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July 2, 2020

1852 First Presbyterian Church Founded - History - Warrensburg, MO

The stone construction pointed arch window and door openings and steeply pitched gable roof with side steeple are all design elements that identify the First Presbyterian Church at 206 North College Street as a Gothic Revival style church.

First Presbyterian Church--Warrensburg, Missouri  Link
written by Bill Foley
Founded in 1852, Warrensburg’s First Presbyterian Church has a long history of ministry, Christian witness and service.  
First Presbyterian’s church building, located at the corner of College and Market, is the congregation’s third structure. The first was erected on Gay Street in Old Town in 1859. 
The second, built in 1871 on the current site, was razed in 1909 to make way for the present structure needed for the church’s expanding membership. The first service in the new stone Gothic Revival Church was held on October 9, 1910. In the early 1950s, an education wing and Fellowship Hall were added to the structure. A 2009 project marking the 100th anniversary of the building’s completion refurbished and modernized the historic structure and made it more compatible with twenty-first-century needs. The sanctuary retains its original vaulted wooden ceiling, stained glass windows and curved pews. The Quimby pipe organ built in 2000 is a two-manual instrument of 29 ranks.

The son of Pastor Dr. Jonathan Hollyman from the First Presbyterian Church grew up to be a well known photographer. Thomas Benton Hollyman Link moved to Warrensburg in 1919 when his father was named pastor at the church.

Some members of the Presbyterian Church from an 1895 Book Johnson and Pettis County Portrait and Record.

CAPT. JEHU H. SMITH is the proprietor of a feed stable at Warrensburg, in which business he has been interested in the past ten or twelve years. He has made his home in this city since the termination of his war service, and in 1865 was elected to the position of Mayor, serving as such for two years, and for five years was a member of the City Council. In 1866 he became a member of the first school board organized here, which erected the first public schoolhouse, in spite of strong prejudice against the enterprise. Altogether he has served fifteen j^ears as a School Director and has had the satisfaction of seeing several modern buildings put up for the education of the rising generation.
A native of Monroe County, W. Va., Captain Smith was born April 29, 1832, being the son of
Christopher and Mary (Hanks) Smith. The mother came from the same family as did the mother of Abraham Lincoln, Nancy Hanks, she being her aunt. Christopher Smith was a tobacco manufacturer at Danville, Va. , until he was about forty-five years of age, when he moved to Ohio, where he died two years later. When J. H. Smith was two years old his parents removed to North Carolina and lived in Raleigh about ten years, though during this time the father continued to do business in Danville, Va. His father having died in 1850, our subject was thrown upon his own resources, and the management of his father's farm fell upon his shoulders. He continued to live with his mother until he was married, and it was not until 1859 that he moved to Missouri. He bought one hundred and sixty
acres of land in Harrison County, and cultivated the place until the outbreak of the war. In 1861
he organized a company of home guards, of which he was made Captain. During the winter of
1861-62 he was stationed at Gallatin, Mo., and was instrumental in driving out a regiment of
Confederates. In the following February he was made Adjutant of the regiment, and his company
all re-enlisted, becoming the First Missouri Cavalry, Missouri State Militia. Their headquarters
were at Breckenridge for some time, but in August, 1862, they were engaged in battle with
General Porter at Kirksville. Captain Smith was wounded in the leg during the skirmish near
Lexington, Mo., but otherwise was never injured. In 1863 their headquarters were changed to Warrensburg, and in October of that year, Mr. Smith´was appointed Provost-Marshal by General Schofield. Subsequently, he was Provost-Marshal at Kansas City until the death of Lincoln, when he
was appointed on the staff of General McNeal and took charge of the arsenal at Jefferson City.
He was finally mustered out of the service, August 25, 1865, and rejoined his family, who had
lived during the war in Harrison County, but whom he then brought to Warrensburg, their
permanent home. December 24, 1854, Captain Smith married Margaret J. McKibben, who was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, in July, 1833. To them were born six children, of whom the eldest, Oscar, died at the age of six years, during the war; Sarah, wife of C. S. McCarty, has two children, and is now living in New Mexico; Josephine married W. E. Anderson, by whom she has three children and makes her home in Colorado; Joseph H., whose wife died leaving him two children, is now living with his parents; Laura also resides at home; and Maude died at the age of six years.
In 1866 Captain Smith was elected County Treasurer, and served two years in that capacity,
after which he was made Deputy-Sheriff, and at the end of two years was elected Sheriff and Collector. He had bought land in Johnson County amounting to about four hundred acres, and this
he looked after for two years. When he was a boy he united with the Methodist Episcopal
Church, but is now a member of the First Presbyterian Church of this city. In 1866 he joined Corinthian Lodge No. 26, A. F. & A. M., of Warrensburg, with which he has since been identified.
He also belongs to the Royal Arch Masons, the Knights Templar, Col. Grover Post, G. A. R.,
and is also identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

EDWARD L. DE GARMO, one of the leading dry-goods merchants of Warrensburg, has been engaged in business here for thirty years, and no one stands higher in the respect of his fellow-citizens than he. In a long business career, covering over forty years, during which time (especially during the war, when so many business firms went down) he has passed safely through every panic, he has never assigned, failed in business, or compromised a debt, but has always paid one hundred cents on the dollar. He is a self-made man, having been the architect of his own fortune and having gradually worked his way upward from the humble walks of life by his own worthy characteristics. Some years since he took his two sons into business with him as partners, the firm name now being E. L. De Garmo & Son. The parents of Edward L. De Garmo were Jacob and Susan (Beardsley) De Garmo, the former born in 1797, in Albany, N. Y., and the latter in Bridgeport, Conn., in 1812. The father was of French extraction, and his father was one of the early settlers on Manhattan Island. Having come to this country with considerable means, he left his son Jacob a goodly inheritance. The latter grew to manhood in Albany and then engaged in the wholesale drug business in his native state.
About 1840 the family moved from New York City to Tennessee, where the father engaged in
large land speculations, being interested in the development of some property that had a wealth of
minerals yet unmined. About three years later he moved to Kentucky, settling at Augusta, and
a few years later he went to Louisville, where he passed the remainder of his life. He died while
on a visit to a son in Hillsdale, Mich., in 1879. His wife was of English ancestry, and her parents
lived in Paterson, N. J. After her husband's death Mrs. De Garmo continued to dwell in Louisville,
Ky., until 1888, when she went to California to visit her two sons, and died at Denver, while
on her way to Warrensburg, September 23, 1890. She was buried at Louisville, Ky. , while her husband is sleeping his last sleep in the cemetery at Hillsdale, Mich. They were the parents of ten
children. John, the eldest, was engaged in business in this city for several years, and died in St.
Louis in 1887, leaving two children. George, a mechanic, was formerly a manufacturer of nails
and iron fences; he is the father of three children, and now lives in Philadelphia. Henry, who was
a minister, died in Colorado, whither he had gone for his health; he left one daughter. Cornelia
died at the age of twenty-one years. Garrett and William are both living in California, the former
being the owner of a fruit farm, and the latter a resident of Los Angeles. Like his elder brother,
Henry, Charles is a minister in the Episcopal Church and has a parish in Philadelphia. Two
children died in infancy; and our subject completes the family. The birth of Edward L. De Garmo occurred in Philadelphia, Pa., September 4, 1831, and his boyhood days were spent at the family residence in New York City. When he was nine years old he went with his parents to Tennessee, where he had but little chance for obtaining an education. Through the efforts of his father, the school was held in an old log building with a dirt floor. Logs served the purpose of seats, a hole in the side of
the building admitted the light, and a box of sand answered for a blackboard. When they moved
to Augusta, Ky., his opportunities were better and he attended college there for six years, after
which he returned to Louisville. Later he went to Vienna, Ind., where, for a short time, he was engaged in the coopering business. He then went to New Albany, Ind., where he engaged to
serve an apprenticeship of three years as a cabinetmaker, his father having met with financial reverses. The first year he received $2.50 per week, the second $3 (out of which he had to pay for his
board and clothes), and the third was to receive $5 per week. When about two years had
passed he was much surprised one day when his employer came to him and told him that as
he had been so faithful he would henceforth allow him journeyman wages. The next day he earned
$3 and felt rich indeed. He continued with his employer for another year, after which he went
into business for himself with one of his brother apprentices in North Madison, Ind. A year later
he took charge of the office and warerooms of Robins & Pindell, wholesale manufacturers of
furniture, and during the five years that he was in their employ he managed to save quite a sum
of money. In 1856 he moved to Hope, Ind., and there engaged in general merchandising until the
close of the war. In 186 1 Governor Morton requested Mr. DeGarmo to enter the secret service of the state, this request coming in response to a letter asking the Governor to commission him as Captain of a company which he had organized and which had elected him to the Captaincy. He acceded to Governor Morton's wishes, and rendered valuable service until peace was declared. No one, not
even his wife, knew of it until the war ended. At one time during the Morgan raid his neighbors
brought him all their money, $20,000, and valuables to be kept for security in his safe. He
did not wish to take the responsibility, but did so upon being urged. Wisely determining not
to place them in the safe, however, he marked each roll separately and put them in a large
earthen jar and buried it under his house, the place of burial being known to no one but himself
His safe was robbed, his store set on fire, and his stable, containing a very fine horse, a
carriage, sleigh, harness, etc., burned, but the money and valuables were saved, much to the
surprise of those who had entrusted them to his keeping. In the secret service he had many exciting
experiences. Once he received word that his property was to be burned and he murdered,
so he prepared for the parties, but as they became apprised of his movements never came. At one
time, in a skirmish with the enemy, he was shot in the forehead, and on another occasion received
a sabre cut on the head. In 1865 Mr. De Garmo and his partner came to Warrensburg, bought a lot, and put up the third business house on the south side of Pine Street, stocking it with a general line of merchandise. On Christmas Eve, 1865, a disastrous fire consumed nearly all of the buildings on Pine
Street, and our subject and his partner sustained a very heavy loss. Afterward they assisted in
erecting the Eureka Mills, the first mill constructed in this city after the war, and as soon as they
were in running order sold out to other parties. Next they built the storehouse in which Mr. De
Garmo now runs a business and put in machinery for the manufacture of woolen goods. This establishment they operated until 1886, when they closed it out, still continuing in the dry-goods
business, however. In 1887 our subject bought the farm of two hundred and fifteen acres in this
county which he .still owns, living upon it over a year for the benefit of his health when he returned
to business in this city. June 14, 1854, at Madison, Ind., Mr. De Garmo married Miss Mary Schmidlap, who has borne him four children, namely: Lewis Edward, Cornelia,
Frank and Hettie L- Lewis E., who was born in Madison, Ind., and is now a dry-goods merchant
in Chicago, was formerly in business with his father and brother but wanted to go to a larger
city. He was married in that city to Dora Mick, and has one child, Lewis Emmett. Cornelia,
born in Hope, Ind., married J. W. Suddath, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work.
Frank, born in the same place, October 9, 1862, was married, October 8, 1890, to Mary E O'Donnell,
of Jackson County, Mo. She is also a native of Indiana, her birth having occurred September
5, 1864, and by her marriage became the mother of two children: Mary Cora, born August
28, 1 89 1, and Margaret Frances, August 1, 1893. Lewis E. and Frank De Garmo were employed
in the woolen-mills until the business was closed out when they became identified in business with
their father. Both sons were educated in the State Normal at Warrensburg, and Frank's wife
was one of the teachers in that institution for four or five years. Hettie, also born in Hope, Ind.
married Emmett Mick, of Chicago, a general salesman for Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co., and they have
one child, Louise. Mrs. De Garmo' s parents, Caleb and Sarah Schmidlap, were of German ancestry and birth, but came to this country when quite young. After a time they established a grocery and bakery business in Madison, Ind., and by industry and frugality saved a sufficient amount of money
to enable them to retire from the business entirely. They lived in their beautiful home, comfortably
and happily, for many years, and reared a family of ten children. In religious belief they were
Methodists, and in that faith they trained their children. "Father" Schmidlap (for by that title
he was familiarly called) was a Master Mason and active in that fraternity. He died some years
ago at eighty years of age and was buried at Madison, Ind. The mother is living in Warrensburg
with her daughter Mary, and though eighty-nine years old, is hearty and strong, and is passing her declining years in the midst of plenty and comfort. Of her children, six are living, all well-to-do and prosperous. In 1852 Edward De Garmo cast his first Presidential ballot for General Scott, and has ever since voted the straight Republican Presidential ticket. He has served on the City Council two terms, and has been a member of the School Board for a like period. Besides being instrumental in building the new Presbyterian Church of this city, he also took an active part in getting the normal school placed here. In 1866 he and his wife joined the Presbyterian Church of this city. He had been
reared in the Episcopal faith, to which his mother adhered, and his wife was formerly a Methodist.
He has been Sunday-school teacher and Superintendent, and an Elder in the church for many
years, and has represented the church in the Presbytery and Synod many times, also in the
General Assembly, the highest position a layman can hold. For years he was one of the main supporters of the church, with which his children are also identified, and for many years they were
faithful workers and teachers in church and Sunday school, as was also Mrs. De Garmo.

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