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Des Moines Methodist Church quilt square
#5 on Map

Photo not availableBlanche Draper, granddaughter of Herman and Annie Draper, the owners of the Children’s Industrial Home and Training School, was the owner of a gift and sewing shop in Des Moines during the early 1930s. She received the Lorraine Rebekah Lodge’s highest award for community service and in 1934 became one of Des Moines’ first telephone operators. She also served on the Board of Directors for Hillgrove Cemetery. Blanche made the quilt square depicting the Des Moines Methodist Church of 1904.

Des Moines Methodist Church of 1904

The Des Moines Methodist congregation began as a Sunday school meeting in a private home in June 1889, moved into the first schoolhouse in October 1889, then into the new schoolhouse in 1893. Sixteen people were formally organized into Des Moines’ first Methodist Church in the winter of 1892, but it wasn’t until Sunday, June 20, 1904, that a real church building was dedicated at Ninth Avenue S. and S. 223rd Street [then Cherry Street]. Some say the land was donated by the Elsey and Durham Real Estate Company, but Dick Fennell, who arrived in Des Moines on March 29, 1889, and was a member of the original congregation, maintained Joseph Sparling, an agent of the Des Moines City Improvement Company, arranged the donation of the lots. Volunteers built the church of logs retrieved from the beach and shingles donated by the shingle mill. This small building served the congregation until 1941 when a new sanctuary was added. By 1959 the congregation had outgrown its old facilities, and construction on an entirely new church began. Although used for several years as a community center, the old sanctuary was finally torn down in 1965.

      —paraphrased from One Hundred Years of the “Waterland” Community: A History of Des Moines, Washington

Des Moines Methodist Church photo

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