Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Dow City, Iowa
An account of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Dow City
The Dow City Branch of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was first organized in 1867 with 22 members. First meetings were held in a schoolhouse west of town where the cemetery is now. In 1878, Dow City erected a new schoolhouse. The old schoolhouse was then purchased for $550.00 by the church members. There was no money on hand, so Charles Butterworth assumed the debt. He collected what he could from members and finally advanced $32.00 personally until the debt was finally paid two years later in 1881. The church was remodeled twice over the years and used until 1960.
The pastors in the old church of the Dow City Branch included George Montague, Charles E. Butterworth, A. Kuykendall, E.C. Benedict, Thomas W. Chatburn, James Baker, Alfred Jackson, Raymond Butterworth, James Leonard Butterworth, Fred Baber, Elvin Baughman, Paul Argotsinger, Emmett Thompson, and Fancheon Quick.
In 1960 the congregation voted to build a new church. The old building, which had been used for 83 years, was sold at public auction to Louis Ahart for $480.00 and is now remodeled into a modern home. Louie and Clara lived in the home for a time and later sold to Richard and Barbara Robinson.
A brick and block building was started on the same lot in April of 1960. Sylvan Goeser of Denison was given the contract by the building committee, who were Raymond Butterworth, chairman; Coral Weiss, secretary; Robert Custer, Mrs. Catherine Baughman, Emmett Thompson, Vincent Argotsinger, and Fancheon Quick. Architects were Costlow and Champlin of Kansas City, Missouri. Bessie Pearsall was treasurer of the building fund until she moved to Missouri. LaJune Griffin was elected to fill the vacancy in 1962.
Many members of the congregation made donations and pledges toward the building fund and also many projects were carried out through the years, such as farming, feeding calves, suppers, bazaars and ice cream socials. While the church was under construction, church services were held in the Lodge Hall. Members of the congregation assisted with the construction whenever possible and this saved a great deal of money for the church. It was erected under the guidance of Pastor Raymond Butterworth. Some money was borrowed from the general church revolving fund, and the entire amount of indebtedness was repaid November 15, 1965.
The first service in the new church was held in February 1961, and a consecration service was held January 21, 1962, with Apostle Percy Farrow of Independence, Missouri, as guest speaker. The first funeral to be held in the new church was that of Arch Wight. The first baptisms were with the following candidates: Richard Custer, James Wingrove, Jean Pouts, Curtis Thompson, Terry Miller, and Linda Armstrong. The first wedding to be held was Larry Thompson and Kathy Shives.
Dedication of the building was in 1969 after the lower auditorium was completed. Pastors serving since the church was completed have been Raymond Butterworth, Emmett Thompson, Fancheon Quick, Bryce Argotsinger, Vernon Kent, John Weiss, Vincent Argotsinger, and the present pastor, Robert Custer. His counselors are Bryce Argotsinger and Martin Smith.
Several improvements have been made over the years, including new carpet, new counter tops in the kitchen, new doors, air conditioning, a gas furnace, asphalt on the parking lot, new sidewalks in front of the church, and a lighted sign in the church yard.
Source: 125 Years of Dow City-Arion History 1869-1994
We thank Cindi Simon for submitting this material.