|An earlier version of the Presbyterian church building once occupied the same site and provided the template for the present structure. Dating to the early 1880's, it is believed to have been the first woodframe church building in the county. A fire in 1915 damaged the building and prompted the construction of a larger brick edifice in 1916.|
A depression-era Bible Study class, above, and the tower decked out with a neon sign in the 1950's, right.
Research conducted by Judy K. Fritz revealed church records which describe the construction effort:
"Little time was lost in raising funds for rebuilding. There was a question of rebuilding or repairing the old church and according to the minutes of Februrary 18, 1915, the following appeared: 'Otis L. Benton offered the following resolution, which was approved "Resolved that it is the sense of this meeting that we erect a new church building. Second, that we at once begin to make plans, obtain designs and specifications of church buildings and come to an understanding and agreement amongst ourselves as to the size character, and cost of the building we desire. That a committee of three be appointed tonight for that purpose. Third, that before spending more money or making any obligations that we wait until July 1st, 1915 to see the result of the present wheat crop. If blessed with a fair crop, that the building be pushed to completion as rapidly as possible. If the crop is unfavorable, that the building be postponed for further consideration."' Evidently there must have been a good wheat crop, as the building went along on time and the new brick church arose on the site of the old one. The dedication of the church was on Sunday, September 1, 1916."
When the Presbyterian congregation merged with another church in town, the building changed hands and was to see a variety of uses over the next several decades. Prior to becoming a residence, it served as a construction contractor's workshop, an arts center, a community theater, a "haunted house" and finally, storage. During this period the structure endured multiple indignities, including the loss of its stained glass windows. Its conversion to a house began in 2008 and several of the original stained glass windows have since been acquired and restored to their original locations. Other window openings, which had been fitted with plywood, have been filled with clear glass in lieu of the missing stained glass. Modifications, where needed, have maintained the integrity of the original aesthetic; kitchen and bathroom cabinetry was crafted from recycled yellow pine and fir to match the original woodwork. The only "modern" space is the sky-lit master bedroom; it was created from a 1978 addition built to provide handicapped restrooms. Today the space takes full advantage of the building's beautiful brick walls.