First Congregational Church, Moline

Organized 1844. First pastor, Reverend A. B. Hitchcock, a Yale graduate, and a man of great influence in the community. The first chorister was Anson M. Hubbard, and who organized the first brass band in the three cities. He developed a strong chorus choir, the parent of all Moline’s later musical organizations. The first church building was a small wooden structure, now occupied as the freight depot of the Burlington railroad. A brick structure was erected at Seventeenth Street and Fifth Avenue in 1869, and this was remodeled at an expense of $40,000 in 1900. The church is unusually complete in its appointments, having parlors, a dining room and kitchen capable of serving three hundred people at once, gymnasium and shower baths for the boys’ club, etc. The church has a magnificent organ of 1,500 pipes, built on the Bennett system, the gift of Sarah M. Atkinson, in memory of her husband and son. Among the pioneers in the church were John Deere, D. C. Dimock, Charles Atkinson, Jonathan Huntoon, Joseph Huntoon, R. K. Swan, Thomas Merryman, N. C. Tyrrell and W. H. Edwards. The church has given birth to three other churches, the Second Congregational, now some eighteen years old, and the Ridgeview and East Moline churches, organized three years ago. It has given several thousand dollars to the work of these organizations. The present pastor is Paul W. Brown, who has been with the church since 1904.

Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908

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