Minutes of the Walcott Presbyterian Church

Walcott, December 3rd, 1859

Agreeably to adjournment the members of Walcott Presbyterian congregation met and organized by calling James Newell to the chair and electing Thos. Mason, Secretary

Moved and carried that we the members of the Walcott Presbyterian church do now organize ourselves into a corporate body by the adoption of the annexed articles of incorporation.

Articles of Incorporation
The Presbyterian Church of Walcott

Article 1st

This church shall consist of any number of professing Christians, with their  offspring, voluntarily associated together for Divine worship and godly living, agreeably to the Holy Scriptures; and submitting to the Form of Government of the Presbyterian Church in the United States.

Article 2nd

The officers of this church when completely organized shall be a  Pastor, Ruling Elders, and three Deacons (or Trustees), who shall perform their duties respectively as defied in the standards of the (Old School) Presbyterian church.

Article 3rd

The foregoing articles may be added unto, or amended at any annual meeting of the congregation, after two weeks public notice shall have been given, and by a vote of at least two thirds of the members present.

We the undersigned hereby associate ourselves together, under the foregoing Articles, as the nucleus of the church and congregation contemplated.

John M. Jones
Jas. Newell
Thos. Mason
Thomas Johnson
D. F. Moore
James Steel
W. C. Logan
Samuel Logan
J. F. Skiles

1st Resolved that we now proceed to the election of three Trustees.  Whereupon Samuel Logan, James Smith* and D. F. Moore were unanimously elected to this office, to hold it for the term of one year or until successors shall have been chosen.

2nd Resolved that our Trustees are hereby instructed to have these articles of Incorporation etc. recorded, the church site of 5 acres purchased from Messrs. Cook & Sargent Davenport surveyed, and to obtain from them a deed for the same.

*This should be Andrew Smyth

3rd Resolved that the Trustees (or others) are hereby appointed a building committee, with instructions to proceed to the erection of a House of Worship as soon as practicable.

James Newell, Chairman
Thomas Mason, Secretary

The foregoing articles and resolutions were filed for record in Davenport Dec. 7th, 1859 and will be found in Book A of Incorporation’s at page 171.

Davenport, December 7, 1859

A deed of sale between James O. Sargent and Samuel Logan, James Smith and Doctor F. Moore, Trustees of the (Old School) Presbyterian Church of Walcott, Iowa for and in consideration of the sum of One hundred and forty ($140) dollars was recorded transferring Out Lot Number Six of the Town of Walcott to the Walcott Presbyterian Church of Walcott.

Walcott, June 28th, 1860

In pursuance of a previous call, members of the Walcott Presbyterian church met and were called to order by appointing James Newell, President and Thomas Mason, Sec.

The report of the building committee was received.

Amount still due on church building and material $260.

It was decided that each family should choose a seat.

On motion the meeting adjourned.

Thomas Mason, Sec.

(It was decided that each family should choose a seat.–Until the early/mid twentieth century, it was common practice in Anglican, Catholic, and Presbyterian churches to rent pews in churches to families or individuals as a principal means of raising income.)

Walcott, Iowa   September 15th, 1860

According to previous notice members of the Walcott Presbyterian church met and were organized by electing J. M. Jones, Pres. and Thos. Mason, Sec.

Moved and carried that a subscription for the ensuing year be drawn and circulated and also raise the balance of the present year’s salary.  On motion Thos. Mason was elected Treasurer to act until our next annual meeting.

Report of building committee received and committee discharged.  Balance due Rev. J. M. Jones $45.84.  On motion meeting adjourned.

Thos. Mason, Sec.

(A subscription for the ensuing year be drawn and circulated.–Members agree in writing to furnish a sum, or its equivalent, for a designated purpose, such as paying a minister; a pledge.)

(Report of building committee received and committee discharged–Indicates that the church building had been built and was being used, so the committee was no longer needed.)

From December, 1860 through March 20, 1867, the congregation held regular meetings and elected new officers.  The minutes reveal the church indebtedness was $27.60, subscriptions from the congregation for fencing the church lot and planting trees were requested, the congregation agreed to use the lumber on the lot for a “privy” and a “gait” instead of steps and agreed that “each family fetch posts to hitch horses to”.  It was also during this time, that the congregation started having difficulties in obtaining and paying the salary of a minister.

There follows a gap in the minutes until June 25, 1881.  The object of the June 25, 1881 meeting was to elect Trustees to serve until the regular time of election (September 1881) and to authorize the Trustees to dispose by sale the church building and south half of the lot of ground.