HOUSE OF PRIME
ABOUT THE BUILDING
Our story is richly entrenched in local history and begins way back in the mid 1800’s.
On January 2nd, 1869, the property was purchased for the construction of a house of worship for the Methodist Episcopal Church North. At this time, the Methodist Church was still bitterly divided between the Civil War Northern and Southern sympathizers, with the membership refusing to meet together. The original structure was a fine brick building, with arched glass windows and a rising bell tower.
In March of 1879, Reverend Eli E. Condo was appointed by the Missouri Methodist Conference to be the minister to the Marshfield Church. In March of 1880 Rev. E. E. Condo writes in the M.E. Church journal, “In the opinion of the Conference held at Sedalia, Mo., March 16 – 21, 1880, it was thought best to return me to this charge for a second time”. Little did the Conference know, but they had just sealed Rev. Condo’s fate.
On Sunday, April 18, 1880, the morning, at sunrise, was bright, clear and beautiful. Most of the people of town were up and preparing to head off to Sunday worship. According to Miss Sarah Smith, she had attended Sabbath School as usual that morning and after, she and a number of others went to the Northern Methodist Church to hear Rev. E. E. Condo’s sermon “The Love Of Christ”. After his sermon Rev. Condo retired to his home with his wife and 2 little boys to engage in the afternoon pleasures of each others company. Their home was located in the northeast part of town.
According to a written eyewitness account of the Cyclone of which look to me like wind clouds”. “I observed them from time to time, still believing that were wind clouds. At about a quarter past 6 o’clock P.M. myself and family were at tea. I noticed Mr. John A. Ward’s family running towards my house. As I went to greet them, I looked to the south-west and saw the Cyclone coming. It appeared to be about 2 miles away. I watched the cloud till it got within about one-quarter of a mile of my house. It was in funnel shape and looked like smoke coming out of a Railroad engine just after throwing in coal.
It approached in a kind of a whirl and seemed to throw out wings and draw everything to its center. It moved forward with fearful rapidity. I think, at a rate of one hundred and fifty miles per hour”.
It was about half past 6 o’clock pm when the cyclone hit the town of Marshfield. Rev. Condo hearing the approaching commotion, left his home to see what the commotion was about. Unbeknownst to him the Cyclone was already upon them and with much velocity it toppled a large tree falling across him, fatally crushing him to death.
On the day of the devastating Cyclone, Marshfield was a pleasant and beautiful community of approximately 1100 people, all living in a happy and harmonious way. There were numerous well stocked businesses in town, providing it citizens with all the comforts of a grand life. But in a matter of seconds, three fourths of this beautiful town was reduced to ruins with only the screams and cries of the wounded and dying to be heard.
The Cyclone kill 53 of our neighbors outright with an additional 106 citizens wounded and seriously injured. 39 more died within a few days from their inflicted wounds. Understanding that homes cooked with wood fired stoves and due to the amount of massive destruction, fires broke out in many of the homes and businesses causing people searching for the injured to stop and concentrate their energies on putting out the fires. Shortly after the storm a very cold rain set in, helping to revive the injured but hindered the search parties ‘efforts trying to locate and recover the wounded and dead.
Although Marshfield was basically wiped off the face of the earth with the devastating destruction of the Cyclone, the resilient citizens of Marshfield immediately started the process of rebuilding their beautiful community. The Cyclone had completely leveled the M. E. Church North, except for one partial wall, which just happened to be where the church clock always hung.
It was discovered after the storm that the clock was still on the wall, was running and had the correct time on it. After the calamity of the storm had calmed, the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church North started rebuilding their church.
The building was completed in the fall of 1881, and on July 12, 1882, the church members came together, dedicating the building, naming it the Condo Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church North. In 1924 the church decided it was time to add on a fellowship hall with a full kitchen and while at it, they elected to give the old building a new face lift. It was voted on to redesign the building in the English Tudor style.
In 1939 the North and South M. E. Churches merged, and the congregation decided to worship in the larger St Johns building. So, the historic Condo was converted to a fellowship hall and remained as such for many years. But as time does, the congregation outgrew the two building and finally a new church was built. Over the years this historic building has passed through many hands and has been used as a headquarters for the local Boys Scotts, was a flea market, antique store, and home to several different churches.
So now we have restored the grand old building to its earlier beauty and made it once again an integral part of our community.
Today, the building houses the Jackson Grille, a fine dining restaurant with a focus on prime rib, steaks and seafood. We welcome you to join us and share a meal in a very historic place.
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