Hardin Water Tower

Hardin-Central School

Christian Church

Snowden Chapel

Church History

The Jacob Snowden homestead was about five miles southeast of Hardin. Mary Snowden (born January 8, 1836), daughter of Jacob and Nancy (Russell) Snowden, was of a deeply religious nature. She was a member of the Methodist Church South in Hardin. A great deal of her time was spent in church work. It was from her efforts, more than any other that Snowden Chapel was built. She contributed liberally of her means and energy in order to secure it. Services had been held in the Mallory school building.

James Cole donated one-half acre of ground in 1893. The neighbors built the church. The Rockingham Church donated some benches. Rev. Proctor was pastor at the Hardin Methodist Church and helped promote Snowden Chapel. Rev. Myers dedicated the new church. It rained in torrents all day but the church was filled. The minister tried to raise the money to finish paying the debt. When he asked who would give twenty-five dollars and there was no response, he said he would donate the twenty-five dollars and he went on with the dedication.

Miss Mary Snowden moved her membership to Snowden Chapel. Members from the Methodist Church South from Shanghai came to assist in the services. Other charter members were: Mr. and Mrs. M. A. Chambers, Mr. and Mrs. W. P. McQueen, Mr. and Mrs. Gail Swinney, Mr. and Mrs. George Buchanan, Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Buchanan, Mr. and Mrs. Dick Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Broughton, Mrs. Anna Mallory, Mr. and Mrs. Dick Thompson, Walter Dickson and Eudora Dickson. Later came Mr. and Mrs. Charles Cole, the Henrys, Hamptons, Freemans, DeMints, Hollars, Millers, Edwards, Bowmans and others.

Some of the ministers were Rev. Meyers, Rev. Hardaway, Rev. Swann, Rev. Baker and Rev. Ginn. Brother Sam Shirkey came once a month from Rockingham to preach. Sunday School and church services were held in the afternoon because the ministers had services elsewhere in the morning. There were Christmas programs and Children’s Day programs. After services, people would visit a long time. Revivals were held once a year in August. A Professor Wheeler conducted a singing school. Everyone who cared to pay a one-dollar fee could attend. They met once a week for two months during the winter. There was no organ. They used a tuning fork. Willie McQueen and Eudora Dickson canvassed the neighborhood and asked for one dollar from each family. They raised forty dollars and an organ was purchased. The women always sat on the north side of the church and the men on the south side. This irked Rev. Swann. Mayme McQueen, Lulu Whittington, Ruth Buchanan and Roberta DeMint played the organ.

Snowden Chapel was active for many years. Finally the building was used for a residence. The last owner was Ed Cornthwaite and the building burned accidentally in the early 1920’s.

Source: Hardin, Missouri: A Centennial History (1870-1970)