Pilot Grove Church
This is the oldest church in the township and one of the oldest in the county, and is of the Baptist denomination. It was originally organized in 1840, by Rev. William Mikels, its first pastor, and the original members were Joseph Everly and wife, John Mikels and wife, John J. Everly, Lucy Bear and Mrs. Sarah Mikels. The congregation built a log church in the summer of 1845, at a cost of about $100. The pastors were Revs. William Mikels, Elijah Morrill, John Smith, William Baldwin and Joseph Wood. The church grew and flourished until 1857, when a new place of worship was erected at a cost of $800. The first pastor of the new church was Rev:. William Baldwin. Those who were members at the time of the erection of the new church were Judge Peter Bear, John Mikels, Hadley, Moses and Thomas Brown, and a number of others whose names were not sent in. They now have a very fine church, thirty-two by forty-eight feet in size, neatly finished and furnished, and have a present membership of 160. It is in every way in a successful condition.
Methodist Episcopal Church
This church had quite an early organization in the township, but the first church was not erected until 1868. This was a handsome building, costing $1,000, and was dedicated by the Revs. Hale and Hanley, the same year. The church has been of steady growth, in good financial condition and has a following of sixty-two earnest and faithful members of God’s household. This church is located at Bancroft.
Old School Baptist Church
This is one of the old churches of the township and was organized early, in 1859. Among the original members were Francis Burrell and wife, Lucretia Ward, J. M. Ward and wife, William Brandon, S. Haynes and others. The church was never dedicated. The first pastor was Rev. James M. Ward, who still holds the position. The church has a membership of between forty and fifty, and a neat frame church edifice, which cost some $700. It has not been of rapid growth, but seems to have kept up with the general increase of population of the township and of the church in other sections..
This is a new church in the township, and was not organized until 1880, and is known as the Whitefield Christian Church. A place of worship was erected in 1880, soon after its organization, and dedicated in the fall of that year. The building cost $1,000, and is a substantial one. The church is near the south line of the township and is in a prosperous condition, having a membership at this time of fifty-six. The pastor is the Rev. J. F. Jordan. The original members were Peter Nighswonger and wife, Abram Nighswonger and wife, William Robinson and wife, Quintes Robinson and wife, C. D. Prior and others. The church is out of debt and have in connection with the church a flourishing Sunday-school of full thirty scholars in attendance under the superintendency of A. W. Nighswonger.
This church known as Wood’s Baptist Church was erected in 1880 and is under the pastorate of Rev. Joseph Wood. It is situated three miles southeast of Bancroft and has a membership of forty-five. It has quite a large following and many earnest workers in its cause.
In the year 1878, June 28, a Catholic Church was dedicated by the Right Reverend Bishop Hogan, assisted by the Revs. Kennedy and O’Leary. The ceremonies were very imposing and a large concourse of people from the surrounding country attended the dedication. The church was small in number at the time but had strong hopes of improvement. It is situated only a short distance from Bancroft.
This township has been one of the foremost in the cause of education in the county, but four in the county exceeding her in the number of schools taught, and two of these being greater in territory. Lincoln, in reality, ranks third according to size, and second according to population in the number of schools taught within her border. Her citizens stand high in this respect and Lincoln township can boast of six new, well finished school-houses, and furnished with all the necessary school apparatus. These schools have flourished because good teachers were secured, or none.
With this record of schools and churches to educate and elevate the citizens, and with well cultivated fields and flowing granaries, there is little cause for the people of Lincoln township to complain, and much in their progress and success for others to emulate.
There is only one village in the township, but this, too, is composed of energetic citizens.
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