First Cairo Episcopal Church
The first Episcopal church building, a substantial frame structure measuring 44 x 70 feet with a wooden tower, was erected in the 400 block of Fourteenth Street at a cost of about $7000. One historical account reported it to be the most elegantly finished inside and furnished of any church in the city, including an organ costing $2000.
The property was donated to the church by the Trustees of the Cairo Trust Property.
Funds for construction started with a subscription drive May 2, 1858. The foundation was partly laid when it was destroyed by the great flood of 1858. Reconstruction was started and the structure was enclosed in the fall of 1862 and was immediately occupied by the government during the Civil War as a hospital. It was then finished and occasional services were conducted by Rev. S.Y. McMasters and other army chaplains.
On November 5, 1862, the Rev. I.P. LaBaugh was called to the pastorate and accepted. The Fourteenth Street church was consecrated by Bishop Whitehouse on April 25, 1864. A Sunday school was established in 1863 with H.H. Candee as the first superintendent, a position which he held well into the next century. The school was described in “The History of Cairo” as “one of the flourishing and successful ones of the city” at a time when the parish had more than 200 communicates.