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There were at least two churches in Blue Mound in the past.
The Mount Hope Christian Church building still exists (at least in 2004) at the southwest corner of the intersection of Route Z and LIV 430. We attended that church for awhile after we first moved to Blue Mound in the fall of 1945. The other church, the Church of Christ, was long gone before I moved to Blue Mound and it was only recently that I learned about it.
I have found the following information about these two churches:
Mount Hope Church
Johnny Hoyt in his book, Not Much of Anything: A History of My Life, on Page 31 had this to say about Mount Hope Church:
“They decided that a church would be in order, so they began to try to raise funds for that purpose. Up to that time they had been holding services in the schoolhouse, but the schoolhouse (Burner?) had been blown away by a tremendous storm (tornado of 1883?) so they raised some money and turned it over to a minister, I think his name was Jamison. When they got about enough to start building, Jamison disappeared, so they had to do it over, but it was finally built.”
Then on Pages 31 and 32 Johnny Hoyt went on to say:
“On the 16th day of October, 1884, the following covenant was entered into by members of the Christian Church: (1) Resolved, that we adopt the Bible as the only rule of faith and practice. (2) And when the Bible speaks we are willing to obey. (3) That we agree to stand by and support one another in all our works of labor and love and bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. (4) That we shall be known as organization known by the name of Mount Hope at Blue Mound, Livingston County, Missouri. The name Mount Hope was originated by Leora Berkshire and Hattie McGill. Church organized in 1884, house built in 1885. H.N. Knox was the first Superintendent of Sunday School, with membership at 60. E. N. Ware was the first preacher. Deed to ground November 25, 1885. (On March 11, 1893 - A Deed for ground to build the Mount Hope Church from Charles and Margaret McAlear to B. F. Knox, H. N. Knox and John Burton, Trustees for the Christian Church at Blue Mound, Missouri, dated November 25, 1885 was filed for record by S. J. Hoge, Recorder, and witnessed by J. D. Evans, Justice of Peace, Blue Mound, Missouri.). It seems that a problem was brewing over the organ in the church. There was a meeting called on October 2, 1905 for the purpose of uniting all Christian people at Blue Mound into one body. I think that the meeting failed as there was another church built which had been gone for many years.” This last passage more than likely refers to the Church of Christ (see below).
Another account of the Mount Hope Church appears in the History of Caldwell and Livingston Counties, Missouri originally published by the St. Louis National Historical Company in 1886. On Page 1190, they had this to say about Mount Hope:
“Mount Hope Christian Church - Was organized in the fall of 1884, with the following members: J. R. Davis and wife, R. L. Knox and wife, H. M. Knox and wife, John Burton and wife, Wm. Shields and wife, Wm. Marker and wife, Porter Minnis and wife, P. Knox and wife, B. F. Knox and wife, George Carr and wife, John Sullivan and wife and Susan Knox. Rev. Robert Knox has ministered to the spiritual needs of the church ever since it's organization. At a cost of $800 a neat frame church building was erected in 1885. The present number of members is 60. The Sabbath-school has about thirty scholars. H. N. Knox is superintendent of the school. The church building is located on section 35-56-24.”
Johnny Hoyt had this to say about his long tenure as elder at Mount Hope on Page 32:
“I have been an elder of the Blue Mound Church for over fifty years and my experience has been that the less executive business the church has the more smoothly that it will run. I was asked by one minister, that our church board remove one of our member’s names from our church records. I told the minister that he was a better man than I was. The minister said, “If you don’t you will have to get another minister.” I said, “That will be up to you.” He quit. I felt that who was put out and who stayed in, I preferred to leave that all to the Lord.”
The following Mount Hope Church membership list of October 10, 1891 was extracted by Nancy Campbell Hoyt and published in LIFELINES (A newsletter of the Livingston County Genealogy Society) Volume 3 No. 3 (July 1989):
Ina Jenkins Cameron provided the following photograph of the Blue Mound Singing Group that met at the Mount Hope Christian Church
Photo of the Singing Group taken about 1890 in front of the Mount Hope Christian Church in Blue Mound, Missouri. (photographer unknown) Ina’s Mother (Lilie McAlearJenkins) supplied the names of most of the group in the photo as follows: (Click on small photo to view a larger copy of the photo. Use your browsers back button to return to this page.)
First Row (left to right) - 1. Unknown, 2. Oral Smith, 3. Ben Jeffers, 4. Everett McAlear, 5. Unknown, 6. Unknown, 7. Edgar Carr, 8. Lillie McAlear, 9. Lea Good Beckendorf, 10. Carmel Good, 11. Floyd Sullivan, 12. Wilford Sullivan, 13. Louise Sullivan, 14. Alta Good McAlear, 15. Carrie McAlear, 16. Gertie Jeffers.
Second Row (left to right) - 1. Albert Barnes, 2. Clara Mead Sloan, 3. Ada Mead Bumbarger, 4. Nettie Jeffers Newton, 5. Unknown, 6. Minnie Minnis Carr, 7. Mrs. Jeffers, 8. Mr. Jeffers, 9. Mrs. Bill Good, 10. Mrs. John Sullivan, 11. Anna Mead Myers, 12. Cora Mead Snare, 13. Unknown, 14. Jim Carr, 15. George McAlear, 16. Len Dicken.
Third Row (left to right) - 1. Jake Burner, 2. Harve Davis, 3. Eva Mead Jones, 4. Vena Burner, 5. Letha Jeffers Peck, 6. Mrs. Jim Carr, 7. Minnie McAlear Jenkins, 8. Mrs. Hooker, 9. Rettie McAlear Mossbarger, 10. Alice Gilbert, 11. Eliza Hooker, 12. Anna Jeffers McAear, 13. Mrs. Fannie Knox, 14. Joe Haynes, 15. Unknown, 16. Unknown.
Fourth Row (left to right) - 1. Unknown, 2. Tom Dicken, 3. Andy Gibbons, 4. Simon Mayberry, 5. Dave Smith, 6. Bill Mead, 7. Joe Jones, 8. Unknown, 9. Sam Newton, 10. Edd Davis, 11. Jim Carr, 12. Ruben Haynes, 13. Unknown, 14. Unknown, 15. John Sullivan, 16. Willie Jeffers, 17. Pinky Knox.
Ina Cameron supplied another photo of the Mount Hope Church congregation which was undated, but appears to have been taken in front of Mount Hope soon after it was completed.
Undated photo (supplied by Ina Cameron and scanned by Lori Olson) of congregation in front of Mount Hope Christian Church in Blue Mound, Missouri.
The Church of Christ
The second church in Blue Mound was located about a half mile east of the four corners on the south side of LIV 430. There was no indication of a building at that site when we moved to Blue Mound in 1945. It was not shown on the 1878 nor 1896 Plat Maps, but did appear on the 1917 Plat Map. To date, I have not found any pictures of this Church.
There are indications that it was used as a store after it was abandoned as a Church.
Johnny Hoyt had this to say about that church on Page 32:
“It seems that a problem was brewing over the organ in the church. There was a meeting called on October 2, 1905 for the purpose of uniting all Christian people at Blue Mound into one body. I think that the meeting failed as there was another church built which had been gone for many years.”
Land Deeded For New Church
Lori Olson transcribed the following (I added the boldface to emphasize the stipulation about no music in the Church) from the original Warranty Deed filed Oct 25, 1907 at Chillicothe, Missouri:
From a Warranty Deed filed Oct 25, 1907 at Chillicothe, Missouri.
“This indenture, made on the 8th day of October, 1907, by and between R. L. Knox and Sarah A. Knox, his wife, of Livingston County, Missouri, parties of the first part and John Perry, John W. Sullivan and Huston Carr, Trustees of the Church of Christ of Blue Mound for the use of said Church. of the county of Livingston in the State of Missouri parties of the second part: Witnesseth, that the said parties of the first part, in consideration of the sum of $1.00 to them paid by the said parties of the second part; their successors and assigns, the following lots, tracts or parcels of land lying, being situate in the County of Livingston and State of Missouri to wit: All of one half acre of ground described as follows: Beginning 12 rods west of the Northeast corner of Section Thirty five (35). Township Fifty six (56) of Range Twenty four (24), for a place of beginning, thence South Eight (8) rods: thence West Ten (10) rods, thence North Eight (8) rods, thence East Ten (10) rods to the place of beginning.
To have and to hold for the use of said Church of Christ, and upon the express conditions that no organ or other musical instrument be used or kept; and that no fair, festival or other practices, unauthorized in the New Testament, be held, had or conducted in, upon or about said premises, conduct, acts or unauthorized practices are committed or performed in, upon or about such said premises, or any organ or musical instrument be introduced into any house or edifice erected on said premises, then said premises to become the property of such persons or person of said Church of Christ who may be opposed to the organ or other musical instruments, festivals or other things, hereinbefore named, being used in said edifice or house erected on said lot or parcel of ground.”
Signed: R. L. Knox Sr. Sarah A. Knox
You will note that there is some pretty specific language in the warranty deed about organ music or for that matter musical instruments of any kind. Perhaps we are putting two and two together and coming up with five, but John Hoyt in his book, "Not Much of Anything: A History of My Life," had this to say about the churches in Blue Mound.
“There were two churches and several denominations at Blue Mound. The Christian Church, Mount Hope, was organized in 1884 and the Church was built in 1885. It wasn’t long before there was a problem brewing over the organ in the church. A meeting was called on October 2, 1905 for the purpose of uniting all Christian people at Blue Mound into one body. The meeting failed and another church built (the Church of Christ) which had been gone for many years.”
Could it be that the Church of Christ came about because of that argument in the congregation of Mount Hope? Perhaps you know the rest of the story and can share it with us.
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Joe G Dillard