City of Haviland 
    109 N. Main
    PO Box 264
    Haviland, KS 67059-0264
    Phone:  620-862-5317
    cityhall@havilandtelco.com
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"The Old Sod Church"

Haviland's famous Sod Church, built in 1885 by the Quakers (Friends), served the community as a school and a meeting house.  Through the years The Old Sod Church has become a symbol of the spirit of those pioneers who braved blizzards, prairie fires, Indian scares, typhoid, crop failures, grasshopper invasions and all the perils of a new country.  These men and women who founded the Haviland community have left a heritage of courage, loyalty, resilience, and faith.
  
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                                                                     THE OLD SOD CHURCH

                                Twas right down there on the corner
                                Where R. D.'s wheat field grows;
                                That the old sod church was standing
                                In the days of long ago.

                                                                            In the days of the early settling,
                                                                            When the country was very new,
                                                                            And the blue stem was a rustling
                                                                            In the Kansas wind that blew.
   
                                It was all a bleak prairie,
                                Dotted over with dugouts new,
                                That the minds of all the people
                                Turned to the One that is ever true.

                                                                            They said, "We must have a Meeting,
                                                                            And we must have a Meeting true;
                                                                            So we'll have a Quaker Meeting,
                                                                            And then we'll know 'tis true."

                                They would build a Meeting House
                                As all good Quakers do;
                                Where they could teach their children
                                The good old Golden Rule.
                    
                                                                            The church was not built by experts,
                                                                            Or made from stone and brick;
                                                                            But planned by all the people,
                                                                            And made from mother earth.

                                And when they went to build it
                                They didn't have hired men;
                                For all the men from round about
                                Went in and lent their hands.
                            
                                                                            Though I've roamed about a lot,
                                                                            And traveled far and wide,
                                                                            I remember well the dear old church,
                                                                            Can sometimes almost hear--

                                B. H. (Albertson) preaching loudly,
                                And Josiah's soft amen;
                                And Margaret pleading softly
                                For sinners to amend.

                                                                            Then they'd sing the dear old songs
                                                                            They'd learned in days gone by
                                                                            Before they came to this dear land,
                                                                            Where the prairie dog scampers by.

                                 And in the long and balmy night,
                                 When sleep deserts the eye,
                                 You could hear the dismal howling
                                 Of the coyote slipping by.

                                                                            Then, Dan Ramsey took the stand
                                                                            And said his message, too,
                                                                            With such a soothing accent
                                                                            That Evert could sleep clean through.

                                And, we'd experience meeting,
                                When all could have their say,
                                A tellin' how the Lord did bless them
                                Along the rugged way.

                                                                            We didn't have autos then,
                                                                            Or buggies with high seats;
                                                                            When we all went to meeting
                                                                            We took a lowly seat.
                                                        
                                In the good old rattling wagon,
                                By a sturdy ox team drawn,
                                They didn't scare, no, not a bit,
                                But moved right along.

                                                                            They didn't have waxed floors
                                                                            Or lean back on the plush,
                                                                            But they trod in on mother earth,
                                                                            And for spring seats made a rush.

                                With Nathan Brown just in front of us
                                A showin' us the way,
                                For he went and took his family,
                                And was at his post each First Day.

                                                                            After church we'd all grasp hands
                                                                            In the good old Quaker style;
                                                                            And the Woodward twins would have such fun,
                                                                            And at all the people smile.

                                For they were made so much alike
                                We couldn't tell one from the other;
                                For sure as life they were identical,
                                And they were always together.

                                                                            We'll never forget the old sod church
                                                                            Where we worshipped so many years,
                                                                            Where the blessings of the Lord came down
                                                                            And filled our eyes with tears.

                                And, though the walls have tumbled down,
                                And wheat grows on that place,
                                May the lessons we learned remain in our minds
                                As we run the upward race.

                                                                                                                             by Mrs. E. M. (Zora) Pyle, Jr.
                                                               Written for the Haviland Friends Church's 50th Anniversary in 1935

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