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St. Clair County Missouri



Osage Township

Partial history taken from “History of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church 1879-1995”:

The history of this church goes back to the organization of Methodism in this community
before the Civil War in a log school house just north of the Dan C. Allision farm. Soon after
the war, a frame schoolhouse was erected ¼ mile west, but in the same field, and ½ mile east
of what was later a frame building called Hoover School. Rev. Bennifield of Prairie City was
assigned as pastor just before the Civil War. A young Methodist preacher by the name of
Criss was assigned to replace Rev. Bennifield. Rev. Criss advocated the building of a church.

John Allison and Davey Short were the heaviest subscribers and took the most active interest.
Others donating were:
William S. Allinson, Billie Allinson, Henry Allinson, Mark Allinson, John Shoup,
Mary Hoover, Widow Thompson, Frank Robinson, and merchants of Taberville, Rockville,
and Appleton City. Among those donating were: Robert Allison, Jim Allison, George Allison,
John Bennett, Billie Allinson, Henry Allinson, Owen Short, John Johnson and Bill McCormick.

Joe Barnett donated the acre for the church and cemetery, and boarded the stone mason
and head carpenter while the work was in progress. Neighborhood men donated their services
for the project. Some hauled rock for the foundation from nearby farms.
Mark and Jim Allinson donated their services in laying the foundation. Jessie Ridgway donated
most of the timber for the framework of the building. The logs were cut and hauled to the
Zeiner Mill at Whitley Ford on the Osage River where Mr. Zeiner discounted the sawing to
40 cents per 100 foot. Mr. Butler, of Appleton City, was the carpenter who superintended
the erection of the church. The self supporting roof is one of the proofs of his efficiency.

The church was designed with two doors in the south end. Construction was begun in
the fall of 1879, completed and dedicated in 1881 at the present site. In the winter of 1920-1921, remodeling was done to the interior, with one front door eliminated and an alcove built around
the one entrance. In 1900 the first organ was purchased for the church through Rev. Babbett,
the men of the church cutting and hauling wood to pay for its addition. Electric lights were first
used in 1950, after their installation by the R.E.A. During the fall of 1957, the church underwent a complete repair/remodeling project consisting of new window sills, a new hardware floor,
owered ceiling, new wallboards on the walls and new baseboard. A new chimney was built,
floors sanded and woodworking finished. In May 1959, new asbestos siding was applied,
which completed the project.

Submitted by Cheryl Bell