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 Ebenezer Plat

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, as always, the Ebenezer Historical Society wants to thank each and every one of you for helping to support the, “Oldest Village in Greene County”. Our parades are increasing in size every year and hopefully will even get bigger. Our next scheduled parade will be for Veterans Day, tentatively scheduled for Saturday November 12th, so please come out and enjoy the fun. We are looking forward to having one or two more Ebenezer Under the Stars Concerts on the lawn of our beloved 100+ year old School House this fall. More to follow.

We have some very exciting news for everyone; The EHS received a donation which has funded our new roof on the school! The sub-roof has already been installed and in a very short time the entire roof will be complete. YEAH!! Many thanks to this donor, who wishes to remain anonymous. Once completed we will be able to achieve dry-in of the building’s interior. We are still a long way away from completion but we know that the community has, and will, continue supporting this awesome project.

On another note, we finally had timbers sawn to lay the first row for rebuilding the 1846 Judge Elisha Headlee Cabin. We are sending a hearty thank you to Rick and Cindy Anderson and their saw mill for making this happen! We are only waiting on a Greene County Permit so we can pour the footers and lay the first row of timbers before winter…fingers crossed. We can’t wait!

We want to shout out a hearty THANK YOU to MFA Oil Co, Buffalo office for awarding a $1000 grant to the EHS to rebuild the Cabin, this last June. We also want to thank RIO Contracting, especially Tom, Conner, and crew for building the sub-roof on the school. We also want to thank Delta Roofing, Jim Senior, Jim Junior, and Andy as they put the final roof on the future Ebenezer Community Center!

Once again, Thank you Ebenezer!!

 

Sincerely,

Laura K Nichols

Director

Ebenezer Historical Society

Our Heritage
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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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