Thompson Disciple Church
In 1848, after years of meeting occasionally for worship
at the little schoolhouse at the corner of Sidley and
Thompson Roads with Jacob Norman as pastor and Paul Bower,
Sr. as financial supporter, a scattered group of Disciples
acquired sufficient strength to organize. Elders Turney
(Madison), Veitz (Saybrook), Benjamin and Gates helped
the new organization with Jacob Norman and Simon Bower
as its Elders, Hiram Stephens and Paul Bower as Deacons
and the following family names among the twenty-five
members: Bower, Norman, Hausch, Stephens, Stevens, Nelson,
Mills, Tucker, Dayton and Loomis.
In 1854 on land donated by Paul Bower, Sr., the church
building was constructed. Interest, enthusiasm and membership
grew and by 1874, with about 235 members, Reverend Musson
as pastor, Simon Bower, Charles Foot and Henry Quayle
as Elders, Paul Bower, Lewis Keener and Henry Malin as
Deacons, John Hausch as Sunday School Superintendent
and an average Sunday School attendance of fifty, the
Church included an a capella choir singing in German.
The records show the names of twenty-five pastors:
Reaves, Cooley, Ingraham, White, Kentzelmann, Musson,
Moore, Cushman, Encell, Blake, Cook, Gates, Sturgeon,
Saltzmann, Russel, Lillis, Hayden, Tisdell, Bower, Robinson,
Allen, Wight, Atkinson, Moody and Dann.
During its history, the church had 399 members. The
final five, baptized in 1918 by Reverend Huges of Geneva
were: Zila Behm, Mary Binnig, Doris Leslie and Lee Osborn.
Soon after this so many of its members moved away
that the few remaining transferred to neighboring churches.
The building was later sold to J. G. Binnig and the "Little
Germany Church" of the Disciples remains only as
a memory in the hearts of the descendants of the faithful
and devoted members.