Posted by: marthabernie | June 19, 2015

Cumberland Presbyterian Church – Phillipsburg, Missouri

scan0089This is the church in Phillipsburg, Missouri where my mother’s family went to church.  Though her father attended the Primitive Baptist Church at Long Lane in Dallas County as a boy, once his family moved to the Phillipsburg area, he also attended this church when he started thinking about getting married.  From old letters, I have deduced that the young men often visited neighboring churches to have a look at the marriageable girls.  And since the ministers rode a circuit, not being in every church each Sunday, the young people sometimes followed him as he moved from church to church for Sunday sermons.  Church services were held each Sunday even if the minister was not there; there was Sunday School and a church service of sorts led by the elders of the church.

You can’t see the old oak tree very well (it’s to the left of the building) though you can see that it’s big and has been there a long time.  My grandfather, Joseph Eli Shank, first saw my grandmother, Inez McMenus, standing under that tree one Sunday after church.  That is how their courtship began.  Inez was only about 16 at the time, Eli 19, and my great grandfather, Eli’s father, asked him to wait until they were 18 and 21 respectively, which they did.  Eli turned 21 on December 26, 1899, and they were married on December 31, 1899 in Lebanon, Missouri, the Laclede County seat.

The original part of the church from 1871 is on the left.  The addition on the right houses a kitchen and small dining room.  The church was remodeled in the early 1970’s for the 100th anniversary, and a cousin sent my mother some of the old hand forged nails that were removed during renovations.  I have 8 or 9 of them in various sizes which I keep in a small box on my living room mantel.  In 2000, we had a family reunion in the church.  This photo was taken in late June, 1997.


  1. Do you happen to know if there is a cemetery at the church?


    • NO, there is no cemetery at any of the Phillipsburg churches, as far as I know. There is the Phillipsburg town cemetery; and the Union Cemetery on the west side of the town. Families also buried departed ones at the Lonesome Hill Cemetery. Are you looking for any family in particular?


  2. yes, the Wallin family sometimes called Walden. James T. and wife Elizabeth possibly daughters Tennessee Tait and Melita Wallin. I believe Lonesome Hill has been added to find-a-grave but not sure on the other two. James & Elizabeth were last recorded in the 1880 census. They raised my grandfather Wm. H. Wallin. They were his grandparents. I figure they passed away before 1900. Property was transferred to their children and one of them sold their share to Anderson McFall. Mr. McFall mentions children of the Wallin family in his journal. McFall’s were neighbors as were the McMenus family. I have seen a record of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Phillipsburg that lists the Wallin’s as members. I am in Washington State so it’s hard for me to travel the Mo. I also read that some records were lost in a fire at the court house in Lebanon so it’s been hard to find anything. I am interested in finding local histories of Union Twp. and/or any pictures from the period of 1870-1900. Do you happen to know if any of those farm houses are still standing? Glad I found your blog. Thank you.


  3. I should have mentioned in the last post that my grandfather, William H. Wallin was born in Long Lane in 1887 but then lived in Union Twp. with his grandparents until around 1897. When they died, he was pretty much orphaned and just lived wherever he could.


    • Contact me after April 8 at: I just recently moved and all my records are in the file cabinet but not very organized. I will go through them and look for the Wallins. It’s not a name that jumps out at me, but could be in the Presbyterian records I have copies of, school records where McMenus kids went to school or the cemetery books where all graves were listed when read. My grandchildren are coming this coming week and I will be busy with them until April 9. Look forward to hearing from you.


      • Sure, I’ll be glad to contact you after things settle down a bit. We are moving this summer and I know it’s going to be a challenge! Thanks for your response and I’ll keep in touch.


  4. Hi Martha – I keep coming back to your blog to look for new treasures. I think my GGparents were married here in 1896. My ggrandfather, William Edmunds, was an immigrant from Wales. He had bought an 80 acre wooded farm and settled in Phillipsburg (prob. early 1890s), met and married Annis Duetta Miller in 1896, had four children with her from 1898 to 1904 and then she unfortunately passed away. Her family (Millers, Nolands, Crittendens, and others) had been living in the area for several generations before her – 1840s/50s or possibly a little earlier. I’ve scoured your photos many times looking for ancestors and relatives. They were all certainly interacting and knew of one another but my people seem to have evaded every single photo – and your collection is vast! Anyway, thanks so much for sharing these. It’s just such a treasure to find not just a few, but handfuls of interesting photos from the exact time and places my grands, great grands, 2x and 3x lived their lives.



    • I got your Miller info and will try to get it up this week. I have a lot of other stuff to post and try from time to time to work on it. STay tuned as there are many more photos and I have other information on some of the other families that I intend to put up. Also, distant cousins have turned up recently!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: