DeWitt County Genealogy Trails

Old Union Church DeWitt County, Illinois

(An excerpt from "The Disciples of Christ History" by Haynes)
Transcribed by ©K. Torp, June 2006

The Old Union Church, located about 10 miles west of Clinton was constituted Oct. 13, 1831 (Second Sunday). It was formed with 17 charter members under the spreading branches of a large white oak tree whose decaying stump still marks the spot (in 1910). This and the gravestones of the cemetery which grew around the house of worship are silent sentinels of faded joys and departed glories.

Hugh Bowles was leader there. He was a product of Caneridge, Ky Revival as were those associated with him in the beginning. His son, Walter P. Bowles, became the best known and most powerful preacher of his time in that section. He and Abe Lincoln were familiar friends and long before the immortal emancipator dreamed of place and fame he said to Mr. Bowles, "Wat if I could preach like you, I would rather do that than be president."

The Old Union Church served its community and generation for just 50 years to a day, and then, the railroads coming, the towns growing, it fell asleep.