Lewis University Adele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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Methodist Church (Plainfield, Illinois)
Methodist Church (Plainfield, Illinois)
TitleMethodist Church (Plainfield, Illinois)
CreatorWilliams, Adele Fay
Date of the DrawingOctober 30, 1927
DescriptionDrawing of Methodist Church in Plainfield, Illinois. This drawing is a part of the Robert E. Sterling Collection.
Title of ArticleHistoric church is mecca for beauty lovers : edifice used by Plainfield Methodists has distinct New England air.
Date of ArticleOctober 30, 1927
Transcript of the ArticleFrom Joliet Herald-News Sunday October 30, 1927 "Isn't this the typical village church with the tall white spire, the enfolding trees, the spacious streets, the pleasant atmosphere that Hawthorne might have written about? Isn't it a beautiful spot expressing peace, quiet, harmony, comfort, leisure, beauty and all those things one is accustomed to associate with an ancient lovely village. Of course it is a Methodist church. It has the very air. It might be hundreds of miles away, in the east but fortunately it isn't. You, sir and madame, the wife, may make a pilgrimage there this very day. It is only nine miles distant. Did you never discover it in your pregrinations around the country? And did you never pause, struck with its ancient beauty, the beauty of all times, perhaps, but suggestive of the early American period wherever found? Mother of Chicago. Plainfield, the elder sister of all Will county townships, offers this lovely spot as a mecca for those beauty loving pilgrims who search the world over for inspiring havens. It is easily found for this notable spire calls to you over the tops of things for miles around. Besides being the elder sister of Will county towns—even Joliet, now growing mad to offset this honorable handicap—besides this, Plainfield allows for herself that she can be called, also, the mother of Chicago. It was Plainfield, already settled in 1826, who assisted in the early building of Chicago dwellings, when it was yet scarcely more than a swamp. It was then that Chicago depended upon Plainfield for supplies, for mail and for encouragement—Fancy! Population Remains Unchanged It was years before Chicago became big enough to look out for itself. Strangely enough, the population of Plainfield remains just about 1, 800 souls, just as it was in 1870. Still, since the growth of automobile traffic, Plainfield merchants state that their shops, stores and restaurants have twice the business of a few years ago. They make the most of the ancient charm of the village at the cross roads and it pays. Plainfield's proud boast—substantiated by dates, is that she as the very first township in Will county. Indeed, Plainfield claims to be as old if not older than Chicago. Church in Cabin. The Methodist was the very first church built in the pretty village. It was a small unpretentious little cabin, built about 1836. It was in the sixties that the present beautiful stone structure was built exactly as it looks now, upon site of the old cabin. Hence this church, as well as some others, is a real link between the past and the present, a valuable possession for picturesque Plainfield, and incidentally, Will county. And there it stands, its white spire shining in the sunlight against the blue sky. The Methodist church was one of the very first spots in Will county where the gospel was hears. Was Community Center. In the seventies and the eighties and even later, its congregations were large. Altho it was a big church for a small village its pews were filled every Sunday. It was a real community center. Farmers came from miles around and spacious sheds that stood at a little distance on the south and east were filled with teams, ‘rigs', ‘buggies', phaetons and one horse ‘shays'. It was the true ‘horse and buggy' period, when hoops and bustles were rampant, and pretty face with smooth hair looked out from wide ‘poke' bonnets. Church Built in 1868 The fine stone Methodist church, finished in 1868, is built of Plainfield stone from its own quarry, and was dedicated by Bishop Simpson. Its cost was about $22, 000. An Indian mission was established by Father Walker in 1826, which was the nucleus of the church. It included as its member those famous pioneers, Jessie Walker and wife, James Walker and wife, Mr. Fish and wife, Timothy B. Clark and wife and Mr. Weed and wife. First Class Formed. This it is said was the very first class formed within the bounds of the Rock River conference. When the mission was abandoned the class ceased to function for a time but in 1832 when Pastor Beggs succeeded to the charge here, with Father Walker as presiding elder, it resumed operations. The village itself was incorporated in 1861 by special act of the legislature, and again in 1869. Then in June, 1877, it was incorporated under the general state law. The very first village trustees included names afterward well known. Jonathan Hager, George N. Chittenden, who afterwards had a store in Joliet on Jefferson street, J. McAllister, Robert Webb and John D. Shreffler were among them. Tavern Was Opened James Walker put up the first house long before it was laid out as a village. Squire Arnold, prominent man who came from New York in 1834, laid out the north division while Chester Ingersoll is said to have laid out the south or village proper. Squire Arnold was a famous ‘mine host of the inn' since he built the first place intended especially for a tavern. ‘Uncle Fenner' Aldrich also kept a tavern not far away. This region was then one of the stopping places on the old stage route between Chicago and Ottawa. As it was called the ‘half way town' its taverns were prosperous. Jonathan Hagar and Samuel Sargent opened the first store on the upper floor of John Ball's wagon shop. The next year they put up a store house, which later made a home, revamped for the Congregational parsonage. Retired in 1861 Mr. Hagar made a fortune, retiring in 1861, which speaks well for the early business of Plainfield. The first postoffice was established in 1833 with James Walker as postmaster. It was then that forlorn messengers from Joliet came on horseback for their mail, which was brought to Plainfield in the regular coaches on the stage route from Chicago. Such are some of the strange revolutions shown by the whirligig of time."
SubjectWilliams, Adele Fay
Joliet (Ill.) -- History
Physical Description22 cm. x 27.5 cm.
SourceClick this link for more historical information on the Joliet area - http://lewisu.edu/imcanal
Publisher (Digital)Lewis University
RightsAll rights held by Lewis University. For permission to reproduce, distribute, or otherwise use this image, please contact the Howard and Lois Adelmann Regional History Collection at Lewis University at 815-836-5665.
CollectionAdele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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