METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF SIBLEY


The first settlers began coming into this county in the spring of 1871. Slight improvements were made during the summer and most of the settlers returned to their former homes in the fall to avoid the long winter under poorly prepared conditions.

The first preaching service was held in the house of Elbridge Morrison, one and one-half miles west of Sibley, by Rev. S. Aldrich, who was making this county his home at that time. Rev. Ira Brashears, a one-armed veteran of the Civil War, was assigned to the missionary field of O'Brien, Sioux. Lyon and Osceola counties. Rev. John Webb, who was in charge of the work in Spirit Lake, was directed to divide his time with Sibley. Accordingly on the eighth day of April, 1872, Reverend Webb and Reverend Aldrich met the people at the house of A. M. Culver, one and one-half miles south of Sibley. After preaching by Rev. Webb, a class of nineteen members was organized, consisting of the following persons: Robert Stamm (leader), Anna Stamm, John L. Robinson, Sarah Robinson, Ella J. Robinson, A. H. Miller, Almira Miller, L. C. Chamberlain, M. J. Campbell, Etta B. Campbell, Annice Webb, William Anderson, Mrs. C. M. Anderson, D. L. Riley, Mrs. E. A. Riley, Leuclia Bean, Elbridge Morrison, Huldah Morrison and Rev. S. Aldrich, local elder.

The first quarterly conference was held in Sibley, October 18, 1872. At the first session of the Northwest Iowa conference, held at Ft. Dodge, Iowa, September 18, 1872, Rev. John Webb was assigned to the Sibley mission, which was made to consist of Osceola county alone. The first board of trustees was appointed in the following October. In May, 1873, D. L. Riley, John L. Robinson and the pastor. Rev. John Webb, were authorized to procure subscriptions for the erection of a house of worship. By the close of the conference year a substantial frame building was erected, thirty-two by fifty feet in size, with no indebtedness except a loan of three hundred dollars, obtained from the church extension society. At a general conference, held at Yankton, Dakota, the Rev. Ira Brashears was assigned to the Sibley charge. Those were lean years, both for the ministers and the people, but the church continued to grow and develop. Rev. Brashears remained two years and proved to be a tireless worker. He was followed by Rev. W. W. Mallory, who also was a hard worker, strong on revivals and could give the genuine old-fashioned Methodist shout with a vim. He also was a great lover of horses, and if there was anything he loved as well as a protracted meeting, it was a horse trade. The last heard of him he was successfully practicing medicine in the Niobrara country in Nebraska. He remained here several years and did good work.

The following minister was Rev. J. W. Rigby, who remained but one year. Old residents of Sibley will remember Rev. Rigby as a big, red-faced, burly Englishman, who, when walking on the street with his wife, forged several feet ahead, white the poor little woman trotted along, receiving no more attention than as if she had not been in existence. As illustrative of his character, it may be stated that when he and his wife entered a room, he would stop inside the door and take a careful survey, and when he discovered the most comfortable seat, would proceed to occupy it regardless of how many ladies might have to stand. Then came the following pastors in the order named: John W. Lothian, S. P. Marsh, F. A. Burdick, W. F. Brown, J. J. Gardner, C. B. Winter, W. W. Brown, C. Artman, G. H. Kennedy, E. H. Smith, F. E. Day, Joel A. Smith, W. A. Black, G. W. Barnes, W. C. Wasser, A. A. Randall, Herbert Clegg, F. W. Keagy and the present pastor, F. F. Travis.

In the year of 1896 the original church was sold to the German Presbyterian society and a new church was erected on the same site. The church now owns fine property, consisting of two lots, a large modern church and a comfortable parsonage, the value of which is about eighteen thousand dollars. Numerically, it is the strongest Protestant church in the county. The officers of the church and its auxiliaries are as follows: F. F. Travis, pastor; trusteesóLevi Shell, C. E. Hanchett, O. B. Harding, O. A. Metz, W. F. Truckenmiller, C. L. Strickler and H. L. Wheeler: stewardsóLevi Shell, C. E. Hanchett, Will Thomas, C. C. Truckenmiller, W. T. Steiner, J. S. Campbell, W. W. Overholser, L. H. Morse, Mrs. O. J. Clark, Mrs. James Nisbet and Mrs. J. S. Campbell; treasureróWill Thomas; class leadersó Robert Smith, J. S. Campbell, H. G. Doolittle, O. J. Clark and Mrs. J. C. Broughton. Mrs. J. M. Tregilgus and Mrs. J. C. Broughton, president and secretary, respectively, of Ladies' Aid Society. C. E. Hanchett is superintendent of the Sunday school and Glen Glazier is secretary.

The church is in excellent financial condition, three thousand two hundred seventy-one dollars and forty-seven cents having been paid during the last conference year for the support of the church and its benevolences. From the 1914 Past and Present of O'Brien and Osceola Counties



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