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Friday, December 24, 2010

Two Good Shots of Wapella Church History

At the suggestion of George Spray, Wapella's Ace of Photographers, has obtained two historic postcards of Wapella Churches.

Here's St. Patrick's (Sans Steeple..may make a good Roman Church..St. Pat's Sans Campanile!) and the Wapella Chirstian Church from approximately the same era.

I am not sure what happened to the Wapella Christian Church pictured, but it looks like a well made building. Nor am I sure what years these are from. There is parking for your horse at the Catholic Church, which suggests this is pre-automobile.

These are from the CU Williams Company in Bloomington, under the title Genuine Photo, which indeed they are.

Merry Christmas and it would be great to hear any details about these structures that have been so important to the Village of Wapella and the Wildcat community.


Anonymous said...

Christmas Greeting from Missouri.

Seeing this photo of St. Pat's is a holiday treat. I believe the doors were brought home after remodeling the church and used by my Grandfather in the basement. That is the reason the Toohills had a coal bin door with a cross carved into it.


Anonymous said...

Wapella Christian Church was torn down and Wapella Grade School was behind it and slightly to the right. We use to walk through the church yard on the way to school. House to the left was occupied earlier by the Jesse Thoms family and at the time of the tornado in 68 it was the Forbes Leggett home.

Just to the north of this house was where the old Presbyterian Church (later named Opera House and later Graham's Garage) stood. That would be across the street from Ken Duncan's house. When I was going to school the foundation for he church/opera house/garage was still in place.

George S

Anonymous said...


I'm now confused.

What was the large wooden building on the northeast corner of Main and Locust (across from Greene's Hall)?

I always thought that was the opera house/Graham's garage....


Anonymous said...

HG: It was first the Presbyterian Church, then the Opera House and then Graham's Garage. When the building was moved from it's north part of town to the Main Street location, the Green Family hired security guards to keep a watch on it. Their new bank building would have been in danger then. And Graham's garage, aka Opera House, had a hugh balcony in the west end of the building.

And speaking of the bank, it had one humongous safe, probably 6-7 feet tall and maybe 5 feet wide and kinda circular in shape. I use to save pennies (still do) and I'd take them up to the bank and Mr. Green would wrap them in rolls and give me silver coins for them and then it would be to Park's grocery where the coins would be turned in candy. Usually "Guess What's".

George S

By the way there is a pretty good write up on the Wapella Churches and the Opera House in the 1954 Wapella Centennial History if you can still find a copy. Should be on in Warner Library in Clinton and the Illinois State Library in Springfield. State Library also has my report and photos on the Wapella Tornado.

Anonymous said...

Thanks GS for the update.

With regard to security guards at Green's Bank, who was worried about whom? Were the guards watching the bank or the garage?


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