Lewis University Adele Fay Williams Collection of Drawings and Prints (Lewis University)
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Congregational Church (Plainfield, Illinois)
Congregational Church (Plainfield, Illinois)
TitleCongregational Church (Plainfield, Illinois)
CreatorAdele Fay Williams
Date of the DrawingJanuary 6, 1929
DescriptionAdele Fay Williams titled this drawing the Ancient Methodist Church. The building depicted is actually the Congregational Church built in 1850 as it appeared after the 1906/1907 addition was constructed. The Methodist Church was located one block west on Lockport Street and was constructed about 4-5 years after the Congregational Church. The two buildings are similar but not identical. The similarity has led to the misidentification of the buildings several times. - Donated by Katherine Woodruff Barnes
Title of ArticleOld Plainfield church built 78 years ago : little white edifice was erected by villagers in 1850.
Date of ArticleJanuary 6, 1929
Transcript of the ArticleFrom the Joliet Herald-News Sunday January 6, 1929 -

"A famous church is this charming little structure, built exactly at the middle line of the 19th century.
The building itself is 78 years old, but the society that built it lacks only four years of being 100 years old. The Congregational church society was organized in September, 1834, by the Rev. N. C. Clarke, who had been preaching in that neighborhood as early as 1832.
The original members of the board of trustees were, according to the records, James Mathers and wife, Deacon Ezra Goohue and wife, Andrew Corrier and wife, and Oliver Goss and wife. Fancy these picturesque people of 1850 in the costume of the time, which was elaborate and complicated, and included sometimes lappets, and sometimes hoops.
Paid $150 Yearly.
The first regular pastor of this church was the Rev. Alfred Greenwood. He was energetic, because he was also the pastor of Lockport township. The first salary paid by the pretty Plainfield church was the munificent sum of $150 for a year's work. In 1862 this salary was raised to the incredible sum of $500.
Altho organized in 1834, the church was not built until about 1849, as the dedication ceremony took place in 1850. But there were troubles in the church, and financial difficulties as well as arguments in the organization. There were troubles over the site, land troubles, and a council was called for the sake of peace. And for the sake of peace and harmony, the organization disbanded. And out of the resultant elements a new church, a Presbyterian church, was born. This was in 1836, and the Rev. M. Gould was the pastor.
Edifice Cost $2, 500.
Seven years it endured when again it turned, becoming again a Congregational church, with the Rev. E.W. Champlin officiated as pastor. And then the energetic Rev. Daniel Chapman took hold of the helm. The present church was the result of his efforts. It cost $2, 200, exclusive of the foundation.
The Sunday school was organized in 1843, with Jonathan Hagar, a name still remembered, as Sunday school superintendent. And by the way, Jonathan Hagar and Samuel Sargent opened the first store early in 1830. This was in an upper store over John Bill's wagon shop. Next year Hagar and Sargent built a store and used it a while. Strangely enough, later it was converted into a Congregational parsonage. Mr. Hagar was one of the very first board of village trustees of Plainfield. Mr. Hagar continued in business until 1861 when he retired, wealthy, according to the standards of the time.
Has Membership of 184.
‘Uncle' Fenner Aldrich, well known in Joliet, was also a pioneer who kept a tavern, right on the stage route.
According to U. S. G. Blakeley, the membership of the present Congregational church shows 66 men and 118 women, a total of 184. The Rev. Thomas Charters is the present pastor. According to the records of the People's Abstract company, the history of the land whereon stands the pretty white Congregational church, with its big overhanging trees, is short on history.
Sold to Trustees.
Lavi Arnold acquired the patent from the government for the southeast quarter of section 9, Plainfield township, in 1837. In 1840 he sold part to Chester Bennett, and in 1841, Miles Royce became the owner of a part of it. The same year he deeded it to Adda Royce, a patriotic deed.
And by the ‘Metes and Bounds' description, the assessor in 1867, ordered a plat made of this property showing just what was owned by each individual. In 1850, this same Adda Royce sold the land to the trustees of the Congregational church of Plainfield. And this was the time the church was built."
SubjectWilliams, Adele Fay
Joliet (Ill.) -- History
SourceClick on this link for more historical information on the Joliet area - http://www.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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