DISTINGUISHED VISITORS - LINCOLN AND JEFF DAVIS - CHURCH HISTORY.
Distinguished Visitors.- Dixonites, like all the rest of creation, recall with satisfaction the distinguished personages
who have tarried within their borders. Abraham Lincoln, the Immortal, heads their list. He was first here as a
Captain of Militia during the Black Hawk War, and again as private on a second and third enlistment. Lieut. Jefferson
Davis, of the regular army, who became President of the Southern Confedercy, and Lieut. Robt. Anderson, also of
the regular army, who in April, 1861, defended Fort Sumter against the Confederacy's rebellious assault, were also
here at the same time. That Davis was here has been questioned, but no longer admits of doubt. Lieut. Col. Zachary
Taylor, afterwards President of the United States, and Gen. Winfield Scott were also of the number. It has often
been asserted, and generally believed, that Lincoln was first mustered into the service of the Government at Dixon's
Ferry, and that, as a part of the procedure, Lieut. Davis administered the oath of allegiance to him. Father Dixon
and Col. John Dement so understood it, and it is said upon creditable authority that Mr. Lincoln so stated. But
it may not be true. Mr. Frank E. Stevens, who, by the way, was Dixon born and bred, in his recently issued exhaustive
work on the Black Hawk War, reproduces a letter from Maj. Buckmaster, under whom Captain Lincoln's company was
serving, dated May 9, 1832, at mouth of Rock River, in which he writes that they were mustered into the service
of the United States the day before by Gen. Atkinson; and the author submits this as conclusive proof of the fallacy
of what has been so long and fondly entertained as true.
Certain it is, that this letter casts another shadow over the subject. If Mr. Lincoln was sworn into the service
at Dixon, it is of course possible that Lieut. Davis was the mustering officer, but rather more probable that Lieutenant
Anderson performed that function. We have said in our notice of the Black Hawk War that Lincoln entered the service
three times before the war terminated. He was discharged from the first company at the mouth of Fox River, and
there re enlisted for twenty days as a private in Capt Iles' Company, Lieut. Anderson being the officer who then
mustered the company in. At the expiration of the twenty days, these men returned and were mustered out at Fort
Wilbourn, located between LaSalle and Peru. On the following day Lincoln was mustered in as a private in Capt.
Early's Company, this being his third enlistment. June 21st the company reached Dixon's Ferry, and thence moved
north to Whitewater River, where it was mustered out July 10, 1832, the men returning homeward by way of Dixon's
It follows, therefore, that there was only one opportunity for Mr. Lincoln to have been mustered in at Dixon, and
that was when his command reached here on its march from the mouth of Rock River, where Major Buckmaster writes
the troops were sworn into the service. But it must be looked upon as little less than marvelous, that Father Dixon
and John Dement, both of whom were active participants in the war and were brought in constant contact with both
Lieut. Anderson and Lieut. Davis, and became well acquainted with Mr. Lincoln, should be mistaken; and it is still
more remarkable that Mr. Lincoln himself should state that he was sworn in here, if, in fact, it occurred at the
mouth of the river, as deduced from the letter from Maj. Buckmaster. It is possible, of course, that, for some
reason, Lincoln may not have been with his company at the time of the muster referred to by the Major.
There is no question but what Lincoln was at Dixon on other occasions. He had became well acquainted with Joseph
Crawford, who had served with him in the Legislature, and who, being a brother Whig, was a great admirer of Mr.
Lincoln. Lincoln is remembered to have visited Dixon at one time, when he sought out Mr. Crawford, if indeed he
was not actually entertained at the Crawford home. He also knew Judge J. V. Eustace, whose acquaintance he had
formed at Springfield, and on one of his visits here called on the Judge. One occasion was when he spoke in Court
House square, September 8, 1856, in the Presidential campaign of that year. The probable spot where he addressed
the people has been recently marked by a large boulder, placed there by the Dixon Post G. A. R., bearing an inscription
commemorative of the event. A number of citizens still living were present. A communication from one of the audience
whose identity is not revealed, is referred to in "Scribner's Magazine" for April, 1878, p. 884, in which
the writer says: "Lincoln spoke in the grove in the Court House square, Dixon, Ill. I think you (Noah Brooks,
to whom the letter was addressed) and I sat together and made a little fun of his excessively homely appearance.
He was dressed in an awkwardly fitting linen suit, evidently bought ready made at a country store, and intended
for a man at least five inches less in stature than he was, the vest and trousers not meeting by at least an inch
and a half, and the last named garment being short at the feet. Lincoln made, on that occasion, his second speech
on a Republican or FreeSoil platform. No other speech I have ever heard made such a lasting impression on my mind."
In Herndon's "Life of Lincoln," it is stated on authority of Mr. Horace White, then correspondent of
the Chicago Tribune, who later became its editor, that Mr. N. B. Judd and Dr. C. H. Ray, then editor of the Tribune,
met Mr. Lincoln at Dixon in conference the day before his memorable debate with Douglas at Freeport. It is known
by those intimately associated with Mr. Lincoln at this time, that in the debate he contemplated putting to Douglas
the following question: "Can the people of a United States territory, in any lawful way, against the wish
of any citizen of the United States, exclude slavery from its limits prior to the formation of a State constitution?"
The politicians close to Mr. Lincoln feared the consequences which would follow, and endeavored to persuade Mr.
Lincoln to desist. Mr. White writes that this was the purpose of the conference at Dixon.
We are able to state, on authority of Mr. B. F. Shaw of Dixon, who was then conducting a Republican paper (The
Telegraph) here nnd was deeply interested in current events. as well as a great admirer of Mr. Lincoln and a stanch
champion of the cause he advocated, that this reported interview never, in fact, took place. One thing is practically
certain; that if such a gathering occurred, he would have known of it. On the contrary, he was at the Illinois
Central depot when the large excursion train, with Mr. Lincoln aboard, passed through Dixon on its way to Freeport
on the day of the great debate, and on a regular train, a few hours later, he himself reached Freeport in time
to hear the discussion. It might be added that he found on the train Owen Lovejoy, with whom he was acquainted,
who was likewise on his way to Freeport. Mr. Lovejoy was very much disturhed over certain references which Mr.
Douglas had made to him in his speech at Ottawa; and, after the debate was over, Mr. Shaw was a prime mover in
bringing Mr. Lovejoy before the assembled crowd where, standing on a dry goods box in front of the Brewster House.
he delivered one of the most eloquent, as well as fiery, philippics ever heard. In this connection the writer may
say that, in conversation he heard Gen. S. D. Atkins, of Freeport, relate that he was present in Lincoln's room
in the Brewster House on that eventful day, when several intimate friends of Mr. Lincoln were laboring with him
to withhold the question above quoted, which he still expected to propound to Mr. Douglas; that Mr. Lincoln patientiy
listened to all that was said, and after reflecting some time without speaking, announced his determination to
stand by the question, saying that while it might defeat him as a Senator, it would prevent Douglas from ever becoming
President. The question was put and the predicted result followed.
Albert Sidney Johnson and Joseph E. Johnson, both of whom became leading Generals on the Confederate side in the
War of the Rebellion, Col. Nathan Boone. a son of Daniel Boone, John Reynolds, Governor of the State, and Gen.
E. D. Baker, one of the brilliant orators of the then future, who was killed early in the war of the Rebellion
at Ball's Bluff - these, with many other notables, made the acquaintance of Father Dixon at Dixon's Ferry. Father
Dixon's account book of those days shows a loan to Gen. Scott of $6.50. for which Scott gave his note.
In 1843 Margaret Fuller, a talented writer and one of the literary circle of Boston and Concord, which included
Emerson, Channing, Alcott, Hawthorne and others who became eminent, passed through Lee County in what was doubtless
an emigrant wagon or "prairie schooner," en route from Chicago to Oregon, Ogle County. In her book, "At
Home and Abroad," she speaks of a night spent in a tavern at Paw Paw. The ladies of the party slept in the
bar room, from which its drinking visitors had been ejected at a late hour, the supper table serving, as Miss Fufler's
couch and the doors, of course, remaining unlocked. They crossed Rock River at Dixon's Ferry and spent three days
at Hazelwood, "place chosen." she writes, "by an Irish gentleman ('Gov.' Charters), whose absenteeship
seems to be of the wisest kind." "If you descended a ravine at the side to the water's edge, you found
there a long walk on the narrow shore, with a wall above of the richest hanging wood, in which they said the deer
lay hid." Reference .is made to the commodious dwelling and the log cabin, the latter being at this writing
still standing on the spot. Dwelling on the beauty of the surroundings, she adds: "It seems not necessary
to have any better heaven, or fuller expression of love and freedom, than in the mood of Nature here." On
parting she left a poem entitled, "The Western Eden," which would be quoted here but for lack of space.
In the days when the lecture platform attracted the ablest and most talented men of the country to appear before
the people, several whose names deserve to be mentioned addressed Dixon audiences. Among these were Horace Greeley,
who was here twice: T. Starr King, who later moved to California, and was one of the great forces in that State
for patriotism in the days of the Civil War. Here also lectured Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Bayard
Taylor, Henry Ward Beecher, Joshua R. Giddings, Horace Mann, John G. Saxe and others of less note.
That most charming poet, William Cullen Bryant, who wrote so sweetly of nature, visited Dixon, as indicated by
letter already quoted, and was the guest of his brother-in-law, Dr. Oliver Everett, when this entire country was
a vast field of virgin prairie, covered with wild flowers, and its lakes and river frequented by birds of gorgeous
plumage unharassed by the sportsman's gun. It was on that visit that Mr. Bryant was inspired to pen that most beautiful
of his poems, "To a Waterfowl," in which this verse appears:
"There is a power whose care
Teaches the way along that pathless coast-
The desert and illimitable air-
Lone wandering, but not lost."
Churches.-The first sermon preached in Dixon was in the fall of 1834 by a Methodist missionary named Segg. His
field of labor extended from Apple River, in Jo Daviess County, to Prophetstown, in Whiteside County, and he made
the circuit once in four weeks.
In 1837 a Methodist class was formed with S. M. Bowman, E. A. Bowman, Maria Mcclure, John Richards, Ann Richards,
Caleb Talimage and Amanda Tailmage as members, and in 1839 T. D. Boardman, Mr. and Mrs. Perry, Mr. and Mrs. O.
F. Ayres were added. Preaching services were held at intervals of six weeks over Bowman's store. The circuit preachers
conducting services were Robert Dunlap, Barton Cartwright, Isaac Pool, Riley Hill, Luke Hitchcock, Richard Blanchard,
Philo Judson and W. H. Cooley. W. Wilcox was appointed to Dixon in 1843; David Brooks in July, 1844; S. P. Keyes,
August, 1845; Milton Hawey and R. W. H. Brent, August, 1846; R. P. Lawton, 1847; William Palmer, 1848; Thomas North,
1850; James Baume (father of Judge Baume of our Circuit Court), September, 1852; J. W. Agard, 1854; Wilbur McKaig,
September, 1855; N. P. Heath, 1857; L. A. Sanford, August, 1858; S. G. Lathrop, 1859; O. B. Thayer, September,
1862; W. H. Smith, March, 1864; G. L. Stuff, 1864; T. C. Clendenning, 1865; George E. Strobridge, 1867; J. H. Brown,
1869; John Williamson, 1871; Isaac Linebarger, 1874; G. R. Van Horn, 1876; A. W. Patton, 1879-80; F. P. Cleveland,
1880-81; O. F. Mattison, 1881-84; M. E. Cady, 1884-87; F. H. Sheets, 1887-88; C. A. Bunker, 1889-90; S. Earngey,
1890-93; O. H. Cessna, 1893-98; J. D. Leek, 1898-1900; William Phillips, 1900-02; William Craven, 1902, present
incumbent. (Beginning with 1864, the term of service of each circuit rider began uniformly in October, immediately
after the adjournment of the Annual Conference.)
In the summer of 1843 the first Methodist church building was completed. It was a brick structure and is still
standing in good state of preservation, at No. 117 Second Street, opposite the Court House. It was dedicated that
summer by Presiding Elder John T. Mitchell. The board of trustees consisted of J. P. Dixon, E. Edson, O. F. Ayres,
L. G. Wynkoop, Thomas McCabe, Joseph Brierton apd S. M. Bowman. A Union Sunday School was organized which, on July
15th of that year, had eight teachers, sixty scholars and a library of ninety volumes. O. F. Ayres was Superintendent;
T. D. Boardman, Secretary; J. W. Clute, Librarian.
In 1854 a Methodist church was built where the present one stands, corner of Second Street and Peoria Avenue. March
1, 1855, it was dedicated by Rev. Wm. McKaig. The cost of the building, including furnishings, etc., was about
$15,000. August 31, 1876, it was rededicated after extensive repairs had been made. This building was torn down
to make room for the present structure, which was completed in December, 1892, at a cost of $30,000. The next year
a parsonage was built adjacent to the church, at a cost of $3,500.
May 28, 1838, the "First Regular Baptist Church of Dixon and Buffalo Grove" was organized at Buffalo
Grove (now Polo.) Elder Thomas Powell, a missionary, was Moderator of the meeting. The original members were: Houland
Bicknell, Rebecca Dixon, Elizabeth Bellows, Jerusha Hammond, Sarah Kellogg, Martha Parks and Ann Clarley. At the
end of four years there were seventy two names on the membership roll.
January 13, 1841, the present corporate organization of the Baptist Church was effected under the name of the "First
Baptist Church of Dixon." April 16, 1842, the congregation was divided into two churches, Buffalo Grove and
Dixon. The former has since become extinct. Pastors since the organization have been: B. B. Carpenter, June, 1840,
to October, 1844; Burton Carpenter, December, 1844, to March, i845. William Gates filled the pulpit occasionally,
and William Walker about four months between March, 1844, and April, 1847, when E. T. Manning became pastor for
one year. S. S. Martin was pastor for one year in 1849. G. W. Benton supplied the pulpit for about six months between
Martin's pastorate and August, 1851, when John E. Ball became pastor and remained about four years. Anson Tucker
served eleven months from May, 1855. W. R. Webb came in June, 1856, and continued over four years. William G. Pratt
served one year beginning in March, 1861. W. S. Goodno came in September, 1862, serving two years. J. H. Pratt
became pastor in October, 1864, and continued nine years. D. F. Carnahan followed in August, 1874, and 0. P. Bestor
in August, 1877, who remained until October, 1882; Rev. W. H. Parker from January, 1883, to September, 1886: John
F. Howard, October 10, 1886, to September 1, 1890; William D. Fuller, March 4, 1891, to May 24, 1892; Hector C.
Leland, from September, 1892, to February 1, 1899; Wm. C. Spencer, the present incumbent, came March, 1899.
May 5, 1849, the Baptist congregation dedicated their first house of worship, Rev. Jacob Knapp preaching the
sermon. It was a brick building, situated on the west side of Ottawa Street at corner of the alley next north of
First Street. It was abandoned as a church when the present edifice was completed, but was used in connection with
a lumber yard until spring of 1899, when it was torn down.
October 1, 1869, the corner stone of the present Baptist church was laid with appropriate ceremonies, and the building
was dedicated in August, 1872, Rev. Mr. Ravlin delivering the morning sermon and Rev. J. A. Smith the evening sermon.
June 23, 1878, the fortieth anniversary exercises of the Dixon Baptist Church were held in its house of worship.
A correspondent, writing from Dixon to a Rockford paper in summer of 1845, says the place then had "four congregations:
Methodist, Baptist, Episcopal and Congregational, and one church structure, that of the Methodist"
"The First Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Lee County" was organized August 20, 1848, in the barn
of J. N. Burket, east of Dixon, by Rev. Jacob Burket. The name was changed November 12, 1853, to "St. Paul's
Evangelical Lutheran Church." The pastors have been: Jacob H. Burket, who continued in charge until August,
1850; Ephraim Miller, May, 1851, to April, 1852; Charles Young, May, 1852, to August, 1853; William Uhl, September,
1853, to 1855; D. Harbaugh, July, 1855, to July, 1856; William Uhl, September, 1856, to July, 1858; J. L. Guard,
July, 1858, to 1861; J. R. Keiser, September, 1861, to October, 1864; A. A. Trimper, spring of 1865 to 1870; N.
W. Lilly, October, 1870, to 1874; 5. 5. Waltz, September, 1874, to April, 1879; L. L. Lipe, October, 1879, to 1885;
J. M. Ruthrauff, 1885, to 1895; T. F. Dornblazer, fall of 1895, present incumbent. In December, 1856, the German
portion of the congregation withdrew and organized a separate congregation, but were united again under the pastorate
of Rev. Trimper.
A Lutheran church was in process of erection in September, 1854, and was dedicated September 30, 1855. It was a
brick building with basement and spire, located on or near No. 309 Crawford Avenue. It was demolished in 1879 to
make room for residences. In 1868 the present Lutheran church was built at a cost of $14,664.81, and was dedicated
February 14, 1869. Extensive additions were made and the whole interior remodeled and equipped with an organ in
the summer of 1898, at a cost, including organ, of about $7,000. A semi centennial and rededication of the improved
church was celebitted December 16-19, 1898.
The Evangelical Lutheran Emanuel Church was organized March 23, 1891, by Rev. H. Staufenberg. The church building
was erected the same year and in 1899 the parsonage was built, the cost of the entire property being $5,000. The
pastors have been H. Staufenberg, who served until October 14, 1894, L. Lentz from 1894 to 1897. H. F. Schmidt,
the present pastor, took charge November, 20, 1897.
The local paper of June 22, 1851, has this item: "Some Presbyterians, wishing to have worship in accordance
with their own views and customs," have preaching in the district school house. January 29, 1853, the Presbyterian
Church was organized and held public service in the stone school house. The original members were: George Sharer,
Nancy Sharer, James Means, Isabella Means, John Beatty, Nancy Beatty, Mary Richardson, Robert McBride, Mrs. Jane
Smith and Mrs. Jane Little. W. W. Harsha served as first pastor, being succeeded in December, 1862, by E. C. Sickels,
who continued in the pastorate until July 7, 1895, when failing health necessitated his resignation. He was followed
by A. R. Bickenback from September 16, 1895, to September 30, 1899. January 1, 1900, S. S. Cryor, the present incumhent,
February 17, 1856, the first Presbyterian church building was dedicated. It was a grout structure, 28 by 42 feet,
standing on a portion of the present site, now partly occupied by a chapel addition, The main part of the present
church, which cost about $16,000, was dedicated in October, 1860. In 1898 the chapel additicu was built at a cost
of about $3,000 and, in 1902, the main church was redecorated, reseated and refurnished throughout, and the first
pipe organ installed. The total outlay (including organ, $3,000) was between $5,000 and $6,000.
In 1854 the Catholic Church was organized under the labors of Father Mark Anthony, with about twenty five members.
They worshipped in the Court House until the completion of a frame church building the same year, on the west side
of Highland Avenue near the southwest corner of that street and Fifth Street.
The pastors in charge since Father Anthony have been, in the order named: Father James Fitzgerald, succeeded by
T. Kennedy in 1856; M. Ford, 1859; James Power, 1862; H. Koehne, 1863; Louis Lightner, July, 1863; M. McDermott,
J. P. Hodnett, Gray, Tracy, and the present incumbent, Father Michael Foley, who took charge in June, 1892.
June 23, 1873, the corner stone of the present Catholic church was laid, Rt. Rev. Bishop Foley of Chicago officiating,
and it was dedicated by him the second day of the following November. The foundation was laid during the pastorate
of Father Lightner, and the edifice completed during the pastorate of Father McDermott at a cost of $30,000. The
entire inside of the building, including organ, crucifix and altar vases, were consumed by fire Saturday, May 7,
1887. Father Tracy held services the following Sunday in the front yard of the parsonage. A contract was immediately
let to Contractor W. J. MeAlpine to rebuild the edifice for $12,000. The insurance was $7,000.
In the summer of 1838 an Episcopal Church was organized under labors of Rev. James Depuy, but on his moving away
active work was suspended and all records up to 1855 were lost. The first record, "after suspension of active
labors," proceeds: March 19, 1855, a meeting of the vestry of St. Luke's Episcopal Church was held at office
of Robertson, Eastman & Co., Rev. Bentley presiding. Addison Rice, S. C. Bells and Geo. C. Chapman were elected
members of vestry to fill vacancies caused by removals. Soon thereafter services were regularly held in Exchange
Hall until 1856, when a frame church was built on the lot immediately north of the present one. First services
were held in this building September 28, 1856. When the present edifice was erected, the first church was converted
into a dwelling and still stands dn its original ground. Mr. Bentley was the first rector after this reorganization.
Following him were: C. J. Todd, August, 1856; J. G. Downing, May, 1857; 3ohn Wilkison, August, 1858, to August,
1859; A. J. Warner took charge January, 1861, and was succeeded by C. C, Street, in April, 1862, and James W. Coe
in May, 1863. who continued in charge until July. 1865: H. H. De Garmo was rector from March to September, 1866;
D. W. Dresser. November, 1866, to November, 1867; H. W. Willarns, March 1868, to June, 1871; M. Byllesby. November,
1871, to April, 1873: Samuel Edson. May, 1873, to October. 1875: Joseph Cross, December, 1875. to October, 1876:
W. H. Jones. November. 1876, untIl his death. April 26, 1878: W. W. Steel, September. 1878, to November 15. 1880:
John Wilkison, as minister in charge May, 1881, to June, 1885, when he became rector. remaining until November
26, 1887: Louis A. Arthur, January 7. 1889, to F'ebruary 12, 1889: Henry C. Granger, November, 1889, as lay reader
until January, 1890, when he became deacon In charge. On being ordained priest, he became rector, June 24, 1890,
and continued until October 5, 1896: John C. Sage, October 16. 1896. to December 31, 1901: John Mark Ericsson,
January 1, 1902. present incumbent.
September 7, 1871, the corner stone of the present stone edifice was laid. Rev. John Wilkison officiating. It was
opened for services September 15, 1872. In 1900 a fine rectory was built next east of the church (between it and
the public library), at. a cost of $4,200.
July 7, 1870, the Universalist Church was established. Services were first conducted in Union Hall. From there
the society moved to Tillson's Hall. where services were continued until the church at the corner of Second Street
and Hennepin Avenue was dedicated. August 10. 1873. H. V. Chase was the first pastor, continuing until December,
1876. when he was succeeded by B. F. Rogers who served one year. About the beginning of 1877 Mr. Chase was recalled
and remained, three years. Then the pulpit remained vacant for several years with only an occasional service. Mr.
Shilling conducted services one year and a Mr. Yates did the same about two years. Joseph F. Newton, now in charge,
was regularly called and has entered on his third year.
September 29, 1854, a Congregational Church was organized in Exchange Hall where, and in the Court House. meetings
were held until October, 1856. when the society moved to the brick church on Second Street built by the Methodists
(No. 117), Rev. Illesly started it, and after two or three years was compelled to abandon it, moving to Roscoe.
Ogle County. where soon after a brick dwelling in which the family lived was so undermined by a flood, that it
was precipitated into the river, and his wife and seven or eight children were drowned, he alone escaping.
The West Side Congregational Church was organized. August 19. 1901. A church building was erected which, with lot
and furnishings, cost about $4,400. J. G, Brooks was the first pastor, beginning his pastorate September 15. 1901.
The society then consisted of sixty two members drawn from nine different denominations. At the end of the first
year the membership was exactly doubled. and the society was out of debt. They next purchased a parsonage near
by. which is also paid for.
July 25. 1855. the erection of a Unitarian Church was commenced in North Dixon. It was located on the north side
of Boyd Street between Galena and Hennepin. and was dedicated April 9, 1856. Rev. Kelsey was the first and, as
far as can be learned, the only pastor. It was torn down some time after 1863.
Grace United Evangelical Church is located at the northwest corner of East Fellows and Ottawa Streets. North Dixon.
The society had Its inception in a Sabbath School, which started with twenty two members June 12, 1892, under the
leadership of Mrs. I. Divan. The church was organized September 14. 1892. with thirteen charter members, by Rev.
I. Divan. A lot on which to build was bought in 1892 and, in 1893 the building was erected. The present membership
of the church is ninety. The pastors have been I. Divan, June. 1892. to April. 1897; J. H. Keagle. April, 1897,
to April. 1898: J. G. Finkbeiner, April, 1898, to March, 1902: E. O. Rife. April, 1902. present incumbent.
Initial services which resulted in the founding of the Christian Church in Dixon. were commenced Sunday, September
1, 1895, in a tent at the southeast corner of First Street and Madison Avenue. under the leadership of Rev. T.
A. Boyer, of Eureka. Ill. The tent was occupied seven weeks, when the services were moved to G. G. Rosbrook Hall.
on Peoria Avenue. The original membership, which was small when the meetings began, was thus increased to 187.
A committee from the congregation was selected by the District Board to act as an executive board until the society
could be organized. C. E. Evans, of Walnut, Ill., was called November 1, 1895, services being conducted in Union
Hall. The church was fully organized February 2, 1896. Mr. Evans closed his pastorate in January, 1897, and was
succeeded the following May by S. H. Zendt, of Eureka, Ill., who continued until October 1, 1899. In the spring
of 1896 a lot near the northeast corner of First Street and Madison Avenue had been purchased for $1,350 and, in
the summer of 1897, the society erected its present building on this lot at a cost of about $3,500. It was dedicated
June 29, 1897, J. H. Hardin, then President of Eureka College, delivering the sermon, it was under Mr. Zendt's
labors not only that the building was secured, but that a mortgage on it was paid off and committed to the flames
On the first Sunday of June, 1897. The next regular pastor was Finis Idleman, the present incumbent, who has served
since June 1, 1900.
Young Men's Christian Association.- This institution is one of the leading influences in the community for good.
It was organized in Dixon, June 24, 1889, with twenty eight members. During the last four years the membership
has fluctuated between 285 and 400, the present membership being 317. The advantages include a gymnasium, baths,
games, gospel meetings and bible classes, library of 140 volumes and a free reading room with fortyfive periodicals,
including daily and religious papers. Baths have been availed of at an average rate of about 425 per month. Thus
a wholesome resort is provided for young men with a nominal membership fee of $5.00 a year. The first Board of
Trustees consisted of Albert Johnson, Ira W. Lewis, N. F. Swartout, F. E. Wright, A. P.. Armington, E. L. Kling,
John T. Laing, E. E. Wingert and E. B. Raymond. The present officers and Board of Directors are: Ira W. Lewis,
President; H. V. Baldwin, VicePresident; Jno. T. Laing, Secretary; W. B. Johnson, Treasurer; C. C. Kost, O. E.
Clymer, E. B. Raymond, H. W. Morris, L. W. Dachsteiner, M. L. Christian, W. B. McMahon and R. M. Ayres. Mr. Lewis
has been President from the first. The General Secretaries have been: Phil. Bevis, H. L. Sawyer, L. L. Everly from
about July 1, 1897, to December, 1899, since which time the present Secretary, F. M. Smith, has filled the post.
More pages of Dixon history.
The Ogee Ferry Established Arrival Of John Dixon and family Other Early Settlers Goverment Land Ooffice
at Dixon The Town Incorporated - Importamt Events in Local History Visitation of Cholera Scourge Disastrous
Fires Sketch of Father John Dixon.
Distingused Visitors Lincoln and Jeff Davis Church History.
To be added later
To be added later