Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Jerome Memories - Part IV - Churches

  The first settlers were much interested in the religious welfare of their families, a Methodist church was organized in 1855 and services were held in homes until the construction of a school house.  Charter members were Calvin Jackson and wife, Jim Kinney and wife, Grandma Thomas, George Jackson and wife, Delila Jackson, mother of Calvin Jackson, eight in all.  The circuit rider's name was Alexander and the circuit covered the greater part of Appanoose County.
  Later circuit-rider preachers were Brothers Clark, Main, Hard, Mann, Orr, Harnerd, Corkhill, Stephenson, Hurt, Sinclair, Tennent and Hogle.  The Jacob Norris home was a popular stop enroute to Jerome.
  The first church was finished in October of 1871.  Early ministers included J. M. Louthridge and C. W. Powelson.  This church stood in the west part of town on the same site as the present church.  Lumber was hewed and hauled from Missouri and shingles and flooring were brought from Albia. Mrs. Calvin Jackson and Mrs. James Hagan boarded the laborers without pay and Mrs. Jackson wove carpets for the isles.  The records of 1875 show that the ministers salary was $600 and $75 was given to missions.  The first organ was bought in 1886 and Mamie Kinney was appointed organist, serving until her death in 1892.
  The present Methodist church was dedicated in 1911 during the time Rev. J. H. Krenmyre was pastor.  In 1939 a Sunday school room and a kitchen were added and dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Maria Pendergast and Miss Anna Gorman, whose gifts by will added to the contributions of the community and made the additions possible.  In 1953 the kitchen addition was made a part of the Sunday school room and a modern new kitchen was built, all made possible by the will of Anna Gorman and the labor of the membership of the church.
  In 1910 the Gospel Hall was built as another place of worship, leaders in the church being Andrew Gillispie and John and W. W. White.  The Croation Society building, commonly called the Catholic church, was built in the eastern part of Jerome in 1916, and the Catholic service began in 1919.
[From Memories of Jerome, Iowa, 1989 published for the 1989 Jerome Reunion.]

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