The Monteith Church

Leora Goff Wilson’s mother grew up half a mile west of the village of Monteith, Iowa. After she married and had her own family, her firstborn (Leora) loved visiting her Grandpap and Grandmother Jordan there.

Leora was born in 1890, so was an adult by the time David and Emelia Jordan needed extra help, in 1912, and attended the Monteith church with them. After Grandpap Jordan died in 1913, Emelia moved into the little town of Monteith, where her youngest son, Fred Jordan, lived with his wife, Rectha.

Rectha’s older brother was Clabe Wilson, who visited them one day when Leora Goff was there with her grandmother. Their first date was to a Chautauqua in July.

On Christmas Eve, Clabe attended the Christmas sermon and program in this church with Leora and her grandmother. Later that evening, he gave Leora a silver vanity set for Christmas – mirror, brush, and comb.

“Oh dear. Clabe, I didn’t get you anything.”

“I know something I’d like to have,” Clabe told her. “The Home Sweet Home that you painted.”

She gladly gave him the painting on velvet, with red roses entwined with the words.

He also asked her to be his bride. She said yes.

Historic Guthrie County Facebook Page

Monteith is in Guthrie County, so several people have posted photos and memories about the town. One day a centennial plate for the Monteith church was posted, along with something very special taped to the back of it.

In my grandmother’s printing: “1881-1981 Monteith Church Centennial Plate

“I sang in choir some when I stayed with my grandparents Amelia [sic] and David Jordan to help them when they were not able. 1912-1913  My husband, Clabe Wilson and I attended a Christmas sermon and program in this church 1913 – and was asked to be his bride that eve   Both my grandparents [David and Emilia] Jordan’s and Grandpap [John B.] Goff’s funerals were held at this church

“Leora Goff Wilson

a bit of History”


My guess is that the plate was auctioned off when Grandma Leora’s things were sold in 1988. What a treasure, with that history in her own handwriting. John B. Goff died in 1909.  Grandpap David Jordan was a well-loved pastor. Leora said that at his funeral, horses and buggies lined the dirt roads as far as you could see.



  1. While reading this post, I was also watching TV news, which included a report that Iowa is one of the top ten states in which to be married based on how long the marriages last!

  2. You have the photo of the plate but not the plate? The photo of the church gave me a flashback to before I was five. I traveled in the car with my parents and my grandparents somewhere in rural Southwest Michigan in order to go to a church that looked like that. Now I am going to be flagged by trying to remember which church it was and why we went there. Good post!

    • That’s right! I don’t remember seeing it, even at the sale of her things. Mom and her sister went through the house. They offered me a couple of quilt tops (both ended up on my website!) and her hand-written memoir (which I’d asked her to do about 1970), and we bought the old library table from her folks’ Victorian home. Hope you remember your church story!

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