Little Church, Keystone

Church of Keystone 2015

The Little Church at Keystone is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Little-Church2-400-2-300x198Built in a pioneer town that was too small for two churches, the Catholic/Protestant Little Church is a monument to religious harmony and cooperation. Eleven teenage girls helped raise the money to construct the church under the sponsorship of Georgia Paxton, wife of prominent rancher and businessman William A. Paxton.

Mrs. Paxton formed a chapter of the King’s Daughters, a service organization. The girls raised money for the church project by holding bake sales, suppers and bazaars, and asking their neighbors for donations. The girls raised 60% of the project’s total cost of $1,200, and Mrs. Paxton contributed the remaining 40%.

Completed in 1908, the Little Church has a Catholic altar at one end, and Protestant altar at the other. Special pews with reversible backs allowed 75 churchgoers to face either altar, depending on the service. Pope Leo XIII granted a dispensation for the dual faith church.

The dedication of the Little Church was held August 16, 1908, and was so well attended that many people had to stand on the lawn to hear the dedication address by the Very Rev. George A. Beecher, Dean of the Cathedral of Omaha, Nebraska.  The Dean praised the efforts of  Pearl Fenwick Dean, Theresa Feltz, Anna Scully Fenwick, May Holloway,  Lula Holloway, Margaret Leonard, Eleanor McCarthy, Margaret McCarthy, Josephine McGinley, Bertha Matthews, and Ethel Reese, adding that if eleven little girls could establish a church through their efforts, surely the able bodied men appointed as officers could and should lend every effort to support it.   Speaking on behalf of the King’s Daughters, Mrs. Paxton said, “Our work is now done, and it remains for you to accept and make use of the gift.”

The last regular services were held in 1949, but the Little Church is open to visitors by appointment.  Please call 308-726-2006 or 308-726-2482.

The front porch and sidewalk were added in 2015 as an Eagle Scout project by James Ryan of Keystone.

The Little Church of Keystone is now affiliated with the Keith County Historical Society.  Contributions for its ongoing maintenance needs may be made out to the Keith County Historical Society, with “Little Church maintenance” in the check’s memo line.  They may be mailed to the Keith County Historical Society at P.O. Box 5, Ogallala, NE 69153.

Recent renovations were assisted by a grant from the Keith County Visitors Committee.

Directions: Take Keystone Lake Road to McCarthy Street, Keystone and then turn north.  The Little Church is the 1st building on the right (east) side.

(source:  “Keystone Memories” by Lorna Wendt)
(exterior photo: Keith County News)

 

Calendar of Events

Oct
2
Sat
8:00 am Ogallala Farmer’s Market
Ogallala Farmer’s Market
Oct 2 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
The Ogallala Farmer’s Market will be held Saturdays at Rendezvous Square from June 19 through October 2, 2021.  Find something different every week – including locally raised vegetables, fruits, baked goods, honey, preserves and crafts.
Oct
23
Sat
all-day Halloween at the Hollow
Halloween at the Hollow
Oct 23 all-day
The Friends of Ash Hollow will host Halloween in the Hollow, a family Halloween event, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 at Ash Hollow State Historical Park near Lewellen from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m..  Learn more[...]
Nov
6
Sat
10:00 am Kayak Big Mac 2021
Kayak Big Mac 2021
Nov 6 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Kayak Big Mac 2021
“Summer is for Sissies!” Kayak Big Mac- Martin Bay, Lake McConaughy- 10 AM MST (Alternate location- Lake Ogallala) Join the Ogallala Rotary Club for their annual Kayak Big Mac fundraiser for local and international water[...]
Nov
20
Sat
all-day Ogallala Craft Fair
Ogallala Craft Fair
Nov 20 all-day
Contact: Keith County Chamber of Commerce (308) 284-4066