Church and Family History Research Assistance
for Clay County, Illinois

We welcome interested persons to contact us regarding Crooked Creek Church, south of Iola, Illinois. Our email address is shown at the bottom of this page.



Fox Prairie Church was organized as an arm of Long Prairie Church (in Edwards County), on Saturday, July 7, 1827, and in September following was organized as a church, with twenty-seven members, by Elders Elias Roberts and William Martin, with other helps from Long Prairie Church. During the Association year of 1828, there were 31 additions by baptism in this church. Within a short time the church dismissed members from its own arms, to organize churches at Crooked Creek, Salem, and Maysville. Fox Prairie Church was so weakened by dismissing so many members to form other churches, and by removals by death and letter, that the remaining members agreed to dissolve, in October 1837.


Andrews, Anglin, Baldwin, Barbree, Binion, Bishop, Brinhall, Brown, Chesser, Creek, Cross, Embry, Garrett, Goner, Harmon, Hefton, Hix, Hood, Hughes, Johnson, Luckery, Mangrum, Manning, McWhorter, Miller, Morehouse, Northcutt, Parker, Pattison, Rodgers, Rogers, Romine, Sargent, Sharp, Smith, Taylor, Teal, Thornton, Tinkler, Williams, Wilson.


Crooked Creek Church was organized at the home of John Bishop, on April 26, 1828. The fifteen charter members were dismissed from Fox Prairie Church. They were: Francis Harmon, William Smith, Isaac Romines, Moses Smith, Joseph Brinhall, Archibald Patterson, Thomas Rogers, Michael Thornton, Charley Harmon, Mary Brinhall, Charlotz Rogers, Lency Smith, Sally Chesser, Eleanor Bishop and Kisiah Romines. The minutes were signed by Elder John Miller, James Emrey, Elisha Anglin, William Binion and Eli Barbree, who served as the presbytery.

The meetings for about ten years were held in the primitive cabin homes of the members, but in 1839 a tract of three acres of land was purchased from Jephtha Allen, for $1.25 per acre including the log house which was erected on it, near the center of Oskaloosa township on Crooked Creek. This building later burned. In September 1853 the church voted to build a frame church building with measurements of 24 by 30. In 1864 a building was erected near the north edge of the township, just south of Iola. In 1905 the last building, a frame structure, was erected at the same site. There is a cemetery, called the Old Baptist Cemetery, at the original location.

Elder John Miller may have been the first pastor. Others who served the church as pastor of the church included Elders Thomas Whiteley, Cyrus Wright, Redmon Sorrels, Whaley Evans, Benjamin Coats, Perry Vandeveer, H. A. Todd, B. F. Querry, C. F. Stuckey, Simon Reeder, H. J. Gwaltney, F. M. Pope, Oscar Campbell, Elijah Doty, B. T. Stevens, and Benjamin F. Graves. There may have been others whose names have been overlooked. Several ministers were ordained by this church.

In 1829 Elder Thomas Whiteley united with the church, and in 1830 the church reported 12 members. In June 1831, Crooked Creek Church dismissed 14 members to go into the organization of Liberty Church, in Marion County. In 1833, under the labors of Elder Whiteley, there were 29 members received by baptism, and the church increased to a total membership of 42.

Crooked Creek Church united with the Little Wabash Association in the fall of 1828.


Adams, Aldridge, Allen, Atchison, Barkley, Barnes, Beavers, Berry, Billings, Bishop, Bohall, Boles, Brimhall, Bristow, Brooks, Bryan, Bryant, Burgess, Butts, Cantrell, Carroll, Chalmers, Chessor, Cockrell, Coleman, Cox, Cruse, Daniel, Davis, Daymude, Debolt, Deremiah, Deshayes, Downey, Downing, Eade, Eagan, Elder, Eskridge, Evans, Fanshier, Farthing, Givens, Graham, Harmon, Hart, Hawkins, Healy, Hefton, Hermon, Heth, Hickenbottom, Hill, Hobbs, Hockersmith, Hoffman, Howell, Jackson, Jacobs, Johnson, Jones, Kincaid, King, Kosler, Littleton, Lowder, Lynn, Mason, Meeks, Middleton, Miller, Mink, Mitchell, Montgomery, Moore, Morfield, Morris, Murphy, Nelson, Newcomb, Owens, Patrick, Patterson, Pattison, Poland, Prather, Pruitt, Queen, Renfrow, Robertson, Rogers, Rogerson, Romines, Sanders, Sawin, Scaief, Shipley, Smith, Sorrels, Speaks, Spiker, Sprinkle, Stipp, Strawn, Tate, Thornton, Torrence, Vandeveer, Varney, Vermillion, Walker, Walton, Wardlow, Weidner, White, Whiteley, Williams, Wright, Yates, Young (incomplete due to loss of part of the early records).


Salem Church, located one mile west of Xenia, was organized at the home of Leonard Piles (in Marion County) on August 25, 1828, with Elder Elias Roberts and others present forming the presbytery. The charter members were Absalom Sargent, Jessie Tinkler, Enoch Garrett, Elizabeth Tinkler, Elizabeth Sargent, Polly Garrett, Phoebe Baldwin, Mary Sharp and Susannah Goner. The records of Fox Prairie Church show that this date was set to organize a new church.

Salem Church and adjoining cemetery have been commonly known as the Onstott Church and cemetery, in the community, for many years. Col. John Onstott (who led a brigade of volunteers from Clay County in the Blackhawk War), a well-known pioneer in the area, was a long-time member of the church.

Because of the loss of earliest records, little else is known about the early history of the church, except what may be found in the minutes of the Little Wabash Association, which prove that the church continued to meet regularly. In February 1864 the records of the church disclose that services were being held in a log house located about one-fourth mile north of the present meeting house. Two other later buildings also preceded the present frame building, which was erected in 1939. Over 500 persons attended the dedication services and basket dinner that followed on the church grounds.

It is probable that Elder Thomas Whiteley served this church as pastor from the time he came to Clay County (1828) until his death (1834). He was followed by Elder Cyrus Wright, for about a year or two, until he moved to Cass County. Elder Benjamin Coats was the pastor, and John L. Whitman was clerk, in 1864. (Elder Coats was ordained to the ministry in 1830, but his name first appears as a messenger to the Association from Salem Church in 1853.) He was followed by Elders J. B. Dobbs, Cina Greathouse, S. I. Gardner, H. J. Gwaltney, Delbert E. Baker, Joy D. Vandeveer, Cecil Fuson, and Willie Huffine, the present pastor.

Salem Church united with the Little Wabash Association in 1828, and has continued a member of that body to the present time.


Alderson, Allen, Anderson, Atteberry, Baity, Baker, Baldwin, Barnhill, Beard, Bearden, Berry, Bjosabra, Blankinship, Burgess, Cannon, Cantrell, Carpenter, Carr, Catchings, Chastain, Clark, Coats, Cockrell, Cornwell, Cox, Cunningham, Curless, David, Day, Decker, Deremiah, Dobbs, Eagan, Edgington, Elliott, Ellis, Ethridge, Evans, Fanshier, Franklin, Freel, Fuson, Gardner, Garrett, Gilliland, Goner, Gordon, Graham, Grunwalt, Hanson, Hargraves, Healy, Heniger, Higgins, Higginson, Hillyer, Holeman, Hornick, Howe, Jenkins, Jones, Keller, Kennedy, King, Krutsinger, Lawson, Lewis, Main, Mayfield, McCorkle, Middleton, Mills, Molenhour, Monical, Montgomery, Mullins, Murphy, Noblett, Olson, Onstott, Parker, Parks, Pearson, Peddicord, Pentecost, Peters, Prather, Pritchett, Ritter, Rogers, Russell, Sapp, Sargent, Scott, Shaddon, Sharp, Shores, Simer, Siples, Smith, Songer, Spiegle, Stout, Sullens, Tate, Thompson, Tinkler, Turner, Vandeveer, Vaughn, Walker, Wardlow, West, Whiteley, Whitman, Williams, Winders, Withrow, Wood (incomplete due to loss of part of the early records).


Maysville Church was first organized as an arm of Fox Prairie Church, and then organized as a gospel church on January 24, 1829, with ten charter members, viz., Joseph Andrews, Mary Andrews, Moses Anglin, Elizabeth Anglin, George Cross, Major Cross, John R. Taylor, Nancy Taylor, Isaac Creek, and Sally Creek. Fox Prairie Church appointed Elder John Miller to constitute them. Little else is known about this church, as it does not appear to have united with the Little Wabash Association.


Andrews, Anglin, Creek, Cross, Taylor (incomplete due to loss of the records).


A church by this name was organized by Elder Thomas Whiteley, according to an account by his son.


Minutes of the Little Wabash Association (which we have on microfilm); obituaries of members in church periodicals; records of Fox Prairie, Salem, and Crooked Creek churches (all in our Library collection).

For a brief account of the life of Elder Thomas Whiteley

For an account of the life of Elder John A. Whiteley

For an account of the life of Elder Benjamin Coats

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