No lovelier place in the dell
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little white church in the dell
Come to the church in the Wildwood
Oh come to the church in the dell
No spot is so dear to my childhood
As the little brown church in the dell
The Church In The Wildwood
In 1984, the little Blue River was awarded the Historical Church Award by The Indiana Farm Bureau as a historic church being over One Hundred Years Old. In the late 1980s after struggling for several years to maintain the church, with the upkeep and utilities more than they could afford, the final three members decided to close the old church.
On October 28th, 2009, The, supposedly, property owner decided to demolish the old one hundred seventy year old house of worship, to everyone's surprise. It was completely unexpected by everyone. Years of childhood memories of the picnics, church socials, weddings and yes.. funerals after which the departed members were buried in the old church cemetery next to the church.
One of Henry Counties earliest pioneer families were members of this church for over one hundred and sixty years, the Harvey family. Nellie M. Harvey (1898-1990) was the church secretary for over fifty years and maintained the original church records very diligently. recording births, weddings and deaths as they happened. The complete church records have been preserved at the Henry County Historical Society's Museum for posterity.
So, sadly, we say goodbye to a huge piece of Henry County history, The Little White Church in the Wildwood, the Little White Church in the Dale.
The Church of Christ on the Little Blue River was first started some time in the 1830s, Meetings were first held out doors in a grove of trees near where the present church building is located. At a meeting of the church members at the home of Clement Murphey on 28 Nov 1840, for the purpose of more fully organizing the church in accordance of law, by appointing or electing trustees for the church. A motion was made, and unanimously agreed that the following named individuals would be chosen trustees until their successors were chosen according to law; Asahel Woodward, Benjamin Harvey, Clement Murphey, Nathan Cannaday and William Millikan Sr. They proceeded immediately to build or erect a church house or house for worship and a burial ground on one acre of ground donated by Clement Murphey.
The following names are the original 66 members who formed the Church of Christ.
Elizabeth Baxter, Thomas Baxter, Elizabeth Bouselog, Martha Bowers, Martha Brandon, Elizabeth Bundy, Mary Bundy, James Burcham, Mary Burcham, Nathan Cannaday, Samuel Cannaday, William Cannaday, LLD Cary, Mary Cary, Josiah Clawson, Phebe Clawson, James Cole, Sarah J. Cole, Joseph Dinor, Susannah Finney, Ruth Fleek, Eliza Mariah Fraizer, Jane Fraizer, May Fraizer, William Fraizer, Sarah Frazer, Mary Harden, Tary Harden, Alby Harvey, Benjamin Harvey, Elizabeth Harvey, Jacob Harvey, Richard Haynes, Susan Haynes, William Haynes, Joseph Koons, Lucinda Koons, Jemima Leason, Rachael Leason, Susannah Mansfield, William Mansfield, Elijah Martindale, Elizabeth Martindale, Ruth Massey, William Massey, James Mclellen, Jane McLellen, William Millikan, Clement Murphey, Huldah Murphey, Malinda Ray, Mariah Ray, Martha Ray, Thomas Ray, Emily Ridgeway, Noah Ridgeway, Margaret Shively, Abigale Smith, Ann Smith, Cornelius Smith, Lucinda Smith, Mary Smith, George Tiney, Asahel Woodward and Catharine Woodward.