Church Building to be Sold to Highest Bidder
Wednesday, 23 July 1941, Robinson, Illinois
On Thursday, July 24, at two o'clock in the afternoon, the Plymouth Methodist church building located in Melrose Township, a few miles west of West York will be sold to the highest bidder, With the wrecking of this building will pass one of the old landmarks of that section.
The church was organized in 1838 at an old school house near Melrose by Rev. William Blundell. The first meetings were held in this school house and at the home of Nixon Evans and his wife, Emily Minerva (Bartlett) Evans, whose grave was the first in the well-kept cemetery adjoining the chuch lot. Mrs. Evans died September 17, 1853.
The church was built in 1860 with Miles Evans, W. D. Lamb, Leander Frost and Zachariah Henry named as trustees. The land was bought from John B. Richardson. From the time of the organization of the Plymouth church until his death at the age of nearly ninety years, on October 27, 1904, Nicon Evans was a loyal and active leader of the congregation. He preached his last sermon there at the funeral of Noble Drake, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Drake, on May 15, 1895, when he was 79 years of age.
The roster of names of the members for the year 1859 are contained in the old Class Book of the church on the fly leaf of which is written, "Class Book for Evan's Class, Livingston Circuit, Paris District, Ills., Conference I. L. Crane Presiding, Elder and H. C. Hockensmith Past in Charge."
Following are the first names entered on the membership roll:
James Howerton, Sarah Howerton, Nixon Evans (local deacon), Clarissa Evans, Zachariah Henry, Nancy E. Lamb, Dunn Lamb, Axey Lamb, Matilda Caywood, Daniel Dawson, Hester Dawson, Enos Buckner, Julia Buckner, Enoch Ralston, Mary Ralston, Hannah Evans, Eviline C. Dawson, Wm. Buckner, Elizabeth Buckner, Miles Evans (Class Leader), Elizabeth Evans, Cinthea Arrowsmith, Sarah Due, Leander Frost, Sarah Frost, A. W. Dix, John Spivey, Abigail Spivey, Dianah Cooper, Susan Cooper, Sarah Bartlett.
Miss Sarah Bartlett, who will be 93 years old on December 8, 1941, is the only living member of the pioneer group who saw the building of the Plymouth Methodist Episcopal church in 1860.
By 1861 the membership had grown to seventy-five, but during the sixties the Civil War took its toll of the young men of the church.
Opposite the names of Enoch Ralston, Joseph Smith, Thomas Harris, J. W. Dawson, Joseph Due and Richard Ralston appear the words "in the army", while the name of James K. Polk carries the notation "exhorter in the army."
Among the names on the lists of 1877 to 1884 are Prevo Ralston, (class leader), Ann McConn, Warren B. Evans, Mahala Ralston, Sarah A. Willard, Pliny Draper, Catherine Draper, Tacy Dix, J. W. M. Drake, Alice Evans, Daniel and Elizabeth Cooper.
The church was discontinued as a circuit point about 1909 or 1910. It was last used in 1940 when it was opened for the funeral of James Drake as he had requested.
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