Lyman County, South Dakota  Genealogy


1906 - 1994

    The Christian tradition come to Lyman County long before the town of Kennebec, as early as 1893, the earliest settlers met for worship in a log cabin near the old Kuckelburg place.
     In 1905, the town of Kennebec began to take shape and carpenters, businessmen and farmers came to build, work, and to seek
a new life in the newly settled West River country. They came with a sturdy spirit, strong backs and an enduring faith in God. In
1906, the fledgling Methodist congregation moved to town, and their meeting places were upstairs over a bank building and later
in the train depot. Rev. Stahl was the first Methodist minister to live in Kennebec. In 1907, under the leadership of Rev. Stahl, the
18-member congregation solicited funds and began work to build a permanent church building. The church was completed that year by the faithful effort of many families.
    The fellowship room was added in 1931 during the pastorate of Rev. Hatfield. From 1893 to 1944, twenty-one ministers have filled the pulpit. In 1944 Rev. R.B. Bonney began his ministry here and served for 12 years, until 1956. During his last year of service a
new parsonage was built and the Bonnys moved into the Reliance parsonage, serving both Kennebec and Reliance churches. In 1956,
Rev. Roger Thomas, a family of six boys and one  girl, were the first to occupy the new parsonage.
    The west end of the social room was partitioned off for a kitchen and Rev. Thomas did the work. John
Jacoway, Don Hadrick and Roger Tanquist, students from DWU, supplied the pulpit from 1958 until 1962 then Rev. William Kaye came and served until 1966. From 1966 to 1970 Rev. Wally Walton served.  It was during his tenure that a combination garage and church office was built by the high school shop class.
    In 1968, the Methodist Churches in the United States merged with the Evangelical United Brethren. and from this time on it became known as the UMC.
     Rev. Joel Harris followed Rev. Walton in 1970 and served until 1973. While here, the front entry and ramp were added. The congregation was served from June, 1973 by interim pastors until October, 1973, when, at the suggestion of District Superintendent Preston Brown, Presho,  was added to the Kennebec-Reliance Parish. Rev. David Mack served this combined parish until 1975, residing in Presho. Rev. John Jacoway, who had been a former student pastor, was appointed in 1975 and served until 1982. He
also lived in Presho.
     The Intern Program was started under Rev. Jacoway in 1977. This program gave seminary students one year experience before they completed their training, and they lived in the Kennebec parsonage. Our first intern, Eric Grinager, returned in 1982, having graduated from seminary and serving as Associate Pastor in the Yankton Methodist Church, before coming here. On July, 1986,
Bob Brown from Clark, South Dakota, was appointed Pastor. He served until 1990 when the Intern Program ended and Rev. Karl
and Jo Watkins were appointed. Rev. Jim Towler was appointed in 1992 and served until June, 1994, when Rev. Wayne Tieszen
began to serve this parish.
     In 1993, the church was completely remodeled. Both the sanctuary and social rooms were insulated, ceilings lowered, new lighting, new electrical wiring, central air conditioner and paneling were installed. Carpeting was laid in both rooms and a new wooden cross built for the altar. The exterior was painted and new railing built for both entrances.
    The spirit of pioneer Christian families still lives among the people as we look ahead with faith and hope in the coming years.

Lee and Jean Anderson and Wylie

Charlie and Gloria Bowar

Rod and Donna Bowar family

Phillip Caslin

Viva Copeland

Gene and Esther Gerard


Jim and Karen Gilman

Ruth Gilman

Wendell and Ardene Gilman

Gladys Hanscom

Bob and Doris Hills

Gary and Laurel Houchin


Deanna Houchin

Doris Huston

Judson Huston

Koepnick, Irene

Harold and Mary Kreager

Don and Sandra Manger


Richard and Jean Mertens family

Lyle and Gay Moore

Eva Miller

Ethel Riggs

Leola Schoenfelder

Lois Schoenfelder


Paul and Anna Mae Streitz

Carl and Lee Ila Sundall

Laura Tagtow

Dorothy Wagner

Ken and Marilyn Walling family

Kenneth and Deloris Wells

Delores Whitney

 Nellie Abrahamson Skip and Mary Lloyd family Halverson, Cliff and Pat family Johnstone, Delores Chris and Pam Long family


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