Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church

In response to my question as to whether two Methodist churches in Fulton county, Illinois, were actually one and the same, cousin Lyle Black sent the following e-mail in 2004, which I thought to be of enough interest to reproduce in its entirety. I've corresponded with several others who are researching the Clarks of Illinois and was never quite sure which one of these tiny rural churches was which.

The Mount Pleasant1 and Liverpool2 churches are different churches. The village of Liverpool is a tiny town on the Illinois River. The Liverpool church actually sits within the present day village of Liverpool. Many of the homes there would be flooded regularly when the river would rise. In recent years a levee was installed so not so much floods these days. There is a restaurant that I did have to wade to a couple of years ago. In pioneer days, Liverpool was a thriving river port. However, Peoria and Havana outgrew it, probably due to less flooding. It was hard to get to Liverpool sometimes because the immediately surrounding land was so low and would stay muddy a long while. At one point there was a plank toll road between Canton and Liverpool, but it didn't last long because it was too difficult to maintain.

Mount Pleasant is 3 or 4 miles from Liverpool. It sits on high ground in the rural countryside on the river's bluff, but a bit back, so there is no good view of the river valley from it. Long ago a main road from Lewistown to Liverpool passed between the Mount Pleasant Church and the Mount Pleasant Scool. Part of that road became abandoned (the part that passes by Harper Hill Cemetery where Isaac Clark, Sr. and Sarah are buried). When I was a kid the Mount Pleasant school district was dissolved (the kids then went to Lewistown schools). The Mount Pleasant school house was sold and moved to a nearby farm. Men who attended the Mount Pleasant Church decided to help move the school. There was no tractor around big enough to move it. My grandfather, William Henry Clark, (called "Pop" or Henry) had a bulldozer and some dollies for moving houses. Unfortunately, he had driven the bulldozer into a creek on one of his 40 acres and one of the tracks had come off. The bulldozer was about a mile and a half from the school, as the crow flies. So, the church men had to help repair the bulldozer so they could get it to the school to move the school. I remember watching all this although I must have been very young at the time.

The Apple Cemetery sits on three sides of the Mount Pleasant Church. Many many Clarks, some of them early settlers, are buried there. The church and the cemetery are well maintained, although some of the oldest grave stones are now almost illegible and a few are gone altogether.

Harper Hill Cemetery is directly east about 1/2 mile, but is overgrown and on a farmer's land. It was owned at one time by Minerva Clark, one of Zebediah Clark's twin daughters (who were born November 2, 1844) and her husband, Thomas Keeler. Isaac Clark, Sr. who died in November 1846, and Sarah his second wife who died in August 1846, were both buried at Harper Hill Cemetery. Harper Hill is more on the edge of the Illinois River bluff and is the place which overlooks where Isaac Clark, Sr. had built a grist mill and a small community (now gone) had grown. When Isaac was buried there, notably, the cemetery was not known as Harper Hill Cemetery. That name came from a later buyer of the property, who was named Harper. Over the years the road moved, the land was sold, the cemetery became neglected and now practically is lost.

If you can see this map, it shows both Lewistown and Liverpool. Mount Pleasant, although not labeled on this map, is a few hundred feet north of Route 24, just a little to the east of where Route 24 intersects Route 78.

If you play with the zoom in feature, you can find where Nuthatch Rd (running east and west) intersects with the north end of N. Clark Rd. Mount Pleasant Church sits at the north side of this intersection. The depiction of Nuthatch Rd is a bit inaccurate on the map in that it shows Nuthatch Rd from there going straight east to Route 24/78. Part of that road actually is closed, overgrown, and is adjacent to the south side of Harper Hill Cemetery.

The following information was found via the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference's web site in 2004:

1 Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church:
Mailing address: State Hwy 97 & County Rd 199e
Lewistown, IL 61542-0000
Phone: 309.547.3920
Location: "On US Rte. 24 and IL Rte. 78, 3.5 miles east of Lewistown."
Average Attendance: 34
2 Liverpool United Methodist Church:
Mailing Address: 105 Grand Ave
Saint David, IL 61563-9999
Location: Chestnut St & Sumner St
Liverpool, IL 61543
Phone: 309.674.4919

When I revisited the Annual Conference's site in November 2011, I could find no mention of a Liverpool church. However, there was a Saint David UMC listed at its location.
This page was last updated 21 Nov 2011.