We have no records of early religious gatherings. As Mr. Hill, of Twin Grove, would put it, ” Of course, we have a few funerals,” but we find no church in the township at present whose history dates back to the first settlement of the township. Those of the early inhabitants who had any religious preferences seem to have united with churches in other localities. There were plenty of organizations in the various groves, and it was customary to travel what now seem enormous distances in order to reach a place of worship.
The only church in the township, outside of the village of Stanford, is the edifice erected by the Cumberland Presbyterians in 1863. It is a fine country church, standing a short distance northeast of the village of Stanford. It is in the open prairie, but has company in the tall, white tombstones that stand so lonely and still in the graveyard adjoining. The building is 40×60 feet, and cost about $4,000. The members of this society belonged to the church organized at Stout’s Grove, before the organization here. The Rev. J. A. Chase began preaching in the schoolhouse, which stood one-half mile north of the site of the present church. Here a considerable interest was awakened in the cause, and a number of additions made to the society. As a result, the members of this denomination, living in convenient distances, met and formed a society, and built a church immediately. John Armstrong, Thomas Neal, Kane Cooper and others were prominent men in the organization of the society and the building of the church. J. A. Chase continued his efforts until two years ago. After him, came J. G. White, of Jacksonville, Ill. He is the present Pastor. The society has been a pretty strong one, there having been over five hundred members since the first organization. The present number of communicants is something over two hundred. The church may be considered a child of the Stout’s Grove Society, though the offspring is of more lusty growth than the parent.