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    The Derringer – First Christian Church made with artificial stone

    by Courtney Hatley

    On May 21, 1905, an article in the Owensboro Messenger reports that the first artificial stone is on exhibition at the Artificial Stone Works, located on the river front at the foot of St. Elizabeth Street. This unique, pinkish tinted stone was used to build the recently destroyed First Christian Church and several houses in Owensboro, including the Rev. R. H. Crossfield’s, pastor of the church in 1905. The artificial block was said to be superior to other grades and contained no gravel or lime, and was instead created with river sand and Portland cement. Weighing 160 pounds, the stone is smooth and partially hollow, and much cheaper to use than brick. In November of 1902, members of the church decided to raise funds to build a new house of worship and $26,000 was secured by the congregation.  Members of other churches as well as some with no church connection donated to the fund, and Mrs. Nanny Wilhoyte, a “devoted charter member of the congregation”, gave a lot at the corner of Seventh and Daviess streets. The final farewell service was held on Sunday morning, February 26, 1905 at the old location on Lewis Street (now J. R. Miller Blvd) and the new church was dedicated at 2:30 pm on the same day. The new building of the Christian church was considered to be one of the most handsome and convenient church structures in Owensboro.

    Sources:

    Owensboro Messenger – February 12, 1905 p9; May 21, 1905 p5

    Casual History of the First Christian Church, Owensboro, Kentucky by Will Sessions, D. D., December 1967

     
     
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