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Presbyterian Church of Lacon

The Presbyterian Church of Lacon was organized mainly through the aid of the Rev. Augustus Pomeroy, assisted by a few devout Christian men and women, who had been in the County but a short time. Among those prominent in the good work may be mentioned the three Fenn brothers, Ira I., William and Norman; likewise Samuel Howe, Hezekiah T. Crane, and others, who had known and listened to the ministrations of Mr. Pomeroy in Ohio, and at whose solicitation he had agreed to accompany them into the wilderness. Services were held in private houses, and as considerable interest was manifested in the cause it was decided to organize a society. Accordingly the 12th of May, 1837, was set apart, and due notice being given, a large congregation assembled at the residence of the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy. Here a sermon was preached by Rev. Mr. Farnum, by direction of the Peoria Presbytery, assisted by the Rev. Augustus Pomeroy, after which those qualified and desiring to enter into a Church organization were advised to come forward.

Thirty-eight persons presented themselves, exhibiting satisfactory evidence of previous good standing, and were enrolled, as follows:
Samuel M. Kilgore and his wife, Jacob and Frances Reeder, William and Eleanor McCuen, David and Harriet Mitchell, Norman Fenn, Ira I. and Eunice B. Fenu, Hezekiah and Clarissa Crane, Thaddeus and Ann Barney, James and Margaret Work, Susan Work, Isabella Work, Wm. and Maria Fenn, Martha Ramsay, Jane M. Kilgore, John T. Shepherd, Charles and Mary Barrows, Mrs. Susan L. Pomeroy, Mary Ann Pomeroy, Rev. Augustus D. Pomeroy, William Fisher, George and Mary Snyder, William and Priscilla Dodds, Mrs. Mary Murphy, Samuel and Sarah Howe and Maiy J. McEwen.

The Articles of Faith and Covenant, of the Presbytery of Ottawa were adopted, and Charles Barrows, David Mitchell Hezekiah T, Crane and Ira I. Fenn were elected Elders. Tib Sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered for the first time June 14, 1837.

The Rev. Mr. Pomeroy, who had previously labored a part of the time at Hennepin, was employed to devote his whole services to the Church here.

July 29, Ira I. Fenn was elected Clerk. August 1, Samuel Pomeroy, Mary Pomery, Elijah Pomeroy, Isabella Kilgore, Emily Spangler, James Work, Jr., Samuel Work, Mary Work, Elizabeth and Margaret Work joined. January, 27, 1838, twelve new members were enrolled, and eight admitted for examination. January 28, five persons were baptized, the first recorded.

During the winter the most remarkable revival in the history of the Church took place, and on the 19th of February thirty-four persons made profession of faith and were received in the Society.

February 19, six persons were baptized, and April 7, six additional members joined.

In March, 1838, there were five dismissals of members who wished to join other churches.

In July, 1837, William McCune was removed by death, and on the 14th of August Eunice B. Fenn, and in February, 1838, Harriet Mitchell.

In September, 1838, Mrs. Sarah W. Johnson ; November, Mary Pome-
roy; June 20, 1839, Jacob Smalley.

September 15, 1838, four new converts were secured.

February 25, 1839, the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy asked to be relieved from the care of the Church on account of failing health, which was granted.

The first minister of the Society, as stated before, was the Rev. Augustus Pomeroy, who began in the fall of 1836, and closed by resignation February 25, 1839.

The second was the Rev. H. T. Pendleton, who commenced his labors in June, 1839, and served one year. He was succeeded by the Rev. David Jones, who preached three years.

In October, 1843, the Rev. David Smith was engaged and labored one year, when his services were terminated by death.

On the 4th of August, 1844, Henry G. Pendleton began his labors, preaching one year.

August 19, the Rev. Joseph Fowler was secured and preached until April, 1853, a longer time than any other minister since the organization of the Society.

In 1854 the Rev. Mr. Christopher began preaching as stated supply, and served the Society four and a half years. He was dismissed in November, 1858, and died in 1879. On December 1st of that year the Rev. Mr. Waldo was hired and labored eighteen months. He was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Parsons, who preached for three and a half years.

In July, 1865, the Rev. Mr. Felch took charge of the Clnirch, and continued until dismissed in 1865. During his pastorate about one-half the congregation seceded and formed the Congregational Church. Both societies got along pleasantly together until 1879, when joint services were resumed again under the ministration of the Rev. Mr. Tracey. Mr. Felch afterward abandoned the ministry and went into the insurance business.

December 10, 1865, the Rev. John McLeish was engaged as "stated supply," and preached two years. He was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Curtiss, who remained three years and six months. After Mr. Curtiss came the Rev. C. F. Littell, Rev. T. S. Vail, and Rev. S. D. Wells, who was succeeded by the present incumbent, the Rev. William Tracey.

Public worship was first held and the Church organized at the residence of Mr. Pomeroy, and afterward at the house of Hemy L. Crane, in a room occupied jointly with the Methodists. This served until the old public school house was built, which accommodated all denominations alike for years. The attendants sat on benches of the rudest construction, and the minister stood at a table equally primitive.

The present house of worship was begun in 1849, and finished in 1851, at a total cost of $4,000. It contains a fine bell, and a pipe organ costing originally $1,500. The Society is in a flourishing condition.

Extracted 23 Feb 2014 from Records of the Olden Time


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