A Chance to Own History
Like so many religious congregations across the nation, Trinity Episcopal Church in Connersville declined in numbers over several years. No longer able maintain its large historic property, the diocese closed the church and donated it and the adjacent parish house to Indiana Landmarks. The congregation gathered one last time in January for the de-consecration ceremony.
Armed with a $10,000 grant from the Efroymson Family Fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, we will repair the church roof and repaint the Gothic Revival house before marketing the property for sale with a protective covenant.
The town of Connersville evolved in the early 1800s after the Northwest Indian War and the Treaty of Greenville. European settlers spilled over the Ohio boundary into territories where they could build homes and begin farming fertile land. Named after John Conner, the man who laid out the fledgling town in 1813, Connersville grew at a steady pace. Emerging transportation technology – including the Whitewater Canal in 1847 and the first railroad in 1864 – drew people to the area, prompting construction of stores, banks, factories and churches.
A Presbyterian congregation built Connersville’s first church in 1824. Reverend William Miller conducted the first Episcopalian service in 1850 in the town hall, and it wasn’t long before the denomination organized a parish and built its first chapel. By 1856, the rapidly growing congregation commissioned the current Gothic Revival church and adjacent parish house, both completed three years later.
The church was forced to close its doors once before, during the Civil War, when most of the town’s men headed into battle. A network of reverends travelled from larger cities including Indianapolis and Richmond to perform weekly or monthly services for Connersville and other rural communities.
The church’s recent closure may stem from different circumstances, but the right buyer has a chance to add to the property’s long history. The two buildings will be sold together with easements requiring Indiana Landmarks to approve exterior changes. For more information, contact Jessie Russet in our Eastern Regional Office, 765-478-3172, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay up to date on the latest news, stories, and events from Indiana Landmarks, around the state or in your area.