Encyclopedia o f Chicago

Historical Sources : Bound Volume
Historical Source
Stephen R. Beggs on Circuit Riders, 1834

Stephen R. Beggs on Circuit Riders, 1834
In the 1830s Methodist preachers known as "circuit riders" sought to cover large areas of territory, and to bring their religious message to all of the many newcomers to northern Illinois. Jesse Walker, a Virginia preacher first sent to Illinois in 1806, settled at what is now Plainfield in 1829 as head of the Desplaines mission of the Methodists. The stops on the Desplaines and Fox River mission circuits changed each year, and the preachers often shifted their assignments from year to year. In 1835 the Fox River mission included places along the river from Yorkville through Aurora and St. Charles up to Dundee, but also reached east as far as Crystal Lake, Libertyville, Wheeling, and the area now in the Norwood Park neighborhood of Chicago.