Primitive Baptist Church and Family History
Research Assistance for Perry County, Illinois



Nine Mile Church, near DuQuoin, was organized on Saturday before the third Sunday in June, 1829, at the cabin home of Peter Hagler, in township 6. The charter members were Peter Hagler, Frances Hagler, Abner Keith, Sarah Keith, Van S. Teague, Rachel Teague, Leonard Lipe, and Francis Jones. The presbytery was composed of Elders Eli Short and Silas Crisler.

Nine Mile Church was a charter member of the Bethel Association, in October 1829. I. M. Allen's Baptist Register for 1832-1833, and 1836, lists Nine Mile Church in the chart of Bethel Association. In 1832, the church had 43 members; in 1835, 11; in 1851, 30; in 1857, 34; in 1860, 47; in 1871, 53; in 1878, 60; in 1886, 69; in 1888, 83; in 1889, 94; in 1893, 97; in 1895, 110; in 1900, 99; in 1916, 88.

A log meeting house was built the same year (1829), about 18 or 20 feet square, but the land was given to the church by deed in 1836, by Leonard Lipe and his wife Barbara. The legal description is the NW 1/4 of NE 1/4 of Sec. 1, T6S R2S 3PM, and was a three acre tract. This site, including the cemetery, was the victim of strip mining in the area, in more recent times.

Elder Robert Moore was chosen as the first pastor, and served until 1833, when the church divided. Eleven members, a minority, including John S. Haggard, Matthew Jones, and Thomas Jones, followed the pastor and withdrew, and continued to claim the name of Nine Mile Church, and continued fellowship with the Bethel Association, holding to the original principles of the church. The majority also claimed the name of the church, but became a Missionary Baptist church, and adopted new principles and practices.

A meeting house was then erected in Sec. 28, T5S R1W 3PM, in 1842, on land given by West Eaton and wife. It was replaced by the present frame meeting house, in 1911/1912. This meeting house, known as Nine Mile Primitive Baptist Church, has recently been restored, but is no longer being used as a church. The adjoining cemetery is still maintained. From DuQuoin, take Rt. 51 North, turn east on Kimmel Road, and go about a mile to Willow Road. The church and cemetery are about a mile, on the left.

Ministers who served as moderator, up to 1920, included the following: Elders Joseph Hartley, John P. Madox, Moses Neal, John Gibson, A. P. Whitlow, C. C. Taylor, E. T. Webb, Thomas Deremiah, --- Carroll, William C. Ragland, Josiah Harriss, Henry B. Eaton, C. M. Weaver, W. E. Weaver, C. C. Mitchell, and L. P. Harriss.

Elder Josiah Harriss joined the church in February 1860, and was ordained to the work of the ministry in September 1864. Elder Lewis P. Harriss joined this church in 1908, was ordained to the ministry in May 1913, and served as pastor of a faction of the church until his death, in 1959. The church divided in 1924, and one faction of the church was served by Elder Charles M. Weaver. Ministers who were members of this church included Elders Robert Moore, Isaiah Youngblood, Henry B. Eaton, Josiah Harriss, William C. Ragland, Charles M. Weaver, William E. Weaver, and L. P. Harriss.


Adams, Anderson, Bane, Bardmass, Barnard, Benedict, Berry, Biggs, Bourland, Bowling, Boyd, Brock, Brooks, Brown, Carson, Carter, Cavins, Chapman, Cheek, Clark, Clem, Cook, Crider, Cully, Davis, Dial, Doty, Dunn, Eaton, Elkins, Erwin, Ford, Francis, Fred, Gant, Garner, Garrison, Gibson, Gilliam, Gordonier, Green, Gregory, Grill, Guy, Haggard, Hagler, Hale, Hall, Hamburger, Hamilton, Hammel, Harriss, Henley, Hitt, Hopp, House, Howell, Imel, Johnson, Jones, Karney, Keith, Kelley, Kinklehine, Laferty, Lipe, Little, Logan, Lynch, Malone, Manis, Marlow, Martin, McBride, McCollum, McMillen, McNabb, Mifflin, Minor, Mitchell, Modglin, Montgomery, Moore, Morris, Nace, Neal, Patton, Peak, Potter, Provart, Quinn, Ragland, Reeves, Rice, Roberts, Rushing, Sconce, Shaw, Simpson, Smith, Somerdon, Staton, Tackett, Teague, Terry, Thompson, Throgmorton, Tilly, WWaller, Weaver, Webb, Wells, West, Willimore, Wilson, Young, Youngblood.


Holt's Prairie Church was organized by 1835, or earlier, as it became a member of the Illinois Association in 1835, at which time Matthew Jones, James Jones, and John Lynch were her messengers, who reported 7 members. It is believed that John Haggard was also one of the original members. Elders Silas Crisler, and Eli Short were present as a presbytery at the organization.

A log meeting house was constructed at a very early date, at the forks of the Benton and DuQuoin roads, about a mile east of Pinckneyville. The grave of Samuel P. Groves marks the spot occupied by the old log church.

The church continued to represent in the Illinois Association as late as September 1842. In October 1842, this church hosted the constitution of the Southern Illinois Association, which only lasted until about 1850. In 1851, Holt's Prairie Church was listed as a member of the Bethel Regular Baptist Association, at which time the church messengers were James Jones, and J. M. Haggard, who reported 21 members.


Haggard, Jones, Lynch, Mendenall (incomplete due to loss of records).


Records of Nine Mile Primitive Baptist Church, 1844-1957; Minutes of Bethel Association; Minutes of Illinois Association.

Obituary of Elder Josiah Harriss

Paradise Mourns. [Paradise is the named of the beautiful prairie where Elder Harriss lived. - J. V. K.]

On Tuesday, July 20th, [1897], at 10:25 o'clock, p.m., at his own residence, occurred the death of Elder Josiah Harriss, who was born and raised within one and one-four of a mile of his present home. He was born May 26, 1833, and was married to Miss Elizabeth C. Jones, December 9, 1852. To this union were born nine children, seven girls and two boys. Two of the girls have preceded their dear father to that better world. He joined the Primitive Baptist church on Saturday before the third Sunday in February, 1860, and lived a worthy member until on Saturday before the third Sunday in August, 1860, he was liberated by the Nine Mile Primitive Baptist church to preach the unsearchable riches of his dear Saviour. Then on Saturday before the third Sunday in September, 1864, he was ordained to the work of the ministry by a presbytery whose names are as follows: Elders John Gibson, Moses Neal, Elijah T. Webb, and Chester C. Taylor. Has had the constant pastoral care of four churches near thirty years, but today he rests from his labors and his works do follow him. His family mourns the loss of a dear father, his wife the loss of a dear loving husband, the vicinity of a good citizen and neighbour, and last but not least, the churches the loss of an excellent disciplinarian, advisor, and instructor. But will say, dear weeping people, he is today clapping his glad hands in praise of him who suffered, bled and died that poor mortals might have hope of life and immortality beyond the grave before whom the four and twenty elders bowed casting their glittering crowns, saying, "Holy, holy, holy, art thou Lord God Almighty, for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God out of every nation, kindred, tongue and people!" Then hold up your drooping heads, a few more stormy blasts, a few more beating rains and we too will be called to meet our reward. About five hours before his death, Elder C. M. Weaver, of Pleasant Hill church, in Williamson county, came, but the fatal work was already done. He was partly conscious, but preached and sung until that welcome applaudet came:

"Come in ye blessed of my father,
Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you."

He was often heard to say that the Scriptures say, "Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of heaven," and often spoke of those blessed assurances and "He that denieth me before men," etc. The deceased's age was 64 years, 1 month and 24 days, and on Wednesday, July 21st, at 2 o'clock, p.m., Elder C. M. Weaver preached a funeral discourse that is seldom if ever excelled by mortal man to the comfort and satisfaction of all present. Before leaving the house Elder Weaver read the fourth chapter of 2nd Corinthians, then sung:

"How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord"

and then offered prayer. Then the corpse was taken to the Primitive Baptist cemtery with a long train of mourning friends and relatives following. The corpse was taken into the church that was crowded beyond its capacity with a large crowd out doors. Elder Weaver proceeded by singing:

"In all my Lord's appointed ways,
My journey I'll pursue"

then offered prayer, then took for his text, Rev. vii. 9, 10, which reads as follows: "After this I beheld, and lo a great multitude which no man could number," etc.


I was filled with deep solemnity this morning to hear of the death of our dear brother, Josiah Harriss. We can deeply sympathize with his bereaved family and sorrowing churches in this their sad loss. I have known Elder Harriss almost all my life in the ministry, and always regarded him as one of my firm friends. He has shown me a great many favors and given me much encouragement in my early ministry. Elder Harriss has been a great servant for the church. He went to them regularly through heat and cold and all kinds of weather, and his churches were very prosperous and attended with good audiences. He will be greatly missed in Southern Illinois. I do pray that the good Lord will raise up another faithful young minister to fill his place, and I will say to his devoted wife and children, while you will see his face on earth no more you have the blessed assurance that you will meet him in heaven. To his churches which are left without a shepherd I would say, "Pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into his harvest." May the tender mercy of heaven rest upon all of the bereaved relatives and friends.

J. V. K.
(Copied from the "Primitive Baptist," ed. Elder S. F. Cayce, Martin, Tennessee, 1897.)

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