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Erie County (PA) Genealogy

City of Erie - St John's Lutheran Church History - Chapter 11

Contributed by Bill Klauk

The information below has been scanned and edited from a book titled "...History of... St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church ---at--- Erie, Pa. A.D. 1808 -- A.D. 1908 --- In remembrance of its Centennial August 16--21st, 1908" by the pastor Rev. Gustave A. Benze, A. M.

The scanning, editing, and any digital photography is being done by Bill Klauk; however, Bill Klauk has no association with this church, or with this religion, so he would not be able to answer any questions concerning this work.

Click here to return to Table of Contents. Chapter 11 is presented below.


The history of St. John's Church would be incomplete without a brief reference at least to the Lutheran Home for the Aged, located on its grounds, which is the pride of Erie Lutheranism. This blessed institution, which has had such a rapid growth in the brief time of its existence, had its origin in St. John's congregation, and at first in the heart of the present pastor, who for years agitated the founding of a .Lutheran Home for the Aged, publicly and in private. Later the subject was taken up in the men's society of the church and earnestly discussed from meeting to meeting. But the immediate impulse to the work was given on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the present pastorate, when Rev. C. Theodore Benze, in his festival sermon, emphasized that this anniversary could be commemorated in no more fitting manner than by fulfilling the favorite wish of the pastor by making a start in the Old People's Home movement. This thought was taken up by Mrs. Fred. Fuhrmann, who conceived the idea of starting circles of interested persons pledged to the support of the work. Soon more and more persons became interested in the movement and in March, 1906, a committee on property, consisting of Rev. G. A. Benze, Adam Leib and William Juengst, was appointed. This committee found a suitable property in the former Old Ladies' Home, which was then located on the property of St. John's Church, and used as a private residence. This was acquired in the name of the Lutheran Home for the Aged for $2,500.00. It was opened to its blessed mission of mercy on March 1st, 1906. A committee on constitution, composed of Revs. C. T. Benze, F. E. Strobel, W. E. Frey, J. Schultz, J. J. Neudoerffer and Wm. Juengst, Adam Sapper, Fred. Engel and P. H. Leemhuis, recommended a constitution by which all the different Lutheran churches of the city, affiliated with the General Council, could co-operate in the work and find representation on the board of directors, and since the adoption of the constitution the different Lutheran churches are united in the support of the Lutheran Home for the Aged, but to St. John's Church belongs the honor of starting the movement, and still being one of the strongest supporters of the Home.

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The institution has 22 inmates, a family of 29 in all. The building, including a second addition which is to be built this year (1908), will contain 50 rooms, with accommodations for about 40 inmates.

The value of the property will be about $20,000 when this new addition is completed.

  • The officers of the board of directors are:

    President -- Rev. G. A. Benze.

    Vice President -- Adam Leib.

    Secretary -- Rev. C. T. Benze.

    Treasurer --- F. H. Schuette.

    The officers of the women's board are:

    President -- Mrs. Fred Fuhrmann.

    Vice President -- Mrs. Adam Leib.

    Secretary -- Mrs. C. T. Benze.

    Treasurer -- Mrs. R. B. Willis.

  • Click here to return to Table of Contents.

    Change History: Nov 22, 2002. Original page posted, Chapter 11 only, with two pictures.


    This page was last updated on  Sunday, November 24, 2002 .

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