Lanark is situated on section five, in Rock Creek Township. The first settler in this township was David Becker,
who settled here in 1844, and made a claim of the land now included in the farm of Daniel Belding. Until Mr. Becker
settled here, the primitive stillness had never been disturbed nor the soil broken by the innovations of civilization.
The settlements, as elsewhere noted, had been confined to the shadows of the groves, and when Mr. Becker selected
his claim and expressed his determination to settle "away out on the prairie," it was supposed he was
making a very hazardous and foolish experiment - that no civilized white man or white woman could withstand the
exposures and winds of an open, unobstructed prairie plain. But he only laughed at such objections, and ventured
upon the trial. Time and industry proved his wisdom. His cabin was built, and while his neighbors in the groves
were grubbing, cutting and mauling away to make farms, he was enjoying the ease of a farm already made, the enclosures
alone excepted. Soon after the selection of his claim, the virgin soil was turned over by the breaking team and
plow of E. Spaulding and L. T. Easterbrook. The next settlers were Z. B. Kinkade, John Kinkade and Nathaniel Sutton,
who came in the Spring of 1846, and located on section seven. Z. B. Kinkade was the next man after Becker to commence
making a farm by breaking up the prairie. Settlements in the townships were slow for a number of years, and until
there was a prospect for a railroad, after which immigration was rapid. In locating the town, John Nycurn donated
80 acres to the railroad company, and they purchased 80 acres more - making them owners of 160 acres. The company
has contributed liberally, in lots, to most of the church societies. After the lands granted to the Illinois Central
Railroad were selected, land entries were rapid, and nearly all were taken up for farms and homes - but very little
being entered for purposes of speculation.
From 1845 to 1850, the people of Northern Illinois were considerably interested in devising ways and means for
building railroads. Almost every neighborhood had a scheme of its own. Every settlement wanted a railroad, and
many men who owned land that was intersected by crossroads imagined that, if railroads were built, they couldn't
fail to centre at his particular place. In some instances, magnificent plans were based on small prospects. Many
towns were laid off - on paper. High sounding names were given them and their streets and avenues, but their glory
and prosperity didn't last long. They went down before more fortunate rivals, and are now only known in name. Among
such towns in this part of Carroll County was Georgetown - about four miles north of Lanark, of which Messrs. Stanton,
Turner and Puterbaugh were the proprietors. At one time, when the Racine & Mississippi Railroad bade fair to
be a completed success, Georgetown had a promising future, but when that enterprise failed, Georgetown's glory
The first house built in Lanark was a small one story frame structure, 16 by 96, intended for a boarding house,
for the accommodation of the men employed in building the Lanark Hotel, now occupied by Samuel Deitrich. The old
boarding house was built under the direction of D. W. Dame, and, when completed, was put in charge of Daniel H.
Stouffer and wife, the first family to claim an abiding place in the new town. That shanty like structure has undergone
a good many changes and alterations since that time, and is now included, for the most part, in the building occupied
by C. E. Wales & Co., as a hardware store, on the east side of Broad Street.
When it was known beyond question that the railroad would be built, there was a rapid influx of aspiring business
men. Situated in the centre of as grand a farming district as there is in Illinois, Lanark was conceded to be the
"coming town" in this part of the state, a concession that has been fully sustained by time and its developments.
Building didn't drag, but men of brains, money and muscle, went to work with a will, and it was not long until
all the promi. nent corners were taken and occupied. Where, but a few months before, there was nothing but an undisturbed
prairie, with no really productive and remunerative farms within sight, all became hurry and bustle. Stores and
trading places were opened just as fast as accommodations could be secured. The country around began to liven up,
farms to be made, houses and barns to be built, 11 every month adding some new improvement, until now, look out
in any direction, and evidences of wealth and comfort and progress rise up to relieve the eye's wanderings. From
the old boarding shanty of a few years ago, Lanark has grown into a well regulated and well governed town of 1,500
people, whose homes and business houses give token of intelligence, thrift and comfort, Many of the business houses
are large ones, their annual transactions reaching far up into the thousands. The founders of the town were wise
and liberal in their establishment of the streets and avenues. 'They are not narrow, pent up, alley like concerns,
but wide and convenient, and, as they come to be occupied with residence houses, have been handsomely shaded, while
wide, substantial plank walks line their sides from one end of the town to the other. With all the streets and
avenues macadamized, as is the purpose of the citizens, Lanark will become as popular among non residents for its
attractive beauty as it is dear to the people whose homes are within its limits.
The Lanark House was commenced on the first day of July, A.D. 1861, under the patronage of the railroad company.
It may be regarded as the first house of more than one story completed in Lanark. Others soon followed, but it
is the pioneer building of more than one story.
The first business house was a small establishment, opened by "Uncle" Chauncy Grant and his one armed
son, William. Their stock was small, and did not exceed $150 in value. However, they prospered, and made some money
and accumulated some property, Their old business stand is now occupied by Mishler, as a grocery establishment.
Among the first houses erected here, was a one and a half story building, now owned by Andrew Tomlinson, the lower
part of which is occupied as a fire engine house, and the upper part as a dwelling that has a history within itself.
It stands on the east side of Broad Street, between Carroll and the railroad track. This building was first erected
in New Orleans out of live oak lumber and timber for a warehouse. In later years it was taken apart, moved up to
St. Louis, and re-erected on the levee at that city. When the steamboat interest became strong, and demanded the
tearing away of the small warehouses, this building was again taken down and moved up to Savanna, and again re-erected
as a warehouse. When the Western Union railroad track was established, it obstructed the proposed track, and was
condemned and ordered removed. Henry Pierce then became its owner and when the railroad was completed, the company
gave him free transportation for it, and he removed it to Lanark. Here it was again re-erected, and in the upper
part two or three rooms were fitted up for family use, and were occupied by A. M. York, in whose family occurred
the first birth and first death in Lanark. York came here as a young attorney, and hung out his shingle from this
building, and used it both as a residence and a law office. When the war came on, he enlisted, and in due course
of time, became manager of the Freedman's Bureau, at Paducah, Kentucky. After the war closed, he found his way
to Independence, Montgomery County, Kansas, and was elected as State Senator from that district. While serving
as such senator, an election of United States Senator occurred, in which York took an active part, and won a national
reputation, by exposing the means (as he alleged) by which Pomeroy proposed to secure his re-election to the United
States Senate, and sent up to the speaker a package of $7,000, which he declared Pomeroy had given him for his
vote. He also acquired some notoriety by tracking up the murderer of his brother, Dr. York, and fastening it upon
the Benders, who lived near Thayer, in Kansas.
Since the time when these buildings were first erected in Lanark and the first business house opened, there have
been many changes. Business houses increased in number and importance as the country around was developed and improved,
until there are now about seventy five establishments of various kinds - dry goods stores, clothing stores, grocery
and provision stores, millinery establishments, grain elevators, lumber yards, etc. The aggregate business, is,
perhaps, larger than the business of any other town in the county. The annual shipments of grain and stock are
large a statement of which will be found in another place. Besides the stores and other trading places, there are
a number of shops of various kinds, devoted exclusively to the demands of the farmers of the country surrounding.
Among them all there are none that rise to the dignity of manufacturing establishments as compared with those of
larger towns and cities, and which are the life and support of the communities in which they are located. But this
is no fault of the Lanark mechanics. They are just as industrious, just as competent as the mechanics of larger
places, and the only reason their shops are not larger is because the same practices exist here that exist in many
other localities, to wit: people prefer to go abroad for a manufactured article - a wagon, a plow, a cultivator,
or whatever else they may need, to buying of their own home manufacturers.
Of their church edifices and school building, the people of Lanark have just occasion to be proud. When the town
was four years old, the people moved for the erection of a school house, the style and architecture of which should
be in keeping with the character of the town that had been named in honor of the home county of the Glasgow (Scotland)
banker who had advanced the money to build the line of railroad on which it was situated. In laying off the town,
the railroad company, through Mr. Dame, as their agent, had designated one entire square or block, for the uses
of a public park, and another square for the uses of a public school house. When the people came to consider the
building of the school house, a controversy arose between them and the company's agent, that resulted in the building
of the house in an entirely different location. This controversy enters so largely into the history of Lanark,
that the following proceedings of the board in relation to it are deemed essential:
At a meeting of the board held on the 13th of May, 1863, notices were issued for a special school meeting to be
held at the school house on Wednesday, May 25, 8 o'clock P. M., for the following purposes: "First, to vote
upon the number of months school shall be kept the following school year; second, to vote upon building a house
for a graded school upon the block of ground donated for that purpose by the Railroad Company."
At that special meeting, the whole number of votes cast was 24, of which 15 were in favor of ten months' school,
7 in favor of eleven months' school, and 2 in favor of a nine months' school.
The question of a graded school was then considered, and, after some discussion, Messrs. " D. W. Dame, M.
Martin and G. Lobingier were appointed a committee to make arrangements for a general meeting of the town. An organization
was then effected. Edgar H. Dingee was chosen president; Elias Miller, secretary, and P. B. Stouffer, treasurer."
The meeting then adjourned until Monday evening, May 30. At that meeting, a portion of the committee being absent,
"a general debate took place upon the subject of education as connected with the graded school." Messrs.
Porter, DeWolf, Newcomer, Lobingier and Dame were appointed a committee to report a plan based upon the principles
of the School Law of Illinois, for the establishment of a graded school in Lanark, said committee to report to
a general meeting to be held in Lanark, Saturday, June 4.
Saturday, June 4. - At this meeting the above named committee reported as follows:
That a majority of the committee visited the graded schools in Freeport, that they consulted and advised with the
directors and teachers of said schools, and with leading and prominent friends of the cause, and that after a pretty
thorough investigation of the subject, they would recommend that School District No. 3, in Rock Creek Township,
move in the enterprise and raise funds for the same by taxation, according to the school law pertaining to the
power of districts through their directors, to borrow money and assess taxes; and by any other means deemed proper
and best, such as donations, excursions, festivals, selling of scholarships, etc. The committee would also recommend
that the directors, after the sum desired is obtained, procure a deed of the block proposed to be donated for a
graded school from Richard Irvine, Esq., to the trustees of schools of said township. All of which is respectfully
submitted. Jas. DeWolf, J. B. Porter, Thomas W Newcomer, D. W. Dame, George Lobingier, Committee.
The report of the committee was adopted, and an excursion made to Racine and Milwaukee, by railroad and steamboat,
for the benefit of the school district; the management and arrangements of the excursion being left to a committee
consisting of D. W. Dame, Dr. J. Haller, and T. W. Newcomer.
June 16th, a special meeting of the citizens of the district was held at the school house, under call of the directors,
to vote - first, upon the building of a house for a graded school; second, to levy a tax of two per cent, to apply
towards building the same; and third, to authorize the directors to borrow money for the above purpose. The result
of that election was as follows: For building a house for graded school, 25 votes were cast against, 2; for the
tax of two per cent, 28 - against, 3; to authorize the directors to borrow money, 25 - against, 1.
The excursion to Racine and Wisconsin did not turn out well, but left the district in debt to a small amount, but
which was subsequently liquidated.
September 27, Mr. Dingee tendered his resignation as a school director, and at a special meeting, October 31, Z.
B. Kinkade was chosen to fill the vacancy.
From the last date above mentioned, until the regular annual meeting, in August, 1865, the records of the clerk
of the board are principally taken up with financial minutes. In August, however, Mr. Edgar H. Dingee was again
elected as school director for three years, and at a meeting of the board held at the office of P. B. Stouffer,
on the 14th of August, Mr. Dingee was elected clerk of the board.
August 26, a special school meeting was• held to authorize the directors to select and acquire the title, by donation
or purchase, of a suitable piece of land upon which to erect and build a school house; to authorize and empower
the directors to levy a tax annually of such amount as they might deem necessary, not exceeding three per cent,
in any one year, and to borrow any sum of money not exceeding five per cent, in any one year, and to erect and
build a school house of such size as shall be determined upon, not to exceed in dimensions 60 by 40 for the main
building, with a vestibule not to exceed 16 by 48 feet, etc., the directors, however, not being required to build
in that precise manner, but were allowed to exercise their own judgment as to size, style and architecture. Third,
to borrow money, in any sum they might deem necessary, for the purpose, at any rate of interest at which it could
be secured, not exceeding ten per cent, etc. Fourth, to vote on the number of months school should be taught, etc.
These propositions were voted upon under the head of Articles 1, 2, 3 and 4. Forty eight votes were cast, as follows:
For article 1, 45 votes were cast; against, 1; for article 2, 45 votes; against, 1; for article 3, 45 votes; against,
1; article 4, for nine months' school, 46 votes; for twelve months' school, 1.
From the date of this meeting until the next regular meeting, in August, 1866, we find but little in regard to
the proposed building. At this meeting, Dr. J. Haller was elected director for three years, to succeed Thomas W.
Newcomer, whose term expired. Ten months' school was also adopted.
January 15, 1867, a special meeting was called, on motion of Dr. Haller, to determine by vote whether the district
would build a brick or wooden building. At that meeting, plans and estimates of cost were submitted, as follows:
A 56 by 60 feet brick, $10,070; ditto, wood, $9,279.16, exclusive of seating. Seventy one votes were cast in favor
of a brick building, and twenty four in favor of a wooden structure.
December 27, the board had resolved to enter into a correspondence with the railroad company, to ascertain upon
what terms they could secure the block of ground the company had surveyed out for school purposes when they laid
off the town. The company had set aside two blocks - one as a public park, and the other for school purposes, as
In considering the building of the school house, the board of directors had determined to build it independent
of contractors - i. e., to hire masons, carpenters, etc., by the day; to procure the stone, brick, etc., by inviting
bids through an advertisement in the Lanark Banner, but to hire some competent architect and builder to superintend
its erection. At a special meeting of the board, held at Dr. Haller's office, January 26 (1867), the proposition
of Alexander Smith, architect and builder, of Chicago, was considered and accepted. He proposed to superintend
the building of the school house, to make his own drawings, and all contracts, and to take full charge of the building
and mechanics, for six hundred dollars - subject to the direction of the directors.
During these proceedings, a correspondence had been opened between the school authorities and the railroad company,
in regard to the block of ground already recited. An instrument of writing had been made out and was ready to be
delivered, but its propositions were not in harmony with the views of the people, and as they came to be understood,
they evoked a good deal of heated discussion among the people interested. April 22, a meeting of the board was
held at Gotshall's office, to consider the question of accepting the deed, or lease, as it was claimed to be, in
fact, by a good many. That instrument proposed to convey to the district block 14 for school purposes, and on which
some material had already been delivered. When a vote on the acceptance of this instrument was taken, it was rejected
- E. H. Dingee voting to accept the deed, and Dr. J. Haller and P. B. Stouffer voting against it.
The objectionable conditions of this deed were as follows:
"That the directors of the district shall put up a building of brick and stone, not less that 44 by 50 feet,
three stories high, to be used as a school house, and for no other purpose whatever. Proper additions may be put
up, as the district may require, but no other building shalt be erected on said block, except the necessary out
houses; and further, that the directors shall keep a graded school in said building, and the higher class shall
be open for scholars possessing the requisite qualifications, from other districts of the Township of Rock Creek,
by paying the tuition provided by law for children attending school from other districts. And if any or all of
these conditions are not complied with, the land shall revert to Richard Irvine."
The deed was returned to D. W. Dame, representing the grantor, and a request made to have it so modified as to
render it satisfactory to the district. He refused to comply with the request, saying that the only change he would
make would be from the hands of the directors to his own. Immediately after said interview. E. H. Dingee tendered
his resignation as director, which was accepted, and an election was ordered to fill the vacancy.
At a special meeting of the board, held May 1, Emanuel Stover made a written proposition to the board to sell to
the district a certain lot or parcel of land, on which the school house was finally built, for the sum of $750,
and to convey the same to the board in a clear warranty deed. The contract was accepted, so far as the board of
directors were concerned, and a contract entered into with him for the fulfillment of his proposition, but on Monday,
May 8, a special school meeting was held at the school house, to submit the question of the two sites to the people
of the district. At that election, 107 votes were cast, as follows: In favor of the Stover lot, 72; in favor of
the railroad lot, 35 a majority of 37 in favor of the Stover lot. And there the school house was built.
It is a very imposing brick structure, situated on an elevated lot of ground, and from its upper windows a handsome
view of the surrounding country, for many miles, is obtained. The people by whom it was built have just cause to
be proud of its grandeur and magnificence. School is maintained within it about nine months of each year.
Three hundred and twenty pupils are enrolled as regular attendants. Within the last three years the school has
furnished itself with a good organ by means of exhibitions. The school is also provided with a good library and
all the necessary apparatus to its successful management. The school house and grounds cost $15,000, since when
additional improvements have been made to the value of $2,000, increasing the value of the Lanark School House
and grounds to $17,000. The bonds issued in aid of the erection of the building have all been taken up, and the
district is entirely out of debt.
F. T. Oldt, A.M., the principal, is a graduate of Lafayette College, Easton, ' Pa., and has held the position for
three years. His aids are:
Fonetta Flansburg, Assistant.
Frank Lines, Grammar Department.
Stella White, Intermediate Department.
Maggie Booker, Second Primary Department.
Mrs. M. E. Emery, First Primary Department.
GERMAN BAPTIST, OR BRETHREN CHURCH.
Church at Arnold's Grove. - The first minister in this church, and even the first in the county of this order
of people, was Henry Strickler. He came here in the year 1841, and soon gathered around himself a little band of
believers. In 1851, Christian Long, also a minister, moved to this place, and by his active labors in that year
forty were added to the church by confession and baptism, and quite a number by emigration.
In 1854, a plain, substantial meeting house, 40 by 60, was erected on the farm belonging to Henry Strickler, Sr.,
and David Emmert was chosen to the ministry. Soon after this, Michael Sisler and John Buck were also called to
preach the Gospel, and the church steadily increased in number for several years. In 1857, within two months, ninety
six persons were received into fellowship by faith, repentance and baptism.
About this time, Henry Myers located near Milledgeville, David Rittenhouse at Hickory Grove, and John Sprogle at
Cherry Grove - all ministers, and formerly from Pennsylvania. By their labors, each soon had gathered around him
a number of faithful followers; yet, all were members of the one organization at Arnold's Grove. Thus matters continued
until the year 1861, when three new organizations were effected, and called the church at Cherry Grove, the church
at Milledgeville, and the church at Hickory Grove. This still left the church at Arnold's Grove in a prosperous
condition. Many, however, have since emigrated to Iowa and Kansas, among the number, Christian Long and Michael
Sister, who now, reside in Dallas County, Iowa, leaving John J. Emmert, Jacob Shirk and Joseph Stitzel as ministers
at the present time. Its membership is about ninety.
The Church at Cherry Grove. - As already stated, this congregation originally consisted of a part of the Arnold's
Grove Church, but in 1861 was formed into a separate body. As soon as an organization was effected, steps were
taken to erect a place of worship, and though the membership was small and their financial resources limited, by
the aid of the Arnold Grove Church they soon had a house 40 by 64 for use, near the Village of Georgetown. Under
the oversight and care of Elders John Sprogle and Michael Bollinger, the church increased rapidly, and notwithstanding
the large number who have moved away and died, there are yet 225 members in this church. This church is particularly
noted for its large congregation and activity in missionary work.
In 1874, a house of worship 40 by 60 was built in Shannon, and in 1876, another in the City of Lanark. In 1875,
a number of important events occurred in this church, one of which more or less affected the entire brotherhood
in America. In that year there lived in Lanark a man by the name of Christian Hope, a native of Denmark, and a
harness maker by trade. He was an earnest, zealous worker in the church, and somewhat remarkable for his simplicity
of thought and manners. During the year, he received repeated calls from his old associates in Denmark to have
the brethren send them ministers to teach them the way of the Lord. Through the church here, all the churches in
Northern Illinois - thirteen in number - were apprised of the call for missionary labor, and the result was, a_
district meeting was called at Cherry Grove meeting house; Nov. 13, 1875, when Christian Hope was called to the
ministry, and on January first started to Denmark, being the first regular missionary to Europe by the church in
this country. However, before he was chosen to this important station, he had, before and after his usual working
hours at his trade, translated several pamphlets into his native language, which he carried with him to Europe
for publication and free distribution, the church in America having contributed several hundred dollars for this
While this important work was being pushed to completion, a series of meetings were held, and the result was fifty
two persons were added to the already large membership. The church now numbered about three hundred, and it was
considered good to form a new organization on the east of the old church, to be known as the Shannon Church, which
was done on the /4th of November, being the fifth in the county. In 1876, the Brethren at Work Publishing House
was established in Lanark, by J. H. Moore, J. T. Myers and M. M. Eshelman. This, with a new house of worship in
the city, gave this people considerable prominence and energy in this part of the country, and had no inconsiderable
effect on the church in general. There are now upwards of sixty members living in the city, and the steady growth
of the church in and out of the city attest their prosperity and permanency. Ministers: H. Martin, M. Bolinger,
J. H. Moore, D. B. Puterbaugh and S. J. Peck.
The Church near Milledgeville. - This, as already observed, was organized in 1861, and immediately erected a large
and well arranged meeting house. The church has steadily increased in number, and at present has about one hundred
and seventy five members. Martin Myer, Jacob Hangers, Tobias Meyers, D. M. Miller, M. Kimmel and Wm. Provout have
been the ministers. The church is noted for its energy and liberality in Christian work:
The Church at Hickory Grove. - This church, also, dates its origin from 1861, and by removals to other parts of
the country its membership has been reduced to about forty. Notwithstanding the apparent disadvantages under which
it sometimes labors, its members have exhibited a commendable devotion to principle and Christian usefulness. The
ministers have been: David Rittenhouse, Geo. D. Zollers and Jesse Heckler. The congregation has a neat, substantial
meeting house, seven miles west of Mount Carroll, where meetings are held regularly.
The Church at Shannon. - The number of members is about seventy five. Ministers: Lemuel Hillery, S. Mattes, B.
F. McCune. Meeting house, 40 by 60, with basement.
General Remarks - Characteristics. - They are noted for their industry and integrity. Nearly all farmers, and thrifty
and economical. Very good to the poor, allowing none of their members to be kept by the county. Dress plainly,
wearing neither gold, silver, costly array, nor ornaments of any kind.
Methodist Episcopal. - The first organization of the present Methodist Episcopal Church society of Lanark took
place in 1858, in Cherry Grove Township, under the ministerial labors of Rev. J. D. Brown, who continued to preach
for the society for some three or four years. In 1860, the society built a church edifice in Rock Creek Township,
about one mile from the site of the present City of Lanark, costing $1,200. In the Winter of 1861, that church
building was removed to the Lanark town site by James C. Wheat and others. Up to 1869, the society had so increased
in numbers and wealth that a new church building came to be considered a necessity, and arrangements were made
accordingly. The work was undertaken, and on Sunday, the 8th day of January, 1871, the Rev. Dr. R. M. Hatfield,
of Chicago, dedicated the new brick building to the worship of Almighty God. This church edifice is among the finest
in the State of Illinois, outside of the larger, cities, and cost the sum of $20,000. The society now numbers 125
members, with a good and prosperous Sabbath school, which was organized in 1862. The average attendance is one
hundred and twenty. The superintendents from the time the school was organized down to the present time have been,
in regular order, as follows: - Thompson, J. F. Hess, - Goodridge, J. W. Gormany (or Gorman), 5. F. Hess, M. E.
Hanish, J. G. Sheller, M. E. Harrish.
The presiding elders in the church have been: Revs. C. C. Bert. David Cassiday, W. F. Stewart, R. A. Blanchard,
F. A. Read, W. H. Tibbals, and J. H. Moore, the present elder.
Pastors: Revs. J. D. Brown, Lewis Peck, J. E. Hibbard, O. J. M. Clendening, Joseph Wardel, S. P. Lilley, J. O.
Foster, M. E. Jacobs, Leonard Holt, A. Newton, T. Cochran, W. H. Tibbals, C. A. Bucks, and A. Campbell, present
Christian Church. - This church society was organized in Freedom Township, June 20, 1843, with eighteen members.
James H. Smyth, David Tripp and Garner Moffett were the first elders, and A. G. Moffett and William Renner were
the first deacons. The members of this branch of the Christian Church accept the Bible, and the Bible alone, as
their rule of faith and practice. In 1865, the Freedom Township church edifice was torn down, moved to Lanark,
and re erected on its present site. M. Martin and Thomas Moffett, elders; A. G. Moffett, William D. Moffett and
E. Stover, deacons. Present enrollment of members, 120.
The Sabbath school was organized in 1867, with twenty five scholars, and W. Beans as superintendent. Present membership,
140; Mr. Beans, superintendent.
Present pastor, J. H. Wilson; D. D. Wiley. T. O. Mershon, elders; E. Stover, W. D. Moffett, H. Shumway, David Mellen,
W. T. McLay, deacons; W. Beans, clerk.
Congregational. - This society was organized in 1859, by Rev. J. P. Parker, about three fourths of a mile east
of the City of Lanark, and was removed to Lanark in 1863, under the pastoral labors of Rev. Mr. Kilborn. Rev. L.
Higgins was pastor from 1864 to 1872, and was succeeded by Rev. Mr. Coleman, who remained to 1874 or 1875, when
the present pastor, Rev: Mr. Paisley, succeeded to the charge. Their Sabbath school was organized in 1863 by Rev.
Mr. Kilborn, who was the superintendent one year; Rev. Mr. Higgins, seven years; Rev. Mr. Coleman, one year, and
Mr. George Lattig, one year. Prof. T. Oldt is the present superintendent. Church membership, 40. Cost of church
Baptist Church. - For several years before Lanark was founded, when these beautiful and fertile prairies were in
their pristine condition - except a few sparsely settled locations, in which were the humble homes of enterprising
citizens from the Eastern, Middle and Southern States, and who, as a class, have always followed "the star
of empire westward" Baptist principles were then represented in Carroll County, by a very respectable proportion
of those who were the advanced guard of civilization.
A profound conviction of the truth and equity of these principles induced the Baptists of Lanark and vicinity to
take preliminary steps toward the organization of a church. The first meeting was held at the house of Bro. W.
M. Jenks, October 24, 1867, Rev. D. S. Dean, of Lena, in the chair; Bro. J. E. Millard, secretary. Prayer by Rev.
J. V. Allison, of Bethel Church, Elkhorn. The next meeting was held at the residence of Bro. J. B. Porter, November
6, 1867, Bro. E. H. Dingee in the chair; Bro. J. E. Millard, secretary.
After some preliminary business, the secretary was instructed to invite the churches in the association to send
three delegates each, to meet the society of Lanark, on the 13th day of November, 1867, for the purpose of organizing
a Baptist Church.
Rev. J. T. Mason, of Sterling, was invited to preach the recognition discourse. Committees of reception and arrangements
were appointed. The latter obtained permission to meet in the Congregational Church. Delegates from churches evinced
a deep interest in the work by a full representation.
After devotional exercises, the council was organized by electing Rev. J. T. Mason, moderator, and Bro. J. E. Millard,
Rev. J. V. Allison offered the following:
Resolved, That we now unite ourselves together in assuming the obligations of a Church of Jesus Christ, to be known
as the "First Baptist Church" of Lanark.
After some discussion, the resolution was carried.
The constituent membership consisted of twenty three persons, without a place of worship. These members were as
follows: William M. Jenks, Lizzie M. Jenks, James E. Millard, Hannah D. Millard, Mrs. H. N. Hemiway, Edgar H. Dingee,
Mary Dingee, John B. Porter, Sarah A. Porter, Mary C. Porter, Maria McWhinny, J. B. Corbett, Sarah Corbett, Henry
Selemire, Hannah Selemire, Julia Ann Newcomer, George W. Miller, Maria Miller, Ann Eliza Sherwood, Betsey Smith,
Mary B. Hemiway, Hattie Gilbert, Corrilla Dean.
Having rented the school house, now the "Church of God," in which to meet, they settled the Rev. John
Merriam, March 15, 1868, as their first pastor. During his pastorate, his labors were blessed of God. Nineteen
were added to the church twelve by baptism. He resigned February 17, 1869. He has closed his activities in the
Church Militant, and now rests in the Church Triumphant from all his labors. After an interim of about three years,
the Rev. N. E. Chapin, of Wisconsin, was called and, July 17, 1872, was settled as the second pastor of the church.
Bro. Chapin brought to his work in Lanark a ripe and varied experience in the living ministry; he was profoundly
orthodox, and recognized nothing but "Christ and Him crucified" in his teachings. He resigned February
12, 1875. His ministry was blessed by many coming to Christ under his ministration of the Word.
The leadings of the Holy Spirit induced the church to take steps toward building a house of worship of their own.
On the 12th day of April, 1873, Bros. E. H. Dingee, J. B. Porter and George W. Sherwood were appointed a committee
to procure a plan and estimates for a church. The committee reported and submitted a plan for a church building
32 by 46, drawn by Mr. D. H. Snyder, estimated to cost $2,500.
The plan was adopted and the committee instructed to proceed with the work, which was carried on to completion.
The style of architecture is Gothic. The building has two steeples, the one in which is the bell being the higher
of the two. Their relative height, however, gives a beautiful and symmetrical proportion to the whole contour of
the edifice. The windows, with their Gothic and magnificent proportion, finished with stained glass, present to
the eye, by very many appropriate designs and monograms, objects of study which, in the soft and mellow light within,
lead the mind to pure, holy and celestial contemplation. The seats are folding, and made of striated alternations
of ash and walnut wood. The church has a seating capacity of two hundred and fifty persons. A baptistry is under
the pulpit, with the orchestra facing it. When fully completed, lot, church and furniture cost $3,818.50, upon
which some indebtedness remains. The church was dedicated, October 8, 1873. Rev. J. T. Mason, of Sterling, preached
the sermon. Rev. N. E. Chapin having resigned February 19, 1875, Rev. W. E. Bates, of Watertown, N. Y., was called,
and settled July 10, 1875, and ordained September 28, of the same year; having served his country during the war,
using carnal weapons. When honorably dismissed from the service he entered Madison University, and, after graduating,
he entered the theological seminary. There he obtained that "drill " which so eminently fitted him for
the service of the Captain of his salvation. His weapons of warfare now are not carnal, but spiritual, and by the
use of which the Lord has blessed his labors. As a soldier of the Cross, he uses no blank cartridges; he preaches
the Word without any alloy, and has been successful in winning souls for his Master. Sister Bates supplements the
labors of her husband by her many unostentatious Christian duties.
The Sabbath school is, or should be," the church at work." It is under the supervision of Bro. J. E.
Millard, than whom no man possesses a more perfect fitness for all its duties. The church obtained many of its
additions from this department of Christian labor. As an evidence of this fact, from Sister J. E. Millard's class
of over twenty young ladies, ten or twelve were brought to the Saviour, through the Word and her prayerfulness
as a teacher.
The present teachers, besides the one mentioned, are Brothers Dr. J. B. Porter, John Forsythe, E. L. Byington,
E. H. Dingee, Mrs. W. E. Bates, Mrs. J. H. Myers, Miss Katie Newcomer, Miss Laura Waters, Miss Minnie Eick. All
are faithful and successful teachers. Bro. Dr. Porter, especially, is one of the most faithful, efficient and earnest
teachers to be found, and as a profound exponent of Bible truths, his equal can hardly be found outside of the
The first regular officers were: Deacons, Dr. J. B. Porter and J. B. Corbett; clerk, E. H. Dingee; treasurer, J.
E Millard; trustees, W. M. Jenks, Thomas W. Newcomer, J. B. Corbett.
Present officers: Deacons, Dr. J. B. Porter, J. B. Corbett; clerk, E. H. Dingee; treasurer; Andrew J. Waters; trustees,
J. B. Corbett, J. E. Millard, Elliott Nichols.
Abrahamic Church. - This church was organized in 1866; it then numbered about fifteen members; it now numbers about
thirty. They have no salaried minister employed, but meet every first day for worship, D. Gaus and P. B. Stouffer
officiating as leaders.
The Lutherans also maintain an organization. The history of this society is substantially as follows:
Sometime during the year 1873, Rev. J.W. Henderson was induced, by some Lutheran people in and around Lanark, and
also by pastors in the Synod, to remove to Lanark from his prosperous and encouraging work at Tipton, Iowa. He
came to Lanark, with the promise of encouragement from the brethren of the Synod, and succeeded in organizing a
congregation, but, from some cause unknown to the writer (and unnecessary to mention, if he did know) regular services
were given up within a year or two after the organization was effected.
Lanark Lodge, No. 423,was chartered Oct. 4, 1865, with 36 members. First officers: C. Cogswell, W., W. Beans,
S. W., F. D. Tracy, J. W. Present membership 58.
Masonic. - Lanark Chapter, No. 139, commenced work under charter dated Oct. 7, 1870. First officers: G. A. Smith,
H. P., E. Northey, K., D. W. Dame, S.
I. O. O. F. - Rock Creek Lodge, No. 424, was chartered October 11, 1870, with six members. Present membership,
The A. O. U. W. have an organization that is in good working condition.
Banking. - The First National Bank of Lanark was organized in the Winter of 1870, with a capital of $50,000, which
was afterwards increased to $100,000, and subsequently reduced to $50,000. Has a surplus of $10,000. This bank
does a large business, and has sold exchange on Chicago to the amount of $480,000; New York, $45,000; Milwaukee,
$120,000; total, $645,000. Robt. Paley, President; John Paley, Cashier.
Stock and Grain Shipments. - Lanark is a great grain and stock shipping point. The following figures show the amount
of business transacted by H. B. Puterbaugh's grain elevator and stock yards, from January 1, to December 22, 1897:
126 cars oats, estimated value
97 cars corn, estimated value
12 cars rye, estimated value
18 cars barley, estimated value
6 cars wheat, estimated value
Amount seeds shipped, beside retail trade......
175 cars live hogs, estimated value
37 cars cattle, estimated value
2 cars sheep, estimated value
Furnished M. Prescott, on joint account.
Total aggregate value
From January 1 to December 31, 1877, the shipments made by C. W. Stone were as follows:
No. cars wheat
No. cars oats
No. cars corn
No. cars rye
No. cars barley......
No. cars stock
The Carroll County Banner was founded in May, 1864, by John R. Howlett, a native of New York, who continued publication
24l September, 1867, when the office was sold to James E. Millard, at which time the Banner had a circulation of
nearly six hundred copies. The first number of the paper under Mr. Millard's management was issued Sept. 14, 1867,
and was continued with only fair support until Jan. 18, 1871, when, having an opportunity to sell the material
and fixtures in the office, and having been elected to the office of County Superintendent of Schools, the publication
was stopped. The material was moved to Davis, Ill., and from thence to Pecatonica, Ill., and is now used in the
office of the Pecatonica News.
The next week after the sale of the Banner to Mr. Millard, Mr. Howlett changed the name of the Shannon Gazette,
which he owned, to the Carroll County Gazette, and commenced its publication at Shannon. For reasons best known
to himself, and to secure a better location for the paper, Mr. Howlett, in the early part of the year 1368, removed
the office to Lanark, and continued the publication of the Gazette at this place. By an agreement with Mr. Millard,
at the time of the sale of the Banner office, Mr. Howlett had agreed not to publish a paper in Lanark, for the
space of one year, and, on application of Mr. M-, he was restrained, by injunction, from publishing a paper in
Lanark. Thereupon, the Gazette was sold to John M. Adair, who continued its publication for a period of some six
months, when Mr. Howlett again became associated with its publication, and finally assumed complete control.
On the morning of April 29, 1872, the office was destroyed by fire. The material in the office was valued at $5,000,
and there was an insurance of only $1,800 on it. The day following the fire, the citizens of Lanark, headed by
the leading business men, formed a stock company and purchased the necessary outfit for a new office. The publication
of the paper was continued, with an interruption of but a few days, under the auspices of the Gazette Printing
Company, with Mr. Howlett as editor and manager. The new arrangement was prolonged for nearly a year, when the
office was transferred to Mr. H., and the Gazette was published without further change up to near the time of his
death, which occurred in the latter part of July, 1875.
On the 3d of July, 1875, Mr. George Hay assumed control of the office; and on the 4th of September, W. W. Lowis
was taken into partnership, and the paper was continued under their management until Nov. 7, 1876, when Mr. Hay
sold his interest to F. H. B. McDowell, of Chicago. The partnership of Lowis & McDowell was continued until
Feb. 1, 1877, when Mr. McDowell purchased the interest of Mr. Lowis. The paper has a bona fide circulation of nearly
1,000 copies, and its subscription list is constantly increasing. It is published in the form designated "a
nine column folio," is now published "at home," and has the largest circulation of any paper in
the county. It is independent Republican in political complexion, and is progressive and earnest in its public
The Brethren at Work Publishing House is, from present indications, destined to become the largest printing establishment
in this part of the state. The house has an excellent outfit: a large Potter press, Gordon press, Peerless cutter,
and other conveniences usually belonging to a first class newspaper office. They are well prepared for all kinds
of pamphlet and ordinary book work.
The Brethren at Work is a neatly printed weekly of eight pages, published in the interest of the German Baptist
(or Dunkard) Church, and is owned and edited by J. H. Moore, S. H. Bashor and M. M. Eshelman.
The paper was established in this wise:
J. H. Moore, a minister, who followed house painting for a livelihood, and preached every Sunday besides, lived
in the county, near Urbana, Ill. Here, in 1872, he commenced writing and had published several pamphlets in defence
of the doctrine believed by his people. The pamphlets attained a wide circulation.
M. M. Eshelman, a school teacher, living near Lanark, also published several pamphlets and one book of a few hundred
In the Spring of 1876, times being hard and work scarce in Champaign County, J. H. Moore came to Carroll County,
to carry on house painting, having had the promise of work here. He and Eshelman having met a few times, corresponded
considerable. They both worked as house painters during the Summer, and spent their leisure hours drawing up plans
for a paper, which they had had in contemplation a few years.
They corresponded with J. T. Meyers, of Germantown, Pa., who was publishing a monthly half German and half English
paper, called the Brethren's Messenger.
In the month of September, 1876, this office outfit was moved to Lanark, taking up but a small portion of a large
brick building they had rented. They soon had a large Potter press put up, and, Sept. 14, 1876, issued the first
number of the Brethren at Work, then a small four page paper.
As the denomination had no other paper in the West, it increased in circulation very rapidly, reaching nearly four
thousand the first year.
Moore moved his family to Lanark in September, 1876.
J. T. Meyers remained East.
In the month of November, 1877, the interest belonging to J. T. Meyers was purchased by S. H. Bashor, the most
successful evangelist in the church.
The paper is strictly religious, fearless and outspoken. It rings out clearly and distinctly what it believes.
The editors are not afraid to speak against sin of every grade and order.