CHURCH, Charles A.
Past and Present of the City of Rockford and Winnebago Co., IL, C. A. Church. Chicago: Clarke, 1905, pp 635-636
Charles A. CHURCH was born in Chemung, McHenry County, IL, 21 Jul 1857. He was the oldest of three sons born to Dr. Richard C. and Eliza A. CHURCH, and a grandson of Dr. Charles CHURCH, who settled in Guilford Township in Winnebago County [IL], in 1844, and later removed to Belvidere [Boone County, IL]. Mr. [Charles A.] CHURCH's father died when he [Charles A. CHURCH] was eight years of age. In 1873 he [Charles A. CHURCH] entered the office of the Belvidere Standard and began the printer's trade. In two years from that time he made regular contributions to the editorial as well as to the local department of the paper. He remained with the Standard until 01 Apr 1878, when he became city editor of the Rockford Journal, of which Hiram R. ENOCH was proprietor.
Mr. CHURCH remained in Rockford until the autumn of 1878, when he returned to Belvidere and purchased an interest in the Semi-Weekly Recorder, which he published with C. E. KELSEY until Oct 1881, when he assumed entire management of the paper and made it a weekly. He continued its publication until 1883, when he sold the business and good will.
Mr. CHURCH in 1884 again made his home in Rockford, where he has since resided with the exception of a few months spent in Savanna [Carroll County], IL. In 1887 he became foreman and assistant editor of the Golden Censer, which position he [p 636] retained until 1892. In that year he organized the Spectator Publishing Company, in connection with A. E. SMITH and others. It was the highest grade literary paper ever published in this city, but it was continued in this form only one year.
In 1897 the CALVERT Brothers purchased the Golden Censer and Mr. CHURCH was chosen its editor. In 1898 he became editor and proprietor, and published the Censer until the subscription list was sold to the Ram's Horn. Since 1904 Mr. CHURCH has been on the staff of the Register-Gazette.
In 1887 Mr. CHURCH was appointed evening assistant at the Rockford public library, and he has served in that capacity 18 and a half years. No other person ever on the library staff has served so long a time, with the single exception of Mr. W. L. ROWLAND.
In Jan 1894, Mr. CHURCH was licensed to preach by the State Street Baptist church. Since that time he has supplied more than 30 churches in northern IL. He spent portions of 1894 and 1895 in divinity work in the University of Chicago. Among his instructors were President HARPER and Professor Alexander B. BRUCE, the famous Scotch author and theologian. Mr. CHURCH graduated in the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle in the class of 1889.
In 1900 Mr. CHURCH's History of Rockford, from 1834 to 1861, was published and is recognized as the authority on local history. In 1902 he wrote the life of General Allen C. FULLER, the war adjutant of IL, and delivered an address upon him before the Chicago Historical Society.
On 22 May 1878 Mr. CHURCH was united in marriage of Hattie M. LAKE, daughter of Dr. L. L. LAKE, one of the earliest practitioners in Belvidere, and surgeon in the Civil war in the 15th IL Infantry, and in the 13th Cavalry. Mr. and Mrs. CHURCH have four children: Holland L., advertising manager for the Ashton Dry Goods Company; Lorena M., a graduate of Rockford College; Gertrude M.; and Ruth A. [Authorship of the source cited for this biography is "Charles A. CHURCH, assisted by H. H. WALDO."]
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.