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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Niles in Berrien County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Wesley United Methodist Church

 
 
Side One of Wesley United Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By M. Bowyer, July 10, 2007
1. Side One of Wesley United Methodist Church
Inscription. In 1839 circuit riders from Ohio began preaching in Niles, using the barroom of a local hotel. In 1832 nine worshipers formed the Methodist class that grew to be the Wesley United Methodist Church. They dedicated their first house of worship in 1839, and by 1840 they had organized a Sunday School to teach reading and religion. In 1862 the congregation laid the cornerstone for the present sanctuary. The structure was completed in 1863. The Dodge Brothers of motor car fame attended Sunday School here during Joseph S. Tuttle’s twenty-eight year tenure as Sunday School Superintendent. In 1920, out of gratitude for his teachings, John F. Dodge gave Tuttle a life lease to his home on Main Sreet.

The cornerstone of this handsome Italianate style church was laid in 1862. The pastor at that time was the Reverend William Sprague, who organized the first Methodist class in Niles in 1832. Sprague was presiding elder of the district for four years, a member of the U.S. Congress and a state Indian agent. The church’s architect is believed to have been Rufus Rose of Chicago, who designed several other notable structures in Niles. Construction was under the general supervision of Cass Chapman of Niles. Measuring forty-six by seventy feet, the original edifice had two corner towers. The square pyramid-roofed tower remains, but the mansard
Side Two of Wesley United Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By M. Bowyer, July 10, 2007
2. Side Two of Wesley United Methodist Church
capped tower was removed in 1951. Over the years the church has had several additions and alterations, but the original wainscoting, woodwork and windows have been retained.
 
Erected 1982 by Michigan History Division, Department of State. (Marker Number L0734.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
 
Location. 41° 49.736′ N, 86° 15.36′ W. Marker is in Niles, Michigan, in Berrien County. Marker is on Cedar Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 302 Cedar Street, Niles MI 49120, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Four Flags Hotel (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Trinity Church (about 600 feet away); The Chapin House / Henry Austin Chapin (about 700 feet away); U.S.S. Maine Memorial (about 700 feet away); PA-WA-TING (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Niles.
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.
 
Wesley United Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By M. Bowyer, July 10, 2007
3. Wesley United Methodist Church
Wesley United Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By M. Bowyer, July 10, 2007
4. Wesley United Methodist Church
Wesley United Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By M. Bowyer, July 10, 2007
5. Wesley United Methodist Church
Wesley United Methodist Church image. Click for full size.
By M. Bowyer, July 10, 2007
6. Wesley United Methodist Church
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by M. Bowyer of Indianapolis, Indiana. This page has been viewed 1,944 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by M. Bowyer of Indianapolis, Indiana. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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