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Religion in Illinois History – Free Books and Articles

Religion in Illinois History - Free Books and Articles

Religion in Illinois History. Illinois Church History, Religion of Chicago, Free online books and articles. First Parliament of Religions, Jesuit missions in Illinois history. Peter Cartwright. Illinois Congregational Church. Mennonites in Illinois history. Church of the Brethren in Illinois.

Centennial History of the Mennonites of Illinois 1829-1929

Goshen, IN: The Mennonite Historical Society. 1931.

The author was a Mennonite and a graduate of two theological seminaries. The editor describes this as a, “comprehensive work of cyclopedic character, which includes in addition to material of a general nature, a specific history of each Mennonite congregation and institution which has ever been established in the great prairie state of Illinois.”

See the Menu at the top of every page for Directories of Free Online Fiction and NonFiction Books, Magazines, and more, on 400 pages like this at Century Past

Illinois Society of Church History; Congregational. Historical Statement and Papers

Chicago: the Society 1895

In 1891 the Illinois Congregational Church History Society was created. It solicited members of churches throughout the state to, “collect and preserve in permanent form the story of the origin and growth of the Churches in this State.” This volume contains a few pages describing that Society, and the remainder is devoted to papers that were submitted by members throughout Illinois that trace the history of various congregations. There is also a paper on the early history of the Chicago Theological Seminary.

See our free books on Illinois social topics

Sketches of the Life and Times of the Rev. Stephen Bliss, A.M.

Baldridge, Samuel C.
Cincinnati: Elm Street 1870

This book is dedicated as a, “contribution to the history of the fathers and founders of Presbyterianism in Illinois.” The Rev. Stephen Bliss (1787-1847) arrived at Mt. Carmel, Illinois in 1818 just as it was being laid out, and established a church and school there. When the author was assigned to the ministry there many years later, he learned that this church was one of the earliest Presbyterian churches in Illinois. This is an admiring biography of Bliss, as well as a history of both the early church and the place.

The World’s Parliament of Religions; Vol 1

Volume 2

An Illustrated and Popular Story of the World’s First Parliament of Religions, Held in Chicago in connection with the Columbian Exposition of 1893

Barrows, Rev. John Henry, ed.
London: Review of Reviews 1893

“A number of congresses were held in conjunction with the exposition, including those dealing with anthropology (one of the major themes of Exposition exhibits), labor, medicine, temperance, commerce and finance, literature, history, art, philosophy, and science. One of these was the World’s Parliament of Religions, an initiative of the Swedenborgian layman (and judge) Charles C. Bonney. The Parliament of Religions was by far the largest of the congresses held in conjunction with the Exposition.”
“The 1893 Parliament, which ran from 11 to 27 September, marked the first organized gathering of representatives of Eastern and Western spiritual traditions. Today it is recognized as the occasion of the birth of formal interreligious dialogue worldwide.”
– Wikipedia entry “Parliament of the World’s Religions”.

Illinois Baptists; a History

Brand, Edward P.
Bloomington, IL: Pantagraph 1930

For more works on Baptists in the region, see:
McCoy, Isaac, History of Baptist Indian Missions, embracing remarks on the former and present condition of the aboriginal tribes … in Great Lakes Region Religious History;
Stott, William T. , Indiana Baptist History, 1798-1908 in Indiana Religious History;
Trowbridge, Mary Elizabeth Day, History of Baptists in Michigan in Michigan Religious History

See our free Illinois travel books

Autobiography of Peter Cartwright, the Backwoods Preacher. edited by W.P. Strickland

Cartwright, Peter
Cincinnati, Cranston & Curts; 1856

This famous Methodist circuit-rider made an exploratory trip through Illinois in 1823 and located the following year in Sangamon County. He had charge of several districts in the central and northern part of the state and traveled extensively on his circuits and in attending conferences. Though containing little formal description, the book depicts social and religious conditions on the frontier.

Church, Chicago-style

Droel, William L.
ACTA 2008

See our spiritual and religious books

Catholic Church in Chicago, 1673-1871

Garraghan, Gilbert Joseph
Chicago: Loyola University 1921

Chapter headings are:

– Early Missionary Visitors – The Pastorate of Father St. Cyr, 1833- 1834 – Bishop Brute and the Mission of Chicago – The Pastorate of Father St. Cyr, 1834- 1837 – Bishop Quarter – Bishop Van de Velde – Bishop O’Regan – Bishop Duggan – Bishop Foley and the Fire of 1871

See also:
– Blanchard, Charles., ed., comp., History of the Catholic Church in Indiana in Indiana Religious History
Lamott, John Henry, History of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 1821-1921 in Ohio Religious History;
Pare, George, The Catholic Church in Detroit, 1701-1888 in Michigan Religious History;
Heming, Harry Hooper, The Catholic Church in Wisconsin in Wisconsin Religious History

Brethren in Northern Illinois and Wisconsin

Heckman, John and Miller, J.E.
Elgin, IL: Brethren Publishing Hourse 1941

This history of the Church of the Brethren is for the most part a collection of brief profiles of individual congregations in Northern Illinois and Wisconsin. There is also a section on ‘Activities’ of the church as a whole, and some biographies. Illinois congregations profiled are:

– Arnold’s Grove – Franklin Grove (Rock River) – West Branch – Yellow Creek – Hickory Grove – Pine Creek – Milledgeville (Dutchtown) – Bethel (Naperville) – Cherry Grove – Waddams Grove – Rock Creek – Silver Creek (Mount Morris) – Shannon – Lanark – Pigeon Creek (Oak Grove) – First Church, Chicago – Batavia – Elgin – Polo – Dixon – Rockford – Freeport – Chelsea – Douglas Park.

See our Illinois Native Americans free books & articles

History of Methodism in Illinois from 1793 to 1832

Leaton, James (Rev.)
Cincinnati: 1883

The four parts of the book are:

– Western Conference, 1793-1811 (seems to include Kentucky and Illinois)
– Tennessee Conference, 1812-1815
– Missouri Conference, 1816-1823
– Illinois Conference, 1824-1831

Within each of these parts there are chapters for each year that cover that year’s conference (if there was one), principal people and events in the establishment and growth of churches, and some miscellaneous other topics. The author said that, “This is not so much a history as a collection of material for the use of the future historian.”

For more works on Methodism in the region, see:
– Boase, Paul, “The Fortunes of a Circuit Rider” in Ohio Religious History

King, I. F., “Introduction of Methodism in Ohio” in Ohio Religious History
Bennett, P. S., History of Methodism in Wisconsin in Wisconsin Religious History;
Holliday, Rev. F. C., Indiana Methodism: Being an Account of the Introduction, Progress, and Present Position of Methodism in the State in Indiana Religious History;
Price, Ruth, “Indiana Methodism 1816-1832” in Indiana Religious History;
Finley, James B., Sketches of Western Methodism: Biographical, Historical, and Miscellaneous, Illustrative of Pioneer Life in Great Lakes Region Religious History

The Jesuit Missions of the Illinois Country, 1673-1763

Palm, Mary B. (Sister)
Cleveland: 1933

Polish Catholics in Chicago, 1850-1920: A Religious History

Parot, Joseph John
Northern Illinois University 1981

See our Illinois historic maps

The Methodist Movement in Northern Illinois

Pennewell, Almer M.
Scyamore, IL: Sycamore Tribune 1942

Recollections of Frontier Life

Roe, Elizabeth A.
Rockford, ILL: Gazette. 1885

The author wrote in the Preface, “In these pages many recollections of frontier life in different localities are sketched. The climate, the soil, society, schools and churches, in many places in Kentucky, Illinois and Nebraska are described…”

Chapter headings are:

– My Childhood – The Garden and the Gardener – Earliest Recollections of Methodism and its Influence on me – Religious Resolutions and how they were Prosecuted – – Recollections of early Married Life – Doctor’s Adventure on the Farm – Removal to Rock River – Progress of Methodism – Recollections of Methodism in Chicago – Recollections of Payne’s Point – Recollections of Rockford and our new Home on the Prairie – Visit to Nebraska – Death of Dr. John Roe – Funeral Sermon – Dr. John Roe – Birthday Testimony

“Early Religious Methods and Leaders in Illinois”

Transactions No. 7. 1902 pp 56-62

Short, W. F.
Springfield: Illinois State Historical Society

In this short paper the author provides some data for the earliest establishment in Illinois of churches for the Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Episcopalians. He also discusses early camp meetings, church promotion of education, and founding of some early colleges.

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