Archiver > IAFREMON > 2001-07 > 0996518269

Subject: Mt. Olive Church, McKissick Grove, Fremont county, Iowa.
Date: 30 Jul 2001 12:37:49 -0600

THE FREMONT COUNTY HERALD. July 23, l903.--"THE OLDEST CHURCH".--The oldest church in southwest Iowa, also northwest Missouri, is the Mt. Olive Baptist church some three miles east of Hamburg. It was organized on January 12, l845, by Rev. Richard Miller, the number of charter members being ten. The church kept up its regular convenant meetings until the Civil war. At the close of the war when they met for worship they were surprised to learn how greatly the members had decreased in number, but they resolved to still strive to keep up the banner of Christ. In 1852 Elias Findley was ordained and took pastoral charge of the church. In 1858 an arm of the church was extended to Mill Creek for the reception of members. In 1852 letters were granted to all members living west of the Nishna river to organize a church at Sidney and in 1868 seven members were empowered to organize a church at Linden, Missouri.

In the summber of 1875 the house was blown from its foundation and regular services were dicontinued for a time. The church at McKissick's Grove in Atchison county, Mo., was organized in 1872, and in April 1877 an organization was established in the Fairview district Fremont county.

The cost of the first church was $1968 and additional improvements increased the cost to over $2200. In 1879 a new building was erected to take the place of the one blown down and was dedicatd on February 23, 1879, by P.M. Best, pastor. The name of the church was then changed from Nishnabotna to Mt. Olive. The church building has stood in two states and three counties owing to changes made in state and county lines. It was first in Holt county, Mo., then in Atchison county, Mo., and last in Fremont county, Iowa. The history of this organization from which we glean these notes is replete in details and was prepared by Uncle Enoch Lair.

1 "Nishnabotna", the church's first name, reflects that is was in Nishnabotna Country, not that it was on the Nishnabotna river. Nishnabotna Country was a stretch of country along the Missouri river extending north and south of the present state line about ten or fifteen miles each way. When Holt county, Missouri, was organized in 1841, this country was represented in the Missouri legislature by Stephen Cooper. The first book of Holt county marriages is missing, but the records of the county court are available.

2. Atchison county, Missouri, was formed in 1845, and many of the earliest residents of present Fremont county were married as Atchison county citizens. Atchison county court records are also available. Pioneers living in townships 67 and 68 north can be found here before the state line was finally settled in 1849, at which time Fremont county records take over. SO--there is available an unbroken run of county records for the Fremont county vanguard of settlers. Only the first book of Holt county marriages is lost.--W.F.

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