Then & Now
November 7, 2012 8:18PM
The Presbyterian Church of Elwood as it appeared early last century. From the Dave Belden Collection.
Updated: December 9, 2012 6:15AM
Presbyterian Church — Elwood
The early settlement of Elwood and Jackson Township occurred in 1854, shortly after the completion of the Chicago and Mississippi Railroad, which connected to the Joliet and Bloomington line. The town was soon surveyed and lots were offered for sale the following year. The area surrounding the railroad soon prospered with businesses locating along what is now Mississippi Street. The village was formally incorporated in 1869, with William Muhlig serving as the first president. When the Presbyterians organized and first met in the Elwood area, they used the old Baptist Church for meetings until it was decided to construct their own church. In 1895, construction of a new church, shown in the Then picture, began on the northwest corner of Gardner Street and Chicago Avenue, and the church was dedicated in January 1896. Because of declining membership, the Presbyterian congregation merged with the Methodist Church in 1965 to form the Elwood Community Church. The Now photograph shows a view of the old Presbyterian Church today.
Photos are from David Belden and the Local History Project digital collections. Belden is a history teacher at Minooka High School and is publishing local postcard books with Arcadia Publishing in his Local History classes. If you are interested in contributing a postcard image, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 815-467-2140 Ext. 260.