History of Our Church
In the fall of 1885, just two years after the town of Caldwell was founded, five women of this pioneer village met to discuss plans for raising money to build a Presbyterian church. This hardy group sponsored musical evenings and public entertainments, sold patchwork quilts and home canned foods, and provided meals for the hard-working men of the burgeoning town. After two years, the ladies had accumulated about $500, which was enough to start construction of a church.
The sides were erected and the roof put on; but before the doors and windows were installed or the interior finished, the ladies ran out of money. With their church boarded up, the undaunted group decided a shepherd was needed if there was ever to be a flock to occupy the pews. It was on their invitation that Reverend William Judson Boone and his new bride, Annie, came to Caldwell.
After an organizational meeting held 1888, the church was finished and dedicated in 1890. Dr. Boone went on to become the first president of the Presbyterian-affiliated College of Idaho, which at that time was located near the new church on 9th and Albany streets in Caldwell. In 1907 the college relocated in a new suburban addition near the corner of S. 20th Avenue and Cleveland Boulevard. Caldwell's First Presbyterian Church remained at its original location for the next 40+ years.
Shortly after WWII, the First Presbyterian Church decided to build a new sanctuary nearer to the College of Idaho. In 1948, the new church building was completed at its current location on the corner of S. 14th Avenue and Dearborn Street and was renamed "Boone Memorial Presbyterian Church" in honor of its founder.
The church was designed by the architectural firm of Wayland and Fennell in Boise, well-known for their work throughout the Pacific Northwest. The design reflected Gothic Revival architecture, the traditional style of churches throughout the ages. Local contractor David Dorsey supervised its construction. The sanctuary was constructed using a unique lay of clinker brick and pieces of a demolished local schoolhouse, as well as the demolished original Canyon County Court House. The bell from the old Caldwell First Presbyterian Church was moved to the newly constructed steeple topping the new church building.
Inside, the sanctuary's classic design, striking rose window, and 1200-pipe organ reflect the hopes and dreams of early pioneers who sought to bring civilization to Far Western lands. It was built to last the test of time.
Boone Memorial Presbyterian Church's congregation grew rapidly over the next thirteen years, and the Westminster Center (used for Sunday School, Youth meetings, and other small groups) was constructed and completed in 1961.
Boone Presbyterian Church is an important thread in the history of Caldwell and the U.S.A.