POLK COUNTY MISSOURI CHURCHES
HICKORY GROVE CHURCH, 1837-1906
METHODIST EPISCOPAL, SOUTH
By Rev. W S. Woodard
Hickory Grove Church is located on Little Sac River, in Polk County, Missouri,
near the line separating it from Green County. The class, first called Woodard's
Class, was organized in the house of Pitt Woodard, March 27th, 1837, by Rev. Harris
G. Joplin. The charter members were: Pitt Woodard, Elizabeth Woodard, T. S.
Woodard and S. E. Woodard, Jacob Vann, Margaret Vann and P. W. Vann, Martha
McKnight, and Jacob Woodard, Agnes Woodard, Jennie and Cloe. All the family and
slaves of Pitt Woodard and Elizabeth Woodard, all came from Woodard's Camp
Ground, near Nashville, Tennessee, where most of them were converted. In July
following, the class was doubled by the addition of William Winton, Polly Winton,
J. D. Winton, G. M. Winton and Clementine Winton, Rev. Elijah Perkins and Betsy
Perkins, Rev. Anthony Bewley, Mary Bewley, and Asbury Bewley and Jack and
Maria Hill. All the family of W. Winton and P. Winton were from Rapan County,
Tennessee. Pitt Woodard, Vann and Clementine Winton (now Cook), are yet living.
The religious services were held in the houses of P. Woodard and W. Winton. The
first meeting house was erected in 1839, but only used in summer for eight years.
It was a hewed log house, floored and seated with sawed lumber, made by hand. The
house seen in the picture, a frame building, was built in 1869, and dedicated by Rev.
W. M. Prottsman. The Sunday School was organized in May, 1837, of which Jacob
Vann was Superintendent, in a vacated settler's cabin, with no door nor floor, save the
earth. An opening had been left for a chimney, through which we entered. Five,
whose names were enrolled the first day, are yet living. Their names are: P. W
Vann, Dicy Vann, now in California; E. J. Hopkins, of Ft. Smith, Arkansas; W. S.
Woodard, of Snyder, Oklahoma, and Monroe McKnight of Wishart, Missouri. Our
acres aggregate four hundred and ten years. J. Vann and P. W. Vann, T. S. Woodard,
W. Winton, J. D. Winton and G. M. Winton, Ira Broils and John Cook were some of
the early officers of this church. It has produced the following preachers: J. D.
Winton, G. M. Winton, J. B. Winton. W. H. Winton, G. B. Winton and William
Winton; W. S. Woodard, W. E. Woodard and J. S. Woodard: P. W. Vann, J. P.
Vann, W. H. Vann and R. L. Vann; R. P. Faulkner, D. A. McKnight, M. L. McClure, W.
C. Montgomery and W. W. Alexander. Of the eighteen, twelve have been, some are yet
itinerant preachers. The blood of Pitt Woodard and William Winton has flowed
through the veins of fifteen of them. The blood relations of these two families who
have been and are preachers, number about seventy-five. Virginia is distinguished as
being the mother of Presidents. Hickory Grove Church is distinguished as the
mother of preachers. No other church in Missouri has sent forth so many as she.
This website created June 3, 2015 by Sheryl McClure.
© 2016 Missouri American History and Genealogy Project