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Accident claimed part of church’s proud history

By Midgie R. Dial
For the Salisbury Post
The tragic death of D.C. and Frances Linn brought back memories of bygone years for the Landis First United Methodist Church. Its history chronicles the family history of D.C. Linn. We feel that D.C. must have inherited the gift of giving from his grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. C.W. Corriher, as you may agree as we tell our story.
In the early 1900s, there was no church in Landis. The closest churches were the then Mt. Zion Reformed Church and Lutheran Chapel. There were no paved roads. U.S. 29 was often miry ruts through southern Rowan County. Walking was the main means of travel. In 1903, some of the Landis citizens from Mt. Zion helped to start a church in Landis, soon to be taken into the Methodist itinerancy. The first worshippers met in Dr. Corriher’s medical office, later converted to what is now called “the old post office,” one of the preserved historic buildings on Main Street.
According to Mrs. Fannie Corriher, Dr. Corriher’s wife, her husband donated the money for nails and lumber to begin construction of the Methodist Church on a piece of land beside the Corriher home and office. Construction continued only as Dr. Corriher’s patients paid him, providing money for more materials for volunteer carpenters to use. The white wooden church was used for worship by the Methodist congregation until 1962, when the wooden structure was torn down to be replaced by a sanctuary designed and built by D.C. Linn Construction Co.
Was it destiny that the current building was constructed by the grandson of Dr. C.W. and Mrs. Fannie Corriher? We Methodists would like to think so.
As another sign of family generosity, in her 90th year, Mrs. Corriher could be seen delivering her homemade pound cakes to friends and neighbors ó chauffeured by her daughter, Mrs. D.C. Linn Sr. Mrs. Corriher remained the pride of the church as its only living charter member until her death in 1972. A Sunday School class still proudly bears her name.
In 2003, the church celebrated 100 years of Methodism in Landis. D.C. Linn was the first guest speaker of many for that 100-year celebration. If the truth be known, especially after the many acts of generosity have come to light, D.C. probably made very little profit from the construction of the new sanctuary.
Some of us remember D.C.’s grandmother, and many of us knew D.C. and Frances. We will miss their presence in Landis, but D.C., along with his grandparents, will always be remembered as a part or our history.
– – –
Midgie Dial is the current historian for First United Methodist Church in Landis.

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