the members. In 1856 Preacher John Moore had a house of worship built, and presided there until 1858, when Green Woods, J. B. Landreth and A. Nichols came on the circuit. J. R. Burk was presiding elder in 1858, J. Bond in 1859, and H. N. Watts in 1860, when T. W. Davis was pastor. During the war there were no services held here. In 1867 Rev. G. A. Carter was sent to preach at Licking, and since that time the church has been regularly supplied.
The pastors and presiding elders since 1868 are named as follows: 1868, S. A. Blakey, J. C. Williams (P.E.); 1869, W. M. Bewley, L. W. Powell (P.E.); 1870, D. A. McKnight (P.E.); 1871, W. E. Woodard; 1872, C. E. Deviney, M. Arrington (P.E.); 1873, J. A. Carter; 1874, T. Finney (P.E.); 1875, J. E. Gaddy (P.E.); 1887, C. E. Deviney; 1878, H. Hanesworth (P. E.), W. R. Craven; 1879, A. M. Robinson.
In February, 1878, a new house of worship was erected.
In 1875 there were only seventy-two members in the old Houston Circuit. There was not a church building at that time belonging to this denomination. Rev. A. M. Robinson was appointed preacher in 1877, and within the year ending in October, 1878, a house of worship was erected at Spring Valley by a Mr. Hamilton, at a cost of $160, while a house was built at Houston during 1876-77.
In January, 1889, there were 171 members in the Licking class, and sixty members in the Prairie class, who worship in the schoolhouse, Rev. Mr. Enochs being pastor. The present trustees are P. D. Mitchell, W. S. Nichol, William Rodgers, Sr., S. A. Sisk (the latter being recorder), B. F. Craven, James A. Craven, J. W. Deweese and Christopher Kofahl. John E. Barnes is local preacher, while O. P. Margedant is class leader of the Prairie class.
The Southern Methodists of Houston erected a house of worship in 1876-77. In 1876 Rev. A. M. Robinson proposed such a building, and the members agreeing, determined to go to Adam Bradford's mill, six miles north of town, and cut and haul logs, and have the lumber cut. The time for this was fixed, and a large number of gentlemen with their families repaired to the mill with teams, axes and provisions, and went into camp to remain a time sufficient to fill the bill required for the completion of the house. The following is a list of the names, as far as can be ascertained, of those who went, most of them being accompanied by their wives: J. H. Steffens, Val. Sutton and several of his sons, G. A. Leavitt, J. S. Leavitt, A. E. Leavitt, Ed. Duke, E. J. Tweed, D. G. Elliott, J. W. Price, Jackson Davis, G. Robertson, John Raper, T. N. Bradford, J. R. Duke, Jackson Cobble, John Kay, A. Jadwin, W. C. Jadwin, James Killian, Hib. Killian, Dr. W. T. White, F. P. B. Rutherford, N. W. Smith, F. M. Geiger, J. G. White, S. M. Williams, John Ady, George Elmore and V. Garvie. The building contract was sold to A. C. VanSlyke.
The conference reports of 1887 show 279 members, two local preachers, one church building and one parsonage in the Licking Circuit, 180 members, one local preacher, one church building and one parsonage in the Houston Circuit.
Baptists - The first Baptist services were held at Michael Killian's house, on Hog Creek, and in August, 1846, a Missionary Baptist society was organized there, with Dabney Lynch and Sarah McKenney members. Next day Joseph and Sarah Butler became members; Revs. G. W. Cole and John L. Springer were the organizers. In October of that year a church was built in the Coats' settlement, which is still standing.
Cedar Bluff Baptist Church, just southeast of Cabool, was founded about 1859, by Rev. Posey Freeman. Among the early members were James Farris and wife, William Bradshaw and wife. During the war the society was disorganized, but revived in 1867 by the same members. The church house, which stood where the railroad crossing east of the depot now is, was burned during the war, but the new house, built on the bluff in 1868, is still in use, and the only Baptist Church in the district. A society exists at Sargent, just east and one-eighth mile south, on the edge of Douglas County. Among the members of the old Baptist Church living in the county now are James Farris, J. R. Farris, Mrs. Farris, Sr., George C. Lawes, D. Bean, William Bradshaw and George Horton; also a number of younger members. Among the preachers were G. Stogdill, J. W. Brown, Jasper Morris, and Levi Fitzgerald, the present pastor.
The Baptist Church of Licking was organized October 23, 1879, by Rev. A. H. Randall and M. H. Evans, evangelists, on motion of A. S. Cameron. The members were T. R. Bates, A. S. Cameron, George W. Williams, Maggie Marr, Nancy and Martha Ray, Isabella Campbell, Rachel and Susan A. Handy, Janet and Alzenia Cameron, Sarah and Melinda Stubbs, Martha and Jane Williams, Eliza Bates. Prior to the close of October many members were received. In November the Christian building was secured for worship, and before the close of the year no less than fifty names were enrolled. James L. Campbell was first clerk, and has served as such for the past decade, and Rev. James Rice first pastor, who was presiding January 28, 1883, when the present building was dedicated, the cost being $3,000. In October, 1883, Rev. T. A. Bowman was pastor, succeeded in 1884 by J. S. Rice, who may be said to have presided up to April, 1888, when Mr. Swift, the present pastor, and in 1886-87, when Mr. Moss, then missionary of the Dry Fork Association, preached. The church membership at present is eighty-eight. Prior to the war the Boone Creek Church comprised the membership in and around Licking.
The First Baptist Church of Houston was organized in 1884, with twelve members. Rev. James Rice as pastor and Mr. Bledsoe as church clerk. The next pastor was Robert White, followed by Rev. John Crabtree and J. C. Hicks. The present pastor is Elder J. H. Smith, and clerk, M. E. Duke. The membership on January 1, 1889, was twenty-five. The church building was completed in 1886-87, but its interior is not finished. The total cost is $1,700. The building committee comprised J. H. Johnston, David Lynch, M. E. Duke and J. D. Crabtree.
Throughout the county are societies of this denomination. The Gasconade River Association, organized in 1848, now claims 799 members and eighteen churches. The Dry Fork Association, organized in 1887, claims 1,072 members and twenty-two churches.
Methodists - The Methodist Episcopal Church of Licking dates its origin back to 1840, but its organization came after the war. In 1867 Rev. A. Manship and F. Fleming were preachers, and among the members were Mrs. Fort, L. Garnett, W. Hendman, Jesse Stanley and wife, Eliza Maxwell, Lydia Wilson and S. L. Crow.
The Licking Circuit was established in March, 1871, out of the Houston and Hartville Circuits, within Texas County, and along the line of Dent County. Rev. E. Hopkins was then pastor. During the ensuing year four classes were organized. In 1872 the circuit comprised part of Houston and part of Salem. The classes were as follows: Licking, Feudges, eight miles east; Wolf's, fifteen miles west; Crow's, four miles north. Rev. J. M. Powers was pastor at this time. In March, 1876, the Houston and Licking Circuits were united, with J. W. Acres, pastor. Rev. Mr. Bell served two years prior to the re-establishment of Licking Circuit in 1879. Then Rev. L. C. Sappenfield took charge, and during his administration the present church building was begun. In 1882 Rev. J. B. Brewington was appointed. The appointments at Success and Concord were detached. In 1885 John Clarke took charge, and in October, 1886, Rev. J. W. Cowden. He served the church until March, 1887. Rev. W. H. Gardenhire succeeded, and filled the pulpit until September, 1887, when Rev. W. F. Grundy was appointed. The class leaders are Cornelius Mitchell, of Licking class; John Landeau, Shaefer class; David Crow, of Crow class; James E. Malone, of the Craddock class, organized in 1888, vice the Hamby class, discontinued. The total membership is 110, the church at Licking being the only church house in the circuit.
The Methodist Episcopal Church of Houston may be termed a post bellum association. The present building was completed in the fall of 1887, at a cost of $1,412, exclusive of material donations by members. Toward the building fund the C. E. S. contributed $250, and D. G. Elliott $365. The latter also designed the building and superintended its construction. The present trustees are W. Parmenter, Levi Shoemaker and D. G. Elliott, and the membership twenty. Rev. Wesley Nall is pastor of the circuit.
The Houston Circuit claims 120 members and one church building, while Licking claims ninety-six members and one church house. Mountain Grove Circuit, which includes the church at Cabool and adjacent territory, claims 155 members and one church building.
Christian Church - The first Christian society of Texas County was organized in 1846, within the old log cabin school house, on the northern edge of Licking, by Elder E. Hovey, with Joel Sherrill and wife, Elgin Tate, John McKnight and wife, Robert Cleek and wife, Polly Phaires and Mary Ann Hayes. From 1849 to the close of the war there was no regular pastor. About 1867 a society was organized at Dish Rag School house. This was irregularly attended. About five years ago the church at Licking was organized. From 1881 to December 13, 1888, there were 186 members received and thirty-seven removed. The trustees are Joel Sherrill, Eli Wilson and Henry Kitchen, and Rev. Mr. Lynn, preacher. From this beginning the churches throughout the county have spread out.
Presbyterians - The Presbyterian Church of Cabool was organized in 1883, at A. J. Snelson's house, by Rev. William Rogers, of Licking. Among the first members were A. J. Snelson, George F. Pettigrew, Samuel Hendricks, W. H. Hamilton and their wives, Hettie Snelson, Martha Martin, James Martin and wife, and Margaret C. Snelson. The society holds services in the school house or in the Southern Methodist house, but will have their large frame church house completed in September. Lemuel Hazzard is the contractor. The Cumberland Presbyterians claim several societies, but their places of meeting are still the district school house or homes of the members.
Among the preachers named on the marriage record of 1856-60 are Thomas Johnson, W. J. Morris, Stephen Ritchey, Lawson Thompson, of the Southern Methodist Church; John L. Springer, James Pettyjohn, R. M. Newport, C. H. Latimore, Wesley Nall, William Nobles, E. A. Hight, Travis O. Smith, Dabney Lynch, E. Garrison, George M. Jewell, John Cummins, J. T. Sullens, James Baker, R. B. Hodges, William M. Briggs, Stanford Jugg, William K. Spillman, Peter Miller, Samuel Hughes, G. W. Nelson, Joseph Stark, John D. Prince, J. Samples, Elijah Ruse, John W. Swofford, Jacob Fry, Hugh Stoops, T. W. Davis, Harmon B. Clinton, A. C. Morrow, W. J. Symmons, E. B. Headlee, Johnathan Laws, L. J. H. Guin, J. W. Craven, Daniel R. Starts, B. C. Stephens, John Sanders, Wilson F. Thornton, C. C. Harris, Newton O. Edwards, Luther Riley, Franklin S. Ellis and R. W. Worthington.
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