Methodist Episcopal Church

Ocheyedan, Iowa

Historical Sketch Published on the

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary, Dec. 12, 1910

Osceola County, Iowa, was entered by emigrant settlers in 1870. Joseph Reagan of Ashton, is said to have broken the first sod in the spring of that year, in the County. From that time on, there has been a steady increase in population and property values. There is said to have been only one tree in the county when settlers came first, till others were planted by white men.

Among the settlers in 1871, was a Mr. Dean, a Congregational minister, who entered a homestead in section four in what is now Ocheyedan Township. He preached the gospel in his own house, and in the shanties of other settlers as opportunity was afforded him throughout this part of the county. This was the first gospel preaching done in northeast Ocheyedan.

Among others, he preached in the home of brother D. H. Boyd, who is still with the church, although no longer in office due to the weight of years being upon him. In the D. H. Boyd home a Sunday School was organized; this was in the late summer of 1872. The fall of same year Rev. John Webb was appointed to the Sibley circuit, and sometime during the conference get of '73-'74, he met with the Methodist families of northeast Osceola at the Boyd home and the reorganized the Ocheyedan class.

It seems that in the year '73-'74, regular preaching was not maintained, but a local preacher by the name of Binks supplied for a part of the time and thus the appointment was not wholly deserted.

In the year '74-'75 the Rev. Ira Bradshaw served the appointment. He was followed in '75-'76 by Rev. Edwin Hobbs, who, among other good works, took to himself a wife from the Ocheyedan class, in the person of Miss Emma M. Boyd.

Rev. W. B. Hastings followed Mr. Hobbs on the work, and in the fall of '77 Roy W. W. Mallory came to the appointment.

Up to this time there had been no permanent meeting place for these early Methodists to hold their services. They conducted their services in the homes of the members in turnabout, so that nearly every member and attendant who wished it, had services in their home in the course of time.

During the winter of '77-'78 the matter of a house for worship was discussed, and early in 1878 a decision was arrived at to build a church. At a meeting of a Sewing Circle which was in operation at that time, a committee was named who should select a location for the new church. When the report of this committee was brought in, it was found that the site selected was not satisfactory to the members in the western part of the class; and at the next meeting of the circle, a division of the Circle money was called for. This was done and the class was there and then divided, and each set went about to erect its own building where it best suited their different needs.

The eastern section built their house on the site first selected by the committee, that being at, or near William Mowthorpe's place, and they called their place of worship "The Fairview M. E. Church," it being in the Township of Fairview. This class continued to worship here till the town of Harris sprung up, and in the winter of '96-'97, the Fairview church was moved to Harris. The two classes were served by the same ministers till the fall of 1897 when Harris was made the head of the May City charge.

The western section, of which the present church is the outcome, erected their first church on the southeast corner of L. G. Ireland's farm of which he donated one acre for as long as it was to be used for church purposes. This was on the southeast corner of section 34 in Horton Township, one mile north, and one-half west of Ocheyedan.

This edifice was erected by voluntary contributions of money and labor. Those subscribing money and labor were the following: D. H. Boyd, E. N. Moore, L. G. Ireland, D. D. McCullum, W. W. Herran, Charles R. Boyd, James Dailey, Walter Woolbridge, James M. Sutton and A. B. Elmore.

These two churches were in progress of erection simultaneously. Rev. W. W. Mallory who was then at Sibley offered his services as evangelist free, to the church that would be ready for him first. It happened that among the men working on the church of the western division that there were two very skilled carpenters in persons of L. G. Ireland and D. H. Boyd, so it very naturally came to pass that the Ocheyedan church was the one to be favored with the revival. It proved to be a great blessing to the church and community, several of those who had given of their time and means for the erection of the church were among those who were found of God and graciously saved in the meeting which followed. This church building was used on the Ireland site till the spring of 1885, when it was moved into Ocheyedan town on wheels, and located on the present church site.

In the following December, on the 12th day, the articles of incorporation were drawn up and the Ocheyedan Methodist Episcopal Church became a regularly incorporated organization; and it is in honor, and in memory of this event that this pamphlet is published.

This original church was used in town for seven years, when, in 1892 it was discarded and the present church building, shown in this booklet, was erected. The first church is still in Ocheyedan and is now being used as a small residence on one of the side streets on the east side of town. The present church was dedicated by Rev. Jesse Cole, who was at that time Presiding Elder of the district.

The church has undergone repairs at several times since its erection, and is at present a neat, well appearing, comfortable place of worship, with hardwood finish and pressed steel ceiling. It has a seating capacity of over two hundred in the main audience room and room for about fifty in the Epworth League room. There are three rooms down stairs which are used for social purposes. The church is lighted with gasoline gas.

The following is a partial list of the ministers who have served the charge since its organization:

John Webb; Ira Bradshaw; Edwin Hobbs; W. B. Hastings; W. W. Mallory; G. W. Barnes; R. Hild; Henry Albertson; C. F. Kirk; Alfred James; E. M. Glasco; T. E. Carter; G. W. Bones; E. E. Gilbert; L. R. E Eikardt; A. H. Maynard; R. G. Minkler; S. C. Leonard; William P. Webb

Members in connection, Fall 1910
B- Daniel H. Boyd; Abbie Boyd; Charles Boyd; Frank Boyd; Mary Boyd; lola Boyd; Sarah Boling; Wesley Bowersock
C- Frank Cole; Catharine Cole; Faye Cole; Mary Cooper
D- Reese Davis; Minnie Davis
E- Hattie Elmore
F- Ernest E. Farver; Lucy Farver; T. B. Flecther; Isabella Fletcher; Alvin Fletcher; Florence E. Fletcher
G- Alice Gardner; Mabel Gardner; Grayce Gardner
H- R. G. Hamilton; Mary Hamilton; W. J. Hanna; Lesta Hales; Edna Henderson Charlotte Hiddleson; F. H. Hunt; Martha Hunt; Waldo F. Hunt; Mabel Hunt; Ethel Hunt
I- H. M. Ireland; Jennie Ireland; Eva Ireland
L- Geneva Leonard; Harriet Ling; Robert Ling; Mrs. M. K. Lintner
M- Charlotte March; Charles Morton; Joseph McGranahan; May McGranahan; Edith McGranahan
O- Charles Ogbert; Mary Ogbert; Alta Ogbert; Anna Osborne; Vietta Osbonre
P- Nellie Paisley; Myrtle Palmer; Mrs. M. P. Pell
R- Carlyle Richards; Wm. M. Roth; Belle Roth; Charles Roth; Mrs. Charles Roth; Clarence Roth; Mary Roth; Walter Roth
S- Gertrude Sawyer; Emily Stewert; Nellie Stewart; Charlotte Stewart; Wm. K. Stewart; Daniel P. Stewart; Albert G. Stewart; Franklin Stewart; Mary Stewart
T- Beecher Taylor; Bertha Taylor; Jennie Timmons; J. L. Timmons; Martha J. Timmons; Mrs. Will Timmons; Minnie Timmons; Adaline Tatum; C. A. Tatum; Julia A. Tatum; Moses A. Tatum; Minnie A. Tatum; Leola Tatum; Millie Tatum; Minta Tatum; Charlotte Thompson; Flossie Thompson; Goldie Thompson; Temperance Tracey
U- Eunice Underhill; Ruth Underhill; Maude Underhill
V- Carrie VanCleve; John VanCleve
W- Howard Walters; F. F. Weatherwax; Anna Weatherwax; Orpha Weatherwax; Louise Webb Elizabeth Williams; Mamie Williams Belle Wise; Daisy Wise; Mollie Wise; William White; Fannie White; Ethel White; Nina Woodworth

Submitted by Volunteer


This church was organized in 1872 or 1873 by Rev. John Webb, the first Methodist minister of Sibley. The first records have not been kept, so the first officers and ministers can not be enumerated. A fire occurred in the church at one time and the early records are supposed to have been destroyed. It can be recorded, however, that since its organization it has progressed steadily and has always been a leading factor for good in the eastern part of the county. Tradition has it that the first inception of church matters was at a sewing circle in the eastern part of the county, where various matters, wise and otherwise, are discussed. Among other things talked of at this sewing circle was the desirability of religious services and, from that beginning, there resulted the organization and the subsequent erection of the Walnut Grove church, which later was moved to Ocheyedan. It has since been enlarged until the present commodious church building is the result. The society also has a comfortable parsonage.

The present pastor is the Rev. J. G. Watterman. The trustees are F.J. Boyd, W.E. Ely, W.M. Rotli, Ruse Davis and Frank Cole. The stewards are Charles Morton, recording, W.F. Hunt, Mrs. E.A. Underbill, John Van Cleve and A.G. Fletcher. The church has an efficient Ladies' Aid Society and a prosperous Sunday school of about one hundred and sixty members.

From the 1914 Past and Present of O'Brien and Osceola Counties

Osceola County Iowa Genealogy - The IAGenWeb Project