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National and State Registers of Historic Places

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Property/District Name: Little Stranger Church
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Little Stranger Church & Cemetery

Picture of property NE Corner Tonganoxie & Stranger Roads
Leavenworth (Leavenworth County)
Listed in National Register 2015-01-07

Architect: Unknown
Category: religious facility

The Little Stranger Church congregation built this wood-frame house of worship in 1868, and at the time of nomination, it stands to be the oldest wood-frame church in Kansas listed in the registers. The congregation traced its roots back to a group of settlers from Farley, Missouri, who arrived in Leavenworth County in 1858. Frequent announcements in the newspapers regarding various guest preachers suggest the church may have relied on the assistance of area churches for Sunday sermons. Despite the apparent success of the church in the 1910s, it closed in 1919 during the flu epidemic, never to reconvene again. The building remained shuttered until 1929 when a 4-H club requested to use the building for its meetings. Various organizations held meetings in the building through the mid-20th century. The church stands as a reminder of mid-19th century building techniques. It has a rectangular form and gable-front roof that presents a straight-forward image of utilitarian design. The associated cemetery includes more than 100 known graves, with the earliest deaths dating from the late 1850s and early 1860s, suggesting the cemetery may have pre-dated the construction of the church. It is nominated for its local significance in the areas of early settlement history and architecture.

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