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Beecher Chapel. 
[Postcards and text contributed by Bob Miller.]

Beecher Chapel (52362 bytes)"Beecher Chapel, Galesburg, Ill." postcard postmarked September 18, 1909.  Taken from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, 1899, "First Congregational Church - Organized November 9, 1855, by forty-seven members of the "Old First" [Congregational Church].  By February, 1858, eighty-two more had joined from the old church.  The first pastor was Rev. Edward Beecher.  In 1856, the "Brick Church, "[it was the first brick church built in Galesburg] on Broad street, between Simmons and Tompkins, was built at an outlay of fifteen thousand dollars.  The great storm or May 13, 1858, blew over the tall spire, which was replaced by the short tower now surmounting the edifice.  To aid in this repairing, Henry Ward Beecher, brother of the pastor, lectured in Galesburg, donating the proceeds to the church.  Mrs. Henry Hitchcock presented the parsonage, on the corner of Broad and North Streets.  Rev. H. A. Bushnell, the last pastor, resigned in 1894."

beecher_chapel2.jpg (123507 bytes)"Galesburg, Ills., Beecher Chapel, Knox College" postcard published by Peck's China Store, Galesburg, Ill.

When the congregation reunited with "Old First" to form Central Congregational Church in 1895, the building was purchased by Knox College.  It was subsequently known as Beecher Chapel.  The building was razed in 1966.


Central Congregational Church.  [Postcard and text contributed by Bob Miller.]

Central Church (47271 bytes)"Central Church, Galesburg, Ill." postcard post marked December 23, 1908.  Old First Church was organized in Galesburg in February of 1837 with Rev. George W. Gale as first pastor.  In November, 1855, forty-seven members of the "Old First" left to start the First Congregational Church with Rev. Edward Beecher as first pastor.  Central Congregational Church was organized January 1, 1895, by the reunion of the "Old First" and First Congregational congregations.  The "Old First" church building, which had become unsafe, was torn down and, in December of 1898, construction of the Central Congregational Church pictured in the postcard was completed on the same site at a cost of $74,000.  The church is located on the southwest corner of Main and Broad Streets, facing east onto Broad.  It was named to the National Register of Historic Sites in 1976.


Corpus Christi Church.  [Postcard and text contributed by Bob Miller.]

Corpus Christi Church (56223 bytes)"Corpus Christi Church, Galesburg, Ill." postcard postmarked August 15, 1914.  Taken from Portrait and Biographical Album of Knox County, Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, 1886, page 1033.  "The Church of Corpus Christi (Catholic).  The first opening of the Catholic service in Galesburg was by a missionary at a very early day.  Services were held in a shanty, which was afterward blown down.  Rev. John O'Neil was the first settled priest, and it was during his pastorate that the first church building was erected [St. Patrick's Church], which was in 1857.  This was located in the southwest part of town.

Father O'Neil was succeeded in 1863 by Rev. James Power, who only remained one year, when Rev. Maurice Howard assumed charge.  Mr. Howard served the church until 1877, when Rev. Joseph Costa, the present pastor, was appointed.

Father Costa neither liked the old church building nor its location, and it was not long after he assumed charge before he began to lay his plans for a new edifice and a new location.  What he wanted was a good location in the center of the city.  All available ground, however, was occupied.  But he made up his mind he would not build until he secured grounds that suited him.  A few years' waiting and the exercise of a little strategy finally brought him into possession of just the site he wanted, which was on the corner of South and Prairie streets.  Work was then commenced, which finally terminated in the completion of the present edifice.  The cornerstone was laid in May, 1884, by Bishop Spaulding.  It was dedicated Sunday, October 4, 1885, the services being conducted by Bishop Spaulding, of Peoria.  The building is 122 feet long by 57 feet in width.  The foundation is of cut stone, and the superstructure is of brick.  Its graceful and well-proportioned spire rises 150 feet.  The auditorium is large, light and airy and elegantly finished, having a heavy Gothic ceiling with groined side arches on each side, and across the front is a gallery.  From each side of the altar there are also two invisible galleries, which command a view of the altar through arched openings.  The altar is beautifully and artistically designed.  The panel in front represents the Lord's Supper.  The figures are in basso-relievo, carved in wood and exceedingly well executed.  The basement, which is quite high, is fitted up for a vesper room and other like services.  It is lighted with gas and heated by steam.  Mr. Guido was the architect and Matthias Schnell the builder.  To Father Costa, however, the credit must be given for the design and plan of the edifice.  Total cost of building and grounds, $35,000.  A bell has been put in, weighing 600 pounds, and costing $600.  A large pipe organ is to be an additional attraction.

Father Costa is assisted by Father Selva.  The present membership of the church consists of 200 parochial families and about 100 mixed families."

Taken from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, 1899, "... in May, 1884, the cornerstone of Corpus Christi was laid, the building being dedicated by Bishop Spaulding, of Peoria, October 4, 1885.  Cost, including lot, of $35,000.  Rectory just north of church.  ...  Rev. Joseph Costa, still pastor of Corpus Christi, deserves most of the credit for the church."  The church continues to stand and serve its congregation at the northeast corner of Prairie and South Streets, facing Prairie.


East Main Street Church, Galesburg (50993 bytes)"East Main Street Church, Galesburg, Ill." postcard.  [Contributed by Bob Miller.]


First Baptist Church.  [Postcard and text contributed by Bob Miller.]

First Baptist Church (66735 bytes)"First Baptist Church, Galesburg, Ill." postcard postmarked October 6, 1913.  Taken from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, 1899, "First Baptist Church - Organized with thirty members, January 15, 1848.  Edifice, northwest corner of Broad and Tompkins streets; dedicated in 1851; sold, with lot, for two thousand dollars in 1865, to Board of Education [as future site of Galesburg High School].  Frame building erected on Cherry street and dedicated April 9, 1868; cost thirty thousand dollars; burned December 19, 1892.  Present church dedicated January 21, 1894; cost $33,800.  In 1857, seceding members formed the Cherry Street Church, Rev. S. Kingsbury being the first pastor.  The division sorely tried both churches, and Rev. I. Fargo, pastor of the Cherry Street Church, earnestly sought reunion, which finally was suggested by the First Church in a courteous note sent the Cherry Street congregation on October 9, 1864.  The reunion was affected November 9, following, Rev. W. W. Moore being pastor.  Rev. W. H. Geistweit is now pastor.  It has five hundred and sixty members; one hundred and fifty in the Young People's Union,  and three hundred in the Sunday school, which has been made one of the strongest in Galesburg by the efforts of E. R. Drake, Superintendent from 1880 to the present time, with exception of eighteen months."City Hall and First Baptist Church (76577 bytes)  The First Baptist Church building pictured in the postcard is located on the northeast corner of Cherry and Tompkins Streets.  It was built at a cost of $ 33,800 and was dedicated on January 21, 1894.

"City Hall and First Baptist Church, Galesburg, Ill." postcard postmarked September 20, 1912.  The Galesburg City Hall and Brown's Business College can be seen just north (to the left) of the church on Cherry Street.


First Methodist Episcopal Church.

First M. E."First M. E., Galesburg, Ill." postcard.  Taken from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, 1899, "Methodist Episcopal - The first church organization was formed in 1847, by Rev. J. J. Hedstom.  A small edifice was erected in 1851, on the [northeast] corner of Kellogg and Tompkins streets, where the present church stands.  Peter Cartwright [a formidable, itinerant Methodist clergyman] preached the dedicatory sermon.  It was merely an appointment in the Knoxville circuit until 1855, when Rev. M. S. Hanley was assigned as a regular pastor.  In 1872, the old parsonage was torn down and its site, which adjoined that of the church, was thrown into the church lot, and the adjacent property on the west was purchased.  On the site thus obtained the present church building was begun.  Dedicated February 27, 1876.  Its cost was $32,000.  In 1895, extensive repairs and improvements were made, involving an outlay of $20,000.  The church has eight hundred and twenty members and six hundred and twenty-five in the Sunday school.  The Epworth League is flourishing.  Rev. T. W. McVety is the present pastor."First Methodist Church (78604 bytes)  The church building was destroyed by fire in late July 1909.  [Postcard contributed by Jim Ferris; text contributed by Bob Miller.]

"First Methodist Church, Galesburg, Ill." postcard.  Construction was started on a new church in 1911 at the northwest corner of Kellogg and Ferris Streets, facing east onto Kellogg.  It is now known as the First United Methodist Church.  Postcard and text contributed by Bob Miller.]


Presbyterian Church of Galesburg.  [Postcard and text contributed by Bob Miller.]

presbyterian_church2.jpg (138359 bytes)"Galesburg, Ills., Presbyterian Church" postcard postmarked July 7, 1908.

Presbyterian Church (65112 bytes)"Presbyterian Church, Galesburg, Ill." postcard postmarked September 13, 1912.  Taken from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, 1899, "Presbyterian Church of Galesburg - Formed by the union of [Presbyterian Church and Second Presbyterian Church] ... on March 1, 1870.  Rev. L. Pratt was the first pastor.  At that time there were about three hundred members.  Rev. W. H. Spence is the present pastor.  The church has about five hundred communicants, and the Sunday school enrollment exceeds three hundred.  The Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor has a membership of one hundred and fifty.  The congregation occupied the edifice of the Second Church on Cherry street, until it burned, November 30, 1891.  The present building, on the corner of Ferris and Prairie streets, was dedicated December 3, 1893.  It is a handsome structure, of gray sandstone, and cost $62,000.  It was the first of the new stone churches here, and is the finest, with the exception of Central Church.  It seats nine hundred in the auditorium proper, and two thousand when the Sunday school rooms are thrown open."


StPatricksChurch1.jpg (85211 bytes)"St. Patrick's Church, Galesburg, Ill." postcard dated September 27, 1909.  Located on South Academy Street in Galesburg, St. Patrick's was the first Catholic Church opened in Galesburg.  [Contributed by Bob Miller.]


swedish_baptist_church1.jpg (66344 bytes)"Swedish Baptist Church, Galesburg, Ill." postcard by Osgood.  [Contributed by Bob Miller.]


SwedishLutheranChurch1.jpg (87224 bytes)"Swedish Lutheran Church, Galesburg, Ill." postcard.  [Contributed by Bob Miller.]


Trinity Lutheran Church.  [Postcard and text contributed by Bob Miller.]

Trinity Lutheran Church (74676 bytes)"Trinity Lutheran Church, Galesburg, Ill." postcard.  Trinity Lutheran Church stands at the southeast corner of Kellogg and Ferris Streets, facing north onto Ferris.  Construction of the church building was begun in 1899 by the congregation of St. John's Episcopal Church, but its completion was delayed because of funding difficulties.  The building was purchased in 1907 by the Trinity Lutheran congregation.  It has been remodeled and expanded a number of times since then.

trinty_luthern_church2.jpg (81934 bytes)"Trinity Lutheran, Galesburg, Ill." postcard.  This postcard shows several changes in the exterior of the church, including new roof lines over the steeple and the far left entry, different stonework over all of the windows and entries, and a significant change in the entry under the large stained-glass window on the left.


universalist_church1.jpg (103337 bytes)"Universalist Church, Galesburg, Ill." postcard.  [Contributed by Bob Miller.]


Congregational Church & Parsonage (53221 bytes)"Congregational Church & Parsonage, Abingdon, Ill." postcard.  [Contributed by Jim Ferris.]

Taken from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, 1899, page 915. [Contributed by Bob Miller.]  "The Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Cedar [Township] dates its beginning from about 1834 or 1835, with fifteen members.  Not long thereafter they erected a house of worship, said to have been the first church building in the county.  It stood about one mile and a half northwest of Abingdon, and was used for a number of years as a class room for Cherry Grove Seminary.  The denomination's influence, in both school and church affairs, has been potent throughout this entire section of the county.  In 1866 the congregation removed to Abingdon.  Subsequently it affiliated itself with the Congregational denomination and became the present Congregational communion of Abingdon."

Taken from Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and Knox County, Munsell Publishing Company, 1899, page 923. [Contributed by Bob Miller.]  "The First Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized in Cherry Grove, by Rev. James Stockton, in 1834.  In 1866 the denomination erected a church edifice in Abingdon.  This society was later changed to a Congregational church, which was organized in 1881.  The society bought the Cumberland Presbyterian property, and in 1885 refitted the building, adding a lecture room.  The house was again remodeled in 1897, and a pipe organ placed in the church.  The society is in a prosperous condition."


Maquon Methodist Church (34652 bytes)Maquon Methodist Church.    [Contributed by Todd Walter.]

The first recorded occurrence of a worship service with preaching took place in 1835 at a double log cabin just south and west of the present village limits.  This double cabin had been built in 1828 by Simeon Dolph, the operator of the ferry across Spoon River, who sold it to William McGowen.  The cabin was in McGowen's possession at the time of the 1835 worship services.  The preacher, Parnach Owen, was a Presbyterian who had come to Maquon as a surveyor and who had, in fact, laid out the town.  From 1842 until 1848, worship services were held in a building built by a Mr. Maddox for the purpose of housing machinery for carding wool on the west side of the square.

In 1848, when William Purcell built a brick school house on what is now West Street, church services were moved to this building.  In 1866, after the new school was built, members of the Ladies Sewing Society purchased the building to be used as a church off and on until the present church was built in 1877.

In the meantime however, the community had flirted with spiritualism, and held nightly sťances for a period during the 1850's.  According to one account "preaching services were practically broken up".  Christian services were not held regularly at this time and, during the 1860's, people drifted back and forth between spiritualism and Christian worship.

A number of efforts were made to raise money to erect a church including a joint venture between the Spiritualists and Unitarians, all of which failed.  The building of the present Methodist Church occurred after Rev. Charles Swartz was appointed to take charge of services in Maquon and Summit in 1875.  Swartz was successful in getting a subscription of $1600 for the project with more promised.  The site for the building was bought from Thomas Benson, and the church was built by Capt. James Burkhalter and his brother William at a cost of $4500.  Bishop Jessee T. Peck officiated at the dedication ceremonies, September 11, 1877.

The stained glass windows were added to the church between 1901 and 1903 when John T. Killip was pastor.  In 1919 the spire on the southeast corner of the church was removed.


Saint Augustine Catholic Church and Parsonage (79433 bytes)Saint Augustine Catholic Church and Parsonage.SaintAugustineChurchInterior1.jpg (84846 bytes)  According to the 1912 History of  Knox County Illinois, the church was originally built in 1863 under the supervision of Father Allbrecht, and was at one time across the county line in Fulton County.  A few years after being built, "Father Larmer removed it to it's current site".  I take this to mean the building itself was actually moved.  The original priest's house built about 1874-75, burned down in 1911, and this new parsonage was built in 1912.  [Contributed by Patti Lawson.]