Genealogy with Jean


by Jean Borgeson

Rippey History/Genealogy

Churches of Angus

When you are finding information on your family, I find it interesting to find out the history of the area they came from. 

From the History Of Boone County, Published in 1914 by the Pioneer Publishing Co.(I think--hint--always cite your sources in full) Pages 342, 343 (someone sent this to me for another Angus project.)

Copied as written.

"There are two churches in the town--Methodist Episcopal and Primitive Methodist, the latter of which is presided over by Rev. William A. Morris.* He came to Angus in 1883. The town was then at the height of its hurry and tumult and glow. It had about everything excepting religious services. These the people did not seem to hanker for and Mr. Morris labored against difficulties in starting the first Sunday school and church services. But he was an indefatigable worker in the cause of Christ and soon rallied around him a little coterie of men and women who set themselves to fight the forces of evil which had gained such a stronghold upon the town. In a dwelling house about three miles west of the depot the Methodists had established a meeting place, but the attendance was slim and interest lax. Mr. Morris realized that a more central location was needed. He started street prayer meetings and preached the word of God in the open air. Meetings were also held in schoolhouses, residences and wherever an audience would congregate. Success finally began to crown the efforts of this missionary miner and the saloon element found they had a real potent force with which to deal. The first church to be built in the town was built by the Swedish population, and in it Mr. Morris and T. A. Ray started a Union Sunday school. But for church services it was used solely by the Reformed Lutherans, the denomination which had built it. About this time, 1884, the Welsh Congregationalists built a church near the center of the town. This made two houses of worship with services in foreign tongues, but none in English. However, in that year the Methodist Episcopal denomination erected a large, substantial building in the southwestern potion of the town (Miller’s addition). It was then no longer necessary to use the South Angus and Maple Grove schoolhouses for services. Meetings, however, continued to be held in the open air in the heart of the town. Rev. John Elliott, one of the best known Methodist ministers in Iowa at the time, was appointed pastor of the new church, September 22, 1885, and re-appointed in September, 1886. (Bishop) B. F. W. Cozier was presiding elder of the district at the time. Mr. Elliott began revival services that spread a wave of religious enthusiasm over the whole city. This earnest, energetic soldier of the cross and his able lieutenants were the means of making many converts. This wholesale change of heart was not appreciated by the saloon element, and out of revenge on night in May, 1886, they set the church on fire and it burned to the ground.


Meetings were then held in a store building and later in the Welsh Church. The revival broke out again with fresh warmth. At that time a Mrs. C. Watson, revivalist, was holding meetings in Grant County, Wisconsin, for the western conference of the Primitive Methodist Church and she was induced to come to Angus and deliver her wonderful exhortations. People flocked to the church like sheep, and on the strength of this the erection of a Primitive Methodist Church was begun in 1887. The star of prosperity was then sinking and it was difficult to get funds, but the church was finally completed. Three or four years later the Methodist Episcopal Church was rebuilt, though on a much smaller scale. All the religious leaders have gone, all save Mr. Morris, and he has not changed, nor cared to change his place."

This article goes on t describe the decline of Angus.

"he traveler would never suspect that he were in a town, for the original incorporation lines were large and widely apart and when the denuding process began it left a house or two here and there, miles apart from extreme points. All are gone, and what few buildings remain are cut off from one another by stretches of land under the plow that sold for fabulous prices when the bull movement was on. Where roads and streets once were there are now barbed wire fences. Here and there are heaps of useless mine machinery, rusty old boilers, enfenced pitholes and slack dumps."

Since 1914, think most of that kind of litter has been buried or cut up for other uses. Unless there are some back off the roads, I have never seen any. Now there is the modern junk of old vehicles, broken stoves and refrigerator sand the like.

I hope you enjoyed this article. It would have been a tough place to preach!!

*Reverend Morris and his wife Mary are buried in the Rippey Cemetery.