Geary County Churches
Isaac Jacobus, Pioneer Preacher in Junction City
From: "The Home Missionary, Vol. 38", (Congregational) Feb. 1866
From Rev. Isaac Jacobus, Junction City,
"Spying out the Land.”
My wife and myself left New York,
October 12th, 1865, for our field of labor,
and arrived in Wyandotte, October 20th.
The weather was most delightful, when
we landed, giving favorable impressions
of the climate. We rested a few days
at the house of Rev. Mr. Parker, whose
kind greetings and hearty welcome made
our hearts glad, and assured us of friendly sympathy.
Upon conferring with the Agent, Rev.
Mr. Bodwell, it was deemed advisable for
us to locate at this place; and therefore,
as soon as practicable, we came on. As
matters were quite unsettled, I left my
wife at Manhattan, while the Agent and
myself pushed on to “spy out the land."
Junction City, as its name indicates,
is situated at the confluence of the Republican and Smoky Hill forks of the
Kansas, twenty miles west of Manhattan, and four miles west of Fort Riley.
It is a very stirring, growing place; and
it is thought will, sooner or later, take
rank among the first of the inland towns.
We were welcomed, very cordially, by
the “few names” of the little Congregational Church here, who have long
desired that some one might come among
them and break to them the bread of
Our church is very small, numbering
only seven members, three males and
four females. At present there is but
one resident male member. I have reson to believe, however, that our number
will be increased soon.
In Search of a Home
Had my decision to take this as my
field of labor been conditioned upon living, like Paul, in “my own hired house,"
I should not be here; for such has been
the “rush" to the place that a house or
a room could not he obtained for love
or money. I tried faithfully, for two or
three weeks, but with no success. During this interval we were most kindly
entertained by Rev. Mr. Beckwith, of
Manhattan, who also very kindly offered
us a home until we could secure one at
Junction City. But upon visiting the
Rev. Mr. Todd, fifteen miles beyond
Junction City, up the Republican river,
we were assured of a welcome there,
Upon the whole, this appeared the better plan; and accordingly we adopted
it, and now make our home at that
settlement. This step has its advantages, as well as disadvantages. We
can gather a small congregation here,
and there is also a small settlement some
six miles from here, where people are
anxious to have me come and preach.
In regard to our field, we labor under
some embarrassments and discouragements, for we have no church building,
and we feel the need of some earnest
workers. The only place for holding
religious service is in a common hall.
over a store, and this is occupied by all.
We hope to more, at an early day, in
erecting a house of worship. The city
has the reputation of being a “ hard
place,” and in some respects it is worthy
of the name. Intemperance and a spirit
of worldliness, are the crying sins. The
Sabbath is not kept “according to the
commandment.” The many are more
intent upon pursuing their own selfish
interests than they are to seek the “pearl
of great price," and build up the cause
of Christ. But we hope and pray for
better things, and trust a blessing is in
store for us. Certainly the “field is
white to the harvest,” and there is great
need of reapers. It is encouraging to
know that there is some of the good
New England element already at work
here, and we trust it will be increased
before long. There is need of earnest,
hearty effort here, and the prayers of
God‘s people for his blessing upon us.
From "The Congregational Year-book, Vol 6", 1883:
Jacobus, Isaac, son of Isaac and Miranda (Jones) Jacobus, was born in Romulis, New York,
Nov. 26, 1834; Ovid Academy; graduated Bangor Seminary, 1865; ordained at Bangor, July
27, 1865; acting pastor, Junction City, Kans., 1865-1877; Louisville, 1877-1878; without
charge Junction City, 1878-1881; acting pastor, Westminster, Cal., 1881 until death; served in the Christian Commission; married Oct. 12, 1865, Lavina (Fatzinger) Gambee of Varick, New
York; five of eight children living; died of congestion of the brain and nervous
prostration at Westminster, Cal., Feb. 17, 1883, aged 48 years, 2 months and 21 days.
Geary Co. KHHP
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