In the 1870's free land grants brought homesteaders to . this area. It was they who built little log cabins to shelter their families, who sowed wheat and planted potatoes among pine stumps, then often left their families to tend the crops, while they worked for wages in a lumber camp or for more prosperous settlers, sometimes far away from their new homes. What matters most to us, their descendants, these pioneers realized their own need and the need of their children for spiritual guidance. The • pioneer life has often been portrayed in glorious colors, but the dangers accompanying life on a frontier are frequently overlooked. Our early settlers were for the most part a God-fearing lot; and that fact paved the way for missionary work.
Rev. P.W. Dicke is an example of early circuit riders. Mrs. William Bartz sought out Rev. Dicke, after twenty-five miles of hiking with her baby son Frank and her four year old daughter. Mrs. Bartz asked Pastor Dicke to baptize her son. When the Rev. learned that she had come \ so far and that there were other families living here, he said, "Now it is time that these people also have the Word of God preached to them." For about 10 years he came ast often as he could, about once every six weeks without pay. * It was several years before the people were able to raise enough to pay even part of the pastors expenses for the trips.
At about the same time that Reverend
Dicke was journeying to Hayes, the Methodist had also sent missionaries
to the Hayes area. Records show that as early as 1890 a group was
ice cream socials to raise funds for the erection of a church. This was
the pattern, small groups working together, holding services in homes
village halls, followed by formal congregational organization and the
This chart shows the dates of organization and dedication of some of our local churches.
|Chlurch||Date Organized||Ethnic Origin||Church Construction|
|Tabor Lutheran Mountain||1904||Swedish||1908|
|St. John Hayes||1886||German||1886
|St. Michael Suring||1906||1913 - school
|St. Michael Chapel||1966|
|Methodist Church Suring||1895||German||1903|
|Mt. Olive Suring||1923||1925
|Trinity Lutheran MapleValley||1875||Norwegian Swedish||1887|
|Methodist Church Hickory||1845||1894|
|Church of Christ Hickory||1845||1894|
|Emmanuel Lutheran Breed||1911||1914|
|Maple Valley Community Church||1894|
St. John's Lutheran Church - Hayes
St. John's Lutheran Congregation
was organized in 1886. The three elders chosen were William Buhrandt,
Ruch, and William Bartz.
Twenty men each contributed $5.00 toward the purchase of 40 acres of woodland for $100.
Plans were made at once for the erection of a church building. Trees were cut and timbers dressed for a log building. The entire church, including the furnishings. benches, and altar, was constructed by members of the congregation.
Pastor Dicke was in charge of the dedication services which took place in November of 1887. Pastor Dicke served the Hayes congregation from 1876 until 1892, making the long journey from Town of Washington in a buggy or cutter.
In 1892 the Rev. John Huchthausen,
pastor of the Gillett church, consented to serve the Hayes church.
a few years of active work, he was called to serve another congregation.
Rev. F. Uplegger, from Germany, served the congregation from 1894 until 1903. During his pastorate, the present brick parsonage was built (1899).
Pastor A.C. Plass accepted the congregations call in 1903 and served them until 1926. Many changes took place in the congregation during these years.
A new church was built in 1904. The old log church was moved to the south-east corner of the church property and was used for a schoolhouse until the spring of 1913. In that year the present brick schoolhouse was built. The old log church/schoolhouse was torn down to make room for the convenient parking of horse-drawn vehicles and the infrequent motor-car.
Pastor Otto W. Schreiber came to St. John's on July 11. 1926 and served until the fall of 1956. During his tenure, the teacherage was built in 1941, the pipe organ was installed in 1946, and an addition was built to the school in 1952.
Pastor E.L. Wendling served the
congregation from 1958 until 1962, followed by Pastor William A.
in 1963; then Pastor Floyd Gogolin.