Burden United Methodist Church

Compiled by Joanne Black, 2002

A Church is Established


In the 1870ís the towns of Burden and Cambridge did not exist. There was a community known as Lazette a short distance north of the present town of Cambridge and there was a Methodist appointment to the Lazette circuit which by 1877 included preaching at Culp Schoolhouse one and one-half miles north of the present town of Burden. The town of Burden was laid out in late 1879 when the railroad was being built and in March 1880 the South Kansas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church appointed a pastor to the new town.

A parsonage was built in the year 1880. The 1882 Conference Journal reported that Burden had 97 full members and a parsonage with probably value of $500.

Added note: The Burden Enterprise, June 1882, reported that the "Burden cemetery is in bad condition. People need to "keep stock from running promiscuously over the graves of our beloved dead. Let all turn out to Trustees meeting whether they own lots or not because one thing is sure if they continue to live in this country they will need a lot sooner or later."

The town began to grow and through the leadership of Rev. J.Q. Knight, appointed to Burden Methodist Episcopal Church in 1882, a church building was planned

The Burden Enterprise, Aug. 24, 1882
"The building committee of the M.E. Church are ready to commence the erection of their church building at this place, and have a notice to contractors in this paper."

The Burden Enterprise, Dec. 21, 1882

The M.E. Church was dedicated last Sunday. Following the Quarterly Conference, Rev. Jones of Winfield preached the dedication sermon. The church building was erected at a cost of $1,000, five hundred of which was still due. Four hundred and twenty dollars were raised Sunday by contribution, and the ladiesí society assumed the balance of eighty dollars. The church is one that our town may be proud of, and the liberality of the citizens in this vicinity is commendable.

The 1883 Annual Conference Journal reported that Burden had a church valued at $1800 and a parsonage valued at $575. The church had 147 members and a Sunday School with 60 scholars and 14 officers and teachers.

Expenses for the year were $25 which included fuel, Sunday School, etc.

In addition the pastorís claim including rental value of parsonage was $480, but pastorís receipt was $414.75 including rental value, leaving a deficiency of $65.25.

In 1885, The Burden Eagle said, "We have a church building well furnished, good organ, fine stand, carpets, good choir, good minister, good attendance, and all in all, just such an institution as any town would be proud of."

The Ladies Aid

The church building was the white wood structure that stood on the corner of Sixth and Oak for almost 100 years. It was reported that on the day of dedication, $500 was still owed. After passing the hat, they were still $80 short and the ladiesí society assumed the balance. Now how do you think the ladiesí society got the money to support everything they did in this new building?

Money raising began as early as May 1880, probably to pay on the new parsonage. The local newspaper, The New Enterprise, reported May 27, 1880, "A Methodist church festival will be held in Cunningham Broís new building on Thursday eve June 3d. All are invited. If our church friends desire notices in this paper hereafter, they will instruct their committees to wait upon us prompt, and not put it off till the hour of going to press, or we shall decline making any notice. It is a great inconvenience to us to attend to these matters at so late an hour."

Oct. 1884: "The ladies of the M.E. Church will give a festival at the Collenís stand which will then be vacant, on the evening of Oct. 15th. The proceeds will be used towards paying the indebtedness of the society on church building."

May 1885: "The ladies of the Working Society will give a musical entertainment at the M.E. Church Thursday evening, May 21st. They will spare no pains in making it one of the most enjoyable events of the season. Admission 15 cts. Children 10 cts."

Aug. 1885: The long-talked of drawing for the fine silk crazy quilt came off at Mrs. Paulinís last Thursday night. One hundred and sixty-two tickets were sold at 25 cents each, producing a fund of $0.50. It puts the society out of debt, and gives them a little money on hand. When Mesdames Hiseler, Paulin, Pierce, and Day say it must be done that settles the matter. It will be well done."

Dec. 1885: "Program of Literary Feast and Musical Entertainment to be held Friday evening, Dec. 18th, 1885 at the Methodist Episcopal Church. Admission 25 cents and children under 12, 10 cents. The following week it was reported that the festival was well attended and justice was done to the oyster supper and a jolly, good time was had at the ball."

March 1886: "The Ďcake-mush and milkí festival, given at the M.E. Church Tues. evening, for the benefit of the pastor, Rev. C.K. Woodson, was well attended. It was gotten up by the good ladies hurriedly and consequently the cake and pies gave out cutting short the proceeds, the amount of which was $11.85. Good music, mirth, mush, milk and cake mingled, to the delight of all. At the close Rev. Woodson received as a present a nice pair of boots from his brethren and friends, another token of love and respect for him and his faithful labors here. He goes hence with the good wishes of his friends."

Nov. 1886: A promotion for the Martha Washington Tea Party given by the Ladies of the M.E. church Aid Society at Jones & Snows Hall in Burden. Admission only 25 cents. "Help a worthy cause and also have an enjoyable time."

May 1887: "The festival given by the Ladies Aid Society on the 14th was a grand success in every way, financially particularly, the net proceeds being $20.88. The best feature of this festival was the mode upon which it was gotten up. The ladies in charge concluded to buy whatever they needed and done away completely with the soliciting process, which, in our minds, accounts for the large amount of patronage they received. It has become rather stale to contribute toward an entertainment and then buy your way in and out. The ladies who inaugurated this self-supporting and self-sustaining project are certainly to be congratulated upon their success."

July 1887: The Ladies Aid Society of the M.E. church will give a lawn fete at Mrs. O.P. Pierceís on Wed., July 6th. Ice cream, cake, and berries will be served.

July 1887, just two weeks later: The Ladies Aid Society will give a necktie festival and social in Jones & Snowís Hall a week from today for the purpose of raising funds to defray the expenses of the society. Nothing will be spared to make the social a success.

The Sunday School

The Burden Enterprise, Aug. 20, 1885 reported: There was a Sunday School Celebration in a shady grove of Timber creek north of Burden. Sunday-schools processed with banners flying and singing glad hosannas unto Him who liveth and reigneth forever and ever. Rev. C.K. Woodson of Burden gave the address of the day on the subject, "The Sabbath-schoolóIts Workers and its Results." Dinner was then announced-a regular Kansas picnic dinner.

Oct. 1885: Quarterly election of officers for the Sun. School was held. Receipts for the last quarter were over eight dollars, which will hardly pay for the papers and lesson leaves. We would say to the parents to be a little more liberal, as the money is honestly and for the best interest of the School expended.

Dec. 1885: We have one of the largest Sunday Schools in the county at the M.E. Church and Nathan Brooks is a Superintendent that all the children like.

April 1886: The teachers of the Sunday School will give the scholars a festival on next Tues. evening. They request all the scholars to be present next Sun. that they might receive their membership ticket.

June 1886: The Childrenís Day program was postponed on account of repairing the church.

Dec. 1886: The M.E. Church people will have a Christmas tree on Christmas eve for the children of the Sun. School.

The next week it was reported that the M.E. Church people, this year, had the good fortune to procure a genuine evergreen tree for Christmas. Rev. Lundy has the thanks of the committee on procuring the tree, also the donor of the tree has the thanks of the M.E. church people.

June 1887: Last Sun. was childrenís day at the M.E. Church of this place, and was largely attended. The church was tastefully decorated with flowers and many birds, the recitations and singing was good and all seemed to enjoy themselves.

The newspaper account in April 1886 says, "Is it not getting along about that time when we ought to organize a fire company? Our city has been very fortunate in escaping fire thus far but there is such a thing as waiting too long. You have your house to-day but you might not have it tomorrow."

March 4, 1886: "We need street lamps and ought to have them. It is not safe for pedestrians to be out on a dark night, for fear of stumbling and breaking a limb."

Then in Aug. 1888: "Wednesday, was a general rat killing day with the boys, they killed 196 at the residence of J.P. Zimmermanís on Oak street and at this writing they are engaged in a hunt at the residence of J.L. West on Main Street. There is a jolly crowd of them engaged in the hunt. LateróThe number of rats destroyed at Westís was 142 making a total of 338, and the fun of it was it was not a good day for rats either."

The Epworth League

In Methodism the Epworth League was an important part of most local churches. Members were older young people, even those who had completed their schooling. They were well organized and held what we would call rather formal, even intellectual programs. In Feb. 1890, the local chapter had a membership of about 95 members.

The Burden Enterprise of March 26, 1891 reports that the Epworth League Literary on last Friday evening was quite well attended. The program was well carried out and appreciated by the audience present. Miss Dolie Rude (Burdenís little Nightingale) held the assembly almost breathless for fear of losing a word, as she sang the solo: "When the Robin comes again." Miss Nellie Crawford in her recitation entitled, "Lincolnís Dream" is deserving of much praise for the manner in which it was rendered. Miss Malone captured the audience with her recitation entitled "The complaining Husband."

In 1890 it was reported that the President of the Epworth League is using every endeavor to make the League at this place a live issue for the promotion of Christianity and the elevation of all mankind, and it should be the duty of every Christian and morally disposed person in this city to lend a helping hand in this work.

In March 1896, Burdenís other newspaper, The Burden Eagle, reported that in absence of the pastor, the Epworth League was in charge of the evening service. Subject: "Temptations, and how to prepare to resist them." A large well-behaved audience filled the seating capacity of the building, while the closest attention was given to every word spoken by the leader, and every proof read from the Word. The next Sun. night Miss Stella Hankins spoke on "Source of Strength in Temptation." She had her subject well in hand and for forty minutes held the attention of her audience.

By the way, it is spring and people will be planting gardens soon. The Mayor placed this notice in the paper in 1893: The citizens of Burden must clean up their premises or suffer the consequences. Keep your chickens on your own gardens if you donít want your neighbors to kill them or have the marshal take care of them for you.


Evangelistic Services

Sunday evening, Jan. 2, 1887, protracted meetings began as an evangelist, Mrs. Smith of Ohio, came to lead services at the M.E. Church.

On Jan. 20, 1887 the local paper reported that the M. E. Church is filled to overflowing every evening, with people desirous to hear the evangelist and the word of God, as it is spoken from the messenger, who has come to Burden to declare His word unto this people and great many of them are receiving the word in earnest.

On Jan. 27, it was reported that Mrs. Smith, the Evangelist, has concluded to extend her labors in this city another week. Last Sun. will be a day long to be remembered by a great many of the members of the M.E. Church, on account of the great blessings God gave unto his people. The church was overflowing, there was scarcely standing room left for the speaker, and a good-sized congregation came and returned home again on account of no room to admit them.

Feb. 3, 1887, The Methodist people are still holding services at their church with marked success and will continue this week nothing preventing. Next Sun. night will be the last of the services of meeting conducted by Mrs. Smith, the Evangelist.

Feb. 12, Mrs. Smith who has been holding protracted meeting at the M.E. Church for the past month closed on last Sun. night. Mrs. Smith is an excellent speaker and has won the esteem and love of all our citizens during her short stay. She was particularly fortunate in inducing quite a number of our young people to seek the straight and narrow path.

Later that year, more services were held. Dec.24, 1887: The Methodist and Baptist revivals have both closed after a most successful gathering in of the sinners. We understand that about 70 professed religion at the Baptist church and over a hundred at the Methodist.

Dec. 31, 1887: Mr. Editors: Donít it kind-er strike an outside, casual observer that competition in the business of saviní souls is gittiní a leetle warm of late Our good Baptist divine oracle seems to be gittiní mad and I donít blame him much, for I donít think its fair for one shepherd to corral all the sheep. I like to see a fair fight on equal grounds and I think the Methodists have got a big advantage over the Baptists. You see it takes a good deal longer to dip a flock of sheep in all over than it does to use a sprinliní pot on them, and afore the Baptists can git their dippiní tub heated up ready for business, the Methodists can get the whole lot sprinkled, and be whoppiní for more.