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        Past and present of Tippecanoe County, Indiana

                By Richard Patten DeHart

                Pages 230 through 261  Google Books.




That the religious element has always predominated in Tippecanoe county will be seen from the facts that follow in this chapter. The early pioneers, although busy about the care and perplexities of making suitable homes for themselves, as a rule, had reverence for sacred things and encouraged and supported religious efforts, of whatever denominations it might be that sought to gain foothold within the county. Both the Catholic and Protestant denominations were very early in this field and witli the passing years have been the means of spreading their doctrines to a good degree in each of the thirteen townships. The Methodist circuit rider and the Presbyterian ministers were the pioneers to enter this county and plant churches of their respective denominations. The Methodist appears to have been a few months in advance of any other denomination, aside from the Friends who organized in 1827.

The following history of Protestantism and the founding of the Methodist churches within the county is from the pen of Rev. George W. Switzer, D. D., who has served in this conference as pastor and presiding elder (now called district superintendent) for many years and is thoroughly informed concerning the work of Tippecanoe county religious societies.


(By O. W. Switzer.)

The history of the Methodist Episcopal church in Tippecanoe county is contemporaneous with the civil and social history of the county. The Methodist church was the pioneer church. Rev. Hackaliah Vredenburg is known to have preached to the scattering settlers of the little town of Lafayette as early as in the autumn of 1825, soon after the town had been laid out. Before that date, in 1824, there had been preaching by Methodist ministers, who in the interests of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, had visited the pioneer settlers and had gathered into some humble home the people and held religious service. The first presiding elder visiting the county was the Rev. James Armstrong, who came in 1825, as the presiding elder of the Crawfordsville district, of which Lafayette and Tippecanoe county was a part. These men, Vredenburg and Armstrong, were the first two ministers of official appointment within the county, according to the best information from the most reliable records. The religious meetings were held in private houses, or in the old log court house, until the first church was built, which was in 1830. It stood on the south end of the lot on the southwest corner of Main and Sixth streets, fronting east on Sixth street. This was the first organization of the Methodist societies within Tippecanoe county. In writing the history, alter more than eighty years, much that would be of interest and value has passed into tradition and cannot be gotten with authentic facts. There was a romance in the beginning, in all that pertained to the lives of the early settlers. Not less romantic is the story of the ministers who came in the interests of religious promotion. They were men of noble character, broad sympathies, possessed of fine abilities, called with a high calling from God. heroic in spirit, enduring hardships, sharing the simple but genuine hospitality of the pioneer folk, bringing a glimpse of life from the world outside the settlement, instructing in the teachings of the Holy book, calling men to repentance and faith in God, building up the believers, ministering to those in sorrow, warning the hardened and impenitent, and they were men whose lives fitted into the construction of the new civilization.

The history of these men, the results of their work, through the religious denomination known as Methodists, is the purpose of this paper as a part of the history of Tippecanoe county.

Having given the history of the beginning. I now take the development of the Methodist church in the life of the county. The beginning in the first church built in 1830 grew into a larger church on the corner of Ferry and Fifth streets. The old church was moved to the back end of the lots purchased and fronted on Ferry street in 1836, and remained the place of worship until 1845 when the larger brick church was erected and completed at a cost of about eight thousand dollars. The building of Trinity church was begun by the purchase of a lot on the corner of Sixth and North streets in 1868. The church was built and the chapel was completed and dedicated February 24, 1872, Bishop Thomas Bowman officiating. The church was completed and on March 23, 1873, dedicated, the Rev. Bishop Thomas Bowman officiating. For thirty-six years this church has stood for the use of the service and worship of Almighty God, and the history of its influence for good, as it has touched the lives of the multitude, can never be written. The St. Paul's church was first known as the "Eastern Charge," organized by members separating from the old Fifth street church, in the year 1850. The lot for the building was on the southeast corner of Ninth and Cincinnati streets. The name was changed to that of Ninth Street church. It was a splendid building, two stories high, with basement rooms for Sunday school and social and business meetings, and a large auditorium in the upper floor. The building was completed, and dedicated in 1854. For more than forty years it was a busy working church. A new lot was purchased on the corner of Tippecanoe and Eleventh streets, for a new and modern building which was completed and dedicated in February, 1897. This building was one of the most complete church buildings in Lafayette. It was partially destroyed by fire in 1899 but was rebuilt and is now in use by a faithful people.

The Congress Street church was formerly organized September 21, 1867. For many years previous there had been a mission and preaching by pastors of different Methodist churches, who were sent to the "hill" for religious work. With organization, began a growth that has resulted in a strong and vigorous church with four hundred members. The Sunday school has now an average attendance of almost three hundred members. This church is in a part of the city with a growing population, and is well serving its divine purpose.

In West Lafayette, while there was but a small population, a Methodist church was organized in 1869. A church was built and dedicated January 23, 1870. This served well its purpose until the congregation grew too large to be accommodated when a lot was purchased on the corner of Main and South streets and a building with accommodations for large work was erected. This building, costing about twenty-five thousand dollars, was dedicated on January 23, 1898. These four churches within the city, have now about two thousand members.

The history of the Methodist Episcopal church in Tippecanoe county, outside of Lafayette is parallel with that of the city. The beginnings were simple and humble. In the settlements of the earliest pioneers, almost with their coming was the minister, and but few were there long before the Methodist preacher came. The preaching was held in the cabins or in the groves. As soon as school houses were built, they were also used for religious services. The early settlers of Tippecanoe county were people of intelligence, religious convictions, eager for the best advantages and gave the school and the church a hearty welcome.

In every township in the county, the Methodists have had services and built churches. With the development of the county, the building of gravel roads, the coming of railroads, the growing of the towns, there came an adjustment, and several churches were abandoned for convenience of travel and larger centers of population.

For convenience in grouping, and to give location more definite, it will he best to follow the township lines, and state the churches organized and built in each township. Perhaps the first church built was in Randolph township. In 1835, in the present town of Romney, was built a church that has been a place for regular service since. The church was rebuilt in 1875 and now stands as a place for the worship of a strong community. The families of the Simisons, Pykes. Oglesbys, Houses, Inskips, Skinners, and others, have constituted the membership and support of this church. This was the only Methodist church built in Randolph township, but there were several nearby in the townships adjoining.

In Jackson township, religious services were held as early as 1828 by the Methodists. The preaching was in private houses. In 1832 the Shawnee community built a school house called Shawnee Mound Academy, in which for many years was held regular preaching service and an organized Methodist class in this place grew to great strength and popularity. In 1855, the Shawnee Mound church was built, which has been one of the strongest country churches in the county. Around the Shawnee church lived the Meharry family. Seven of the Meharry boys grew to be men and owned farms within a few miles of this church. Six of them brought up their families here and all of them were members of this church. Other families, the Kerrs, Wheelers, Odells, Wallaces, Achesons, Blacks, all became a part of this community and the church was a religious as well as a social center.

In the south part of Jackson township, in the Sugar Grove neighborhood, was a strong Methodist organization. "For many years they worshiped in private homes and in the schoolhouse. In 1852 a church was built which answered their needs for the time. In 1875 a splendid church was built, of .brick with a slate roof, that has stood since as the center of a religious life and influence. In this community, the McMillans, Hietts, Insleys. Gains. Baileys, Millers, Sayers, Montgomerys, and Wilsons, have given support to all religious and educational movements.

In the north part of Jackson township, the Odell church was built. It stood on the farm of G. W. Odell, which was formerly the home of Major Odell, and near the village of Odell. It has had the support of the Odells, Davises, Byers, Wallaces, Berryhills, and other families. It is still serving its holy purpose.

In the east part of the township was built a church known by the name of Prairie Chapel. For a time it served the community. But with the building of gravel roads, the families, Malsburys, Kirkpatricks and others, could -easily get to other churches, and this church was abandoned.

In Wayne township there was built one Methodist church in 1837. This was the first church built in the township, and with repairs, it continued to serve as a place for religious worship until, in 1907, a new and modern church was dedicated which is now the only church of any denomination in the township. But with a broad spirit, it is supported for all religious services, and is an indispensable part of the township life. The Achesons, Turners, Mustards, Martins, Campbells, Welches, Searsmas and Elys, with many others constitute the families that have in the past contributed to the membership of this society.

In Union township, three Methodist churches have been built. The older was the Wea Plains church, in the western part of the township and in the heart of the beautiful and fertile Wea Plains. For many years this church served its holy mission. The Murdocks, Smiths, Lutzes and other families made this an important center. By the development of the country, the retiring of landholders to the city, other churches built nearby, this church was sold to another denomination, the Holland Reformed church.

The Mintonye church, standing in the southeast part of the township, was one of the early churches built and still stands, pointing the way to the kingdom eternal. The Shelbys, Raubs, Martins, and other old families here centered.

The Shadeland church, built to meet a new center, was erected in 1871. It stands at the entrance of the great Wea Plains, and is a conspicuous land mark. With its cottage parsonage, it is placed to serve a large community. Here the Lutzes, Foresmans, Gays, Beebees, Sherrys, Bennetts. Blackstocks, Deardorfs, Andersons and other families have met for worship and still meet. It is a place that has moulded character for highest ideals.

In Wea township, there has been but one Methodist church. While the Methodist preacher was in this township in the early days of its pioneer life, and there was preaching in schoolhouses in different parts of the township for many years, yet it has been for other denominations to possess this field. The Methodist church of the township was known as Sickler's Chapel, and stood in the northwest part of the township. It served its purpose, and was then abandoned and only the cemetery that stands nearby marks the spot where stood the church.

Lauramie township, the southeast of the county, has been a place where the Methodist churches have had strong centers. After several years of preaching in private houses, George's Chapel was built in 1840. This was a strong Methodist center for many years. But the building of the railroad, the springing up of Stockwell, which was just two miles east from George's Chapel led to the abandonment of the church about 1855. Chizum's chapel, in the southeast part of the township, was built about 1850 and for a number of years was a center for the Methodist people and all others, but as the developments came, it was sufficient to have the churches at Romney and Stockwell, and about the year 1900 it was abandoned. The church at Clark's Hill was organized about the year 1840. Like other churches in the days of the county's early history, it had a humble beginning. But it has existed, grown, built new its church, and a parsonage has been added that gives a strong influence for the religious life of the community.

In addition to these three churches begun in the early days, should be named the class organized at Yorktown, two miles south of Stockwell, where the services were held in the school house. There was never a church built for the Methodists, but a parsonage and a resident minister was there for years. At the present time, there is a Swedish Methodist Episcopal church there, but it was built for the Swedes, and has been exclusively theirs.

The building of the Big Four railroad was the development of the village of Stockwell. The first Methodist enterprise for this town was the Stockwell Academy. There was a Methodist class organized in Stockwell about 1855. Its services were held in the school house. The academy was built in 1860, and the Methodist meetings were held in the chapel of the academy until in 1864, when the splendid church was built. This church stands in the center that has absorbed George's Chapel and Chizum Chapel and the class at Yorktown, and also the class from Salem in the township of Sheffield. Stockwell is a community of strong families. The Elliotts, Bartholomews, Bakers, Caldwells, Granthams, Storms, Coopers, Lairds, O'Neals, Aliens, Skinners, Howards, McDoels, and Johnsons represent the personnel of the Methodist people centering in this village.

The Methodist church was early in the township of Sheffield. As early as 1830 the Methodist people were gathered together and organized into a class in Dayton. Until 1843 they worshipped in a school house when, at that time, they built a church. In this they worshipped until 1866, when they built a better church, which stands, with the modern improvements and changes, as a splendid house of worship. The improvement of the building was made in 1908, and it is now a beautiful and inviting church.

The only other church the Methodists ever built in Sheffield township was the Salem church, near the southwest corner of the township and near the village of Stockwell. For many years this old church has served its purpose for the living and the dead. It is now only used for the preaching of funerals where the burial is to be in the cemetery nearby. This church was built in 1840, and for nearly seventy years has been serving its missions, while the generations come and go.

In the township of Perry, the Methodists never had much of a membership. Only one church was built for this denomination and that was near the town of Monitor. It was built previous to the year 1840, and was called Wesley Chapel. Around it centered the families of Caddises, Paynes and Smiths. It was a part of the Dayton circuit, but the moving of families and the surrounding of other churches eliminated it from active life and existence. Not a mark of its location remains.

In Washington township the Methodists were early related to the struggling pioneer life. Along the Wabash were preaching places, in the homes of the settlers and in the school houses. Near the to*\vn of Americus was a Methodist society. Other denominations were there also and no Methodist church, for strictly denominational life, was ever built. In a union church the services were held. Near the river, at a place called Jewetsport, now almost obliterated, the Methodist and other denominations had a Union church where they held services. It was in this church where Isaac W. Joyce, afterward Bishop Joyce, was converted and also here where he probably preached his first sermon. But in the development of settlements the Methodist built a church at Transitville, now changed to Buck Creek. For many years this church stood as a mark of the devotion of the people for religious instruction and life. In 1909 a new and modern church was here built to take the place of the old one, and a new life is manifest with the modern church and all the modern civilization.

The only other church built by the Methodists in Washington township was in the town of Colborn. This was in the northeastern part of the township and county. For many years it was weak in numbers and was finally dropped and the building sold and the proceeds used in the building of the church in Buck Creek.

In the township of Tippecanoe have been built four Methodist churches. Perhaps the first was in the northwest part of the township and called Salem, but now its successor is called Cairo. Old Salem was built in 1836 and used until 1851. The location of the present church of Cairo is west one-fourth of a mile of Salem, and stands a beautiful country church surrounded by a strong community of people, religious and aggressive in the work of the church as well as in all that pertains to their secular interests.

There was a church built west of Battle Ground, two miles, called the Geneseo Methodist church. In connection with it was a parsonage. This church was built about 1846. For many years it stood a haven for rest and worship, but, in the better adjustment of conditions, it was abandoned and the church at Battle Ground absorbed the membership in a large part.

The Pretty Prairie church was built in 1858, and stands yet with vigor, after its golden jubilee, with a church improved, beautified and inviting. In this church entered the religious energies of the old families of Beckers, Barnes, Maxons and Gays. This was a strong community and has not succumbed to the devastations of time.

In 1860, or about that time, the Methodist people of the village of Battle Ground were organized and a church was built. A new church has been erected to take the place of the old one, and a strong society is promoting the interests of the church in every department.

In Wabash township there have been four churches built by the Methodists outside of West Lafayette. The one that was first built was the Mt. Pleasant church, three miles southwest of West Lafayette. This church stands as a place for Sunday school and preaching service and for the funerals of those to be buried in the cemetery adjoining.

The Mt. Zion church is successor to a church built, and . though it has a new location it has also a new life. It is a part of the circuit of which Montmorenci-is the-head. It is in a splendid community and" has the promise of long life;

The Methodist church at Burton, and called by that name, was built about 1896, after preaching had been held in the school house or in a public hall for several years. But there have been changes, and the nearness of Mt. Zion and Montmorenci made it seem well to close the house for the present. In the northwest part of the township a church called Fair Haven was built, about 1874. It was used-until in 1907, when it was dropped and the membership transferred to the Mt. Zion church and the Montmorenci church.

In the south part of the township, for years there was preaching at the Colfax school house, or at No. 10. There were no substantial developments and these places were abandoned.

In Shelby township the Methodists have had ah early and continuous career. The itinerant preachers were in the community soon after settling of the wilderness. Meetings were held in the cabins and in the groves. Classes were organized and religious life and teaching was a part of the development. As early as 1829 meetings were held within the township! The first church built was Wesley chapel, three miles west of Montmorenci, in the year 1841. For many years this church was the center of a strong community. The Van Nattas, Sappingtons, Daughertys, Switzers, Shagleys;

Westfalls, Fosters and others made it a conspicuous meeting place. In 1843, a church in the south part of the township was built, called Asbury. Near it were the families of Parrish, Nagle, Holloway, Moore and others. Both of these churches served well their day and generation and as centers changed, they were abandoned for more central locations. North of Montmorenci, three-fourths of a mile, a church was built called Little Pine, in 1845. It stocd on the farm of Samuel Shigley. For more than twenty-five years it served the community for worship. In 1872, a church was built in Montmorenci by the Methodists, absorbing the church north of the village and has since been a strong influence for good.

Another influence of the Methodist Episcopal church in Tippecanoe county has been through the Battle Ground camp-meeting. For thirty-four years this camp meeting has been conducted annually. The greatest preachers of the church have been secured and great audiences have been thrilled by the eloquent presentation of the great themes of the Word of God. Bishop Simpson of national fame is yet remembered by the thousands who heard him, almost a third of a century ago. Other bishops, editors, secretaries, prominent laymen, ministers eminent in their profession, have stood on the platform of the camp-meeting tabernacle, and proclaimed the truths of the everlasting Gospel, that have been translated into holy living and consecrated service. In thirty-four years, more than two hundred thousand people have found their way to this greatest religious gathering of the county, and have received from it help for the life that now is and for the life that is to come.

In this brief review and sketches of the Methodist churches of Tippecanoe county by townships, only a part of the history has been written. The thirty churches built, the twenty or more parsonages, the men who lived in them, the meetings held, the moral influences awakened and promoted, the books and literature and magazines and church papers subscribed—the good of these influences can never be told. Then, in all parts of the county, when the people wanted a place to congregate, and were hungry for the better or best things, the great old-fashioned camp meetings that were more effective in awakening and results than the best planned modern evangelistic meeting was promoted and religious good everywhere resulted.

The total cost of the Methodist churches in Tippecanoe county and maintaining them, with the support of the ministers and the benevolences, has amounted to not less than two million dollars.

A history of Tippecanoe county could not be correctly written that did not count the force of the more than thirty churches, the twenty parsonages, the camp meetings, the preaching in the cabin homes, the revivals held in school houses, and the creation of ideals and habits of morals that has been no small part of the life of the people.

Then should I attempt to name the men who have traveled all ovtr the county for more than eighty years, I would call the roll of as noblt- and unselfish class of men as exer existed. I hardly dare to begin to name. But I must present the names of some and risk the omission of more worthy ones lest I do not make good the assertion that noble men have been connected with this church in its great work. When we call the names of Armstrong. Vredenburg, Strange. Woods, Smiths, Brakeman, Bartlett, Hull, McMullen, Joyce, Graham, Boyd, Stallard, Hargrave, Brooke, Beckner, Godfrey, Cissel, Buckles, Bower, Cooper, Buchtel, Marine, Gobin, Craft, Wilcox, Cole, we could call the names of a hundred men, every one a faithful minister in holy things.

The history of Methodism in Tippecanoe county is an honorable one and will have a place as one of the large forces for the highest good.

(By T. J. Bassett.)

The beginning of Methodism in what is now West Lafayette was in the year 1847. A meeting was conducted by a local exhorter, Jonathan Hoffman, in the wood-working department of a shop owned by Captain John B. Castor. The present church building stands upon the site of that shop. The pulpit of the church of today is upon the very spot where Jonathan Hoffman preached that first sermon.

The first Methodist society was organized in 1869. The little society at ouce set out to built a church, and a good frame building was erected and dedicated January 23, 1870. William Graham, William Hawkins, Benoni Swearingen, Nelson Littleton and John Opp were the trustees chosen to erect and care for the church building. In that building the society worshiped for exactly twenty-eight years, the present church building being dedicated January 23, 1898. The first pastor was Rev. William Davisson, for many years since that time a missionary to Japan. The church was dedicated by Rev. Granville C. Moody, of Ohio. During the past forty years the church has had a steady and substantial growth, which has fully kept pace with the growth of the town and of Purdue University, which is located in \Vest Lafayette.

The following pastors have served the church since its organization, being appointed by the authorities of the conference in the years respectively indicated. In 1870 Rev. Wm. C. Davisson; 1871, Rev. John M. Stafford; 1873, R«v- Wm. H. Hickman; 1875, Rev. Samuel Godfrey; 1876, Rev. C.

E. Lambert; 1877, Rev. Henry M. Middleton; 1878, Rev. John E. Steele; 1879, Rev. Alfred Kummer; 1882, Rev. \V. B. Slutz; 1884, Rev. William Graham; 1885. Rev. R. S. Martin; 1886, Rev. H. H. Dunlavy; 1887, Rev. ; 1888. Rev. Ernest V. Claypool; 1890. Rev. James G. Campbell; 1892, Rev. Tiffin F. Drake; 1895, Rev. George W. Switzer; 1901, Rev. Henry L. Kindig; 1903, Rev. Clarence D. Royce; 1904, Rev. Henry G. Amhyrst; 1907, Rev. Hilary A. Gobin; 1907. Rev. Thomas J. Bassett.

During the year 1891, under the pastorate of Rev. J. G. Campbell, the first steps were taken for building a new church. In that year the lots were purchased and payments on them begun. Among the last works of Rev. T.

F. Drake before leaving the charge in 1895 was to complete payments on the lots and secure a clear title thereto. The present excellent church building was erected during the pastorate of Rev. George W. Switzer. The. buihling committee consisted of Daniel White, Wallace Marshall and George W. King. Mr. King was compelled by ill health to resign the position and J. C. Lefevre w:as appointed in his stead. On November 13, 1896. the contract for the erection of the new church was awarded to James Strate. an honored member of the church. The building was erected at a cost of twenty-six thousand dollars. The plan is an admirable one. The seating capacity of the auditorium is six hundred and of the Sunday school room seven hundred. When thrown together the two rooms with their galleries will seat an audience of fourteen hundred. Among the most liberal contributors to the new church may be mentioned, the late J. G. Travis and wife, out of whose gift was purchased the fine bell weighing nearly a ton, which is in the bell tower, and Mr. David Shelby and wife, who donated the Kimball pipe organ.

The greatest credit for the excellent building, however, is due to' Dr. George W. Switzer, the pastor, through whose untiring energy and great faith the work was completed. The last payments for the church were made during the pastorate of Rev. H. G. Amhyrst, at which time the last notes were taken up and burned with great rejoicing on the part of God's people.

In May of 1908, under the pastorate of Rev. T. J. Bassett. the church decided to build a parsonage. Additional ground was purchased on South street adjoining the church, and a fine parsonage was erected at a cost of more than four thousand five hundred dollars, two thousand dollars of which was contributed by the ladies of the Aid Society.

This church stands, as it has done for four decades, a great bulwark against sin and crime, and a blessing to the University and the city.

(By Rev. John R. Dinnen.)

The city of Lafayette was laid out in 1825, and in 1840 it had at least fifteen Catholic families. At their request, Bishop de la Hailandiere directed Rev. August Martin, residing at Logansport, to visit Lafayette occasionally and, after him, visits were made also by Rev. C. Francois, as well as Rev. Simon P. Lalumiere, of Terre Haute. In those days mass was celebrated in the houses of different families.

In 1843, tne Bishop of Vincennes gave Lafayette its first resident pastor, in the person of Rev. Michael J. Clark. The number of families had now increased to twenty-five, and Father Clark rented a one-story brick building on Fourth street just south of the postoffice, in which the services were regularly held. In 1844 a site was bought on the corner of Fifth and Brown streets, on which in the same year the St. Mary and Martha's church was erected, at a cost of ten thousand dollars, and was at the time the most imposing and handsomest church edifice in all northern Indiana; known later as St. Joseph's Hall, and still existing under the name of Columbia Hall. A priest's house was built in the rear of the church, but was soon after destroyed by fire. The pastor, appreciating the importance of a parochial school, erected a school building on the ruins of the pastoral residence. Father Clark remained the energetic pastor at Lafayette for fourteen years, until 1857, when he went to Illinois and, having charge of a congregation in Bloomington, died full of years and good works.

Rev. Daniel Maloney succeeded Father Clark, but remained only a year and a half, when he was given an appointment in Indianapolis. Rev. Edmond B. Kilroy came next in 1859, and remained until 1861. In 1860, Lawrence B. Stockton donated a plot of ground, known as Seminary Hall, for a church school and parochial residence. The Sisters of Providence erected the present St. Ignatius' Academy on these grounds for twenty thousand dollars. Up to the arrival of the Sisters of Providence, the parochial school was taught by lay teachers on Fifth street, with an attendance of about fifty pupils. Father Kilroy was appointed chaplain for the United States during the Civil war, in 1861, and was succeeded as pastor at Lafayette by the Rev. George A. Hamilton, a cousin of Archbishop Spalding, and a Kentuckian by birth. The foundation of the new St. Mary's church had been laid by Father Kilroy, and after five years of indefatigable labor and at a cost of sixty thousand dollars over and above that which had been expended on the foundation, the church was completed and dedicated in 1866. The present pastoral residence was erected at an outlay of eight thousand dollars. The boy's school on South street was constructed and paid for by the community of the Holy Cross, of Notre Dame. The brothers of the Holy Cross were the teachers of the boys' school from 1867 to 1895.

Father Hamilton also erected St. Ann's chapel, on Wabash avenue, and bought twelve acres of land for the enlargement of St. Mary's cemetery. After a most successful pastorate of eleven years, Father Hamilton died suddenly on April 8, 1875, with barely time for his assistant, Father Hallinan, to administer the Sacrament of Extreme Unction. His remains rest beneath St. Mary's church. The Rev. Matthew F. Campion was pastor of St. Mary's church for about four and a half years. During his time elegant side altars were provided. He paid off a large sum of indebtedness of the church and gave much time and attention to beautifying St. Mary's cemetery. At his own request he was relieved of his charge here, and was appointed pastor at La Porte. The Rev. Martin Noll was appointed in 1880, and came here from Elkhart. He arranged at once for a mission in St. Mary's church, but the mission hardly over, he died of a stroke of apoplexy, within a month of his arrival, on June 4, 1880. Rev. Joseph Rademacher then became the pastor of St. Mary's church, from June, 1880, to June 24, 1883, when he was consecrated bishop of Nashville. He was noted for zeal and prudence and loved by all for his gentle and fatherly disposition. He was popularly known as Father Joseph.

In June, 1883, the Rev. Edward P. Walters succeeded Father Joseph. In 1887 St. Mary's church was made an irremovable rectorate and deanery. During his time Father Walters had the church beautifully frescoed and artistic stained glass windows put in. He reduced the debt of fifteen thousand dollars to two thousand five hundred dollars. He died after an illness of only a few weeks, on June 12, 1894. His remains rest in St. Mary's cemetery. On August 4, 1894, Rev. John R. Dinnen was appointed rector of St. Mary's church. In the year following he purchased the boys' school building and grounds from the community of the Holy Cross, at Notre Dame, and within two years paid off the debt of St. Mary's. In the spring of 1898, a steeple was added to the church. The interior of the church was wholly renovated, a new floor was put in throughout, with new pews, stained glass windows in the front of the church, and besides all this, a costly heating plant for heating the church, the academy, the boys' school and pastoral residence was installed. These improvements were made from June to October, 1904, at a cost of fourteen thousand dollars.

St. Mary's congregation numbers about two hundred and fifty-five families or nine hundred and sixty-five souls. One hundred and seventy children attend the school, conducted by eight Sisters of Providence, including a high school course. The Confraternity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with one hundred and fifty members; the Children of Mary with forty-five; the Young Ladies' Sodality of the Immaculate Conception with fifty; the Rosary Society with fifty-six; the Holy Cross Society with forty-five, and the Holy Angels Society with forty-eight, constitute the organizations of the parish.

St. Boniface's Church.

In 1853, Bishop de St. Palais entrusted Rev. Philip Doyle with the organization of the German parish at Lafayette. Two lots were purchased, and a substantial brick building was erected fronting on Tenth street, in 1854, at a cost of eight thousand four hundred dollars. Rev. Pinkers succeeding Father Doyle, erected a brick school building, fronting on Ferry street. Up to 1863, Rev. Nouber, Rev. John Wernhoff and Rev. Joseph Stephan were pastors. They served in the order in which they appear here. After them came Rev. Francis Deipenbrock, during whose pastorate the present St. Boniface's church, situated on the corner of Ninth and North streets, was erected. The church is of Gothic architecture, one hundred and fifty-five by sixty feet, and without a tower and spire cost twenty-eight thousand seven hundred and sixty-two dollars.

In the beginning of 1866. Bishop Luers gave the Franciscan Fathers of the Cincinnati Province charge of St. Boniface's church. Rev. Venantius Arnold, O. F. M., was made the first pastor, and Rev. William Gauespohl, O. F. M., his assistant. During that year the church was furnished with stained windows and a magnificent main altar. At the same time, a two- story school building was erected on the foundation of the old church on Tenth street. Rev. Dionysius Abarth, O. F. M., was pastor, but on account of ill health had to retire in 1870, when Rev. Accursius Beine, O. F. M., succeeding him, furnished the church with a large pipe organ and two Gothic side altars. In 1871 the lot in the rear of the church was purchased for one thousand six hundred dollars, and the new parsonage built on it for five thousand dollars. Rev. Agnellus Fischer. O. F. M., was pastor of St. Boniface's church, from 1878 to 1882. when he returned to Europe.

During the pastorate of Rev. Daniel Heile, O. F. M., in 1883, a two- story brick building, adjoining the church on Ninth street, was erected which has since then served as a boys' school. It was completed and furnished at a cost of seven thousand three hundred dollars. A dwelling for the teachers, Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis, was built in 1885 at the corner of Tenth and Ferry streets, costing two thousand five hundred dollars. In the summer of 1887, the tower and spire of the church were completed fpr two thousand dollars. Rev. Pius Niehaus, O. F. M., who had been the assistant at St. Boniface's church since August, 1886, was made its pastor in 1886. He made various improvements on the church property. Rev. Ubaldus Webersinke, O. F. M., became pastor in 1891. Under him the interior of the church was beautifully decorated, at a cost of three thousand dollars. With becoming solemnity, the people of St. Boniface's church celebrated the silver jubilee of the dedication of the present church on Sunday, December 28, 1890.

From 1892 until August, 1897, Rev. Hilary Hoolscher, O. F. M.. was the pastor. He gave the church fine stained glass windows, two exquisite statutes of the Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph for the side altars, two confessionals of carved oak with a marble top. During the pastorate of Rev. Lucas Gottehoed, O. F. M., the cemetery known as St. Boniface's cemetery, consisting of twenty-three acres of land and located opposite Springville cemetery, was secured and solemnly blessed on September 17, 1898, by Bishop Rademacher. The St. Joseph's cemetery, consisting of five acres on the northwest corner of Greenbush and Seventeenth streets, had been used for the burial of the dead since 1862, and had become inadequate.

A red lettef day in the history of St. Boniface's church will ever remain, Sunday, September 24, of the year 1899, when the Most Rev. Archbishop Martinelli, apostolic delegate for the United States, in the presence of a vast congregation and large number of clergy, solemnly consecrated St. Boniface's church to the service of Almighty God. Extensive improvements had been made for the occasion, such as a new floor, new pews, the three fine Gothic altars redecorated in white and gold, together with their statuary, the pulpit better located and redecorated, chandeliers and gas fixtures remodeled, in fact, the interior of the entire church was made to appear as new. Somewhat later the walls of the church were "tuck-pointed," giving the church the appearance of being newly built of pressed brick. The Rev. Francis de Paul Lotz, O. F. M., became pastor in September, 1900. His pastorate was distinguished by various improvements of the church property, notably the lighting of the church by electricity, and the artistic stone crucifix group in the cemetery. The present pastor, Rev. Leonard Nurre, O. F. M., took charge in September, 1903. A notable event in his pastorate was the solemn celebration of the golden jubilee of the foundation of the parish, on October 23, 1904. Bishop Alerding celebrated the Pontifical Mass, assisted by all the former pastors still living, and by a number of other Franciscan Fathers; the Very Rev. Provincial Chrysostom Theobald preached the sermon. Father Leonard has been especially active in making the parish school the very best. The eight grades are taught in it; the larger boys by an efficient lay teacher, the other classes by six Franciscan Sisters. The number of pupils are two hundred and thirty-eight.

St. Ann's Church.

In 1870 Rev. George A. Hamilton built St. Ann's chapel, located on the corner of Wabash avenue and Smith street, in Lafayette, at a cost of five thousand dollars. This chapel was a two-story brick building arranged for church and school purposes, and services were held here every Sunday by one of the priests of St. Mary's church. St. Ann's was made an independent parish by Bishop Dwenger, in September, 1884. Rev. John Dempsey was appointed its first pastor, who built a pastoral residence. He was removed to Valparaiso, August 24, 1888.

Father Dempsey's immediate successor was the Rev. Patrick F. Roche, who recognized the necessity of a new church and began the work on the present St. Ann's church in May, 1896. On September 12, 1897, Bishop Rademacher laid the corner stone in the presence of three thousand people. The church is a handsome structure, built of brick and stone, one hundred and fifty-three by fifty-three feet. The cost of the building amounted to twenty thousand dollars. The furniture of the church, altars, pews, railing, organ, the vestments and sacred vessels cost about eight thousand dollars. The seating capacity is six hundred and forty, and two hundred in the gallery, total of eight hundred and forty. The old church is being used for school purposes. It is divided into three school rooms and can accommodate one hundred and eighty pupils. The eight grades are taught and the Sisters of Providence have had charge from the beginning; they reside in an adjoining house. At the present time three sisters have charge of one hundred and forty-three children.

St. Ann's has a Living Rosary Society, for married men and women, since 1892, seventy-four members; the St. Ann's Cadets, for single men, since 1897, forty-three members; the Young Ladies' Sodality, since 1890, ninety-five members; the Children of Mary, since 1902, sixty-two members; the Holy Angels' Society, eighty members; and the Sacred Heart League, with forty-eight members. The C. B. L., the C. K. of A., the A. O. H. and the Ladies' Auxiliary A. C. H. have an aggregate membership of two hundred and seven.

St. Ann's has had two resident pastors: Rev. John Dempsey, from September, 1884, till August, 1888; Rev. Patrick F. Roche, from August 24, 1888, till May 16, 1901. The present pastor, Rev. Michael F. Byrne, has had charge since May 16, 1901.

The Indiana State Soldiers' Home, near Lafayette, has had in it a chapel for the Catholic inmates since 1896, Rev. P. F. Roche was instrumental in securing these accommodations. It is attended over every two weeks, from St. Mary's church. The number of souls in St. Ann's parish is one thousand one hundred and twenty, consisting of two hundred and fifty families.

St. Lawrence's Church.

The territory of St. Lawrence's parish was formerly called Linwood and in 1894 was incorporated with the city of Lafayette. The congregation was organized in 1895. The first building, erected in 1896, is a large two-story structure, the two upper rooms of which are used for church purposes and the others for school purposes. The cost of this building was twenty thousand dollars. Before the organization of this parish, its members attended St. Mary's and St. Boniface's churches, and consisted of about sixty-three families. Nine lots were bought in 1895, and one more in 1899, the ten lots costing two thousand four hundred ninety-five dollars and forty-eight cents. The Rev. Matthias Sasse, O. F. M., was the first pastor of the new St. Lawrence's parish. Bishop Rademacher dedicated the church and school building on November 8, 1896, when the Very Reverend P. Englert, O. F. M., celebrated the Mass and Rev. Chrysostom Theobald, O. F. M., preached in English and in German. On the day of dedication Father Sasse was removed and Rev. Theodore Stephan, O. F. M., appointed in his place. The dimensions of the building are eighty by ninety feet. The seating capacity of the church part is three hundred and fifty. Three Sisters of St. Francis teach in the south wing of the building.

In 1898 a priest house was erected for two thousand dollars. The parochial school is a free school supported by a school society, to which every member of the parish belongs. It has a membership of four hundred and twenty-four. The school children have a Guardian Angel Society. At present the number of souls is seven hundred and sixty-three, or one hundred and thirty-five families.

Rev. Matthias Sasse, O. F. M., was the first pastor of St. Lawrence's church, from November 19, 1895, until November 8, 1896. The second pastor was Rev. Theodore Stephan. O. F. M., who, on account of ill health, had to be removed a few weeks after his appointment. The present pastor, Rev. Richard Wurth, O. F. M., has had charge of St. Lawrence's church since December 23, 1896.



The Civil war which spent itself at the cost of much life and wealth, left after it the orphan. Many of these were Catholic and, although the state made provision for their support, it was plain that something must be done to save these children to the faith. It was Bishop Luers who initiated this great work of charity, in the spring of 1865, when he purchased a tract oi land in the suburbs of Fort Wayne as the site of an orphans' asylum.

Having purchased the Spilter farm. Bishop Luers appointed the Rev. E. P. Walters. George Steiner, J. Mayer. P. P. Cooney, C. S. C, to collect throughout the diocese and to prepare the building on the farm for the orphans. The Rev. Joseph Stephan was given charge of the institution. In September. 1868, thirty-five orphans found shelter here under the care of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

The house on the Spilter farm was turned into a sisters' residence and school. A two-story building was erected, the first story of which was used for a chapel and the upper story for a dormitory and the pastor's residence. Father Stephan was the first priest in charge. Father Kroeger erected a two-story building in 1872, where St. Joseph's College now stands and the second story served as a dormitory.

St. Joseph's Asylum For Boys.

The Rev. George A. Hamilton, pastor of St. Mary's church, Lafayette, who died April 8, 1875, bequeathed in his will real estate and money to the value of abput ten thousand dollars for the 'establishment of a manual labor school for orphan boys in the vicinity of Lafayette. The real estate included five hundred and eighty acres, located between Lafayette and the Battle Grounds. This land had been devised to Father Hamilton by William B. Davis, better known as Indian Bill. Besides this gift, another donation of fifty-one acres of land south of Lafayette was made by Owen Ball and J. B. Falley. On this land Bishop Dwenger began the building of St. Joseph's Orphan Asylum for boys, in 1875. ^ is a lour-story structure with a basement, covering a narea of one hundred and thirteen by one hundred and twenty feet.


When the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration entered upon their work of charity, they were unknown and without means. Until October, 1876, they lived in a small house placed at their disposal, but on June n, 1876, the corner-stone of the beginning of St. Elizabeth's Hospital was laid on two lots donated by Albert Wagner. The east wing was added in 1879 and in 1883 the west wing and the chapel. So great was the demand on the hospital that further additions became necessary in 1896 and were formally opened on January 6, 1897. The present imposing structure completing the original plans of the hospital was perfected in 1905, when, on December 3ist, Bishop Alerding solemnly dedicated the institution and the new chapel. The building is a substantial three-story, of brick and stone, with basement and attic. The basement contains kitchen, dining room and rooms, for domestic purposes. On the first floor are the offices, parlor, private rooms and dispensary. On the second and third floors are dormitories and private rooms. All the floors are reached by elevator. The physicians' lavatory and operating room are thoroughly equipped. All the arrangements are modern and complete throughout. Patients are received without distinction as to creed, race or nationality, whether rich or poor.

In 1897 the Sisters of St. Francis bought a tract of land, several acres in extent, near Lafayette, on which stood a house, which was opened as St. Anthony's Home for the Aged. A large and well equipped building was erected and dedicated on October 6, 1903. An extensive grove of old forest trees adjoins the property. The surroundings are beautiful. Removed from the noise of the city, yet easy of access, the home is an ideal place for aged people to spend their declining years, under the fostering care of the Sisters of St. Francis. There is room for sixty-five inmates, the number of sisters employed being eleven.


Eighty-one years ago last May, or May 26, 1828, the First Presbyterian church of Lafayette was organized with the following membership: James Cochran, John McCormick, Elizabeth McConnick, Elizabeth Trimble, Elizabeth Miller and Margaret Carson, seven in all. The first pastor was Rev. James Crawford, the pioneer minister of this denomination in the Upper Wabash Valley. It was in the month of August that year, that the first communion service was held by Mr. Crawford, who then first assumed charge of the little flock. The society was fully perfected on July 6, 1829, and the pastor duly ordained and installed as ruling elders, Henry Miller, Sr., and James Cochran. Thirty-nine members were received into the church during this session, making the membership forty-seven.

August 7, 1829, seventeen members were dismissed to form the Oxford church, west of Lafayette. John McCorick and Samuel Elliott were chosen ruling elders, in April, 1831, and William M. Lemon was added May 8th, the same year. At that time the total membership was reported as fifty-six. Rev. James A. Cochran served as pastor from May, 1831, the three succeeding years and was followed by Rev. Michael Hummer. At an early period in his pastorate, a church was formed at Dayton. Mr. Carnahan was chosen pastor and, with a few exceptions, he served this people for forty years, when he was forced to abandon the work on account of old age. Following Rev. Hummer came Rev. James Thompson, who continued pastor until October i, 1838. He was succeeded by Rev. E. W. Wright. He remained only a short time and was succeeded by Rev. Joseph Wilson, in November, 1839. It was soon after this date that the "Exscinding Acts'" were passed, resulting in the establishment of the "Old" and "New" Schools in Presbyterianism. Mr. Wilson was in sympathy with the New School and refused to commune with or affiliate with the Old School. Early in 1840, the Second church was formed and he was made its pastor. To the First church, after the division, Rev. E. W. Wright was again called, beginning his labors in May, 1840, continuing until 1845. When he commenced his labors the church only had a membership of twenty-seven persons, all the remainder having gone with the Second Church. He increased the membership to sixty-eight. From the close of Mr. Wright's term until 1849, the church was in charge of Rev. S. H. Hazard two years and Rev. P. R. Vanatta about one year. These were succeeded by Rev. I. N. Candee, during whose ministry the membership was increased to one hundred and ten. May 31, 1855, he retired, and was succeeded in September by Rev. W. W. Colmery, who served until July, 1857, when he resigned. The following year the pulpit was vacant, during which time the congregation was engaged at building a new church edifice, the same later being used for lecture-room purposes when the next church was erected. The new building was dedicated the first Sunday in March, 1858, and cost four thousand two hundred dollars. After this dedication was over, Rev. R. H. Allen was made pastor and served until August, 1860, when he was succeeded by Rev. W. G. Hillman, then by Rev. C. P. Jennings—the two serving until April i, 1867, when Rev, E. Barr became pastor. He continued five years. During his pastorate the new church was built, on the corner of Columbia and Sixth streets. Up to 1887 this church had prospered and sent out four colonies, or branch churches, two of which had grown to outrank the mother church. At the last named date, the church owned property to the value of forty thousand dollars and were entirely out of debt. Its membership was about three hundred and fifty. It now has three hundred and fifty members; the pastor is Rev. A. C. V. Skinner, Ph. D.

About 1830, Rev. James A. Carnahan visited Sheffield township and formed a Presbyterian church. His first service was held in an unfinished building, and his audience sat on sills and sleepers. The congregation built a church in 1834, the same being used at times by the Baptist people. In 1852 this building was superseded by one of a better style and size. Rev. Carnahan served this church from 1830 for a period of forty-five years. On account of his age he resigned in 1875.

The Presbyterian church at Romney was erected in 1845 or 1846 and the congregation was under the charge of Rev. Briar. In June, 1909, the membership here was about one hundred and twenty; pastor was Rev. E. L. Buchanan.

Spring Grove church, which is in charge of Rev. Buchanan, has a membership of seventy-five.

The Second Presbyterian church of Lafayette, mentioned above, owns a beautiful stone edifice on Columbia street near the First church, which was the mother church. The present pastor of the Second church is Rev. John P. Hale, D. D. The membership in the spring of 1909 was about four hundred and fifty.

Another Presbyterian church of Tippecanoe county is the one at Dayton, presided over at this date by Rev. C. P. Foreman, D. D. Here, the membership is about one hundred and eighty. The total number of Presbyterians, according to the above, in Tippecanoe county, is one thousand one hundred and seventy-five.


The first effort for starting an English Lutheran church in the city of Lafayette was made on Whit Sunday in the year of 1899, by the Rev. J. Reichert, then pastor of the Mulberry Lutheran church now of Red Wing, Minnesota, in what was then the Swedish Lutheran church, located on Oakland Hill.

Arrangements were made to conduct regular services, and the church was getting along- nicely when, just at that time, there was some vrouble among the Swedish brethren, and the church was captured by the Swedish Methodists, called at that time the Swedish Mission, and the little band of faithful English Lutherans were compelled to look out for new quarters. The old Universalist church on North Ninth street was'rented and services conducted at this place for a long time.

In February, 1900. an organization was perfected with twenty-two members, and the church was named Zion's Evangelical English Lutheran church.

Another denomination got control of the old Universalist church and the little band was again crowded out in the cold. The Seventh Day Advent- ists were then conducting services in a little frame chapel, between Ferry and Main. They sub-rented the chapel to the little band to conduct their Sunday services. During all this time they were supplied by students from the Chicago Lutheran Seminary.

During all this time the little band had a checkered career, but through many discouragements and disappointments life was sustained.

At a meeting of the Chicago Synod, in June, 1903, a report was presented to its Home Mission Board, recommending the abandoning of the field. But a minority report was also presented to Synod, which was accepted and a resolution passed that work at Lafayette should be kept up for another year, and efforts be made to put an ordained man on the field.

Rev. Elmer D. S. Boyer, who was at the time pursuing a post-graduate course at the Chicago Lutheran Seminary, preached at the mission during the fall of 1903. The members of the mission committee and the congregation were very well satisfied with his services and extended him a call. Rev. Boyer accepted the work at once, and was installed in the assembly room of the Washington school building, February 5, 1904. He was the first ordained minister in the field.

The coming of the new pastor put new life in the work, and the following Easter the little Adventist chapel became too small and the congregation again rented the old Universalist church on North Ninth street, where they have been conducting services ever since.

As soon as Rev. Boyer took charge of the mission he reorganized the work and named it the English Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity. He organized a Sunday-school, a Luther League and a Pastor's Aid Society. The General Council Constitution was adopted, the church-book and the robe were introduced, and the full Lutheran literature is used at its services.

A lot was purchased on Tenth street upon which they expected to erect a church at some future time. Plans for erecting a church were adopted when they learned that the old Universalist church was for sale. The council of the church decided it would be a better proposition to purchase the old church and remodel it than to build a new church, so in March, 1909, they purchased the old Universalist church for the sum of four thousand dollars. Plans have been adopted for the remodeling of the church which will cost about ten thousand dollars more.

The new English Lutheran church will stand on the west side of North Ninth street, between Elizabeth and Cincinnati streets. Rev. Boyer was the first pastor of this church, and if he lives until February, 1910, he will have served six years.

When he took charge of the work he had eight members, now he has a membership of one hundred and eleven souls, owning property worth at least ten thousand dollars.


The First Universalist church of Lafayette was organized about 1838-39. At that time Erasmus Manford, founder of the famous Manford's Magazine, began to preach this religious faith in Tippecanoe county, and at Lafayette, regularly in 1840. At that time he published a denominational paper called the Christian Teacher, which had an extensive circulation. His style of preaching was attractive and he was in great demand as a public speaker. It mattered not whether it rained or was otherwise inclement, he never disappointed his congregations. To his untiring labor in Indiana was due the interest taken in the doctrine of universal salvation throughout the entire western country. For forty years he worked with much zeal. He died August 16, 1884. Others who were of the same faith in this location may be named. D. Vines, B. F. Foster, a Mr. Clark, a Mr. Steinmetz, and Alpheus Bull. While preliminary steps had been taken to form a church here in 1839 it was not realized in full until about 1850, when "The First Universalist Society of Lafayette" was formed. Timothy Osgood, Martin Rhoades and Thomas Hines were the first trustees and Abraham Fry, secretary and treasurer. At first, meetings were held in the White schoolhouse. A lot was purchased in January, 1851—No. 41, in Taylor, Harter, Hanna & Stockwell's Addition—and plans made to erect a place of worship.

Rev. Phineas Hathaway, the first minister, was employed May n, 1851, and in the spring of 1852, the frame church at the corner of Main and Ninth

streets, later occupied by the German Reformed church, was built and occupied. Rev. Hathaway resigned in 1854 and Rev. James Billings followed him. The church was not dedicated until October, 1855, when it was formally dedicated to divine worship by Rev. George W. Quimby, of Cincinnati, Ohio. Other ministers were secured from time to time and in 1887 the church had a membership of seventy-five, Rev.'Albert Wilgus was pastor and the society was out of debt. The society went down for lack of members of the church. The people of this faith are not numerous in the city today and no church is kept up. The church building above referred to was sold in June, 1909, to the English Lutheran church who remodeled it and made of it a valuable and up-to-date church edifice. It was sold at four thousand dollars.

In 1828, services were held by the Universalist people in a schoolhouse, in Sheffield township, by Rev. Hiram Curry. In 1839, tnev erected their first church edifice under the pastoral charge of Erasmus Manford, a missionary above mentioned as having formed the Lafayette church. He held services at Dayton once a month. Later Universalist ministers in this section were Rev. Foster, Westfall, Billings, Heaton, Longlois and possibly a few others.

Early religious services were held in all the townships, whenever it was possible to pother together a few of any one special faith. As there were no church buildings and no permanent pastors, services were not held regularly. Traveling missionaries often stopped here, and on such occasions the entire community turned out to hear him present the truth.

Among the early preachers of Union township was a very eccentric individual, who called himself a "scapegoat." He belonged to no church, had no creed, except a firm belief in the Christian faith and the genuineness of the scriptures. His personal appearance was far from pleasing, or prepossessing. His beard had been permitted to grow until when sitting down it reached onto his knees, while his whiskers covered his entire face and mouth, giving him an unnatural appearance. He was, however, an eloquent speaker, and his labors in the good cause were crowned with unusual success. He made frequent visits to the settlement, but his true name was never known to the early settlers.


St. John's church of this denomination in Lafayette was formed by Rev. Samuel R. Johnson, who, in 1836, came from New York state as a missionary seeking a place to establish a church of that faith. After looking over Lafayette, he concluded to move here with his family. At that time the only Episcopalian people of the town were Jasper Bradley, Elijah Beemis, Mrs. Sarah Beemis, Mrs. John D. Smith and Robert Jones, Sr., and his wife. The church of St. John's was organized on the evening of March 27, 1837, in the counting room of Thomas T. Benbridge, with William M. Jenners as chairman. Those signing the articles of organization were: Samuel R. Johnson, William M. Jenners. Robert Jones, N. H. Stbckwell, Dr. E. Deining, L. S. Westgate, Saurin Jenners, Cyrus Ball, T. B. Brown, Samuel B. Johnston, John D. Smith. Isaac V. Harter and Benjamin Henkle. Within a few days thirty-one more names were added to the list, making forty-five pledged to the beginning of the church.

April loth, the same year, at the Presbyterian church, vestrymen were elected, viz.: Robert Jones, senior warden; Dr. E. Deming, junior warden; William M. Jenners, clerk; Jasper Bradley, treasurer, and J. D. Smith.

December 30, 1838. a church twenty-eight by forty-five feet was dedicated on Missouri street. The church cost three thousand, five hundred dollars. The pulpit was of the old fashioned "stack" structure with a lower reading desk below, and a communion table below that, all being painted a glossy white. The pews were square topped and had doors, which were afterward removed, however. The church was lighted with candles. The flute, violin and bass viol were employed for musical instruments. Daniel Brown, a colored man and a devout, zealous Christian, was the first sexton, or janitor. At first the pews were sold to bidders, but later were made free to all who attended services.

"Parson" Johnson, as he was usually styled, was liberal and much beloved by his people. He donated the lot upon which the church was built, and refused to receive a salary for a number of years. Finally his parish presented him with a fine two-story brick residence, valued at three thousand dollars. He closed his rectorship here June, 1847, since which time numerous men have filled his place. Here it may be said, in passing, that Parson Johnson brought the first piano to Lafayette, in 1837, and that St. John's church was the first to have a pipe organ in the county. It was placed in 1859. George Ulrich was the first organist.

In 1858 a new church was provided for this congregation and it was dedicated the last Sunday in July, of that year, by Bishop George Upfold. In 1887, three thousand five hundred dollars was expended upon repairs on this church. This building is still in use and the congregation is in a prosperous condition.


Grace church, Protestant Episcopal, Lafayette, was organized as a result of a meeting held May 23, 1868. It was formed by members of St. John's church largely. Seven of them were once vestrymen of that church. The old "Collegiate Institute" was used for a meeting place for the new society's Sunday school. For parish services, the vestry rented the old opera house, since destroyed by fire, and Rev. Thomas J. Taylor, then of St. Mary's at Delphi, officiated in the opening services. Rev. William Wilson commenced his pastorate Easter, 1869.

The corner stone of the new church was laid June 10, 1870, and the building was completed for the Easter season, 1872. The building is of brick, of the middle gothic type of architecture. It was considered one of the handsomest church structures in the city, when built. Mr. Wilson resigned in the spring of 1872. He was followed by Rev. Edward R. Bishop. After the coming of a new rector, the members of Grace church abandoned their organization and returned to their old parish—St. John's. The Grace church edifice was then sold in 1885 to the German Lutheran church.


Between 1832 and 1835 (date not certain) the First Baptist church in Lafayette was organized by Rev. Loyal Fairman, but there had been some work by this denomination prior to that date. At the time of this organization, the members of Grand Prairie church composed the council. Elder Simon G. Minor was the first pastor who labored with the society. He came from New York in the year 1837. \Vhen he came to Lafayette there were but five members, the number having been reduced from seven. For a time he preached one Sunday out of four at Crawfordsville. Services at Lafayette were at first held in the Presbyterian church, but when that church secured a pastor the Baptists rented the court house. They also held services in the dining hall of the hotel and in schoolhouses. During the first year, only five members were added to the society. In the following year nineteen were added to the church. In the winter of 1842-43 a great revival was carried on under the new pastor, Rev. William M. Pratt. A lot was purchased on Sixth street and a comfortable house of worship, costing four thousand dollars, was erected. This building was dedicated in 1844. In 1845 Elder Minor was again called, remained two years and resigned on account of ill health. Elder E. O. Evans succeeded him in 1849. Rev. Tucker followed him and through a revival the membership was increased to two hundred and forty-three. Rev. Tucker resigned in 1854. Other pastors following him were—Breckenridge, Haw, Bailey, Girdwood, Stone, Pearson, etc. October 6, 1872, the new church was dedicated; the total cost of this edifice was ninety thousand dollars. In 1887 the membership was four hundred and seventeen, and then the church property was valued at one hundred thousand dollars. In June, 1909, the resident membership of this church was three hundred and sixty eight, which added to one hundred and fifty-six non-resident members made a total membership of five hundred and twenty-four.

The Second Baptist church of Lafayette (colored) was organized February 2, 1872. Meetings were held in the basement of the First Baptist church until 1878 when they moved into their own church on the northeast corner of Hartford and Sixteenth streets. Hon. John Levering, of the First church, donated the lot and twenty thousand brick for a church. The church cost one thousand dollars, making the total value of the property as first occupied two thousand five hundred dollars. The first pastor was William Neill. The membership grew from ten to sixty by 1887. From 1875 to 1884, Rev. John Miller was pastor.


The German Baptist church of Perry township, in 1872 erected a handsome church building. This congregation was made up of a large number of people of this faith, who had previously worshiped with that of another county.

"Chauncey Baptist church" (West Lafayette now) erected their church in 1869. It was thirty by fifty feet and cost, with the lot, two thousand dollars. Previous to 1869 the society held services in the Kingston schoolhouse, and for a time they were sustained as a mission. When organized, this church consisted of thirty-three members. Rev. O. B. Stone was the first pastor. The present membership of this church is about two hundred. The Sunday school has an average membership of about one hundred and fifty. The society owns its own parsonage, a frame house now about twenty years old. This is now known as the West Side Baptist church. The present handsome edifice was constructed in 1901; is of brick and cost about twenty thousand dollars, including heating plant. It is situated on the corner of Main and Columbia streets, on the site of the old church. The pastors since the eighties have been as follows: Rev. R. T. Ware, Rev. J. G. Tedford, Rev. E. R. Clovinger, Rev. H. M. Bell, who served ten years, and the present pastor, Rev. P. O. Duncan, D. D.

The Associate Reformed Presbyterian church was formed in 1842, and Rev. Samuel Finley and Rev. James H. Peacock, Rev. David A. Carnahan, Rev. Hoyt and Rev. J. X. Pressley were the ministers up to 1858. The chapel used by this denomination was on Ferry street, between Missouri and Pearl streets. This society has long since been merged with other societies.


The First Church of'Christ, of the Christian denomination, was organized in July, 1839, at Lafayette. This was the result of the ministrations of Rev. John O'Kane. At that day services were held in the court house, and the number of members at date of organization was twenty-six. Among the number were Thomas S. Reynolds, Edward Reynolds, Sr., and his wife, Charles Marsteller and wife, Mr. Schoonover and wife, Samuel Black and wife, Peter Leslie and wife, and Mr. Manafee and wife. After three years or more of worship in the old court house, the congregation used the Wallace school house on North street, between Fourth and Fifth. Later, they used Healds school house, then the Stockton school house, near the Wabash depot. In 1845, a church was erected on Sixth street, between North and Brown streets. This edifice was burned in 1850, but immediately rebuilt. There the congregation worshiped until 1874, when, by the generosity of friends and a sacrifice on the part of all the membership, they were enabled to purchase the Methodist church, on the corner of Ferry and Fifth streets, which they paid seven thousand five hundred dollars for and to which they added three thousand dollars in improvements. They still occupy this brick structure. The society will ever owe a debt of gratitude to the liberal donations of A. T- Morley and Nicholas Marsteller; the former gave one thousand dollars and the latter two thousand dollars. Adams Earl, John Purdue, John Rosser nnd others gave liberally. But the most munificent donor of them all was William F. Reynolds, whose contributions in sum amounted to more than three thousand five hundred dollars. The new church was formally opened on the first Lord's day, November, 1874, after which a more prosperous era was ushered in.

No settled pastor served this congregation until 1844, when Elder John Longley assumed charge, remaining until 1859.

The present membership of this church is about four hundred and sixty

five. The present pastor begun his pastorate in May, 1909. He is the Rev. Pettit, who came from Nebraska.

There are several other Christian churches in Tippecanoe county; the chief ones of today are the ones located at Pleasant Grove (in the rural district) , seven miles to the north of Lafayette; the one at Battle Ground, one of the earliest in the county; the one at Stockwell and another at Clark's Hill. Some of the history of these has been given in the township histories. At an early date Alexander Campbell, the founder of this sect, frequently preached in this county.


The United Brethren here, as in many other parts of Indiana and Ohio, were very early in the field for religious work and church building. Up to 1828 there had been no religious services in Wabash township, but during that year a United Brethren minister held services at the house of Benjamin Cuppy.

In 1828 Rev. John Duncan of this denomination held services at the house of William Baker, two miles east of Dayton. For twenty-two years services were kept up at that point, from house to house. In 1850 they erected their church at that place and were very prosperous.

In Lauramie township, this sect erected their first church in 1845 but had held regular services several years before that in private houses. By 1884 the denomination had grown and much interest was manifested. Congregations were sustained at Clark's Hill and Stockwell.

Otterbein church was erected by the United Brethren people in Shelby township, in 1851. Rev. Andrew Winsett was the preacher in charge. A part of the membership lived in this while a part resided in Warren county. About 1880 the congregation was divided and the Warren county portion formed themselves into a church by themselves, thus leaving but about ninety members in the original church.

At Lafayette, the first church of this denomination was organized in the autumn of 1852, under the ministration of Rev. David Brown. A brick edifice was constructed on North Eighth street. This building was destroyed by a sweeping fire in the fall of 1863 and the lot was sold to pay off the indebtedness of the society. Through the liberality of Ira Smith, a lot was secured and a brick church built at a cost of three thousand five hundred dollars. In 1905 the society had decreased to a membership of less than one hundred and the church property had run down very much. That year came Rev. J. A. Groves, who took hold with a right good will and built up the general interests of the denomination at this point. Through his efforts, a parsonage, worth four thousand dollars was erected and also a new church building, costing fourteen thousand dollars, while the membership of the church had increased up to June, 1909, to the number of two hundred and forty-eight, with all departments of church work in a prosperous condition. The annual conference of the denomination met here in September, 1909.

In Tippecanoe county, this denomination is very strong, having fifteen or sixteen congregations, with a total membership of about one thousand nine hundred, possibly in excess of this number.


This church was organized July 17, 1870, at Lafayette, with twenty charter members. Rev. P. Erickson was the founder of the church. At a cost of three thousand five hundred dollars a neat brick building was erected in 1871, at the corner of Grove and Sixteenth streets, on Oakland Hill. At first the services were conducted by students from Augustana College, but later Rev. John Peter Engle became the pastor and was serving in the latter part of the eighties.



St. James congregation of this denomination, at Lafayette, was organized in 1849. For several years it occupied a frame building on Ferry street, now used by the Colored Methodist Episcopal congregation. In 1866 the building on South Seventh and Alabama streets was erected at a cost of eleven thousand dollars, with two schools on the first floor and a commodious hall on the upper floor that served for years for church purposes. It became too small, and they then bought the finely built twenty-thousand-dollar church that had been erected by the Episcopal denomination, between Eighth and Ninth streets, on Cincinnati street. This was remodeled and serves at this time. The building on the corner of South Seventh and Alabama streets is still in use for two classes of the school supported by the congregation. The present number of communicants is about six hundred, with one hundred and fifty-two voting members. One hundred children attend the church school. The first pastor of St. James church was Rev. Leemhuis, 1849-54; Rev. F. Koeing, 1854-58; Rev. H. Schoeneberg, 1858-1889; since then, the present pastor has served—Rev. G. Schumm. This congregation owns much property, including the fine church, the two-story school building on South Seventh street, a two-story school house on Oregon street, a parsonage and two houses on South Eighth street. Some of Lafayette's best citizens have been members of this congregation.


This is one of the "Reformed churches of the United States" organized in Lafayette in March, 1860, as a German Congregational church, by Rev. J. U. Zuercher, with only seven members. At first they worshiped in the Sixth Street Baptist church, afterward in the Reformed Presbyterian church, on Ferry street. In the spring of 1861, the congregation bought the old Universalist church, corner of Main and Ninth streets and in 1862 improvements were made on the building. Their present edifice was erected in 1890. Present membership, four hundred and ten. The present pastor, Conrad Hassel, has been in charge seven years.


A society of this religious faith was formed in Lafayette April 6, 1865, by Rev. J. R. Scepers, with twenty-two members. The home of this church was at 102-108 Hartford street, where they had a church seating one hundred and fifty persons and a neat parsonage, all costing three thousand dollars. The church was built in 1866. Since December, 1903, Rev. H. M. Vander Ploeg has served as pastor. The present communicants and baptismal membership is five hundred and thirty-one.


The synagogue at Lafayette was built by the Hebrew people who organized themselves into a society in February, 1851, under the name of "Ahvas Achim," meaning in our language, Loving Brothers. Rabbi Lowenthal officiated for a number of years. Other rabbis were Schoenfeld, Weil, Schaffner, Fall, Goodman, Emmich, Bonheim, Zeisler and Cadden, the last coming in 1886. At the date just named, there were thirty-five families in the congregation. They kept up a flourishing school and taught the Hebrew, German and the first principles of their religion. In 1866-67 a house of worship was built at the cost of six thousand dollars and dedicated in the winter of 1868-69. The building was located on the northeast corner of Seventh and Alabama streets. A writer of history in Indiana in 1859, in speaking of the people of this church at Lafayette said, "There are no better citizens than from the Jewish population of this city."

In June, 1909, there were about fifty-five belonging to this congregation. The present rabbi commenced his labors here in September, 1909. He came from Cincinnati, Ohio.

There is also a Hebrew society of the Orthodox faith. This church is now preparing to erect a place of worship.


The Friends society is probably the first to form a society of any religious denomination in Tippecanoe county, as it appears that they erected a house of worship—a meeting-house—in 1827, while the Methodist Episcopal and Presbyterian denominations organized in 1828. The Friends settled up the southern part of the township of Union and there established their work. There have been two Friends meeting-houses in Union township—one at the north and one farther to the south part of the territory. The latter vicinity is now the only place where the Friends meet in this township. Meetings are held in the old Institute building, in section 28.

There are also churches of the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran, the Ahmish and Advent denominations at various points within the county, but their congregations are for the most part small.