Hagers Grove Cemetary
The community of Hagers Grove, Missouri is named for John Hager who purchased the
property and subdivided it into lots. The village blacksmith shop was one of the first
buildings erected and the church, which still stands today, soon followed in 1873. Church
building committee members Samuel Patton, James Chenoweth, John Jerrell, and Joe Perry
traveled as far as Shelbyville to solicit funds. Their goals were to collect $900, but
were satisfied with $872.50 to begin construction. John T. Patton donated the lot and much
of the labor and timber was donated by area patrons. It is believed that this lot was
first intended as a cemetery, because the oldest grave in the churchs cemetery bears
the date of 1838. The first pastor in the new church was Rev. John Tandy, and the other
early ministers were Dorsey, Crow, Browning, and Lowe. Early in 1891, a very young
minister by the name of Rev. F. M. Brame conducted a six-week revival meeting. During that
time, seventy-five persons were added to the church roll. It was also during this time
that the front of the building was remodeled. A belfry was added and an organ purchased.
It is with the aid of the following pioneer families that this church thrived: James
Chenoweth, Jonothan Peoples, Joe Chick, Joe Perry, John Tarbet, Alonzo Cooper, J. P.
Jarrell, Dave Noble, Sam Alexander, James Richison, Sam Patton, H. Daugherty, James Davis,
Henry Glahn, and Mark Creekmur.
With the exception of Miss Annie Patton (the future Mrs. Mark Gaines) who was baptized in October 1895, there are no additional members noted in the church history until 1905. The first church record of officers elected was in 1905, as follows: J. T. Echternacht, Henry Glahn, George Jones, Jacob Gable, W. E. Roy, C. M. Lee, M. H. Richison, Annie Patton (clerk) and Rev. Havener (minister). Another pastor during this time was Rev. Mauck. Alice Gable and Mae Harland played the organ. Early baptisms were held in the Salt River that runs adjacent to the Hagers Grove community. The names of those baptized and welcomed into the church in 1905 were: Gertrude Anthony, Katie and Carrie Echternacht, Mrs. Annie Gingrich, Russell Glahn, J. A. Morris, Ada Snyder, Lottie Tucker, Bessie Vickers, Elmer Wyatt, Walter Daniel, Alice Gable, and Annie Gable.
Until they constructed the Berea Church in 1890, families from the Kirby neighborhood became regular attendees of the congregation. Everyone came by horse and buggies, lumber wagons, and on horseback. (Still visible today, is the stepping platform to assist those dismounting from their transportation.)
Before attending school on the morning of September 12, 1912, the following children were baptized in the river at Hagers Grove: Sidney Lowe, Willie Jones, Ruth Harvey, Rowena Harvey, Harry Glahn, Carl Roy, and Bryan Rose. During this time, Rev. Glidewell, who was blind, was pastor for a short period.
The following ministers served the church: Rev. J. L. Shoemaker (c: 1915), Charles Jacobs and Leroy Munijon. W. E. Roy served as Sunday School Superintendent, and the teachers were Betty Daugherty, Mrs. Ed Harvey, John Schwada, and Claudia Glahn.
During the years 1917 to 1921, a missionary society among the ladies of the Hagers Grove Church, along with several members from the Berea church, held meetings once a month at their homes. This society adopted a little orphan girl from a St. Louis orphanage and provided her with clothing and funds until a childless couple from Colorado adopted her and her three brothers. We found the following item in the minutes of one meeting, "It was voted that each member of the missionary society should sell a hen and the proceeds used in the ministers fund." There were twenty-eight members of this society.
In 1920 the Roys, Echternachts, and Gables had moved away and it was necessary to elect new church officers. Those added were James Roy, Carl Roy, Harry Glahn, Willie Jones, and Kenneth Jones. John Schwada was Sunday School Superintendent. He also built the fires and taught a class. Although he held a church membership elsewhere, he and his family were regular attendants. Kate Daniel and Ruth Roy were organists at that time. Other ministers during the twenties and thirties were: C. E. Michols, Rev. Sears, Hollis, Romine, Leo Spurling, Sterret, Atlard, and Danny Martin. Grace Harvey was pianist for some length of time, but also serving in this capacity were Ella Mae Koftan, Frances Koftan, Beulah Glahn, Dorothy Rathjen, and Myrna Montgomery.
One of the largest Sunday school classes on record was a group of young people in the 1930s who called themselves the "Willing Workers" class. They provided special music, gave programs at Easter and Christmas, and held socials at their homes. Mrs. Harry Glahn was their teacher and members were Lola Fern Thomas; Lucile, Margaret, and Richard Rose; Evelyn, Edythe, and Robert Vickers;
Albert, and Dorothy Hughes; Joe Chapin; Hazel and Kenneth Ralls; Ruth Copenhaver; Goldie
Rose; Elwyn, Weldon, and Mary Margaret Jones; Alice Jeane Pettet; Robert Leckbee; Gladys
Lorey; Ethel and Denver VanHouten; Helen VanHouten; Florence Rose; and Charley Timmons.
There were no regular preaching services from 1941 to 1945, and no Sunday school during the winter months. Rev. Elba Martin conducted revivals in 1940, 1943 and 1944. The last baptismal services to be held in the Salt River were in October 1940, when Rev. Elba Martin baptized Frances Koftan, Bobby Glahn, and Margaret and Mildred Lawson. In 1943, eighteen (18) converts were baptized in the large tank at the Schwada farm by Rev. Martin. In 1944 the tank at the Gosney farm was used as a place of baptism. After that time, candidates for baptism were taken to the Shelbyville Christian Church or Clarence Christian Church. Nine members of the Harry Gordon family accepted Christ and were received into the church from 1943 to 1951. Rev. Benjamin was the pastor for a brief time.
In 1946 Rev. T. E. Spurling of Shelbyville held services at Hagers Grove once a month on Sunday afternoons. He later held morning and evening services once a month. In 1955 our building underwent remodeling. New seats were installed, the floor was sanded and varnished, new blinds, rugs, songbooks and communion service were purchased. Alfred Rathjen was Sunday school Superintendent during this period. Mr. and Mrs. Ed Rathjen presented the communion table, and Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Harvey gave the pulpit stand in memory of his mother, Mrs. Ed Harvey. The Albert Hughes family donated the pulpit light, and Mrs. Perry Gingrich gave the flags and stands in memory of her husband.
Two weddings have been held in the Hagers Grove Christian Church. In 1894 Miss Lee Patton was married to Charles Bastein following a Sunday evening service. Rev. Howard Merchant married Richard Oliver and Miss Marty Lanpher on June 9, 1957, in a ceremony for relatives and close friends.
Rev. Howard Merchant was the pastor for four years. Rev. Kenneth Armstrong of Springfield, Illinois held services beginning September 1960 on the first, third and alternate fifth Sundays. His wife, Carol, was the church pianist. Orin Schwanke and Harry Glahn were church elders at that time, and deacons were Floyd Vickers, Denver Gingrich, and Bob Kemp. Others recorded as serving on the church board are William Gosney, Frank VanHouten, Robert Vickers, Harvey Glahn, Alfred Rathjen, Pat Raines, Albert Hughes, Raymond Glahn, William Hughes, Max Conrad, Elwyn Jones, Don Davis, and Oval Richardson.
Other past Sunday school Superintendents were Bob Vickers, William Gosney, Charles Meredith, Dick Koftan, Orrie Pettit, Cliff Harland, Max Conrad, Arnett Wise, Harry Glahn, and Orin Schwanke
Other Sunday school teachers of record were Glenn Parks, Hallie Vickers, Mrs. Iris Garner, Raymond Glahn, Mrs. Perry Gingrich, Ella Mae Koftan, Elzena Rathjen, Mrs. Pauline Glahn, Blanche Richardson, Lucille Glahn, Cliff Harland, Mrs. Wayne Gregory, Mrs. Lenna Ralls, and Alfred Rathjen, Mary Lee Gingrich, Lois Schwanke, and Onete Vickers.
Jim Gingrich was awarded a ten-year perfect attendance pin for Sunday School in 1964.
Harry Glahn first served on the church board in 1920.
Regular family attendance of record during the churchs history: Simpson family, Snow family, Gladys Copenhaver and parents, Orval Pitzer family, Foster family, Fred Copenhaver family, McNeil family, Suit family, Glenn family, Thrasher family, Herbert Templeton family, J. C. Woods family, Helen and Marian Gaines, Louvenia Claire, Tollie Bichsel, Lindley family, Massey family, Matthew Schwada family, Lyle VanHouten family, Walker family, Webber family, and Bertha Sass. Also of record are the Rutter young folks who came into the church in 1916, Runyon family, Gregory family, Myrtle Hall and daughter, Homer Thorpe, Monroe Schwada family, Mrs. Lizzie Gipson and family, Todd family, Daniels, Hawkinson family, Hooper family, Oliver family, Beall family, McCann family, Maupin family, and Letha Simpson. Other families of mention were Laswell, Thomas, Cunningham, Porter, Moffett, Grindes, Newkirk, Vittetoe, Betty Morgan, Patricia Miller and family, Wise, Carroll, Ruth and Ruby Gingrich, Kennison, Jane, and Jennings.