The moral and religious wants of the community are well supplied in this city. The church records run back as far as 1856. In 1857, Rev. Mr. Chessington, a Presbyterian missionary, organized a congregation of his denomination in the then frontier village, and the first church edifice built was by that society, the building being still standing on lower Fourth street, and now does duty as a grocer store. The churches now in this city are:
Established 1857; membership 193; church, corner Sixth and Nebraska streets.
First Methodist Episcopal
Established 1857; membership, 184; church, on Douglas street, corner of Sixth and Pierce streets.
Established in 1860; membership, 155; church, corner of Fifth and Nebraska streets.
St. Mary’s (Catholic)
Established in 1856; membership, 130 families; church, corner Sixth and Pierce streets.
Established in 1877; membership thirty-three; church, on Jackson street, above Sixth street.
Established in 1875; membership, seventy-three; church on Third street between Jones and Jennings streets.
Established in 1875; membership, forty-three; church on Sixth street, West Side.
Established 1880; membership, sixty-two; church on Court street near Sixth street.
Established in 1881; membership, fifty-seven; church, on Wall Street near Sixth street.
In connection with all these churches, flourishing Sunday Schools are maintained; the scholars in nearly every church out-numbering the membership. It shows a satisfactory growth in religious matters, that during 1881, three new churches, the Baptist, Swedish Baptist and Norwegian Methodist, Have been built or begun, and that a fourth, the First Methodist, took the preliminary steps for rebuilding and enlarging their place of worship.
Source: Woodbury County Iowa, History of Western Iowa, 1882