TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY Pickler Memorial Library Truman State University

Kirksville Presbyterian Churches
Ms Collection P3

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The Cumberland Presbyterian Church was the first Presbyterian congregation to be organized in Kirksville when Rev James Dysart of Macon County called a meeting of three local families in May 1846.  The church became inactive around the time of the Civil War but was reorganized by Rev JE Sharp and erected its first house of worship in 1868.

The Northern, or Old School, Presbyterians (Presbyterian Church USA) opened their first Sunday School in the Court House in 1857.  Officially organized as a church by the Palmyra Presbytery during the Fall of 1859, they also became inactive during the War.  They came back together in 1865, reorganized themselves under the direction of Rev JS Boyd in 1866, and began building their first church house in 1868.

These two congregations merged under the umbrella of The Presbyterian Church USA in 1906, took the name First Presbyterian Church and moved into the Cumberland building.  The CP pastor, Rev William L Darby, resigned to make the transition process a little easier and Rev William Craig Templeton, of the “Old School” church, was selected pastor of the unified congregation.


First Presbyterian Church (OS), erected 1892


Cumberland Presbyterian Church, ca 1897

Most of the documents in this collection were gathered by two members of the Normal School / Northeast faculty.  History Professor EM Violette, though not a Presbyterian, collected anything he thought might someday be of local historical interest and donated programs for some of the Presbyterian services he attended in the early 1900s.  Then in the 1960s, Business Professor Paul O Selby added other items.  The Church itself provided some of the membership directories.

Selby, a life-long member of First Presbyterian, used some of the older documents while researching his church’s history, but whether he used things already in the collection or donated them himself is uncertain. 

Selby, P.O.  Kirksville Presbyterians.  Kirksville: First United Presbyterian Church, 1971.

P3/1 Cumberland Presbyterian Church
  1:1 Membership Roster, 15 August 1883
  1:2 Programs for Special Event Worship Services
    ◙ Semi-Centennial Souvenir containing ▪ Jubilee Service, 4 Oct 1896 ▪ Church history; ◙ Children’s Day Service, 20 June 1897 (2c); ◙ Card (11/2 x 3") advertising Kirksville Union Sabbath School at the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, nd [1870s-80s]
P3/2 First Presbyterian Church USA (“Old School”)
  2:1 Rev James Shields Boyd Papers
    ◙ Program for building dedication, 11 July 1869 ▪ notes for remarks of welcome written on back; ◙ Part of report presented at dedication [1869]; written on back of ▪ Letter from WT Baird declining nomination as Trustee, nd; ◙ Report at the close of five years work [1871]; ◙ Part of decennial sermon [1876]; first page on back of ▪ letter from “MWM” of Atlanta, MO, 2 July 1869, regarding plans to attend & music for the dedication; ◙ Letter to SS McLaughlin re church records, statistics & activities, 8 Apr 1886; [note: the handwritten documents are extremely fragile and, with the exception of two letters written in ink, faded to near indecipherability; scotch tape has been used in abundance leaving sticky residue & brown stains]
  2:2 Address of SS McLaughlin at Dedication of New Building, 13 Mar 1893
    ◙ Original manuscript; ◙ Typed transcript
  2:3 Programs & Meeting Notices
    ◙ Building Dedication, 11 July 1869; ◙ Notice of meeting, Presbytery of Palmyra, Brookfield, 9 Apr 1889; ◙ Junior Christian Endeavor Prayer Meeting Topics (1899)
P3/3 First Presbyterian Church (the unified CP & OS churches)
  3:1 Programs for Special Worship Services & Other Events
    ◙ Reception in Honor of Members Added as Result of Tabernacle Campaign, 5 Nov 1915; ◙ Laying of the Corner Stone, 23 Oct 1922; ◙ Building Dedication, 30 Sept 1923; ◙ Dinner Given to Cabinet by Rev & Mrs Waggoner, 12 Oct 1923; ◙ Installation of Rev Brainerd Newell Covert, 6 Mar 1930 (2c); ◙ Installation of Rev Pyron McMillen, 6 May 1938; ◙ Dedication of the New Organ, 19 Jan 1939 (2c); ◙ Installation of Rev Russell E Otto, 3 Mar 1944 (2c); ◙ Centennial Celebration, 9 June 1946; ◙ Good Friday Evening Service, 3 Apr 1953; ◙ Installation of Rev Lawrence M Gill, 4 Oct 1959
  3:2 Miscellaneous Publications
    Topic Card, Young Peoples Society of Christian Endeavor (Feb-July 1917); ◙ Catalogue of SS Library of the Presbyterian Church, Kirksville, Mo (nd; in print style of the late 19th & early 20th centuries);  ◙ The First Presbyterian 5:26 (11 Apr 1908); order of worship & weekly newsletter;  ◙ Prospectus of the Proposed New Presbyterian Church, Kirksville, Missouri (ca 1921); ◙ Ralph Alden Waggoner, The Cross and the Garden: Some Easter Meditations (1920s); ◙ Presbyterian Messenger: Student and Rally Day Number (1921); ◙ Our Sanctuary Speaks: An Explanation of the Symbolism Used in the Decoration (ca1940); ◙ History of First Presbyterian Church (ca1951) (2c); ◙ Your Presbyterian Church in Kirksville (ca1955); ◙ Your Presbyterian Church in Kirksville (ca1956)
  3:3 Annual Budgets & Reports
    ◙ Proposed Budget (6) ▪ 1948 ▪ 1950 ▪ 1951 ▪ 1955 ▪ 1957 ▪ 1958; ◙ Achievement Reports ▪ 1951 ▪ 1951-52 [note: Achievement Reports for 1950, 1958, 1952 published in the Church Directory]
  3:4 Church Membership Directories
    ◙ Published Directories of members’ home addresses & phones ▪ 1928 ▪ 1950 (2c) ▪ 1958 ▪ 1962 ▪ 1965 ▪ 1967; ◙ McLaughlin, Millard & Mulberry Membership Directories ▪ 1965 ▪ 1967 (included with Kirksville directory)
  3:5 Women’s Association Year Books
    ◙ Published yearly program with roster of officers and, in some years, Circle or full membership rosters/directories (32) ▪ 1935-36 thru 1946-47; ▪ 1947-54, 1956-67 (2c each for 1945-46 & 1962)
  3:6 Newspaper Clippings 
    ◙ “Rev. A.F. Zeigel Dies Early This Morning, Aged 45”, Kirksville Daily Express, 22 Oct 1920; ◙ “Presbyterians’ New Building Project” and “Dr Dobson Writes of His Memories Here”; Kirksville Daily Express Women’s Edition, 6 Sept 1922; ◙ “Church Circle Observes 25th Anniversary “, Kirksville Daily Express & News, 11 Apr 1958 (re Circle E); ◙ Rev. Herbert Manning Rites to be Held Today”, Los Angeles Time, 14 May 1968 [articles have been photocopied for the file & the yellowed, brittle originals discarded
P3/4 Publications of The Presbyterian Church USA
  4:1 Board of Christian Education
    Brief Statement of the Reformed Faith (1902); ◙ Our Presbyterian Church: Its History, Organization and Program. A Study Unit of Thirteen Lessons (1933); ◙ You Should Know What Your Presbyterian Neighbors Believe (nd)
  4:1 Board of Foreign Missions
    The Board of Foreign Missions: What It Is and Does (1945) 

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