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April 5, 2017

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 for 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 which 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 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, 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 1 86 1 Governor Morton requested Mr. De
Garmo 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 oyer 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 Emniett. 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 i, 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, 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 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
eightj'-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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