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HISTORIC OCONTO COUNTY CHURCH HISTORIES


 EMMANUEL EVANGELICAL UNITED BRETHREN CHURCH
MORGAN
Oconto County, Wisconsin
Taken from the Golden Anniversary Booklet 1904 - 1954
 Submitted by   Jan

.THE HISTORY OF
THE EVANGELICAL UNITED BRETHREN CHURCH
IN MORGAN

It was in the late autumn of 1877, when a young man on horseback found his way through the wilderness to a log cabin and a small clearing. This cabin was the home of August Birr, Sr., a recent German immigrants The man's name was Reverend Kuntz, a minister of the Evangelical faith. He had come from Marinette to search out the Birr family, at the re- quest of relatives in Lomira, Wisconsin. The relatives being the Delzer family.

Other visits followed to the family in the log cabin. Each time simple religious services were held. Other interested settlers were invited to hear the minister. Their interest led to the organization of what is now known as the Evangelical United Brethren Church of Morgan.

The charter members of this church were Mr. and Mrs. August Birr, Mr. and Mrs. August Schroeder, Mr. and Mrs. Karl Schroeder, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Wellnitz, Grandpa and Grandma Fredinand Birr, Grandpa and Grandma John Schlorf.

For the first twenty-seven years the congregation had no church building of its own. Church services were held in the home of August Birr. From 1877 to 1885 in the log cabin; from 1885 to 1904 in the cream brick house which is now the home of the Reinhard Birr family.

In the beginning, services were held at irregular intervals. The length of these intervals depended upon the condition of the roads and the weather. Blizzards snow-blocked, rutty and flooded roads during the entire "Horse and Buggy Days" determined the number of services held in any one year. The early settlers had comparatively little cash and the early ministers saw little of this. These early ministers had no salary from the mission fields. They received some pay and there were donations from the members the year round. In the summer and fall months there were donations of eggs, butter, berries, apples. potatoes, vegetables, pickles and sauerkraut. In the winter and spring there were donations of chickens, fresh meats, smoked sausages and ham, lard and butter. The year round there were large bags of oats for the horse.

In general the total income of the early ministers of this church was $ 600.00 a year. The national organization of the church contributed the balance due and not received from the three fields; Marinette, Pensaukee and Morgan.

Because the term of service was limited to three or four years for the early minister of the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the Morgan Church has had a large number of ministers since its organization in 1877. A list of those who have served the Morgan Church are; Reverends Kuntz, Nuss, Eilert, Gauerke, Trautmann, Pfefferkorn, T. Hoffman, Pflueger, Best and Zeller.

This church building built in 1885, by August Krause of Chase, was the District No., I of Morgan schoolhouse until 1904, when the district voted to discontinue the use of building for school purposes. The Evangelical Church organization bought this for $500.00. The few members in Morgan paid the large share of this, Reverend G. Fritsche was District Superintendent, in 1904. Reverend Henry Best was pastor at this time, followed by Reverend W. L. Zeller.

In 1910, Gillett became a separate mission with charges at Hayes and Morgan. In 1914, a parsonage was built at Gillett when Reverend P. F. Walter was pastor and is still being used for the purpose.

The following ministers who served the Morgan Church since an the Gillett circuit are; Reverend P. F. Walter, August Dumke, Wm. Bartel, Harvey Bandt, Philip Koeneke, Harvey Schoss, Wm. King, H. E. Rabe, J. Hoffmann, G. Kunz, Wm. Zeller, Karl Koch, Lester Thiel, Eugene Antrim and S. A. Gutknecht.

Reverend Koeneke's great ambition was to remodel this church and his untiring efforts, with the cooperation of the men of the church began excatvating for basement and remodeling of the church the spring of 1930. Reverend Harvey Schoss succeeded Reverend Koeneke and through hus subcere efforts, good cooperation of men and women the remodeling was completed. The Aid paid $536.94 towards the improvements. The furnace was installed for $240.00.

The dedication of the remodeled church took place July 6, 1930.

Reverend W. L. King who was pastor in 1932-1933, organized "An Adult Choir" with the help of some of the
Aid members. They met once a week for a "Song Service".

Reverend H. Rabe served as pastor 1934-1935.

Reverend J. Hoffmen served for 1935-1936.

Reverend G. Kunz was pastor 1936-1937. The Gillett Church was destroyed by fire January 19, 1937. While helping tear down some of the remaining walls, Rev. Kunz, who was working on a scaffold, fell and broke his hip March 17, 1937. He was taken to a Green Bay hospital where he passed away April 18, 1927. From this tine until after Conference the Pastors from neighboring churches held services.One Sunday the Ladies Aid had charge of services, Reverend G. Raddatz, out District Superintendent held the annual business meeting. Reverend Wm. Zeller was sent here 1937-1938. This was his second appointment here, having served from 1907-1909.

The first lumberjack supper was prepared and served by the men of the church while Reverend Karl Koch was pastor. It was a success and became an annual affair for the next three years. The following was the menus; spare ribs, sauerkraut, potatoes and gravy, wieners, baked beans, pickles, prunes, cheese, cookies, doughnuts, pie and coffee. This was all for the sum of fifty cents.

During Reverend Thiel's pastorate the following items were donated to the church. A chancel -- in memory of Mr. and Mrs. August Birr, Sr., by the family. A pulpit -- donated by Mr. and Mrs. John Wellnitz in memory of Harold Wellnitz. The railing -- donated by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Plautz and Mr. and Mrs. George Birr. The Baptismal Fount -- donated by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Pierret. The Evangelical Hymnals -- donated by Mr. and Mrs Henry Pautz, in 1950.

An electric Minshal-Estey Organ was purchased forn the Schneider Piano Co., of Green bay, in the fall of 1948. This was paid for by donations.

Reverend E.S. Antrim served as pastor from 1950-1954. His parents were missionaries in India and he began his education in the school in the Himalia Mountains of India. Due to the death of his Mother when he was eight years old, he was brought back to the Unted States and spent his choldhood and youth with his grandparents in Illinois. He received his degree in Theology at Naperville Theological Seminary in Illinois.

 OUR LADIES AID

In the month of February, 1920,
We decided our church was in need of plenty.
The carpet was worn, the curtains few,
And a kitchen chair took the place of a pew.
The pulpit was shaky, the floor was black,
And even the stove in its sides had cracks.
So Tena Tymer called us together,
And we all turned out in that stormy weather.
Even Reverend Dumke with his horse and cart,
Drove twenty miles to do his part.
So that day we started a Ladies Aid,
With fifteen cent dues that must be paid.
Present or absent it mattered not,
If you were on a diet or ate a lot.
Now when that meeting was really through,
Nearly everyone had an office or two.
We sang a hymn and Reverend prayed,
For God to bless the Ladies Aid.
From that meeting on we went to work,
And no one ever her duty shirked.
Aprons for lean and fat and small.
And some that didn't fit at all.
Anyt.hing that could be made with needle and thread,
There was always new ideas in some one's head.
If the carpet rags were all in a roll,
I am sure they would reach to the North Pole.
Suppers, socials, sales, and bazaars,
We served the people from near and far.
And no one we know of is any the worse,
From eating a supper in our dear Church.
There was no gas rationing when our Aid began,
And no motor car was always on hand.
Top buggies and sleighs and sometimes on foot,
"Oh Yes", that was the time that lunch tasted good.
And even the horses decided one day,
That they'd put an end to this Ladies Aid.
So when we untied them and started to go,
The way we went home now, it wasn't slow:
Some got seared out when only half way,
And tied up old Barney to a post, so they say,
Called Hubby to get them over the phone,
Said never again will I drive that "Old Roan."
Twelve pastors have come to help in this work,
And many a dime they've given to church.
Their prayers have been many and I guess God Understood,
That each one was doing the best that she could.
Just one of our workers God has called from our midst,
And "Oh" how her kind willing hands have been missed,
We pray when we all have been called far away,
That we'll all be together if there's no Ladies Aid.
                by Mayrnie Birr

THE LADIES AID SOCIETY

On February 2. 192O, the Reverend August Durmke organized a Ladies Aid. The first meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Christine Rymer. The charter members were: Christine Rymer, Ella Babler, Eva Berger, Emma Wahl, Hazel Birr, Maymie Birr, Mary Calba, Emma Birr, Edna Birr and Miss Mary Birr.

The meetings were held at the homes of the members every second and fourth Thursday of each month. Dues were fifteen cents per member per meeting. The meetings were opened with the singing of a hymn, followed with Prayer and Scripture and another hymn. An hour was spent in sewing, which consisted of making aprons, house dresses, pillow slips, pot holders, dresser scarfs, carpet rags, quilts and fancy work. These articles were sold at a bazaar held in connection with a social or supper.

The Ladies Aid has rendered much financial assistance to the church. In 1922, the old windows were replaced by new ones at a cost of $ 151.14. In the spring of 1923, twenty used pews and a pulpit were purchased from our church at Marion, Wisconsin at a cost of $52.00. It cost $30.00 to have them transported by truck to the Morgan Church. When the church was remodeled in 1930-31 the Ladies Aid paid $ 53 6.94 toward improvements. The Aid pays the electric bill and at the end of the year gives a donation to balance the budget. There is a free will offering taken at each meeting for missions. A sunshine fund is used to buy flowers and fruit for the sick.

The present Ladies Aid members, of which there are fourteen, meet the third Thursday afternoon of each month in the homes according to numbers drawn.

I. Edna Birr (Sec.)                                  8. Lydia Plautz
2. Lillie Teschke (Treas.)                     9. Anna Dinse
3. Maymie Birr                                   10. Tillie Pott
4. Josephine Havlik                           11. Margaret Pankratz
5. Mollie Wellnitz                              12. Gladys Schliep (Pres.)
6 .Ella Pautz                                        13. Maude Trapp
7. Anna Kerker                                    14. Ruth Reim (V.-Pres.)

CHURCH MEMBERSHIP ROLL

Birr, AdeliAe Miss
Birr, Reinhart Mr.
Birr, Reinhart Mrs. (Edna)
Birr, Nathan Mr.-Birr. Nathan Mrs. (Bernice) Birr, George Mr. Birr, George Mrs. (Maymie)
Birr, Glen Mr.
Birr, Glen Mrs. (Elaine)
Boettcher, John Mr
Calba, Ernet Mr.
Calba, June Miss
Calba, Marvin Mr. J.
Dinse, Andrew Mr.
Dinse, Andrew Mrs. (Anna)
Dinse, Kenneth
Dinse, Ronald
Dinse, William Mr.
Grych, Louis Mrs. (Veroness)
Havelick, Frank Yr. Mr.
Havelick, Frank Jr. Mrs. (Alrna)
Havelick, Frank Jr.
Pankratz, Ray Mrs. (Margaret)
Pautz, Henry Mr.
Pautz, Henry Mrs. (Ella)
Plalatz, Arthur Mr.
Piautz, Arthur Mrs. (Lydia)
Plautz, Dean
Potts, Julius Mr.
Potts, Julius Mrs. (Tillie)
Rawe, Dora Mrs.
Regal, Arthur
Regal, Gladys
Regal, Gottlieb Mrs. (Lydia)
Regal. Lucille
Rehn, Harvey Mr.
Rehn, Harvey Mrs. (Lois)
Reim, Eldred Mr.
Reim, Eldred Mrs. (Ruth)
Schliep, Albert Mr.
Schliep, Alfred Mr.
Schliep, Alfred Mrs. (Gladys)
Teschke, Donald Mr.
Teschke, Edward Mr.
Teschke. Edward Mrs. (Lily)
Walski, Joe Mrs. (Berwyn)
Welnitz, Irene Miss
Welnitz, John Mr.
Welnit, John Mrs. (Mollie)

THE SUNDAY SCHOOL

A Sunday School was started shortly after the church was organized. One of the early teachers was August Schroeder, who used the German language. Other leaders were Wrn. Berger, Ruth Calba, Mary Birr, Mrs. Christine Rymer. Mrs. Mollie Wellnitz, Lee and Nathan Birr and Ada Schliep.

There were times during the winter months when Sunday School was not active, due to the cold and drifting snow, which closed the roads. But with the return of spring the Sunday School became active. The pupils were eager to prepare lessons for Easter, with programs for Children's Day and Christmas.

Along in July the annual picnic was held by the river in Wellnitz's grove, with preaching and song service in the afternoon. This brought out a good number of friends from the community.

Mrs. Christine Rymer, who was Superintendent for a good number of terms, was most devoted up to the time her health failed.

Mrs. Hazel Birr was organist for about twenty-five years. Since 1950, Mrs. Nathan Birr has been organist and Eldred Reim, assistant organist. Mrs. Alfred Schliep is our present Superintend- ent. Mrs. Eldred@Reim, Vice-President. Mrs. Ed. Teschke is Secretary and Dean Plautz is Treasurer.

Much credit is due to Reverend and Mrs. Antrim for their untiring efforts to keep the Sunday School going.

We must pray for our Sunday School Superintendent, Teachers and pupils, and all who help to make it a growing organization.

E. U. B. YOUTH FELLOWSHIP

From 1939-1943, the Reverend Karl Koch was pastor. During this time he organized the "Youth Fellowship." The charter members were: Lee, Wayne, Berwyn, Glenn, Nathan, Lois Carol and Robert Birr; Jeanette and Dorothy Calba; Ardis Wellnitz, Vera and Doris Pionek. They met in the homes every two weeks. The ages were from 12 - 20 years. There were devotional services, choir practice, then recreation and lunch followed.

The Youth Fellowship members were active in the Sectional Rallies. They were hosts for the July Rally each season, which was held at the Welinitz Grove. A picnic supper was served and vesper services followed by the riverside. The membership increased while Reverend Thiel was pastor. Then some members were called to the service of our country, others went away to school and still others were married. There is no E. U. B. Youth Fellowship at the present time. Others who joined besides the charter members were: Harvey Wellnitz, Marvin and Beryl Calba, Ardella and William Regal, Oliver, Priscilla, La Donna, Carroll and Charles Rehn, Alfred, Bernice and Ada Schliep, and Ruth and Eldred Reim.

Every member paid ten cents for dues at each meeting. Ice cream and pie socials were held by the Youth Fellowship. The money earned was used for the purchase of folding chairs, also, for the expenses of a delegate to Youth Conferences each summer. Some of the money was spent for trees in the church yard and the balance was used to purchase the Christian flag.


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