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Churches of Christ & Christian Churches
in the Pacific Northwest


Lincoln Co. map - 5.2 K
Jan. 8, 2001
by Charles Dailey
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Davenport   |   Creston   |   Sprague

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Interstate Highway 90 passes through the corner of Lincoln County on its way to Seattle. The county was named in honor of the famous president about 20 years after his assassination.

Sprague Map

Eugene C. Sanderson
E. C. Sanderson
Sprague was a wool shipping center very early in its existence. As shepherds drove their sheep from the low-country wintering grounds to elevations in the north, the sheep stopped at Sprague to have their coats removed.

The Christian Church was organized by Eugene C. Sanderson in April of 1891. There were about 20 charter members.

There is a profile of E. C. Sanderson.

It does not appear that they built a building. Member J. T. Jordan filed the report of organization with the Christian Standard in the May 9, 1891 issue.

The first minister was J. M. Allen, but in a matter of months he moved to Spokane. In 1893 he filed this report with the Christian Standard:

Sprague, April 12. -- Bro. Harry Watkins came here some two weeks ago to lecture and preach a sermon or two. The brethren persuaded him to stay and hold a short meeting. He has aroused a wonderful interest in the town. Full house every night, and 15 added up to date - 12 confessions, including several of the most prominent citizens of the place. The brethren are greatly strengthened and encouraged.

I have never known a more harmonious, faithful band of brethren than this little band in Sprague. Since I left them, a year ago, they have been without a preacher, but they have kept up their regular Lord's day meeting, Sunday-school, mid-week prayer-meeting and Y.P.S.C.E. There has never been the least jar or note of discord among them. They are now reaping the harvest of their faithfulness. They telegraphed me about a week ago to come and aid Bro. W., as he is feeble in body and not able to do all the work in a long meeting.

I came at once, the brethren at Spokane cheerfully granting me leave of absence to aid in such work. I do the baptizing and visiting, and preach and exhort now and then to rest Bro. W. It is a grand meeting for this place, and puts our little church here beyond all danger of failure. The meeting will probably continue until over the next Lord's day.

I doubt if there is a town in the State with more intelligence and culture to the population than this little town of Sprague (population about 2,000). Being the county-seat of Lincoln county, and headquarters of the Idaho Division of the N.P.R.R., it has, of course, among its citizens, the county officers and prominent railroad officials, and their families. It is a stirring, thrifty place, has water works, electric lights, the best side walks, and the best graded streets of any town of its size I have visited in the State. Its citizens are cordial, generous and hospitable, as much so as any people I have ever met. . . . J. M. Allen

Other early members may have included: Mrs. Hannah Adwell, L. H. Marsh and M. E. Reed.

At the beginning of 1895 John F. Ghormley and J. W. Webb conducted a night-to-night meeting for the Sprague Church. At the end of three weeks, they reported 14 additions.

Creston Map

Creston Christian Church
Creston Christian Church 1916
The Creston Christian Church had its beginnings about 1890 according to the local history Lincoln County, A Lasting Legacy. In 1904, Walter E. Reed of Davenport began holding services on Thursday evenings. The meetings space was borrowed from the Presbyterian Church.

Some of the members were J. J. Dodd, S. A. Comer, Mrs. George Dodd and Mrs. James Elliott. Attendance and enthusiasm grew until the church was legally organized in 1908 with 55 members.

Creston Christian Church
Creston Christian Church
after the building was upgraded.

The first regular preacher was an "Elder Smith." (Was this Melford Smith?) He began work in 1909. He was reputed to have been associated with James Garfield at Hiram College in Ohio.

Davenport Map

The Honorable Nathan T. Caton was connected with the church in Davenport. Mr. Caton had moved from Salem, Oregon where he was the postmaster four years and then the county clerk. He and his wife Martha Ann moved to Walla Walla in 1867 where he established a law practice. He was elected to the Territorial Legislature in 1869 and again in 1873. He became Speaker of the House.

The Catons moved to Sprague and during those years he was County Judge. Later he moved to Davenport. When the churches divided over the use of the instrument, Mr. Caton remained with the Churches of Christ.

Davenport  Christian Church
Davenport Christian Church

Other names connected with the Davenport church are Charles C. Gibson and Charles Hughes. Also Dr. R.P. Moore and Della Crider Moore.

The building does not show on the fire map of 1902, but does on the map of 1909. It is the same building exhibited in the photo. It was located at the southwest corner of Merriam (or Merriem) and 9th. The satellite photo does not reveal a building at that location now. To build a structure of that size, the congregation had been meeting somwhere in rented quarters and saving its pennies.

There were other congregations in Lincoln County that left little or no record. John F. Cagle was connected to the Church of Christ at Earl and Thomas J. Cardwell was connected to the congregation at Harrington.

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