Ebenezer, Missouri

"The Oldest Village in Greene County"

Located 8 miles north of Springfield in southwest Missouri, Ebenezer was settled by the pioneering movement of the early 1800's.   Most notably by the widow, Elizabeth Robberson of Tennessee and her 14 children.  Although there were already settlers in the area upon their arrival, the Robberson's became the largest landowners, hence the namesakes of the township named Ebenezer for the scripture and were instrumental in the organization and establishment of the first Ebenezer Class. It is quite possible they introduced Methodism to the village by way of the circuit rider, James H. Slavens in 1831.

1904 Map of Ebenezer

This plat shows how Farm Road 56 was before it was re-routed on the Southside of the church property. Courtesy of Greene County Archives

Director's Corner

Hello Ebenezer! First of all, I want to personally thank all of our followers for their wonderful support!  Your inputs, photos, and personal recollections have helped us tremendously in putting together the amazing history of the, "Oldest Village in Greene County".  Keep "em" coming.  We can always be reached through the website: www.EbenezerHistoricalSociety.org, our Facebook page: Facebook.com/EbenezerHistorical, or through our phone number (417) 894-9854.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Now for updates on what we have been doing: 

1. The Ebenezer Historical Society has been gifted the Ebenezer schoolhouse by the Pinegar family.  We are so very grateful to them, especially Ed Pinegar, who recently passed away, and the entire Pinegar family for their donation.  We are excited to begin the journey ahead to bring this landmark back to its original glory.  The community of Ebenezer built this brick structure after the old wood schoolhouse burned down.  Please bear with us as we move along, your help will be important! We will soon install a fence across the property to limit access.  This is required to do so, in accordance with our insurance's liability clause.

 

2. The Judge Elisha Headlee cabin logs are still stored in a dry location.  All of the required replacement logs are ready to go to a sawmill in Fair Grove, but due to the Covid Pandemic everything is on-hold.  To date, we have received $600 in donations through the Go Fund Me and Facebook campaigns. On a further note, the cabin will be reassembled on the newly acquired schoolhouse property.

3. We have updated the website and Facebook pages with an incredible amount of local historical information.  We are actively working to get Ebenezer dedicated as a Historic District by the Greene County Historic Sites Board.

Very soon the EHS will be soliciting for anyone who would like to become a part of the Executive Board.  Positions that need to be filled are: President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary.  If you are interested, please let us know.  The Executive Board members are critical for the day-to-day operations of the organization.  For more information on the duties for these positions, please refer to the EHS bylaws which are posted here on our site, in PDF format, under "More".

We are also soliciting for Committee members to fill the positions of:  Information Management, Operations Management, and Public Relations/Fund Raising/Social Media areas.  If interested, please let us know.

   

Once again, as Director of the Ebenezer Historical Society, and an Ebenezer Community member, I thank you for all you do, and your support.  We look forward to hearing from you. 

 

Sincerely,

Laura K Nichols

Director

Ebenezer Historical Society

Our Heritage
1901.JPG
Former College Structure/Gateley Barn -
Jack & Theda Bailey going to church - photo credit Danny Bailey

Ebenezer heritage is farming and  hard work.  Before the earliest European settlers came into southwest Missouri, the Kickapoo, Delaware and Osage Indians used to wander these hills and valleys. You can still find arrowheads and other relics of their existence here if you look closely enough.  Beginning in the late 1700s Europeans began to explore the area west of  the Mississippi and after the Louisiana Purchase (1803), European settlers  slowly began to arrive in this area, and after statehood (1821) the inflow of settlers began to grow. That’s when this area began to thrive and grow and of course in large part, it was farmers that settled this area. It was predominantly the men and women who knew how to make a living from the land that settled our area. The early farmers of this area raised vegetables and grain crops such as wheat, oats, and corn, and much like today, livestock.  Of course, one of the commonalities of immigrants and settlers and farmers is hard-work. They didn’t have grocery stores and insurance companies or an electric coop to help them survive, they were on their own and smarts and toughness and hard-work ensured they survived and thrived.  Many of the farmers and others that settled this area were Christians, and Methodism came to southwest Missouri by way of circuit riders.

A circuit rider is a preacher that rides to a different church every Sunday on a rotational basis. Back then a church typically held Sunday School every Sunday and had worship services with a circuit rider preacher either monthly or sometimes even quarterly.

Throughout the country a church, school or meeting house was the cornerstone of every community.  It was no different here at Ebenezer.  In 1832, the meeting house was built, the fourth west of St. Louis.  The meeting house was (built) "equidistant from two springs about 100-yards apart, and there a campground was established in 1836 and camp meetings were held there annually..."(1)

(1)Woodard, W.S., Annals of Methodism in Missouri, Columbia, Mo, E.W. Stephens, 1893

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October 1901 Grade School - photo credit Bill Russell