*Fred Allen Barfoot remembers that his two older brothers Jack and John began their school years at New Ireland School, which was located near his Barfoot grandparents’ farm. When Fred Allen began school at Union, his family lived on the NW corner of Decatur and Willow Streets.
On November 6, 2019, when the Ogletree Grocery building was being razed, many people gathered across the street to watch as a piece of Union’s history disappeared. Among those sharing memories were two of Ed Ogletree’s children and a former employee.
Early in the year 1914, Rev. R.L. Phelps, Synodical Superintendent for Mississippi Synod, arrived in Union by horse and buggy and began holding occasional services, preaching first in homes and then monthly in the Methodist Church sanctuary.
First Baptist Church continued to expand when in December 1959, the house of Frank Nicholson on the NW side of Horne and Walnut Streets was purchased and removed to make room for a paved parking lot. Next, in 1960, Otis Foster, whose home was located on the lot adjoining the church, sold his house to the church.
Newspaper documentation shows that a Primitive Baptist Church was built on the Decatur-Philadelphia Road in the early days of Union; that area would be 204 N. Decatur Street today. Then at some point, another church called Union Church that was used by several denominations was built next to it at today’s 206 N. Decatur Street.
As the years passed and the number of new members of the Methodist Church increased, in 1949 the membership began a fund for a new church building to accommodate its growth. The membership voted to tear down the old church and locate the new building in the same place.
In March 1963, the Union Methodist Church held its centennial celebration. For that service, a booklet containing a history of the first hundred years of that church was prepared. The following recounting of the church’s first century came from that bulletin.
In 1995, the State Department of Education required all schools to offer technology classes. Therefore, Union High School added a new Tech Prep building at the junior high school. The 8,000 square foot building had two labs, one classroom, a media center, a teacher workroom, restrooms, and two offices with a work room.