Richmond United Methodist Church
Established 1872

The earliest records show the very first settlers arrived and began settling in this territory in 1837. In 1841 the Township of Whitewater was divided and the south half became Richmond – named after Richmond, Rhode Island. By 1870, the township population grew from the few early settlers to 1017.

In the earliest days our church was associated with Utter’s Corner Church and shared the same minister. Members met and held services in a school that was later destroyed by a fire. The Richmond Church Society was organized in 1854 with about 40 members. Our church building was erected atop a hill overlooking Richmond in the summer of 1872; it was 33 ft. by 44 ft. with a tall steeple, and built at a cost of $2,300. The first regular pastor was Ira S. Eldridge. The original church was simply furnished with rows of wooden pews and two wood burning stoves with large firepots one on each side of the church.

In 1909 church members bought and donated stained glass windows. The cost of the six side windows was $30 each. The two front windows cost $15 each, the transom was $7.50, and freight was $1.90 per window.

In 1915 an English minister, Hugh Misdall and his wife arrived in Richmond. Having no prior knowledge of the community, they expected it to be a town of considerable size. After they viewed the area, they parked by the side of the road and cried. But after getting acquainted, they grew to love the community and served our church for thee years. During this time a new pump organ was purchased. During this time our church prospered and had plans to build an addition, but they were never carried out.

In 1925 electricity was put in the church, replacing the old kerosene lamps with electric lights. At one time, the church owned a parsonage which sold in 1949, and proceeds from the sale were used for church improvements. It was also in 1949 that a faithful church member and trustee, Harold Grant, was killed in a car accident, and his family installed the church bell in his memory. Later, a beautiful lighted cross was purchased and placed atop the steeple and could be seen for many miles. In 1968 there was a fire in the steeple. The steeple had to be repaired and it was not replaced to its original height.

Our church continued to grow and prosper, finally built a fellowhip hall complete with a beautiful kitchen, bathrooms, a Sunday School room, and a basement under the addition for storage. Our church continues to maintain the outhouse, which is still often in use by passers by.

In December 2008, the steeple was rebuilt to its original height prior to the fire in 1968. Once again, the lighted cross atop the church steeple can be seen for many miles around.
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Richmond United Methodist Church
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