"HISTORY OF WABASHA COUNTY" Compiled by Dr. L. H. Bunnell Published Chicago by H. H. Hill, Publishers, 1884
Chapter 7 ~ "WHERE THEY [the settlers] CAME FROM"
The Methodists were the first to erect a church edifice [in Plainview]. The first church service was held in 1856 by the Rev. J. Cochrane, a Congregational clergyman. There are at present two churches and four organizations: Methodists, Congregationalists, Baptists and Disciples.
A schoolhouse was built [in Highland Township] in 1859, in what is now district No. 40, in which religious services were first held by a Methodist minister the same year. There is but one church edifice in the town, which was built in 1866 by the Roman Catholics.
The Roman Catholics built a fine church there [in Minneiska] in 1867, and the Lutherans built one in 1871. The Methodists, also, have a small house of worship.
Chapter 8 ~ "DESCRIPTION"
A school was opened [in Lake City] the same year , and Rev. Silas Haslett employed as teacher. He also commenced holding religious services about the same time.
The Congregationalists built a small church [in Lake City] in 1857, which was partly finished when it was blown down by a severe windstorm. It was, however, immediately rebuilt. The Baptists and Presbyterians each built churches in 1860. The Catholics also built a small church, which has been superseded by a magnificent brick structure. In 1866 the Episcopalians erected a handsome little church, and in 1870 the Methodists erected a brick edifice which adds much to the place.
The first school taught in the place [Mazeppa] was in the claim shanty of J. E. Hyde, and the first church service was also held in it by Elder Jacob McManus, a Methodist minister. The first school-teacher was Mrs. Sidney Munson. In 1869 the Congregationalists built a handsome church, and the schoolhouse was built in 1858. A graded school of high standing is sustained, and the building is a commodious one. The Catholics have also a very pretentious church completed.
The first school in the town [Mount Pleasant Township] was taught in the summer of 1857, by Mrs. Alex. Graham, and Rev. Silas Haslett held the first religious services in the house of Mr. E. P. C. Fowler. After the schoolhouse was erected the meetings were held in that. There is a public house about five miles from Lake City, but no stores have ever been erected, owing to its close proximity to Lake City. There is a blacksmith-shop in the town, and the Methodists and Presbyterians each had small churches erected in 1858, in which regular services are held.
Religious services were first held in Watopa by a Baptist clergyman, Rev. William Weld, in August, 1858.
The Roman Catholics built a small church edifice in 1865, which is the only one in town [Oakwood Township].
The first school taught in the township [West Albany] was by Augustus Applegarth in the summer of 1858, and the first religious services were held in Mr. William Applegarth's house. In 1857 the Roman Catholics bought a building and fitted it up for a church, and the Methodists, Lutherans and Presbyterians each have places of worship and regular services. Presbyterians built in 1859.
A schoolhouse was erected [in Chester, West Albany Twnp.] in 1857, and religious services were first held in the same.
The first church was organized [in Oakwood Township] in the spring of 1857, at the house of Mr. John Bryant, by Rev. J. Cochran, a congregational clergyman. Elgin postoffice was established in 1857; Mr. George Bryant, postmaster. Since the advent of the Eyota branch of the Northwestern railroad in Elgin, the place has improved rapidly.
The Roman Catholics built a small church edifice [in Oakwood] in 1865, which is the only one in town.
The first school taught in the township [West Albany] was by Augustus Applegarth in the summer of 1858, and the first religious services were held in Mr. William Applegarth's house. In 1857 the Roman Catholics bought a building and fitted it up for a church, and the Methodists, Lutherans and Presbyterians each have places of worship and regular services. Presbyterians built in 1859. The aggregate of farming lands comprise 10,102 acres.
The first church [in Elgin] was organized in the spring of 1857, at the house of Mr. John Bryant, by Rev. J. Cochran, a congregational clergyman. .... There are now several stores and a large grain elevator, which makes Elgin a formidable rival of Plainview; a commodious church also, in which regular services are held; a first-class school and school-building and several stores.
A church was built [in Greenfield] in 1861 by the Methodist society; this church is in the upper part of the valley.
A large grain elevator was erected [in Pawselin], which added to its importance; the postoffice was removed to Kellog, a Methodist church built, and two hotels.
Chapter 9 ~ "WABASHA AND VICINITY"
In 1842 Father Rovoux, now of St. Paul, sent a log building from Mendota to this place [Wabasha] to be used as a chapel. The building was placed upon a raft and floated down the river, and set up on the point where Main street now terminates. This was the first building for religious purposes ever erected in Wabasha. It was used for the purpose designed several years, but went finally into disuse as a church edifice in consequence of the irregularity of services, and was afterward used for secular purposes. The first paper printed in Wabasha was printed there, and a school was taught in it; finally it succumbed to civilization, and today all traces of the "old church" are obliterated.
Nothing could argue so well for the character of our first settlers as the early erection of places of worship. Man is eminently a religious being, and, though often departing from the immutable principles of right, his loftiest aspirations, his finest feelings and sublimest conceptions have their foundation in, and are most intimately connected with, his religious nature; for without religious culture his whole life is a moral waste, a desert, unrelieved by a single green spot of virtue and high-toned thought or aspiration. In the autumn of 1858 two churches were erected in the place, the first completed being a Baptist church, the society having been organized the spring previous. The second was Congregational, which society was organized in February, 1856, the original members being deacon Oliver Pendleton, Mrs. W. W. Prindle, Mrs. W. Hancock, Malcolm Kennedy, W. S. Jackson and Mrs. H. Wilson; Rev. S. Morgan, missionary director. This was properly the first church society organized in the place. As before stated, Rev. Father Ravoux had built a log house, in which to hold religious services, but this was before Wabasha had been considered a town, and his principal members were of the French and mixed blood population.
The first settled pastor of the Congregational church was the Rev. S. L. Hillier, who commenced his ministry May 1, 1857. Mr. Hillier was succeeded by Rev. David Andrews, October 15, 1858, and he by Rev. J. Doane, August 27, 1860. Mr. Doane was succeeded by Rev. L. N. Woodruff, September 16, 1862, and he by Rev. Edward Hildreth, April 19, 1866; Mr. Hildreth by Rev. Henry Loomis, October 1, 1868. Rev. C. W. Honeyman succeeded Mr. Loomis in 1871, and Rev. O. Hobbs officiated from January 14, 1874, to April 2, 1874, when he was succeeded by E. W. Weeks. Mr. Weeks by Rev. J. T. Todd, November 3, 1875, and Mr. Todd by Rev. J. W. Ray, April 4, 1877, who continued his pastoral care until October 1, 1882, when he was succeeded by Rev. C. P. Watson, the present incumbent. This congregation erected a beautiful parsonage on the church grounds in 1872.
The first and only pastor of the Baptist societ was the Rev. James Wharton, from Ohio. A bell was purchased by the citizensfor this church during the winter of 1858, and hung in its belfry, being the first to ring out the glad tidings of salvation to willing ears in the place or county. As the old church had gone to decay, a new Catholic church was erected in the spring of 1858 by Rev. Father Tissott, which in 1874 was succeeded by a new and elegant brick under the direction fo the Rev. Father Trobex.
An Episcopal congregation was organized in 1859, and in 1865 they purchased the Baptist house, removing it to another block, under the pastoral care of Rev. H. G. Batterson, and have occupied the same until the present time, erecting a commodious rectory upon the same grounds in 1869.
A Methodist chapel was erected in 1860, and the four last-mentioned churches have been sustained, the Roman Catholic element, however, being much the strongest, both in town and county.
Chapter 10 ~ "PEPIN TOWNSHIP"
There are no churches in the town of Pepin of any denomination.
Methodist Episcopal Church ~ The planting of the church in this place was a proceeding of no small difficulty, and it was more than a decade after the first attempts were made before the seed had germinated sufficiently to predicate a fact of life in the case at all. As Read's Landing and Wabasha have always been connected for church purposes, save during those years from 1856 to 1866, in which it does not appear that Read's Landing was even thought of in connection with the religious work of the Wabasha circuit, with which from 1854 to 1856 it was connected as a missionary station. In 1857, by vote of a quarterly conference held at Wabasha for the Lake City and Wabasha circuits of the Red Wing district, it was decided that the Wabasha circuit should include Wabasha, Read's Landing and Cook's valley, but there is no record of any services at Reads, nor, as before said, is there authentic account of further work there until 1866. The importance attached to Reads at this time may be inferred from the fact that in the fall of this year, when the annual estimates for minister's salary were made up, it was hoped that a deficiency of seventeen dollars, remaining after other apportionments had center of rafting operations, called together the wrong class of people for any very marked interest in church work. been allotted, might be supplied by Reads. Whether this modest hope was realized or not, does not appear from the record, and in fact for ensuing two years no promise of life appeared for church organizations at Reads. Its life as a lumber depot, and center of rafting operations, called together the wrong class of people for any very marked interest in church work. Exceptions of necessity there were, but so little hold had all attempts hitherto made taken upon the life of the place, that at this time the church had neither class nor organization of any kind, nor did it have for the ensuing two years.
In 1868 Rev. S. G. Gale was transferred from the New York East conference to the Minnesota conference, and appointed to the Wabasha and Read's Landing circuit. His salary was fixed at eight hundred dollars, six hundred and fifty dollars of which to be paid by the churches, the remaining one hundred and fifty dollars from the missionary fund. In the following winter, 1868-9, Rev. Gale entered vigorously upon his work of building up a church at Reads, as the village incorporated the previous spring was called. A series of meetings was held with gratifying success, and steps taken to build a church. A lot was secured in a central location, one street back from the main business street of the village, and on this property, the gift of some generous-hearted Christian whose name is not recorded, a comfortable frame church, 30 x 60, with spire and bell, was erected. The contract price for the building was two thousand six hundred dollars. Furnaces were afterward put in, and these, with bell, raised the entire cost to a little over three thousand dollars, almost all of which was raised by contribution from the generous-hearted citizens of Reads. The original board of trustees, incorporated according to state law and church usage, were: W. W. Slocum, B. F. Welch, W. W. Cassady, W. B. James, S. Bullard, Geo. J. J. Crichton, W. F. Kennicott, Daniel Danision and Franklin Berins. Rev. W. C. Rice was pastor of the church from the fall of 1869 to 1870. Rev. B. Y. Coffin was his successor, and in the fall of 1871, Rev. S. G. Gale was reappointed. During this, his second pastorate, a substantial frame parsonage was erected, at a cost of sixteen hundred dollars. It stands on the lot adjoining the church on the east, commands a pleasant view of the river and the Wisconsin bluffs, and is really a comfortable and commodious residence for the incumbent of the church. Rev. Gale remained two years, leaving behind him as monuments of his three years' ministry , a commodious church, a comfortable parsonage and a flourishing "class." His successors have been: Revs. W. C. Shaw, M. O. M'Niff, W. H. Soule, James Door, W. A. Miles and D. F. Higgins, the present pastor.
Chapter 17 ~ "MAZEPPA TOWNSHIP"
Schools and churches were also very early provided for.
In the summer of 1856 a school was maintained in the claim shanty of Mr. Hyde, on the south side of the river, with Mrs. Sidney Munson as teacher. Here the first religious service was conducted in July, 1856, by Rev. Christopher McManus, a Methodist local elder, residing south of Pine Island. During the same season Rev. A. E. Standish preached in the mill. The first church edifice was that of the Congregationalists, built in 1869.
From a description of the village and its business, written by E. F. Hopkins, and published in the Lake City "Sentinel" in the spring of 1877, we make some extracts: "Whether you approach the town from the north, east or west, you see a valley containing about two hundred acres, and a handsomer one you might go far to find. We consider the view from the hill north of the town the best. As you round the point of the hill on the Red Wing road, a full view is offered of the main street (First), the churches and the north and west part of the village, while only the southeastern portion is hid by the rise of ground upon which the land reserved for a park is located, known as 'Schoolhouse Hill.' "
The earliest church organization was a class of the Methodist Episcopal church, under the auspices of Presiding Elder N. Hobart, of Winona. Rev. J. W. Rogers had a circuit including this charge. A. E. Standish was the local elder, and F. S. Skillman class-leader. There were eight members in the first class, as follows: Francis S. and Julia Skillman, James and Mary Ann Jackson, James Standish, Mary McLeach, Alvin Stoddard and Thurza Fraser. While other sects have multiplied in numbers, death and removals have diminished this flock of believers. Four communicants of the church now remain, namely, Mr. And Mrs. J. B. McManus and daughter Loa, and Miss Salome Stoddard.
To the Congregational society belongs the honor of erecting the first church edifice. This was completed in 1869, at a cost of thirty-five hundred dollars. Its dimensions on the ground are 50x32 feet, and it has seating capacity for two hundred and fifty persons. The society was first organized under the ministration of Rev. Henry Willard, May 17, 1860, including the following persons: Ezra and Asenath Robinson, Anna Stowell, Charles H. and Rosina L. Goodell, Eliza J. Day, Nellie G. Ormsby, Elizqa A. Hyde and Freeman Pearson. The first ordinance of baptism was administered to Freeman Pearson and Rosina L. Goodell; all the others being admitted on the recommendations furnished them by their respective churches from whence they came. Charles H. Goodell was elected deacon and treasurer, and Freeman Pearson clerk. Since Mr. Willard's pastorate the following have served as pastors: Warren Bigelow (died here), J. E. Burbank, E. P. Deeda, J. B. Ladd, S. H. Barteau, Wm. M. Weld, H. K. Painter, N. H. Pierce and Bradshaw.
A Sunday school has been kept up, and now numbers about eighty members, presided over by S. H. Wyatt.
The society now includes thirty resident members, and is steadily carrying on its work. The church stands on the southeast corner of Walnut street and Broadway, fronting the latter and overlooking the business part of the village.
The Catholic Mission Church of St. Peter and St. Paul was organized as early as 1867 by Rev. Father Stariha, of Red Wing, and he continued to visit the charge at intervals till the summer of 1878. At this time the mission was attached to Belle Chester church (in Belvidere, Goodhue county), and the several pastors there have ministered to the spiritual wants of this people. From 1878 to September, 1881, Father John Meyer presided, and was succeeded at that time by the present priest, Rev. Jon Tori. When organized, the flock was small and scarcely able to build a church. During the same year of its inception, however, a small edifice was erected - the bulk of its expense being contributed by one member, Peter Clemens - and was used for public worship until 1876, when the present handsome structure was completed. Its cost was fifteen hundred dollars. It stands on the east side of and fronting First street, just north of the railroad track. Large grounds surround it, and it is thronged with people at the bimonthly services. Owing to only one Sunday service here per month, the other being on Thursday. The cemetery of this body is north of the village, on a bluff running down to the riverside. At the present time there are forty families in communication with this church.
Free-Will Baptist Church: In March, 1880, Rev. J. N. Haskell organized a society of Free-Will Baptists here, this faith haveing been cherished by a few for many years. The following persons formed the original class: Charles and Jane Troxell, Wilson, Mrs. Mary and Miss Jane Hutchins, Elmer and Phoebe Stotts, James and Angeline Oliver, W. W. And Eliza Dean and Misses Emma, Minnie and Lydia Dean, Rosa and Flora Oliver and Martha Harrison. Services were held in 1881. During this year a church edifice was begun on the corner of Broadway and Chestnut streets, fronting the former, and was completed next season at a cost of about eight hundred dollars. It is a plain and neat appearing frame building, with room for one hundred and fifty people within its walls. Mr Willard was succeeded by Rev. E. J. Keville, who remained a year. There is no pastor at present. A Sabbath school has been kept up ever since the organization of the society. It was at first under the superintendence of Miss Emma Dean, who was succeeded by the present superintendent, Miss Loda McManus.
Chapter 18 ~ "CHESTER TOWNSHIP"
Attention was early given to religion and education. There were two local elders of the Methodist Episcopal church in the town in 1856, namely, A. E. Standish and Greenberry Triplett. Meetings were held under the leadership of these gentlemen during the year 1856 in Joseph Caswell's house. About the same time, or early in 1857, Rev. Ralph Frasier, a local elder residing in Mazeppa, preached at the same place. To Mr. Standish is given the credit of preaching the first sermon in the town. During the winter of 1856-7 Sidiney Cross taught a rate school in Caswell's house. During the following winter timbers were got out, and in the spring of 1858 Bear Valley schoolhouse was erected. It was a log structure and stood on the site of what is now known as Bear Valley schoolhouse, adjoining the cemetery. At the town meeting, April 5, 1864, an appropriation of thirty dollars was voted to establish this cemetery.
Rev. Frederick Hill, a Baptist clergyman who settled in Zumbro - then Hyde Park - in 1856, soon after held meetings in this town and organized a class, but no records or reliable memories of any organization of this sect can now be found.
The first religious organization was a class of Methodists. This body came together under the efforts of Rev. Nelson Moon, a local elder who settled in Bear Valley in 1864. He at once began preaching at Bear Valley schoolhouse, and the class was formed August 27, 1864. The following persons composed it: Nelson, Casandra and Emma Moon, R. H. Davis, Samuel and Emeline Converse, Mrs. H. J. Crump, Huldah Cliff, Joseph and A. B. Spaulding, Susan Merrill, Hiram, Almira and Frances Stacy, Isaac Waters, David Jones, Margaret Caswell, James A. and Mrs. A. Davis, Philo Tenyke and wife. Of these twenty-one members three have died and many have moved away, and only four now remain. This class was assigned to Gilford circuit, and preaching has been maintained ever since the organization, save one year. A uniln Sunday school has been kept up with good results. R. H. Davis is its faithful superintendent. Meetings are now held in the grange hall near Bear Valley schoolhouse.
A Roman Catholic mission was early established on the northern border of the town to accommodate the foreign population which was fast taking up that section. At this time fully two-thirds of the town is occupied by natives of Luxembourg, Hanover, Belgium, and parts of northern Germany.
In 1865 the Catholic society purchased forty acres of land in Belvidere, adjoining the northeast quarter of section 5, this town, and next year erected a frame church thereon at cost of one thousand dollars. This is now used as a schoolhouse, to which has been added a residence for teachers, costing, with furniture, fifteen hundred dollars. Three sisters of the order of Notre Dame, from Milwaukee, now conduct the school. Services were conducted by Red Wing priests until the fall of 1875, when Father C. Walters took up his abode here. The next summer he went away and this again became a mission station. In the summer of 1878 Rev. John Meyer became resident priest, and a parsonage was built at an expense of one thousand dollars. The present pastor, Rev. John Tori, succeeded Father Meyer in September, 1881. A handsome stone church, 90x50 feet in area, was finished and consecrated in 1877. Besides the hauling of material and windows, which were donated by the people, this cost eight thousand eight hundred dollars in cash. An average of ninety families are communicants in this church, represented in Chester by the following heads: Philip and Nicholas Arendt, Dominick and Nicholas Bartholome, Jacob Berend, Anthony Caspar, Peter Glad, Matthias Prom, John Wagner, John Weimar, Nicholas S. and Nicholas Schmitz, Peter Musty, John Delwar, John and Hugh Darcy, Patrick Gillaspie, Michael Hart, William Hofschult, William Janti, Nicholas Kruer, Andrew, Nicholas and John P. Lifrige, John N. and Stephen Meyers, William Nardanger, Adam and Michael Poncelet, John Reiland, Michael Sullivan, Matthias and Stephen Schmieds, Nicholas Threner, Peter and Frank Weber, John Schuler, Michael Coffee, Frank and Paul Conrad, Charles Early. Under an act passed in the legislative session of 1878-9, incorporating Belle Chester church society, the following officers were chosen in the fall of 1879: Councillors - Phillip Arendt, William Nardanger, Henry Straus; trustees - Herman Hofscholt, secretary; John Befort, treasurer.
Evangelical Lutheran. To this society belongs the honor of erecting the first church edifice in Chester. As early as the fall of 1868, Rev. Rupert Weiser came here and held services in the schoolhouse on section 2. Rev. Horst afterward visited the few Lutheran families in the neighborhood and held meetings here. The society was organized by Rev. Christ. Maeurer, of Belvidere, on January 24, 1875. It was named "St. John's German Evangelical Lutheran Congregation," and the following, with their families, composed it: Ernest Radke, Louis Winters; Louis, Ferdinand and August Freiheit; Louis and Jule Gray; F. W. Sprikes; Louis Huh; Claus Luchan; Carsten Siems; Henry Feldman; Peter Niegers; Frederick Jette; John Webusth; August Radke 16. In 1878 the membership included twenty families, and in 1883 it had increased to twenty-four. Services were conducted three years in the schoolhouse, and it then decided to build a church. Frederick Winters donated an acre and a half on the northwest quarter of section 12 for a site, and a frame building was erected there under the supervision of the following trustees: Louis Gray, Louis Freiheit and Louis Winters. Beside the labor donated by the congregation, a cash outlay of fifteen hundred dollars was made to complete this structure. It is 32x45 feet on the ground, with a neat spire. It has a gallery, and will comfortably accommodate two hundred and fifty auditors. It was dedicated on September 29, 1878. The present board of trustees has one vacancy, caused by the recent removal of F. W. Sprikes, clerk. The others are Ernest Radke and Louis Freiheit, treasurer. The spiritual wants of the congregation are now ministered through the labors of Rev. Al Krahn, of Belvidere.
Chapter 19 ~ "MOUNT PLEASANT TOWNSHIP"
Rev. Silas Hazlett, of Lake City, was the first to hold religious services in this township. In January, 1857, he met about a dozen persons at the log house of Stanton Clark and began the ministration which he has ever since continued. Two weeks later he preached at E. P. C. Fowler's, and for some time his services were held at private houses, or on the open prairie beneath an oak-tree's verdant roof. When the schoolhouse of district No. 10 was built services were there held, and the Presbyterian church was organized with about six members. In 1867 the present frame church was erected at a cost of two thousand dollars. The strength of the church is now about thirty. For twenty-six years has Mr. Hazlett been pastor of this little flock, marrying and burying those whom in childhood he christened, and he still visits them once in two weeks.
Methodist ~ During the war the community in the southwestern part of the township was visited by Rev. Stillwell, who preached a few times; by Rev. Hill, a Baptist, who preached occasionally for about a year; and also by Charles Hudson. In 1865 Henry Goodsell began preaching in the schoolhouse of district No. 10; he awakened considerable interest and organized a class. It was during his ministration that the church reached its period of greatest prosperity, and a church costing seventeen hundred dollars was built and dedicated free of debt. He has been followed by Messrs. Richardson, McMiff, Matson, Lathrop, Wilfred and Rockwood, the present incumbent. A union Sabbath school has been running ever since the start of the church and is held alternately at the Methodist and Presbyterian churches.
The first preaching in the northern part of the township was in the fall of 1865, by Rev. Birch, then a student at the Hamlin University of Red Wing. He continued his visits about two years and organized a class in the spring of 1866 at schoolhouse No. 8. He was followed by Henry Goodsell, and during his incumbency the County Line church was built at a cost of nine hundred dollars.
Rev. Richardson succeeded him, and during his stay this class and the one in West Florence, Goodhue county, united. This charge was visited successively by Messrs. McMiff, Phelps, Matteson, Wright and Noah Lathrop, who saw the breaking up of the class through dissension and emigration.
In 1880 Thomas Hartley, a Wesleyan minister of Greenwood Prairie, preached regularly in the schoolhouse, and the next year was followed by Mr. R. Balbridge, of the same denomination. A revival blessed his efforts and services were transferred to the County Line church. February, 1882, a church of thirteen members was organized by him, and afterward they purchased the church building of the Methodist Episcopal organization. A flourishing Sabbath school has been running for many years.
Chapter 20 ~ "ZUMBRO TOWNSHIP"
The Wesleyan Methodist church was organized in 1856 by Elder H. E. Walker, William Perkins, A. W. Martin, Mrs. Martin, Francis Fryer and Mrs. Fryer, and the first services were held in the South Troy schoolhouse, Elder Walker officiating and preaching the first sermon preached in the town.
In 1859 a branch of this society was organized by Elder Walker, and services were held in the Red School-house, district No. 49. On alternate Sundays, Elder Walker preached in the morning at the south Troy schoolhouse, and in the afternoon at the red school-house. At the expiration of eight or nine years he was succeeded by Elder Pegler, who officiated for two years. Elders Baldridge, Hartley and Norton were the predecessors of Elder Cox, who is now the officiating preacher.
Since the organization of the branch in the red schoolhouse, some thirty or forty members have been added to the society, rendering their present quarters too small for comfortable accommodation. Accordingly a move was set on foot to build an edifice expressly for church purposes. By the aid of the South troy society and that extended by the Wesleyan denomination of the State of Minnesota, they were enabled to accomplish their object, having now nearly completed a church edifice to cost about fifteen hundred dollars, and to be finished in time for fall services.
The only other church in the town of Zumbro is that of the German Lutherans, who have a church located in the extreme southeastern part of the town in section 36.
The only village in the township is Hammond, which is thirty-three miles west of Wabasha, on the Midland road. . . .
In 1883 the German Lutherans erected a church for their use in Hammond, and this is the only church building in the village.
Chapter 21 ~ "GLASGOW TOWNSHIP"
[No records of churches for this township]
Chapter 22 ~ "OAKWOOD TOWNSHIP"
In 1858 Father Tissot first held mass in Mr. David Foley's house. From Then until 1867 it was held about five times per year at Mr. Kinsella's. During 1866 the church now known as Oakwood church, a frame building 20x60 feet, with an addition built in 1878, was built. It was started by Father Tissot and finished by father Trobec, who followed him. The priests since Father Trobec are Fathers Jeram, from 1880-2; Beinhardt, to April, 1883, and Murray at present, who live in Highland township. The church is well furnished, and mass is held once a month. A cemetery lies near the church. Since the organization children have been confirmed once, in 1881, by Bishop Ireland.
In the winter of 1858-9 the several northwest sections cut off by the Zumbro were joined to West Albany; but in 1867 the legislature, at the request of the people, made a part of Pell again. The "Half-Breed Treaty" tract, elsewhere explained, includes all of Oakwood north of a straight line running from the southeast corner of section 18 to near the same corner of section 26. The land scrip that was given each Indian, deeding him a certain amount of this land, has caused the settlers a little trouble and some probably unfounded anxiety. The "adult scrip" was sold to settlers along with minor scrip. The point seems to be that the minors' scrip may have been unlawfully sold. The Oakwood church land was paid for twice on account of this trouble. The trouble continued during about fifteen years. There has been none lately.
In 1868 the Norwegian Methodist Episcopal church, on section 20, was organized by A. B. Burtch, of Grand Meadows, Minnesota, who had preached here previous to this. With few at first, the largest membership reached thirty-five, in 1871, and has fallen off since, on account of many Norwegians going to Dakota. A good frame church, 32x24 feet, was built in 1873. It is valued at nine hundred dollars. The Norwegian Lutherans since 1874 have used this building more or less, also, but have had no services for a few years past. The ministers, since 1869, have been: Rev. Olson; Rev. Knudson, 1872-4; Rev. A. Johnson to 1877, Rev. E. Arveson to 1879, Rev. J. Peterson to 1882, when Rev. S. Knudson became the first resident minister of the township. Services are held regularly on Sunday at 10:30 A.M., with a sabbath school at 12 M. The sabbath school, Supt. M. A. Grove, was organized some years ago. The church belongs to the Plainview circuit. The trustees are E. Polson and M. A. Grove. A cemetery for Scandinavians lies near the church. The Swedes, in 1874, organized and built a church in Millville. The building is of limestone from the bluffs and about 30x40 feet in size. At first there were about thirty families, with a minister from Lake City, but Dakota's rising wealth has reduced the number to but five families, who have had no services for several years. The Norwegian Lutherans, not organized, used this building some also. Near the building is Millville cemetery. Services in these churches are occasionally held in English. M. A. Grove has preached some in the Norwegian church, filling the place of the regular minister in his absence.
On account of the peculiar characteristics of the Scandinavian, German and Irish churches, and their different languages, there has never been any revivals in the township. Some temperance work has been done, however, and with such effect that in attempts to abolish liquor license, about 1876, they came within four and six votes of having her territory unspotted by saloons. The temperance sentiment is not that high at present, as four patronized bars within her borders would indicate.
Chapter 23 ~ "WEST ALBANY TOWNSHIP"
In 1867 Ryan's hotel was purchased by the Catholic congregation, who used it as a church several years.
Baptist: The majority of the members of the organization are residents of West Albany; but meetings were for many years held in the schoolhouse of district 26, which, until 1878, was located in Glasgow township. At that time a new schoolhouse was erected in West Albany, where services were afterward held. The first Baptist preacher who ministered to this community was Benjamin Wharton, a native of Virginia, and at that time a resident of Wabasha. This was in 1858. His first services were held in the log house of John Owens of this township, and until the erection of the schoolhouse of district No. 26, in 1861 or 1862, he held meetings at intervals of two or three weeks, here and at the residences of William Corry and B. B. Fetzer. July 14, 1861, he organized the church at the log schoolhouse. Eight were enrolled as members, viz: Isaac Corry, William Corry and wife, Charles Forest, John Owens and wife, by letter from the Baptist church of Wabasha; B. B. Fetzer and Martha Fetzer, from Clarion county, Pennsylvania. The first officers chosen were B. B. Fetzer and Isaac Corry, deacons. Wharton was succeeded by William Sturgeon, who preached about one year, when Wharton returned, remaining several years. He was followed by Rev. Cummings, and one year later by Levi Ross, under whose charge the church saw its season of greatest prosperity, the membership reaching thirty-three. After a ministration of two and a half years he was succeeded by T. F. Babcock, who remained but a short time, and was the last to visit the church. About this time the ranks were greatly thinned by emigration westward; so much so that services have been discontinued about two years. In 1859 a Sabbath school was organized, and was kept up until the breaking up of the church.
Catholic: In the early days of the settlement the Catholics were favored with occasional visitations by Father Tissot, of Wabasha. He repeated his visits until 1866, when he was succeeded by Father Trobec, also from Wabasha. In 1869 Father Herman divided his time between this charge and Lake City, and was followed by Father Quinn. In the fall of 1879 Father Jacobs took charge of the church, being the first resident priest, and remaining four years. In the spring of 1883 the present priest, Father Boland, began his ministration. About 1863 the congregation purchased sixty acres of land near the village of West Albany, and two years later they bought twent additional acres, with Frank Ryan's hotel, which they used for a church several years. The new church was begun during the ministration of Father Herman, and will be completed in 1884, at a cost of about twenty-two thousand dollars. A commodious parsonage was begun in 1881 and will be finished at an expense of fifteen hundred dollars. The church is propserous, and has a membership of seventy- nine. A Catholic school at this place is one of the probabilities of the near future.
United Presbyterian: At the request of a few persons, residents of West Albany township, they were visited in September, 1860, by Rev. James McCartney, who preached at the house of William Sterling on the evening of September 13, 1860, and in schoolhouse No. 21 on the 14th. Though preaching was earnestly desired, other engagements prevented him from returning until January, 1861. From this time until July he preached here half the time. The Caledonia congregation of the United Presbyterian church was organized March 19, 1861, with nine members. Seven of these were by letter, from Yorkville, Wisconsin, William Wilson, Jeanette Wilson, Henry Glashen, Jane Glashen, William Sterling, Lucretia Sterling and George Perry; and two joined on profession, William Perry and Martha Perry. In the summer of 1861 Rev. J. K. Black visited them a few times, and July, 1862, A. B. Coleman was sent by the general assembly and preached half the time for a year. He was followed by H. McHatton, James P. Rait, James M. Wallace, J. Tate, James Rogers, and perhaps others. July, 1882, A. Y. Houston, the present incumbent, took charge. The present membership is about thirty. The year 1884 will probably see the erection of a frame church, at a cost of fifteen hundred dollars. A Sabbath school has been in progress at various times since the organization, and is now in a prosperous condition.
Lutheran: About 1863 Prof. Moldenke, of Milwaukee, made this section a visit and preached at the house of Henry Schmuser, on section 16. Through his influence the few adherents to the church in this neighborhood were visited in 1864 by William Vomhof, of Olmsted county. During the fall of that year he organized a church of six members, as follows: John Dankwart, Henry Schmuser and wife, John Haase, Fritz Lange, Henry Lange and John Schmidt. The succession of ministers since that time has been as follows: F. Seifert, A. Hoffman, M. Stulpnagel, P. Rubreih, and P. Bechtel, the present incumbent. Their church, a neat frame, was erected in 1868. At the same time a parsonage was erected. A Sabbath school has been running eight years.
German Methodist: The exact date of the first preaching was not ascertained, though it was probably in 1861, by Rev. Grechtenmeyer at C. Furhman's house. The following are the names of ministers who have followed him: Wm. Schreiner, Philip Funk, August Lamprecht, Adam Willer, Frederick Hermsmeyer, Frederick Hogrefe, Louis Thoele, Henry Schnitker, and Frederick Hermsmeyer, of Wabasha, who still preaches to the congregation. A frame church was built in 1866 at a cost of about eight hundred dollars.
Chapter 24 ~ "HYDE PARK TOWNSHIP"
The first settlers of this township coming from centers of Christian influence, were not unmindful of spiritual things in their new homes, and with the foundations of their log cabins they erected altars of prayer and praise. As early as 1856 religious services were held in the cabins of the farmers, and people old and young came to the meetings. The first preaching services in the township were held at the home of John Ritter, and the minister was the renowned pioneer Jas. McArdell. These meetings were continued for several years, but no Protestant church has ever been established, and at the present time there are but few Protestant families in the township. There is a Roman Catholic church at Hammond. It was erected in 1881, and is a frame structure 26 x 36 feet, with a wing 12 x 16 feet and twenty-two feet high. The membership consists of about eighty families, and services are held every two weeks, at which a priest from Lake City officiates. At a very early day Sunday schools were established, and through the earnest efforts of some good ladies the work still goes on.
Chapter 25 ~ "GILLFORD TOWNSHIP"
Until the summer of 1859 no religious services were held in the township, the principle reason being there was no leader. In that summer Haradon organized a Sunday-school at Oak Centre, and after that was in successful operation, two more were organized. As yet there was no preacher or preaching. In the spring of 1860 a man by the name of Stillwell came into the township and took a claim. It was soon rumored around that he was a Methodist exhorter, so he was waited upon and asked to preach at Oak Centre the following Sabbath. He preached, and the people were so well pleased that he made several appointments, and thus the work continued throughout the summer. In the course of several month a great revival took place, which was so widespread that three new churches were organized, which still exist.
Mr. Stillwell was one of those quiet, modest men, with little self-confidence, but he won the respect and admiration of all the people with whom he came in contact, and the good he was the means of accomplishing cannot be overestimated.
There are three churches in the township. A Methodist Episcopal church, on section 16, which was built in 1862, but which has no regular services at present. There is a large cemetery connected with this church, where many of its members and others are laid to rest. A woman's mission organization holds regular Sabbath services in the schoolhouse, district No. 19l. The German people have a Lutheran church at Jacksonville. It is a handsome frame structure, 30x16 feet, comfortably furnished and surrounded by one-half acre of land covered with beautiful shade-trees. About twenty-five families attend this church, Mr. Mire having been the pastor since the church was organized in 1878. All these churches sustain large Sunday schools, and an annual union picnic is held, which is one of the grandest occasions of the year to all.
There are two Good Templars lodges in the township, one at Zumbro Falls, with a membership of eighty-six, and the other at Oak Centre, with a membership of forty-five. They are in a prosperous condition, holding weekly meetings, at which literary exercises form a part of the evening's programme. Games and social pleasures are also indulged in, and many pleasant as well as profitable evenings are spent together by the young people in uniting themselves against the common foe, intemperance.
Chapter 26 ~ LAKE CITY
Presbyterian ~ The first Presbyterian church of Lake City was organized December 31, 1856, with Rev. Silas Hazlett as acting pastor, and B. C. Baldwin, A. V. Sigler and Mrs. Hazlett as members. B. C. Baldwin and A. V. Sigler were elected elders.
For nearly a year and a half the church held union services with the Congregationalists, in the old Congregational church erected by the contributions of both societies, the pastors of the two churches alternating in the services. In 1858 the Presbyterian church rented what was then known as Skinner's Hall. This was in the third story of a store-building situated on lot 2, block 14, fronting on Washington street. In 1859 the church erected their church edifice on lots 4 and 5, block 58, which had been presented to the society by Mr. Samuel Doughty. These lost are now occupied by the residence of Mr. Charles E. Crane. The church-building, which originally cost nine hundred dollars, was removed in 1863 to its present location on High street, just north of Lyon avenue, and in 1876 was repaired and enlarged at an additional cost of eight hundred and fifty dollars.
In 1862 the trustees purchased lot 1, block 56, and erected their present parsonage at a cost of eight hundred dollars, and in 1878 it was enlarged and repaired at a further cost of six hundred and fifty dollars.
The total number of members received into the church since its organization has been one hundred and ninety-seven, and of these one hundred and three were received upon the profession of their faith in Jesus Christ. The total baptisms during these years have been one hundred and four. The present membership is sixty.
The officers of the church are: Pastor, J. W. Ray; elders, A. V. Sigler and A. T. Guernsey; trustees, A. T. Guernsey, J. B. McLean and J. W. Kennedy.
The names of the pastors who have successively served the church, in the order of their service, are: Revs. Silas Hazlett, Porter H. Snow, William Speer, D.D., John Valeen, John A. Annin, Hugh W. Todd, John L. Howell, James M. Pryse, W. J. Weber, Samuel Wyckoff, and J. W. Ray, the present incumbent.
The Sunday school was organized on January 1, 1860, with A. T. Guernsey as superintendent, who held the office eighteen years, since which time the following persons have held the position: Oliver Jones, who was superintendent two years, and Messrs. J. B. McLean, S. M. Emery and Wm. Wilson, who have each held the office one year, the last-named gentleman now serving his second term, having been re-elected recently.
Swedish Lutheran ~ The Swedish Lutheran church, in this city, was organized October 10, 1869, at a convocation called for that purpose, the Rev. P. Sjoblom, of Red Wing, presiding. The original number of communicants was forty-five, prominent among whom were Messrs. L. A. Hockanson, G. F. Edholm, A. E. Edholm, P. Sundberg, G. Erickson and others. Services were conducted for a time by two lay preachers, L. A. Hockanson and A. G. Westlong, and the congregation was ministered to at intervals by Rev. P. Sjoblom, of Red Wing, Rev. J. Fremling, of Stockholm, Wisconsin, and Rev. J. Wagner, of Svea, Wisconsin. In 1879 the congregation secured the services of the Rev. S. A. Lindholm, who also ministered to churches at Millville and Minneiska. Until the year 1875 the congregation worshiped sometimes in a small hall, at other times in the Presbyterian or Baptist churches of this city, which were kindly opened for their accommodation. In 1875 a small church, 26X40 feet, was built and neatly furnished. This building stands on the upper side of Sixth street, three blocks northwest of Lyon avenue; and facing it on the opposite of Sixth, a commodious parsonage was built in 1881, at a cost of twelve hundred dollars. The Sunday school, in connection with the church, organized in 1873, has always been maintained in a flourishing condition. Its superintendent for many years was Mr. P. Sundburg: the present superintendent is O. Chinberg. The present membership of the congregation is about eighty-five, recent removals having led to a very material decrease. A very efficient Ladies' Society has been working within the church organization for several years, collecting money for church and missionary purposes. They meet the third Friday in each month, and during the year 1883 contributed one hundred and eighteen dollars toward the six hundred and seventy-five dollars raised by the congregation.
The present officers are Rev. L. A. Lindholm, pastor; Mr. Ed. Edholm, secretary; Mr. Nils Peterson, treasurer; deacons, P. Sundberg, A. Anderson, G. Erickson, O. Chinberg; trustees, A. E. Edholm, Nils Hallin, Chas. Chinberg.
St. Mary's Catholic Church ~ The first religious services held in Lake City in connection with the Catholic church were in 1857, in which year Father Auster conducted services in the house of John Moran, in the vicinity of the brick schoolhouse in the first ward. This was the first Catholic service ever held in the place, and though no church building was erected until seven years afterward, regular ministrations at the hands of Father Auster were enjoyed until his departure from the parish in 1860. During these years and subsequently, until the old church was built, the congregation worshiped from house to house and in public halls, particularly Williamson's, in which services were held longer than in any other one place. To Father Auster succeeded Farther Tisot, in 1860, remaining four years. In 1866 the old church was erected, on Center street, one block nearer the lake than the railway tracks of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad. This was a substantial frame building, about 36X60 feet, and in this the church continued to hold services, until 1873, when the church lots were sold and property bought farther down town. The new property consists of an entire block, bounded by Lyon avenue, Center, Prairie and Garden streets. Upon this site the old frame church was moved, refitted for service and occupied until 1877, when it was converted into a school-building for the use of the parish school. Father Tisot was followed by Father Trobec, the present parish priest at Wabasha, in 1865, and he in turn by Father Hermon, in 1868, who continued in charge until 1875. It was during his ministry that the old church was removed to the present eligible and central location. Father Quinn became parish priest in 1875, upon the removal of Father Hermon, and remained in charge until his failing health compelled him to seek rest in a more congenial climate. He accordingly crossed the seas and took up his residence in France, but the vital energies were too severely taxed to respond to the call, and he died shortly after reaching France. He was an earnest and indefatigable worker, and it was largely owing to his energetic efforts that the beautiful church structure on the corner of Lyon avenue and Garden street was constructed. The present church edifice, erected in 1877 at a total cost of sixteen thousand dollars, is much the finest church structure in the city. It faces fifty feet on Lyon avenue, and has an extreme length of one hundred and sixteen feet along Garden street, including the sacristy, which is 16X53. The building is a substantial brick structure, stone foundations, water-table, caps, sills and trimmings. The side walls are twenty-two feet in height, and the top of the cross is one hundred and sixty-one feet above the sidewalk. It is finished inside to the roof, and seated to accommodate about six hundred. There is room, however, for quite a number of additional pews, and the seating capacity may be easily extended to eight hundred if desired. The church is an ornament to the city, and its spire can be seen from almost all parts of Lake Pepin, rising above every surrounding object in its vicinity. Father Quinn was succeeded by Father Riley, a young man who remained in charge six months, and who was followed in the summer of 1882, by Father Riordan, who resigned his charge and went south for his health, January 1, 1884. The parish school, which was established in 1868, has not been in session for some time past, and probably will not be until the church has a permanent priest. The services are at present conducted by supplying priests from St. Paul. The number of contributing families in the parish is about thirty-five, but the number of families actually connected with the parish is much larger.
Congregational ~ The first Congregational church in Lake City was organized on August 8, 1856, with ten members ~ four men and six women. This was the first church organization in this place, and at the time of its institution there were probably not far from three hundred people within what are now the corporate limits of Lake City. Rev. DeWitt C. Sterry (who died last summer in Kansas) was the first acting pastor of the church, which flourished vigorously during the ten years that he remained in charge as its minister, the increase during the first year being more than fourfold. The little society worshiped in halls and rooms, as they could best secure accommodations, for one year, when they moved into their own house of worship which they had built upon the lot presented them for that purpose by Abner Dwelle, Esq., one of the original proprietors of the town site. Their site was lot No. 10, block 27, and upon it the church-building, a frame structure 30X50 feet, was erected. In 1866 this old house of worship was reconstructed, turned partially around, enlarged and refitted for service, the cost of the improvements being considerably in excess of one thousand dollars, which was all paid early in January, 1869. In 1866 a parsonage was erected on the south half of lots 6 and 7, in block 49, at a total cost of about fifteen hundred dollars. Since then the building has received several additions and needed repairs, and is now a commodious and comfortable residence.
In 1873 the old church was repainted, and six years later was burned to the ground. The congregation then decided to abandon their old location and build a new church in a more desirable part of the city. The site selected was on the north corner of Lyon avenue and Oak street. The lot fronts one hundred and thirty feet on Oak street, and one hundred feet on the avenue. Here in 1880 the present beautiful church structure was erected. This is a substantial stone and frame, modern style of architecture, extreme dimensions 40X60 feet. The basement is of stone with a ten-foot ceiling, and is conveniently arranged for Sunday-school and social services, as well as the regular church reunions. Above the basement rises the auditorium, finished to the Gothic roof, comfortably seated and furnished, having sittings for about two hundred and twenty-five persons. The contract price for the building was forty-nine hundred and sixty dollars, but its actual cost was considerably above that figure, the entire outlay for lots, building , furniture, upholstering, bell, etc., being in round numbers about nine thousand dollars.
As before stated, De Witt Sterry was the first acting pastor of the church, and he sustained that relation for nearly ten years, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Edward Anderson, whose ministry continued a little less than two years, when he resigned, and W. B. Dada accepted a call to the pulpit. His ministry, begun in December, 1867, terminated in February, 1872, when he was succeeded by Rev. J. W. Ray, whose pastorate lasted five years. In October, 1877, Rev. P. B. Fisk was called to the oversight of the church, and remained its pastor until the spring of 1882. In May of that year, Rev. J. W. Horner became minister of the church, an office which he now sustains with great acceptability tot eh church and congregation.
The whole number of members connected with the church from the date of its organization to the present has been two hundred and seventy. The present membership is one hundred and twenty-five. The present officers are: Trustees, A. E. Smith, presidents; C. A. Hubbard, treasurer; N. C. Pike, secretary; deacons, Carlos Clement, M. C. Humphrey; Rev. J. W. Horner, church clerk.
There is a very efficient Sunday school maintained by the church, the average attendance at which is about one hundred. W. H. Moore, the principal of the city schools, is its superintendent. This Sunday school was organized immediately after the church organization was effected, and has been in continuous existence until the present.
Episcopal Church ~ St. Mark's Protestant Episcopal church is one of the strong church organizations of Lake City. The first services were held here in the fall of 1857, at which time Bishop Kemper visited the place, preached and baptized. Subsequent visits were made by the bishop, by the Rev. E. R. Wells, of Red Wing, and in 1860 by Bishop H. B. Whipple. In 1862 the parish was formally received into union with the council, but no vestry was formed until December, 1864. On the 14th of this month a meeting was held at the residence of Rev. John W. Shatzel, parish missionary, at which time the vestry was constituted by the election of the following: Wardens, Wm. E. Perkins, John T. Graves, P. R. Hardt, Thomas Gibbs, B. L. Goodrich, Wm. Marsh, Asa Doughty and Mathias Dilley. L. H. Buck was elected secretary of the vestry, and R. S. Goodrich, treasurer. Services were first held in a small schoolroom owned by Mrs. O. E. Walters, and afterward in a hall under the Masonic lodge, from which they removed in the spring of 1864 to what was known as Harley's hall. Here they remained until the completion of the church-building in the summer of 1866. Preparations for building were begun in 1863, the sum of sixteen hundred dollars was raised or pledged, and a church lot 75X100 feet purchase, for which the sum of three hundred and fifty dollars was paid. It was found that lumber could not be procured, and building was deferred until the fall of 1865. The church was completed early in the summer of 1866 and the opening services were held July 1, but the parish being in debt for the building to the amount of eight hundred dollars, the consecration was deferred until Wednesday, January 16, 1867, when the church was formally consecrated according to the usages of the Protestant Episcopal church. The site of this church edifice is a commanding location on Oak street, just south of Lyon avenue, fronting the lake and overlooking the main business portion of the city. The structure is of wood, 50X30 feet, with a front tower 12X12 feet, and a chancel extension 10X18 feet. The side walls are fourteen feet and the ridge of the ceiling thirty-one feet. The tower is forty-five feet in height, and above it rises the spire a farther distance of thirty-four feet, surmounted by a cross four feet high, the total height from sill to cross-top being eighty-three feet. The building is comfortably furnished and has sittings for a little over two hundred persons. The entire cost was about thirty-five hundred dollars, and of this sum two thousand dollars were raised by the society at home, the rest being contributions from abroad.
There have been connected with this church from the date of its organization to the present a total membership of two hundred and fifty-four. Baptisms, for the same period, four hundred and fifty-two; confirmations, two hundred and one; marriages, seventy-six; burials, one hundred and fifty.
The succession of rectors of St. Mark's is as follows: C. P. Dorset, 1861-2; J. W. Shatzelk, 1863-6; C. W. Kelley, 1867; J. C. Adams, 1868-72; C. H. Plummer, 1873, to May, 1883; Rev. W. Gardam, the present incumbent, having been in charge only since last May.
The present church officers are: Rev. W. Gardam, rector; L. H. Buck and W. E. Perkins, wardens; vestrymen, G. F. Benson, S. K. Gates, J. C. Adams, C. W. Crary, Thos. Gibbs, A. Wells, O. P. Francisco, C. H. Benedict. Mr. L. H. Buck is secretary and Mr. W. E. Perkins treasurer. The present number of communicants is one hundred and twenty-two.
St. Marks' church maintains a flourishing Sunday school with eighteen teachers and one hundred and forty scholars, of which Mr. J. M. Underwood is superintendent; Mrs. G. F. Benson, librarian and L. H. Buck, treasurer.
Baptist ~ Baptist meetings were held by Rev. Edgar Cady from July, 1857, to December of the same year, when the first Baptist church of Lake City was organized, December 13, 1857. The number of constituent members was twenty-one. Up to 1871 two hundred and twenty-five members had been added to the church, including twelve members of a branch church at Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, in 1863. Of the above number seventy-seven were by baptism, the balance by letter and experience. Subsequent statistics of membership are not available. The present number of members is sixty-four.
The Baptists worshiped first in Gaylordís hall, which stood, I believe, about where Perkinsí livery stable now is. The present edifice was erected under Rev. A. P. Graves; supervision, in 1859, at a cost of two thousand dollars. It has been enlarged and improved during the past year by the expenditure of about seven hundred dollars. The church owned a parsonage until a few years since, when it was sold to Mr. Terrell in order to liquidate the church indebtedness.
Of pastors the following is a complete list, with dates of settlement and terms of office: Rev. Edgar Cady, July, 1837, one year and four months; Rev. A. P. Graves, August, 1859, two years and five months; Rev. G. W. Freeman, September, 1862, two years and two months; Rev. G. W. Fuller, April, 1865, six years and two months; Rev. H. H. Beach, June, 1872, four years; Rev. E. C. Anderson, November, 1876, four years; Rev. A. Whitman, December, 1880, one year and five months; Rev. W. K. Dennis, October, 1882, present pastor.
The Swede Baptist church, of Lake City, was at first a branch church, and eventually organized during Rev. M. Beachís pastorate, and the English Baptist church, of Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, was an offshoot from this church.
The Baptist Sunday school was organized in Gaylord hall in 1857. Number of pupils, eighty-five.
List of church officers: Pastor, Rev. W. K. Dennis; clerk, J. M. Chalmers; treasurer, Mr. Alex. Selover. Trustees: A. R. Spauldings, A. Selover, N. K. Eells, A. D. Prescott, F. Bouton. Superintendent of Sunday school, J. M. Chalmers.
Methodist ~ Prior to 1857 no society of the Methodist Episcopal church was known in Lake City, although a few of the old settlers were members of that church. During the month of September, 1857, Rev. S. Salisbury was sent, by the bishop presiding over the Minnesota annual conference, to Wabasha and Lake City circuit. He came to Lake City and preached one sermon in the Congregational church, but we saw his face no more. This was the first sermon ever preached in Lake City by an ordained minister of the Methodist Episcopal church. The few members (five in number), as a flock without a shepherd, were soon in charge of Rev. C. Hobart, a supernumerary member of the minister of the Minnesota conference, who at that time resided in Red Wing. We rented a room known as Skinnerís Hall, a small room with but limited seating capacity, lighted with tallow candles. Here we waited for the salvation which God had promised. It seemed as if each member of the small company received a special commission from the King Eternal to go forth and win souls.
A class was soon formed by Dr. Hobart, which consisted of D. C. Estes, M. E. Estes, Seth Tisdale, Augusta Dollar, Jane Terrill, Eliza Baily and Bidwell Redley. D. C. Estes was appointed leader. Seth Tisdale was a local preacher. This completed the organization of the society. Of these seven members five are still living. Bidwell Pedley was killed during the late war, while engaged in the service of his country. Seth Tisdale died in September, 1883. Eliza Baily lives in St. Paul. Augusta Dollar is now living in California. D. C. Estes, M. E. Estes and Jane Terrill are still members of the society in Lake City.
Rev. Seth Tisdale was the first preacher of the Methodist Episcopal church to engage in special revival services. His work began first at Florence. He was a man of strong faith and untiring energy.
Soon after Dr. Hobart took charge of the work the first quarterly meeting was held. Rev. Dr. Quigly preached from Isa. lxiii, 1, a sermon of marvelous power. It was as of old a demonstration of the spirit.
The little company of believers enjoyed the privilege at that quarterly meeting, for the first time in the new country, of receiving the sacrament of the LordíS Supper as a society of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Dr. Hobart was assisted during the winter by Bro. Tisdale. In the spring of 1858 we moved to a vacant storeroom on Main street, in the building which is now occupied by Mr. D. Crego as a dwelling. About this time Rev. J. Gurley, of Pepin, Wisconsin, was appointed to supply Lake City, but on account of the difficulty of crossing the lake he was not able to render much service. In 1858 Lake City was left to be supplied. In 1859 Rev. E. R. Lathrop was appointed as pastor, being a man of kind, genial spirit, and a good preacher. The society prospered under his administration. In 1860 Rev. A. V. Hiscock was appointed pastor; a year of encouragement during which many were added to the church. In 1861 Rev. C. T. Bowdish was pastor. In 1862 the society was left to be supplied. In 1863 Rev. G. W. T. Wright was appointed pastor. He served the charge until September, 1866, when Rev. T. M. Gossard was appointed. During Bro. Gossardís term of two years the church was favored with a gracious revival. During Bro. Gossardís pastorate the place of meeting was changed. The society rented a vacant store-building on Upper Washington street. This building is now occupied as a dwelling by Mr. Brown. In 1868 Rev. D. Tice was appointed as pastor. During his first year the corner-stone of the church was laid, the site for the building being a lot which had been previously secured on the corner of Chestnut and Oak streets. The church was enclosed and the basement occupied by the society in 1869. In 1870-1 Rev. H. Goodsell was pastor. In 1872-4, Rev. C. M. Heard was pastor. In 1875 Rev. J. Door was appointed. The audience-room was finished and dedicated in 1876. The dedicatory services were held July 9, 1876. Rev. Mr. McChesney preached the dedicatory sermon. In 1876-80 Rev. G. W. T. Wright was pastor for the second term. In 1881 T. B. Killiam was appointed pastor. During 1882 and 1883 the entire debt, which had for years been a burden to the society, was paid. We now have a good property, a membership of ninety persons; a good Sabbath school, the average attendance being seventy.
Church officers: Pastor, T. B. Killiam; class-leader, Rev. C. L. Dempster; Sabbath-school superintendent, J. M. Martin. Stewards: James M. Martin, D. C. Estes, L. W. Lemley, E. Wrigley, E. F. Carpenter. Trustees: T. Megroth, D. C. Estes, A. Koch, J. Harding, E. F. Carpenter, E. Wrigley, L. W. Lemley. The Methodist Episcopal Sunday school of Lake City, Minnesota, was organized by Dr. D. C. Estes on the first Sabbath in September, 1857, ~ being the first Methodist Sunday school held in Lake City, and the second one organized in the county of Wabasha. The first services of the school were held in the unoccupied store building situate on lot 9, block 17, fronting on Main street, then but recently vacated by the firm of Johnson & Kittredge, since remodeled into a dwelling-house, and owned by Daniel H. Crego. The records of the school from its organization down to September 3, 1865, were all destroyed in the fire of April 17, 1882, that burned Dr. D. C. Estes; office; but we learn from the report of the superintendent, Dr. Estes, made to the school on the occasion of their tenth anniversary, September 1, 1867, that there were but few children in the first organization. ďOur beginning was but a feeble, a small one,Ē but increased gradually. From that day down to the present the Sunday school has continued without interruption, following the fortunes of the church in its various movings from store to store, from store to halls, from halls to church; at times with lessening and again increasing attendance. As far as the records extant disclose, the largest average attendance appears to have been in the winters of 1868-9, when the average attendance was one hundred, and again in the winter of 1876-7, when the enrollment was one hundred and forty-eight, and average attendance of one hundred and three; and again in 1880-1, when the number enrolled and in attendance was about the same as in 1876-7. In the spring of 1881, from removals, the numbers decreased largely, the present enrollment (February, 1884) being one hundred and five, with an average attendance of seventy-two.
Since the organization, the following have been superintendents in the order and for the times named: Dr. D. C. Estes, September 1, 1857, to September 13, 1868; Dr. W. H. Spafford, September 13, 1868, to September 3, 1871; Rev. H. Goodsell, September 3, 1871, to June 2, 1872; Chas. M. Gould, June 2, 1872, to April 27, 1873, J. M. Martin, April 27, 1873, to October 21, 1877; P. S. Hinman, October 21, 1877, to September 7, 1879; Geo. L. Matchan, September 7, 1879, to January 1, 1882; J. M. Martin, January 1, 1882, to present time ~ re-elected for ensuing year September 9, 1883. The present officers of the school are: J. M. Martin, superintendent; E. L. Carpenter, assistant superintendent; Maggie Koch, secretary; Lutie Chapman, treasurer; Henry Koch, librarian. Teachers: Rev. T. B. Killiam, Mrs. J. Dobner, M. Dobner, Miss Marion Lee, Chas. A. Koch, J. M. Martin.
Chapter 27 ~ "GREENFIELD TOWNSHIP"
In March, 1863, a meeting was held at Cook's Valley schoolhouse to take steps toward building a house of worship. The following trustees were elected at this meeting: Oliver Collier, G. A. Cook, John R. Brown, Ezikiel (sic) Collins, Nelson Staples. This committee, with the assistance of Rev. H. dyer, were instructed to solicit funds, and proceed to invest them as fast as secured in the construction of a church edifice. During the same year foundations were prepared and lumber brought on the ground. In the fall, N. Staples was awarded the contract for the carpenter work at seventy-five dollars, to be completed by March 1, 1864. The latter year saw the completion and occupation of the building. It is located on the south side of the Plainview road, on section 30, and is a plain frame structure, 24 x 36 feet in superficial dimension. It has been painted white, but at this writing (February, 1884) is in need of a new coat of color. The original cost of the building was about six hundred dollars, and it will comfortably accommodate one hundred persons.
A church of the same character and dimensions was built at Pauselim, simultaneously with that at Cook's valley. It was removed to Kellogg in 1882, and is now located in the southwest quarter of section 22. Divine service is held in these churches once in two weeks. Rev. Acres, resident at Read's Landing, is the circuit pastor. The Sabbath school at Kellogg includes about twenty-five pupils, in charge of Mrs. Charles LaRue. Much of the religious information above is derived from records now in the hands of G. A. Cook, who was secretary of the first board of trustees. About the time that these churches were built, a Presbyterian missionary was at work among the people, but he did not succeed in organizing a society. It was at first the intention of the Methodists to build only one church, but it was decided to be necessary that a society be maintained at each end of the town in order to preserve the supremacy of Methodism. No minister of any denomination is resident in the town, and the churches above described are the only ones in existence. Garrett Albertson, a local elder, dwelt here some years, and then removed to Alma, Wisconsin, where he died. Many residents of the town are communicants in the Catholic church at Wabasha.
On November 9, 1869, a meeting of citizens was held to arrange for the establishment of a common burial place. A cemetery association was formed, with J. A. Cole, G. A. Cook and Henry Graner as trustees. The latter was made treasurer, and all have served in the same capacity ever since. Two acres of land were purchased at fifty dollars per acre, from Henry Frye and Henry Graner, and the latter donated one-fourth of an acre. This constitutes Greenfield cemetery, and is located on the south side of the Zumbro, in the center of the south half of section 20. Lots sixteen feet square at first sold for five dollars each, but have materially advanced in valuation since that time.
Chapter 28 ~ "TOWN OF ELGIN"
From the first settlement of the town the hardy pioneers showed their great regard for spiritual welfare by holding religious services in the little log cabins whenever the opportunity offered itself, and regular services were commenced some time during the summer of 1856, at which time Rev. Mr. Lloyd held a series of Methodist meetings at the house of George Bryant. The first church society organized was the Congregational, the organization being effected by Rev. Jonathan Cochrane, a Congregational clergyman, at the house of John Bryant, in the spring of 1857. In this connection, conducting services in private houses and in the schoolhouse on its erection, the society built a parsonage and began preparations for the erection of a church, in 1870, but the edifice was never completed, and the society is virtually out of existence. Its clergymen, since Rev. Jonathan Cochrane officiated, were Revs. Palmer Litts, Holcomb and Henry Willard.
Nothing of historical interest in the way of business or other enterprise occurred until 1866; on October 6 of that year the Elgin circuit of the Methodist church, which had theretofore been connected with the Plainview circuit, being organized. It included the following appointments: Forest Mound, Farmington, Pleasant Prairie, Fitch's schoolhouse and Stone schoolhouse. A board of trustees were legally constituted, and the new circuit took immediate measures toward the erection of a parsonage at Elgin, for which George Bryant gave the land. Labor was commenced October 15, and on November 10 the minister's goods were removed into the hose when only a part of the roof was on. November 19 the building was completed. In 1875 the circuit contracted with J. W. Dickey for the erection of a church edifice, including foundation, for twenty-three hundred dollars, and this edifice was completed about September, 1878, but was totally demolished by the cyclone of July 21, 1883, an account of which is elsewhere given. The ministers of this church are given in the order of their succession, viz: Revs. Nahum Taintor, J. G. Teter, Geo. S. Innis, O. A. Phillips, J. W. Mower, J. W. Stebbins. Elgin cemetery is situated on section 27, but is not connected with any church organization.
The people of Plainview and neighboring towns entered into the good work with remarkable generosity and enterprise, and at a meeting held in the Methodist Episcopal church at Plainview that night upward of two hundred dollars in cash was raised for immediate use. Early next morning a large delegation of men volunteered their services, came to Elgin and labored all day in the rain in the work of providing shelter for the houseless, and helping to save much of the perishable goods that stood exposed to the weather.
We will now take South Street which runs east and west along the southern boundary of the village plat. On the north side of the street, and just west of the railroad track, stood the large barn owned by George Bryant, which was almost entirely demolished. The residence in front of it escaped with but slight damages, as did also Miss Mary Ann Bryant's residence; but her other house, occupied by Fred Meyers, was left half unroofed. Dorr Dickerman's new house, just enclosed, was laid flat on the ground, but the Congregational parsonage, which he occupied, received no material damage. The Methodist church, a beautiful little edifice which cost about four thousand dollars, was a total ruin, hardly a stick left standing, but the parsonage on the lot adjoining, occupied by Ref. J. W. Stebbins, escaped with partial damages.
After the storm the work of reconstruction and repairing was pushed forward with a degree of enterprise and energy that few at the time would have predicted. A commodious and imposing school building has been reared from the ruins of the one destroyed, and now stands as a majestic witness of Elgin's enterprise, while arrangements for the construction of a new church edifice have been definitely made, and as soon as spring opens the edifice will be pushed to completion.
Chapter 29 ~ "HIGHLAND TOWNSHIP"
The people who settled Highland were for the most part religiously inclined, and at an early day began to display their zeal in spiritual matters by organizing churches. The Catholic church undoubtedly was the first to occupy the field with a society. They held services first at the residence of Mr. Timothy Ryan, on whose premises the Catholic church of Highland was afterward erected, Father Tishcant officiating. This society early erected their first church edifice, a structure of no imposing exterior, but sufficient to satisfy the humble sons of toil who came with happy hearts to worthips there. It was 20x30 feet. A fine new building now occupies the site of this pioneer cathedral - a beautiful little white church, with green blinds, and a belfry. Across the street from the church stands the parsonage, which was erected at a cost of sixteen hundred dollars a few years since, and is a nice home for the priest whose good fortune it is to have charge of this rural society. Father Trobec and Rev. Peter Jeran are among the pastors who have done much for the building up of this little Catholic church of Highland, which is styled the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Its members are chiefly of Irish and German descent, of which the larger part of the inhabitants of northeast Highland is composed. Back of this church and in the same inclosure with it is the Catholic cemetery, which has received the remains of many worthy pioneers of Highland township, some of whose graves are marked by pretentious monuments. The church is located on section 10, and is at present presided over by the ages Father Murray. Everything in its surroundings and circumstances proclaims it to be in a highly prosperous condition.
The Protestant societies organized in this township have been many. But they were less prosperous than that hardier religious plant Catholicism, and too numerous for so meager a population to sufficiently nourish. And today the remnants of the once thriving Baptist, Methodist, Congregationalist and Lutheran societies are scattered, and have been gathered into other Christian folds, principally located in the neighboring village of Plainview. Preaching is occasionally held in the Highland schoolhouse, in southeast Highland, and the Methodist Episcopal society (chiefly Norwegians) have a parsonage and sustain regular services in the southwest part of the township; while at Hamps' Mill there still stands the old log church erected by the German Reform or Evangelical congregation in 1866, and still supplied with a pastor, who resides in West Albany, but holds services here biweekly. The Presbyterians in an early day were also suffici3ntly strong to sustain preaching at the Appel Mills schoolhouse, but have not been able to keep up their organization of late years. Each society of three Baptist, Methodist and Congregationalist has taken its turn at conducting revivals in the Highland schoolhouse, and much vigorous religious work has been done within its walls.
The first preaching in the Highland district was done by the Rev. Mr. Dyer in the fall of 1859, at the residence of Mr. Stillman Hathaway; and the following year the Methodist and Baptist societies were organized. A Sunday school was also established about this time, with A. T. James as the first superintendent, which has since continued to exist.
The Methodist society have continued to monopolize most of the preaching up to the present time. The Baptist society numbered at one time some seventy members, but has been practically inefficient since 1872. The pastors of the Plainview Congregational church have had, during a portion of the time, regular services in this district. Of late years the community have been more united, and have given a cordial support, regardless of denominational views, to that sect, whichever it might be, so fortunate as to be able to have a pastor to fill their pulpit, and a greater degree of harmony is noticeable.
Besides the Catholic cemetery before mentioned there is another near the Lutheran or Reform church in West Indian Creek valley, and one grave is to be found marked by an unpretentious marble slab on ground that A. T. James once gave to the settlers for burial purposes, in southeast Highland, near Smithfield.
Chapter 30 ~ "PLAINVIEW VILLAGE"
The first religious organization of any kind in Plainview was effected by the Rev. O. P. Crawford, of Forest Mound, in August, 1857, and consisted of a class composed of the following named ladies and gentlemen, namely, J. Y. Blackwell, Guerdon Town, Sophronia Town, S. Lattie, Mrs. Lattie, Matilda Todd, Mrs. Thompson and Edwin L. Ball. This class afterward developed into the Methodist EpiscopAl church society of Plainview, which opened the first Sunday school in the village in April, 1861, with Franklin Sylvester as supterintendent. The present Methodist church edifice was erected in 1866; it is 33x60 feet, and cost four thousand dollars. The society have also a parsonage that cost them one thousand dollars, which was built in the summer of 1867.
In 1863 the Rev. Henry Williard organized the Congregational church society, which has since become the leading church of Plainview. In 1871 their present church edifice was built, at a cost of seven thousand dollars. Its dimensions are 36x56 feet, with a vestry (the gift of the Rev. H. Williard) 28x32 feet.
The Society of Christians was organized in Plainview February 1, 1864, with twenty members. The first pastor was Abraham Shoemacher. In 1866 they purchased the old schoolhouse and converted it into a church.
The Methodist and Congregational societies support regular weekly preaching.
A Catholic society is organizing and preparing to build a church.
Chapter 32 ~ "MINNEISKA TOWNSHIP"
A church edifice was erected by the Roman Catholics in 1867, costing $1,100. Prior to this date services had been held by that denomination for a period of ten years.
Chapter 33 ~ "PLAINVIEW TOWNSHIP"
These were eastern people, and a spirit of enterprise and advancement came with them. In 1859 a log school-house was put up through the efforts of those last above named, and a school taught by Mrs. William Welds. The husband of the latter was a preacher of the Baptist denomination, and he held religious services in J. B. Haines' house as early as May or June, 1860. In December of this year Rev. D. B. Gleason, a Methodist, preached at the same place, and about this time Mr. Haines attempted to organize a Sunday school, but found so little cooperation that he was compelled to give it up. Rev. Harvey Webb succeeded Mr. Gleason as pastor of the Read's Landing circuit in 1861, and held services here. This was about the last attempt at preaching in the town. An effort was made, not long ago, to organize a sabbath school in the same locality, but was abandoned. In this connection it may be noted that neither church edifice nor saloon have ever been opened in the town. Were the question of licensing a saloon submitted to a vote of the people, it would no doubt receive a large majority.
The present school was built in 1872, and answers the double purpose of school-house and church, the Methodists and Norwegian Lutherans, alternating in their services. The population of Weaver is now about one hundred.
Chapter 41 ~ "LAKE TOWNSHIP"
Mr. Abner Tibbetts built a grain warehouse, which was occupied by J. L. Armstrong and L. H. Maples, who started the forwarding and commission business. During this year the Congregationalists built a small church, which was destroyed by a windstorm while in process of erection, but was immediately rebuilt. The materials for building were rafted from above, principally from Stillwater and Hastings.
Even in as healthy a locality as Lake City, the dread messenger is not unknown, as the many monuments and marble slabs of the present beautiful cemetery, mute testimonials of his visits, show.
Mrs. John Boody, the first person who died in Lake City, and her child, were buried at Muncie Lake. Several others were buried near where Jewel's nursery now is. All of these were afterwards removed to the present cemetery, which is upon a plot of ground set apart by Mr. Abner Dwelle, about the year 1861. Its location, upon the southeast side of the city, separated from the high bluffs only by a ravine, toward which it slopes upon one side, is as pleasant as can be desired, while the regularity of its streets and the numerous evergreens that in future years will shade these quiet graves, show evidences of the taste and care of the proprietor of the grounds Mr. Dwelle.
It contains several fine monuments, and many of the lots have been beautified by the planting of trees and shrubbery. It is a pleasant spot, though it may bring sadness to many a loving heart, and time will add to both its ornamentation and natural beauty.