A Church Is Planted

Walcott was settled by two groups of people.  Although they shared in the beginnings of the town, they never really mixed with each other.  One group, the Scorch-Irish, westward wanderers, came with the general westward movement and with the railroad workers.  Many of them worked for the railroad builders, until they decided to live here.  In general, they settled on the farm land south and west of the town, mostly in Fulton township of Muscatine County, and Cleona township of Scott County.  They were very active in the early Presbyterian Church.

June 25-27, 1954
Walcott Centennial Book
Walcott, Iowa

During the early pioneer days of Iowa, the Presbyterian Church of Iowa was divided into two schools, the “old” and the “new.”  In 1851 the Illinois synod grouped the churches of Iowa so that three Presbyteries were established.  These Presbyteries were known as the Iowa, Cedar, and Des Moines.  The Walcott Presbyterian Church belonged to the Cedar Presbytery.

The first meeting to determine whether or not a church organization would be formed for Walcott occurred on September 14, 1856, in the old school house.

The Stockdales, Byrnes, McClures, and Connell families were members of the Walcott Presybterian Church.

June 25-27, 1954
Walcott Centennial Book
Walcott, Iowa

Minutes of Walcott Presbyterian Church

Thank you to Don Dohrman and Marilyn Farley for their help in locating the original minutes of the Walcott Presbyterian Church.

Walcott, Iowa  Sept. 5, 1857

Agreeably to previous notice, the members of Walcott Presbyterian Congregation met in the school house to consult and determine what shall be done in regard to purchasing a lot for church, graveyard, etc.  Also to elect Trustees for said congregation.

After prayer the meeting was organized by electing Rev. Jno. M. Jones, Pres. and Mr. James F. Skiles, Sec.

The object of the meeting having been stated, it was on motion resolved that a Board of Trustees consisting of three persons be elected to collect funds and secure the lot of ground, it being lot No. 6 of the Outlots in the Town of Walcott.

On motion an election for Trustees was entered into , which resulted in the choice of Messers. Samuel Logan, John Barron, and James Newell.

Resolved that two subscription papers be circulated to ascertain what amount can be raised to build a church and that report be made at the next meeting,

On motion the meeting adjourned to meet at 2 P.M.. on the 1st Saturday of December next.

Jas. F. Skiles, Sec.

Walcott, Dec 5th, 1857

The congregation met according to adjournment and was opened with prayer.

Mr. S. Logan, on the part of the trustees, reported $76.00 subscribed towards buying the church lot, when it was on motion resolved to continue the efforts of procuring subscriptions till the next meeting.

On motion it was resolved to lift a collection for a contingent fund.

On motion resolved that $5.00 be appropriated for the purpose of procuring someone to put on fires and keeping the house in order.

On motion the meeting adjourned to meet on the 2nd of January, 1858 at 3 P.M.

J. F. Skiles, Sec.

Walcott, Jan. 2nd, 1858

The congregation met according to adjournment.  The moderator having stated that it would be impossible for him to remain during the meeting, requested that someone be called to take his place, whereupon Mr. W. D. Moore was elected president pro. tem.

After some consultation about purchasing the lot for a grave yard and building a church, it was resolved that the Trustees be and are authorized to purchase the lot and that the time of payment be extended to Nov. 1st, 1858 and April 1st, 1859.  One half at each time as specified by the above dates.

On motion, Mr. William Todd was elected Treasurer of the congregational funds.

On motion, the meeting adjourned.

Jas. F. Skiles, Sec.

Additional Meetings were held in October, 1858 and September, October and November of 1859, for the purpose of discussion regarding the payment of the church lot and erecting a house of worship thereon.  Join us next week for the results!