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First Congregational Church
Naponee, Nebraska

100 Years Old July 10, 1987

Transcribed from photo copies of the original papers belonging to Gleneva Bush.

Naponee, March 31, 1887
Contract for building church

I, William Woolman do hereby agree to build and complete the church edifice 36+36 with 14 foot posts octagon style according to plans and specifications herewith submitted and marked 'B' for the sum of $730.00 dollars besides what work is and can be subscribed on said church subscription list.

Lumber and material as specified in lumber bill marked 36+36 except 750 feet of poplar box to be supplied at yard in Naponee at the option of said Wm. Woolman.

Wm Woolman
A.H. Bush
T G. Thomas

Specifications of Naponee Congregational Church

The building to be octagon shape size 36x36 14 feet posts, 4 main sides to be 16 feet and the 4 sides with doors and c 14 feet, roof to be 1/4 pitch, sills to be what are commonly called boxed sills; to be made of 2x8 and 2x6. Floor joists to be 2x8 and laid 24 in from center to center, to be supported in the center by a timber running through the building and to be bridged and well nailed 8 feet from each side.

Studding to be 2x6 - 14 feet high capped with double 2x6 wall plate firmly secured with iron plates at each of the 8 corners.

Roof to be 1/4 pitch. Rafters to be 2x6 to be well tied by collar beams running both ways the lower to be 2x6 and the upper 6 in fencing. Roof to be worked into an Octagon center piece 4x6 to form a base for tower all studding and rafters to be 16 in from center to center.

Center tower to be 7 feet high and to be finished according to plan. Wall to be sheeted with 1 inch boot and sided with #2 lap siding, siding to be put-on with #8 finishing nails, roof to be sheeted with 1 in boards 2 in apart.

Shingles to be laid 4 inch to the weather. All valley and hife on roof to be covered with 1x 2 in or zinc. Cornice all around building to be finished as per plan

History of the Church
100 Years Old
July 10, 1987

The First Congregational church of Naponee, Nebraska was organized May 15, 1881 with 7 members. They held services in the school house until the building was completed. It is a frame structure, size 36x36 ft. Octagon shape with a bell tower on the south east corner and a steeple on the center of the roof. The lot on which it stands was donated to the church by Mr. Romeo Werner. It was incorporated according to the laws of the State of Nebraska, July 17, 1886.

The church was dedicated July 10, 1887. There were about 13 members at the time of dedication. The average number attending the worship service was 75. The Sunday School was known as the Naponee Union Sabbath School. Total cost of the building when completed was about $1,200.00. Rev. Wm Woolman was the minister at the time of building.

During the fall and early winter of 1924 a basement was excavated under the entire church providing added room for Sunday School, Ladies Aid and social affairs. It was financed by the Ladies Aid and Sunday School.

During the year 1926 a porch was built on the church walls replastered, a hard wood floor laid and church painted both inside and out. This was financed by the church and Ladies Aid.

Pews were purchased in June 1927 from a church in McCook, Nebraska.

Officers and members were: Deacons, T.G. Thomas, A. H. Bush, Mrs. T.G. Thomas, Mrs. E.S. Chappel, Mrs. George Reed, Mr. and Mrs. J. Muzzy.

As mentioned above the Sunday School was a union affair, Supt. H. Fox, Asst. Supt. R. Groley, Secretary, Kate Houtz.

Teachers were Mr. Croley, T. G. Thomas, Miss Mary Larick, Mrs. Vance and Mrs. Larick.

A Glimpse of the Past

Day by day as we live our quiet lives, we do not realize that we are creating history. Little events we pass by, but when recorded and read y ears hence, by those who came after, they form an interesting history that opens the page of the past to present minds in a way that words cannot express. Only those who can remember the events - if it so happens that they are yet alive - can realize the changes that come gradually day by day as Nature tears down and builds up her universe.

Wednesday while the men were tearing down the foundation of the Congregational church, preparatory to putting in the new one of the basement, the corner stone with its sealed jar and contents were removed. The lid of the jar had corroded and the papers were musty and damp, but the writing and printing was still in fine shape.

Following is a brief historical statement of the Congregational Church, as we feel it might be of supreme interest to many of our readers who formerly lived here and who still live and attend its services.

The Church was organized on the 14th day of May 1881 with seven members under the pastorate of Rev. W. Marshall, of Alma. It was incorporated according to the laws of the State of Nebraska July 17, 1886. The number of members at this date are: Males 5, females 8, total 13. The average number of attendants on public worship are about 75. The public services of all denominations have been held in the school house up to this time.

This building which we hope soon to occupy is a frame structure, size 36x36 feet octagon shape with bell tower on the southeast corner.

The total cost of building when completed is to be about $1,200.00. The lot on which it stand is donated to the Church by Mr. Romeo Werner. The American Congregational Union aid us in the amount of $400.00. A list of the subscribers is deposited in the stone with this paper. We, this day, lay this cornerstone with suitable expressions of gratitude to Almighty God, invoking the blessing of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, One in Three, whom we serve and adore, and to whom we hope soon to dedicate this edifice. On this eleventh day of April in the year of our Lord, 1887 and of the independence of the United State of America, One Hundred and Twelve.

Names of present (ae 1924) officers and members of the church

Pastor William Woolman
Deacons: Theodore G. Thomas and Alfred H. Bush
Trustees: A. H. Bush, T.G. Thomas, Geo. Reed, Henry Fox and John Winterscheid.
Church Clerk, Mrs. Hattie K. Howard
Members - A.H. Bush, Mrs. A.H. Bush, T.G. Thomas, Mrs. H.K. Howard, Mrs. R.S. Chappel, Mrs. E. Watts, Geo Reed, Mrs. Geo Reed, Wm Woolman, Mr. J. Muzzy, Mrs. J. Muzzy.

The subscription list was started June 21, 1886 and provided that the undersigned agreed to pay amount opposite their name for the purpose of building a Congregational Church in Naponee, said church to be under a board of five trustees three to be members of said church and two to be chosen from the citizens of Naponee and vicinity, said building to be open to other Evangelical Societies at least half of the time. This subscription to be paid in cash (or by note made payable Jan 1, 1887) on Sept. 1, 1886 and work pledged shall be done as the contracts for said building shall call for the same. This subscription to be void unless four hundred ($400.00) dollars be raised in cash and about the same amount in work.

The signers were: Theodore G. Thomas, Rev. W. Woolman, Wilbur W. Howard, Mrs. H.K. Howard, Ray and Bendle, Carson Hildreth, A.H. Bush, C.A. Bush, Geo C. Vance, Henry Fox, John Woolman, John Winterscheid, Wm Sincock, Samuel Gillard, Emily Johnson, P.O. Reed, Kanzelmeyer, Rosenthal, Wm Barney, L.L. Vanatta, J.P.A. Black, Asa Blackledge, T.F. Ashby, J.E. Kelley, C. Larick, I.A. Sheridon, Wilt and Polly, I. Kowalter, M.F. Allen, Mrs. L.B. Longyear, G. Muzzy, Wm Mose, and two more names faded out till they were almost gone. The amounts of money were from $3.00 to $55.00 more than $5.00 being subscribed.

The Sunday School was known as the Naponee, Union Sabbath School.

The following was the officers and roll: Supt. Mr. H.Fox - Ass't Supt. Mr. I. Croley, Sec. Kate Houtz.

Bible Class No. 1, Mr. Croley teacher; members M.J. Polly, Mrs. Fox, Mr. Larick, Mr. C.O. Huntington, Mrs. Chapel.

Bible Class No. 2, Miss Mary Larick, (later she was Mrs. Dixon) teacher; Roll, Tammie Vance, Minerva Vance, Nora Wilt (Carter) Ida Fox, Etta Sincock, Miss Rose, Mary Fox (Mrs. Fred Bush) John Woolman, Fred Bush, Mr. L. Ault, Mary Moore (Ault), Joseph Moore, Wm Davisions.

Progressive Class, Mr. Thomas Teacher, Roll, John Fox, Martin Larick, Joseph Larick, Geo Larick, Frank Bush, Enoch Woolman, Henry Rose, Ernest Polly.

Wide Awake Class no. 1, Mrs. Vance teacher. Roll, Morton Hartwell, Leland Howard, John Larick, Charley Fox, Joseph Woolman, Amos Rose, Lucy Fox (Gillard), Jermice Diehl, Nellie Ray, Martin Vance, Lilly Sincock (Hursch) Amanda Faith, Katie Warner.

Little Workers, Mrs. Larick teacher, Roll, True Woolman, Mirna Woolman, Bessie Sincock, Carrie Warner, Willie Fox, Ella Larick, Bernie Woolman, Geo Bendel, Blanch Vance, Herbert Davison, Henry Woolman.

A short historical sketch was also among the papers in the corner stone but as was published practically the same last spring we will not include it as this time.

A copy of the Nebraska congregational News; for Apr 1887 published at Lincoln; a copy of The Advance; for March 17, 1887 published in Chicago; also a church paper and a copy of The Franklin County Guard for Apr 17, 1887, published at Bloomington. In it we find a interesting article about the lady drummer a new vocation for women at the date.

Prices of produce are especially interesting, wheat, No. 2, .50 c; No. 3, .42 c and .45 c; rye .23 c; corn, ear, new, .18 c; corn shelled .19 c; hogs $4.65; steers live $3.00 chickens, live $1.50 and $2.00 (per hundred we suppose) Turkeys, live 7 c.

A millinery ad priced fashionable hats from .25 c on up.

Another ad offers a set of harness for $27.00. Still another offers blackberries at .10 c a can, Naponee patent flour at $1.40 another offers 18 yards of dress goods for $1.00.

Surely times have changed, one will leave it for those who lived then and now to say whether they have changed for the better or worse.

The papers, news and ads seem odd when taken from the past but people were happy then as now, perhaps more so.

History does not record that, only as time passes and the burdens and tasks of other hands and days fall to us to perform and a glimpse is given us of former days do we realize the changes that have come so gradually as time goes on.

Dated Naponee Feb 6, 1887

We, the undersigned agree to pay ...(unreadable)... Woolman, the sum set opposite our names for his services as Minister for preaching to the Congregational Church at Naponee one half of the time for one year commencing May 1887 payable at the end of the first six months.

A.H. Bush $10.00
Hattie K. Howard $5.00
Geo C. Thomas $10.00
Millard Allen $5.00
Wilt & Polly in flour $5.00
Hartwell $5.00
P. Rasmussen $2.00
Wm Sincock $2.00
R.S. Chapell $2.00
Eliza Hart $2.00
J.S. Ray $5.00
James Wiley $2.00
C. Larick $5.00

Naponee, Nebraska
June (Year? unreadable)

We the undersigned hereby agree to pay the amount opposite our names for the purpose of building a Congregational Church in Naponee.

Said church to be under the control of a board of five Trustees, three to be members of said Congregational Church and two to be chosen from the Citizens of Naponee and vicinity. Said building to be open to other Evangelical Societies at least half the time.

This Subscription to be paid in cash (or by note made payable Jan 1, 1887) on September 1, 1886 and all work pledged, to be done as the Contractor for said building shall call for the same. This subscription to be void unless four hundred ($400.00) dollars be raised in cash and about the same amount in work.

Name Cash Labor
? No Name $50.00 10
Isaac Croley one lot $25.00 10
Rev. W. Woolman $25.00 $25.00
Wilbur W. Howard $15.00
Mrs. H.K. Howard $10.00
Ray and Bendle $25.00
Carson Hildreth $25.00
A.H. Bush $25.00
Cordelia A. Bush $25.00
Geo C. Reed $25.00
L.M. Bowles $25.00
Geo Vance -- 8
Henry F ox -- $25.00
John Woolman -- $10.00
John Winterscheidt $5.00 $10.00
Wm Sincock -- $6.00
Samuel Gillard $10.00
Muzzy -- --
Johnson $5.00
W.J. Jeffry $10.00
O.D. Reed $10.00 $10.00
Kanzelmeyer $25.00
Rosentall -- $5.00
Barney $10.00
L.L. Vanetta $5.00
J.P.A. Black $5.00
Asa Blacklege $3.00
T.M. Ashby $5.00
J.E. Kelly $5.00
C. Larick $10.00
Sheridan $20.00
Wilt and Polly $25.00
M.F. Allen $10.00
P. Rasmussen $10.00

Naponee, Nebraska
May 20, 18?

For the benefit of the Naponee Union Sunday School in song service we agree to aid in purchasing an organ therefore we agree to pay the sum signed on or before the tenth (10th) of June 10 be appropriated in purchasing an organ.
Mr. Samuel Barnes $3.00
Ralph Barnes $3.00
Mr. A.H. Bush $3.00
Wilson Wilt $3.00
Geo. Vance $3.00
John Kawalte $3.00
Polly $3.00
Hartwell $3.00
H. Bingham $3.00
G.F. Cook $3.00
Lee Ault $3.00
T.G. Thomas $3.00
M.C. Larick $3.00
F. Bush $2.00
Lee Howard $2.00
Henry Fox $2.00
C.B. Goddard $1.00
Geo Larick $1.00
Mr. Geo Johnson $1.00
Miss Louisa Rose $1.00
Miss Amelia Stover $1.00
J.W. Houtz $3.00
J.S. Ray $3.00
C.E. Bendel $2.00
C.J. Evans $3.00
Chas Gillard $1.00
Wm Stover $2.00

Naponee, March 22, 1886

We the undersigned promise to pay ? William Woolman the Sum set opposite our names for his services as Minister for preaching to the Congregational Church at Naponee one half of the time for one year commencing May first, 1886 payable at the end of the first six months.

A.H. Bush $10.00
Eliza Watts $2.00
Mr. and Mrs. Howard $10.00
Robt Dow $5.00
Isaac Croley $5.00
J.S. Ray $5.00
R.S. Chapel $2.00
T.G. Thomas $10.00
L.M. Borreles $2.00
E.B. Longyear $2.00
Werner and Bendel $2.00
John Bates $2.00
? F.H. $1.00
Wm H Barney $5.00 $2.00
C.E. Bendel $2.00
A.C. Rosentahl $1.00
Wm Sincock $1.50
I. Kawelti $2.00
P. Rasmussen $2.00
Geo C and Dillie M. Reed $10.00
Kawelti $5.00

We the undersigned promise to pay to Rev. William Woolman the following produce, namely

Wm. H. Barney, 100 lb. flour $2.25
Wm. A Moore 50 lbs. flour $1.12
Paid $2.00
W. Wilt 200 lb flour $4.50
James 100 lb flour $2.25
Isaac Chapel $1.00

Dated Naponee March 13, 1893

We the undersigned (unreadable) opposite our respective names, to the Trustees of the Congregational church of Naponee for the year 1893.

A. H. Bush $10.00
B.F. Swanson $5.00
Ella $5.00
T.G. Thomas $10.00
F.D. Bush $10.00
J. Muzzy $10.00
Mrs. Fox $5.00
Henry Fox $10.00
Henry Muzzy $10.00
Frank Bush $5.00
Samuel S. Barnes $10.00
Jesmie Diehl $2.00
Mary Swanson $5.00
Phebe E. Grooves $5.00
C.A. Thomas $5.00
Maude H. Bush $2.00
E.C. Strimple $5.00
R.H. Vanatta $5.00
C.S. Woodrow $5.00
Depot Agent
Everett S. Sutton $5.00
John J. Kawelti $5.00
P. Rasmussen $5.00
H.C. Goodale $3.00
Eliza J. Muzzy $3.00
Laura Muzzy $2.00
Chas Schroff $3.00
J.S. Ray $5.00
J.W. Houtz $3.00

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