James Monroe Wyckoff

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

1849 - 1915


By Florence N. Murray Smith.

J. M. Wyckoff was born near Russellville, Brown County, Ohio, Tuesday, June 5, 1849. In 1858 his parents removed from that county to Champaign County, Illinois, finally locating in Douglas County, near Camargo. His parents were Methodists.

In the fall and winter of 1863 he attended a small country school, but in the latter part of December of the same year, at the age of fourteen, he ran away from home and entered the army, enlisting in Company D. Twenty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry (Grant's old regiment) and serving until the close of the war.

After his return home he would work through the summer and attend school during the winter months, and at the little school house where he attended school, he found a time and place religion. In the year 1869 Mr. Wyckoff was called to preach the gospel.

In 1870 he entered Lincoln University at Lincoln, Illinois.

In the spring of 1871 he joined Foster Presbytery, finally uniting with Illinois Presbytery.

He was ordained at Concord Congregation, Illinois Presbytery, in the spring of 1880 and was married in July of the same year.

Rev. Wyckoff has built a few churches and been a supply most of the time.

On May 24, 1906, he was selected by a Special Committee to fill the office of Treasurer of the Board of Ministerial Relief; a few years later he was elected Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer of the Board.

[Source: Our Senior Soldiers: The Biographies and Autobiographies of Eighty Cumberland Presbyterian Preachers. Compiled by The Cumberland Presbyterian Board of Publication. The Assistance of Revs. J. L. Price and W. P. Kloster is Greatfully Acknowledged. Nashville, Tenn.: The Cumberland Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1915, pages 75-76]

Rev. James M. Wyckoff, Secretary-Treasurer Board of Ministerial Relief of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Charles Lindsay in Sullivan, Illinois, Sunday afternoon, March 28, 1915.

James Monroe Wyckoff, son of Isaac and Nancy Wyckoff, was born near Russellville, Brown County Ohio, June 5, 1849. He moved with his parents to a farm near Tolona, Illinois, in 1857, and a few years later to Camargo, Douglas County, Illinois.

At the age of of fourteen years and nine months he enlisted in the army, as a private in Co. "D", 21st., Regiment, Illinois Infantry First Brigade, First Division of the fourth Army Corps.

He took part in the following engagements: Dalton, Good Hope, Resaca, Bald Knob, Kenesaw Mountain, Atlanta, Jonesboro, Nashville, and Franklin.

He was discharged from the service January 16, 1866 at Springfield, Illinois, after having been in the service for almost two years.

He was converted to Christianity soon after his return from the army and united with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He was ordained to the full work of the ministry when about twenty-five years of age, and since that time has been actively engaged in church work. He held pastorates at the following places: Brownfield church, in Pope County, Ill., Mt. Sterling church, at Unionville, Ill., Kinmundy church, Kinmundy, Illinois, Fairfield church in Douglas County, Illinois, again at Kinmundy, and last at Bethany church at Bethany, Illinois.

While he was pastor at Brownfield church in Pope County, Ill., he was married to Mrs. Ellen M. Jefferson, July 29, 1880 . A son, William H. who now lives at Shelbyville, Illinois, and a daughter, Lula, now Mrs. Charles Lindsay of Sullivan, Illinois, were born to this union.

During the past eight years Rev. Wyckoff has been Secretary-Treasurer of the Board of Ministerial Relief of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. He was also Field Agent for said Board. Under his efficient management the Board has attained far more than was expected by its most sanguine friends. This work was possibly the greatest success of his whole life and has won a permanent place for his name in the history of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Because of his noble character, his sweet Christian Spirit, and his great zeal and undying interest in our beloved Zion, the whole Denomination will feel keenly the loss of Brother Wyckoff.

The funeral service was held from the residence of the daughter, Mrs. Charles Lindsay, Sullivan, Illinois, Tuesday 2:00 p.m. March 30, 1915, and was conducted by Rev. Charles A Galloway of Lincoln, Illinois, assisted by Revs. J. H. Hughey of Decatur, Ill., Milholland of Charleston, Ill., and E. M. Johnson of Mattoon, Illinois. Other Cumberland Presbyterian ministers present were, E. F. Meier and A. M. Bankson of Bethany, Illinois, and Charles Waggaman of Charleston, Illinois.

The funeral was largely attended. The floral offerings were many and beautiful. The G. A. R.'s attended in a body. The bereaved relatives and friends have not only the sympathy of the population of Sullivan, the home of Brother Wyckoff, but of thousands of men, women, boys, and girls, throughout the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Brother Wyckoff's body was interred in the beautiful cemetery near Sullivan.

Brethren and Sisters of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, we should unite our petitions to Almighty God to send some one to take up the great work that Brother Wyckoff had so well begun and so successfully carried forward to the day of his death.

                            Charles a. Galloway.
Lincoln, Illinois.

[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, April 22, 1915, page 15]

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Updated May 17, 2010