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Sharon Church & Cemetery in Erie, Whiteside Co., IL
The Presbyterian Church and society in Portland, was organized at Sharon, in 1839, by Rev. Mr. WILCOX, of Geneseo, Henry county.
The first members were: Deacon KEMMIS, Mrs. KEMMIS, his mother, Mr. and Mrs. Jeremiah H. JOHNSON, Mrs. Nathaniel NORTON, Mr. and Mrs. Robert GETTY, Mrs. DURFEE, Reuben HURD and Horace HURD. The society was organized in the school house near James ROWE'S place, and in which the little church held their first meetings. It was not long before they were blessed by the addition of twenty members, mostly by confession of faith.
The old log school house became too small for the requirements of the church, and steps were taken to build a meeting house. Such was the energy with which the work was prosecuted that on Christmas Day, 1841, it was finished and dedicated. Nataniel NORTON was the largest contributor towards the erection of the church, but all contribute according to their limited means.
Mr. NORTON soon afterwards donated ten acres of land to the church, and assisted largely in erecting a comfortable parsonage at a cost of $400. Rev. Daniel ROCKWELL was the first settled pastor, and he ministered to their spiritual wants for two years, some twelve members being added to the church during the time.
Rev. Mr. BLISS, a returned missionary, then took charge and remained one year.
Folloinwg him was Rev. Amasa C. LORD, who remained a year and a half.
Rev. E. R. MARTIN then became pastor, and continued his labors for seven years. Under his pastorate the church obtained its greatest prosperity, having fifty-one members. Unfortunately the parsonage, with all the church records, was burned at this time. A new one was, however, soon erected. At the close of Mr. MARTIN'S term, Rev. Joseph BALDWIN became pastor, remaining only six months, and was succeeded by Rev. Wm KENRICKS, who continued in charge for three years.
The next settled clergyman was Rev. J. P. CHAMBERS who continued his labors for three years, after which the church was without stated pastoral supply for six years.
Rev. Mr. CORBETT is the present pastor, and during his misistry twenty-five have been added to the church. It now has a membership of forty. There is a fine cemetery adjoining the church, and in it sleep a large number of the oldest settlers.
There is also a cemetery adjoining the school house on section 14. in which there is a hansome monument erected by the citizens of the town in honor of her brave and noble sons who fell in the war for the preservaton of the Union.(from A History of Whiteside County, by Wayne Bastian, page 345)
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