Alton in Madison County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
"He had been in Alton scarcely a year when he began the building with his own funds, of a neat stone church on the corner of Third and Market Street and offered the building for use of all organized religious bodies in the town. From that time on until his death in 1862, there were but few important civic enterprises under-taken in Alton that did not have the active support of Capt. Godfrey." - Guy Study, History of St. Paul's Church, 1943
Benjamin Godfrey built the first church building in Alton in 1834 on the northeast corner of Third and Market streets. The large limestone building followed a severe type of Greek-Colonial architecture popular at the time. Godfrey retained ownership of the building but offered it for use by both Baptist and Presbyterian congregations and as a public meeting hall. The congregation of St. Paul's Episcopal Church purchased the property in 1846. Around 1850, the church was razed and rebuilt, but portions of the original structure remain. A tornado badly damaged the building in 1860, but repairs were made and the church is still used by the congregation to this day.
View of Alton with first church building. Painting by Blair-Riley, circa 1838
Erected 2019 by Benjamin Godfrey Legacy Trail Committee (sponsored by Alton Memorial Hospital). (Marker Number 2.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Churches & Religion. A significant historical year for this entry is 1862.
Location. 38° 53.469′ N, 90° 11.095′ W. Marker is in Alton, Illinois, in Madison County. Marker can be reached from East 3rd Street east of Market Street. Marker is located in a garden area next to the church. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10 East 3rd Street, Alton IL 62002, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Alton (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ryder Building (about 500 feet away); Lincoln-Douglas Debates! (about 500 feet away); Discover History All Around Alton (about 500 feet away); Miles Davis (about 700 feet away); Alton & Sangamon Railroad (approx. 0.2 miles away); Setting the Stage for the Great Debate (approx. 0.2 miles away); Godfrey, Gilman & Co. Warehouse (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alton.
More about this marker. This is the second in the Benjamin Godfrey Legacy Trail series. There was not a Marker #3, which would have been placed at or near the Hayner Library in Alton.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 22, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 161 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 22, 2020, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.