First Presbyterian Church

417 Vine, Boonville, Missouri.

Part of Historic District D


First Presbyterian Church

Photo taken by iconions in April 2013



From the National Register application:

1833, 1904. The buff brick structure built in a Spanish Baroque style has corner towers and classical motifs. Adjoining it to the rear is a 2 story brick structure with a hip roof.

From the Church website:

"In 1817 trained Presbyterian missionaries from Tennessee arrived in the wild new territory along the banks of the Missouri River, just west of the Mississippi, known as the "Boonslick" area. These men arrived by horse, wagon, boat, or on foot and traveled wherever there were settlers. They preached on hillsides, beneath brush arbors, when possible in buildings --anywhere people gathered.

On April 28, 1821. twenty-three people gathered from across the "Boonslick" area met with the Rev. Edward Hollister in Franklin to found a Presbyterian Church. They called it the Franklin Church.

After the flood of 1826 devastated the town, most of the church services were held in Boonville. In 1830 the name was officially changed to the Boonville Church.

The lot at 417 Vine was purchased in 1833 and a foundation was laid for a church. Plans were changed and the minister built a brick house where he lived, held services, and taught school. $4,500.00 was accumulated by 1841 and the first separate sanctuary was erected beside the original building, which is used today for office and classroom space.

All of the Presbyterian churches in an area covering most of Missouri sent representatives to the Presbyterian Synod meeting at the Boonville Church in 1864. The delegates split in half over the issue of supporting the Federal Government. The Boonville Church voted with the Southern churches, so those in favor of the Federalists marched out and continued their meeting across the street at Thespian Hall. Throughout the country Presbyterian synods divided in like manner. The denomination did not reunite until 1983.

A second sanctuary was erected in 1872 beside the first at a cost of $12,618.65. This included adding a second floor to the first brick building and surrounding the property with a white picket fence.

After nearly thirty years this sanctuary was outgrown and it was torn down. Its ornate walnut chancel was saved for use in the third sanctuary, completed in 1904, by the W.J. Cochran Construction Company at a cost of $40,000.00.

The yellow brick, Romanesque building had entrances on both Main and Vine Streets and was built over the site of the 1872 church. The interior decoration, including the beautiful stained glass windows, uses religious symbolism."

Update Log 

  • May 26, 2013: Added by iconions


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