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Town of How, Oconto County, Wisconsin


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St John Lutheran Church - A History

Cemetery Stone Transcriptions


St John Lutheran Church - (Hayes, Town of How, WI)


During the 19th century, religion in German did not retain the purity we like to think existed after the Reformation. There was an age of "Rationalism", founded on the idea that man's reason was the safest guide in everything. This led again to the idea that man is saved by good works, because that is the reasonable thing to believe.

Some of the people looking for a better place in which to safeguard and promote their faith in Jesus as the only way to Heaven were the founders of our Missouri Synod who emigrated to Missouri in 1836. Another family was the Dicke family. Still more were some pioneers who settled in the Town of How, Oconto County.

Peter H. Dicke became interested in being a missionary to American after reading appeals from the Missouri Synod Lutherans. He studied theology in Nurnberg, then came to America and continued studying in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Pastor Dicke served 5 years in Michigan, then in Mayville, Wisconsin, later in Belle Plaine and Pella in Shawano County, and in 1874, he moved to Town Washington, near Cecil.

Late in 1875, William and Johanna Bartz homesteaded a tract of land in Oconto County. In the spring of 1876, Johanna, carrying their infant son, Franc, and with Marie, their four year old daughter, trudging at her heels, walked some 25 miles along wilderness trails leading through the Indian Reservation to have the child baptized by Rev. Dicke. When Pastor Dicke heard that there were a few other Lutheran families near there, he said, "Now it is time that these people also have the word of God preached to them."

Not regularly, but faithfully, and as often as possible, Pastor Dicke traveled by horseback to the Town of How. He held services in the home of Herman Yakel, the oldest settler in the Town of How.

When Edward Suring settled on the present Ruben Rakow farm, Pastor Dicke held a second service in their home. Besides the Herman Yakels and Edward Surings, the attendants at these services were: Robert Yakel, William Bartz and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Moewe, Carl Schroeder, and Mrs. Henry Johnson.

It was several years before our people were able to raise collections to pay even a part of the expense of Pastor Dicke's trips here.

His attitude was: "What else could I expect? Had I not come to America for that very purpose, to be a missionary?"

So, ten years passed, but during those ten years other "missionaries" came, never asking for contributions, praising good works, perverting the doctrine of the Lord's Supper. When our forefathers began to realize that, unless the pure Gospel was preached as zealously as these false teachers were working, it would be lost entirely, they decided to organize a congregation, to buy land, and to build a church.

And so, according to a deed from the Oconto Company, dated August 2, 1886, 40 acres, more or less according to government survey, was purchased approximately near the center of the Town of How. The price of the land a mere (to us) $100.00, but in those days, when a family's cash income for a year might not exceed $50.00, it seemed astronomical.

Accurate records could not be found, but a list of twenty men, who each contributed $5.00 seems to have included:

William Buhrandt - Frederick Hischke
Herman Yakel - August Ruch
William Bartz - John Pethke
Edward Suring - John Venzke
August Schuettpelz - Frederick Drewe
William Schuettpelz - Christian Hein
Ferdinand Schuettpelz - Herman Elfe
Martin Schuettpelz - Gustave Hischke
Christian Zaddack - Carl Kruschke
William Schoessow - August Buhrandt

Of these, William Buhrandt, August Ruch, and William Bartz were chosen as "elders".

During the winter of 1886, trees were felled on the newly acquired church property and during the summer of 1887 a church was built and furnished by volunteer labor. Except for the small, cheap windows, no money was required. In November it was formally dedicated to the glory of God during a service in charge of Pastor Dicke, wherein Pastor Ebert of Shawano preached the sermon.

Pastor Dicke still served our congregation while living in Town Washington; making the long journeys in buggy or cutter, as the seasons passed. In 1892, Rev. John Huchthausen was called to our sister congregation of Immanuel, Gillett, and also agreed to serve the congregation, as well as other newly-organized congregations in Oconto County, as pastor Dicke was advancing in age and had other steadily increasing responsibilities.

After the first wave of immigration, at the end of which our congregation was formed, had passed, settlers filtered in more slowly, but rather steadily, notwithstanding. Whatever records were kept have long since been lost, unfortunately for us, as they must have been records of heroic effort. At least, no written records survive from earlier than the beginning of the 1890's. The first confirmation class entered in the church records now existing is the Class of 1895. But, beyond a doubt, the first regular confirmation ceremony to be performed here took place seven years earlier, when the following were confirmed by Pastor Dicke: William Zaddack, Alvin Hischke, William Bartz, August A. Schuettpelz, Anna Hein, and the two Bertha Schuettpelzes.

In 1894, Pastor Huchthausen received a call to Upper Michigan. He was succeeded as pastor in Gillett by Rev. F. Uplegger, who also served St. John congregation. When Pastor Uplegger left Gillett for Denmark in 1899, plans were begun to build a parsonage and call a resident pastor. Rev. Heike, also a pastor of Immanuel, served as vacancy pastor. When it was learned that Rev. Uplegger would like to return to the United States, St. John congregation extended a call and he accepted.

During the next four years, our congregation prospered. A parsonage was constructed according to a plan drawn by Rev. Uplegger, and many other houses in the community were patterned after it. Credit for beginning a systematic record of meetings and statistics of the congregation must also go to Pastor Uplegger. During his years here, discussion took place concerning the construction of a new church building. In 1903, when Pastor Uplegger left us for the second time to accept a call to Hamburg, Germany, plans were fairly definite to build a new brick church, and to arrange for the regular instruction of the young people in religion and the German language. Such instruction had been given in the pastor's home, some young people boarding with the pastor's family or a near-by relative during a few months of the winter. Mrs. Uplegger assisted her husband in teaching the young people. Messers. Martin Plass, David Larsen, and Jacob Pfeiffer also taught during this time.

In 1903, we extended a call to Rev. A. C. Plass to be our second full time pastor for an annual salary of $450.00 plus free rent and firewood and an opportunity to do some farming on the side.

The plan for a new church, submitted by architect Gruenhagen of Oshkosh, was approved in the spring of 1904, and he was given a contract to supply the necessary carpentry, besides supervising the general construction. William Buhrandt undertook to supply all the required masonry, bricklaying and building of the foundation. What a blessing, for the third time, our 40 acre tract of woodland proved to be! Stones for the foundation and lumber for the old church, the parsonage, and now the new church, besides quantities of firewood over the years and a large grove for the outside services and picnics are all products of our forefathers' foresight.

On November 13th, 1904, the dedication took place. Pastors L. Schuetz and D. Markworth each preached a German sermon, an English sermon was preached by Pastor L. Schmidtke of Chippewa Falls, the first English sermon preached in our midst. (It seems Pastor Uplegger had preached an occasional Danish sermon in Maple Valley and this English sermon was a gesture of friendship to those we had invited to be our guests.)

The old log building had been moved to the south-east corner of the land to make way for the new church and it was now used as a schoolhouse until the spring of 1913, although some classes were still held in the pastor's home. When Pastor Plass was called in 1903, it was specified that the new pastor must be willing to instruct three days a week from October until Palm Sunday, on which Sunday confirmation services usually took place. For three terms, Pastor Plass appears to have taken complete charge of the school. In 1906, it was resolved to hire a lady teacher to teach for a term of three months. The amount the Pastor collected and paid to the teacher as salary was $133.00. After several years, the term was expanded to five months; then six months became the rule until 1926. Misses Lydia Markworth, Marie Schliebe, Mathilda Destinon, Magdalene Gilhoff and Anna List taught from 1906-1913.

A new brick schoolhouse was built in 1913 at a cost almost as great as that of the church erected in 1904, although it was much smaller in size and much simpler in construction. Mr. Paul Jank, a divinity student, was the first instructor in the new school. Misses Ella Raasch and Ella Pagenkopf each taught two terms. Mr. Harold Plass and Miss Gertrude Simon each taught one year, followed by Miss Martha Struck, who held the position from 1921-1925, then married Fred Hischke and became a permanent member of our congregation. Miss Esther Pahlow taught during the term 1925-1926.

St. John's German parochial school, conducted in much the same manner as a "Volksschule" in Germany during the latter half of the nineteenth century furnished instruction in Bible stories, Catechism, and German reading, writing and speaking. The school was wholly supported by the congregation, independent of state regulations.

It was uncommon for boys and girls at that time to continue formal education beyond the eighth grade. After completing the eighth grade in a public school, or frequently a year or two before completing it, our young folks attended the parochial school, and thus gained their last impression of formal education in religious surroundings. As the German language was almost exclusively used in our church, these two years of education, coming at a most critical period of a child's life, were of great benefit to them.

However, during and after World War I, the German language was used less and less. Most parents at this time had been born in America and received most of their education in English, attending parochial school probably two or three years at the most. Although the German instruction probably made a deep impression on them, they could not expect their children to receive the same benefit from it. Children reaching school age during the War, and ever since, rarely learned enough German to understand much of what they heard in church.

The increasing desire for English church services eventually led Pastor Plass to preach occasional sermons in English during his last years here and to instruct children, when necessary, in English.

In 1921, under the guidance of Pastor Plass, a Ladies' Aid Society was organized, with 23 ladies as charter members, to do missionary and welfare work within the congregation and the Missouri Synod. One of the Society's purposes was to aid needy students preparing for the ministry. It also helps congregation members at times of weddings and funerals by preparing meals. The "Ladies Aid Potato Pancake Supper", held the last Sunday of October, has become an annual event looked forward to by all. Some accomplishments through the years have been: refinishing the floor of the church, buying tables, chairs, dishes and a large stove for the church basement, extensive remodeling of the kitchen, and donating generously to other congregation projects. The ladies make many quilts every year for Lutheran World Relief, buy Bibles for the third grade pupils in our school, and donate monthly to the American Bible Society and to Marshall and Vanice Schultz, Bible translators in Africa. There are 26 members at the present time.

Our congregation joined Synod in January, 1926. At that time it was The Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States, now it is our Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod or LCMS.

Pastor Plass labored among us for 23 years. He resigned in 1926 due to failing health. Before he left, a call was sent to Rev. O. W. Schreiber, then pastor in Mellen, Wisconsin. Pastor Schreiber accepted the call and was installed July 11, 1926.

From the wording of his call, Pastor Schreiber had expected a parochial school where both religious and secular subjects were taught and which complied with state requirements in the secular area. He had accepted the call mainly, he said, because we possessed such a school. And what did he find upon his arrival? A german school! "Well", suggested one of the board members, "why not make it a Christian Day School?" So on that very occasion, despite numerous expenditures required almost at once, our German school changed into the type of school it is today.

Miss Emma Donath, later Mrs. Hubert Scheer, was hired to teach for nine months (1926-1927), not only religion, but all standard public school subjects as well, to all grades from first to eighth. The pastor instructed the confirmation classes for two years before conformation and taught German to those pupils who wanted to learn that language. This was integrated into the regular days' classes.

Miss Clara Hasz taught the next year (1927-1928) followed by Miss Dorothy Bergmann, who remained four years, (1928-1932). A male graduate of River Forest, Mr. E. E. Schmidtke, taught for three years, followed by Mr. L. Piotter and Mr. H. Mroch each teaching one year.

Thus, our children have been receiving both religious and secular instruction in a Christian atmosphere throughout their primary education and are ready to continue in a secondary school as soon as they receive their eighth grade diploma. There is, besides a saving of two whole years, a skillful combining of education with religion that impresses on the children the necessity of God's word daily as a part of their training for life. This is of special importance when religion plays as small role in the everyday family life. Our eighth grade graduates going on to Suring High School have earned a good reputation for our school. They are by no means deficient in their secular education.

During the summer of 1926, Pastor Schreiber led the young people, those between confirmation and marriage, into organizing St. John's Young People's Society. Miss Emma Donath, the teacher of our day school, was the Society's first president. The aims of the Society were Bible Study, making improvements within the church, and supplying wholesome forms of recreation for the young people in our congregation. A noteworthy undertaking was the redecoration of the church interior in 1934. At one time, the society was a member of the Walther League, the young peoples' organization of the LC-MS and provided a president of the North Wisconsin District of the Walther League, James Schuettpelz.

Other improvements from 1926-1936 were the electrification of our church, school and parsonage, excavation and building of a basement beneath the church for meetings, dinners and fellowship, improvement of the heating systems in church, school and pastor's residence, complete renovation and beautiful redecoration of the interior of the church by the Y.P.S., and the fixing of a gold cross in place of a wrought iron spire on the steeple.

The English language rose to occupy an equal status with the German. In 1933, a Sunday School was begun with an enrollment of 70 children. An adult Bible Class was also begun ant taught by the Pastor.

On June 7, 1936, our congregation celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Rev. Uplegger returned from his duties among the Apache Indians in Arizona to preach a German sermon in the morning service. Rev. Frank Hischke, up until 1936, the only pastor our congregation had produced, and at that time a pastor for deaf-mutes in St. Louis, conducted an afternoon service in English. Another English service was held in the evening with Rev. H. Paul Westmeyer, pastor of our sister congregation in Suring, preaching the sermon.

In February, 1937, a motion was passed in the congregational meeting "that Rev. Schreiber be permitted to take a more active part in the R.E.A. temporarily, if a helper can be provided to take his place in the congregation, when necessary." Although the buildings on the church property were serviced by the Wisconsin Public Service, establishing a Rural Electrification Co-operative in Oconto County benefitted many of our rural members and, eventually, the congregation buildings were also joined to the Co-op, giving us cheaper current.

In 1937, Mr. Clarence Radl of New Ulm, Minnesota, answered our call to become teacher of our Christian Day School. During his tenure here, her married a daughter of our congregation, Elsie Schuettpelz who had been a public school teacher. She loved teaching and took charge of the lower grades for her husband without any extra expense to the congregation. Our enrollment almost doubled in a few years.

Because we now had a married teacher, a home had to be provided. When Mr. &. Mrs. Radl moved to Menominee, Wisconsin, in 1945, we extended a call to Mr. F. C. Groth of New Orleans. Mr. Groth had been a missionary in Brazil early in his career. He was an excellent organist.

The old reed organ, having outlived its usefulness in leading a large congregation in song, was replaced by a new two-manual pipe organ, built in our church by Lee Stoll of Oshkosh in 1946. Mr. Bunjes, of Wausau, served as our consultant.

Mrs. Groth also assisted her husband and was paid a small salary. When she retired because of ill health in 1952, Irene Rakow was engaged to take over the lower grades, but fell victim to a polio attack just before school started. Miss Norma Natzke of Wayside was persuaded to fill in until January when Miss Rakow and Miss Ruth Hischke took over. After that Irene taught for two years.

During World War II, 28 men and two ladies from our congregation served in the Armed Forces. Two men lost their lives, Wesley Schumann (Schuettpelz) and Harold Stuewer.

In the early forties, an international women's organization was begun in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, having Missionary Inspiration, Missionary Education, and Missionary Service as its goals. Originally, our Ladies' Aid Society joined as a whole, devoting one meeting every four months to the Lutheran Women's Missionary League. But some members of the Ladies' Aid did not care to participate in the LWML projects and some ladies of the congregation wanted to be members of the LWML without belonging to the Ladies' Aid, so the societies separated. There were 12 charter members and now are 22. We have sent numerous packages to Germany, and did some sewing for needy children after World War II. We usually send money as a Christmas gift to a missionary's wife. We have our "mite boxes", the contents of which are collected every three months and sent to aid in District and International Projects. We have a fall and spring Zone Rally, besides a District and International convention in alternating years, and a Retreat every year at Camp Luther.

In 1952, the school received extensive remodeling, providing a better room for the primary grades. Indoor toilets were installed, probably the first such improvement to any rural school in Oconto County. A school dedication service was held on the second Sunday in September, 1952.

Also in 1952, we sponsored some German families displaced during World War II. A house near the church was refurbished for them. The first family stayed only a short time as they had relatives in Illinois and soon moved there. The second family prospered, bought a farm, and some members of it are still members of our congregation.

In 1937, divine services were conducted both in German and in English. Over the years, less German was being spoken and fewer people could understand it. In 1953, one German service was held in the morning of the first Sunday each month with an English service in the evening. In December, 1955, there was a special motion passed to have a German service on Second Christmas Day. There was usually a German service on New Year's Day and Easter Monday at that time also.

Mr. Groth having accepted a call in November 1954 to Manawa, Wisconsin, we called Mr. Robert Nehrig from Nebraska. He taught from January, 1955, to the summer of 1957 when he moved to Michigan. Miss Helen Wenger was our primary teacher for almost two years, 1955-1957, Mrs. Harold Bartz finishing the spring term in 1957. Miss Wenger became Mrs. Roland Hischke in 1956. A graduate of River Forest Teachers College in Illinois, Mr. Even Schiller, taught for one year and in 1958, Miss Regine Haendschke began a two year term. Miss Wenger and Miss Haendschke were both native Wisconsinites, Miss Wenger coming from Wisconsin Rapids and Miss Haendschke from Hortonville. In 1957-58, a congregation member who had been a public school teacher, Mrs. Karl Marcheske, taught the upper grades, although Mr. Schiller was principal. In 1958, Mr. Larry Scheuerlein became principal and teacher of the upper grades. Her was succeeded in 1960 by Mr. Harold Krueger and Miss Haendschke was followed by Miss Beverly Zahrt of Wausau. Miss Zahrt taught for two years, 1960-62. Miss Pauline Becker of Ontario, Canada then taught two years 1962-64, as did Miss Hilda McClone from White Clay Lake 1964-1966, all teaching the primary grades while Mr. Krueger taught the upper grades.

In January, 1954, a redecoration of the church was discussed but only the ceiling was replaced. Before a new pastor arrived in 1956, the parsonage was completely renovated.

Pastor Schreiber, after serving faithfully for 30 years, tendered his resignation in April, 1956. He remained in Hayes and a member of our congregation until his death, May 8, 1968. His beloved wife, who presided over the parsonage for 30 years, preceded him in death March 6, 1963.

While Rev. Westphal, of Gillett, served as vacancy pastor, calls for a pastor were extended and returned until, after receiving the call twice, Rev. Wendling from Auburndale accepted and was installed Sept. 15, 1957.

On October 20, 1957, it was voted to have men and women receive communion at the same time. The old German custom of men and women each occupying the benches on separate sides of the church sanctuary had gradually been discarded and now whole families could partake of the Lord's Supper together.

It was decided to celebrate the 75th anniversary of our congregation on Sept. 17, 1961. Pastor Schreiber and Pastor Waldemar Hischke preached, the ladies served dinner and all confirmands from 1950 on were specially invited. At this time, our congregation numbered approximately 515 baptized members, 340 communicants, and 105 voting members.

A Parent-Teacher League was formed as an auxiliary of our school in 1961 under the direction of Mr. Krueger. Topics pertaining to our school curricula are presented and discussed at the meetings. The League fosters closer home-school-church relations as well as providing for needs of the school not met by the congregation budget. It has purchased science equipment, an FM radio and record player, a TV, a vacuum cleaner, and recently, a computer to bring our children into the modern age of computers. The mothers in the P.T.L. furnish a hot lunch for the school children every Wednesday noon through arrangements made at P.T.L. meetings.

In May, 1962, a cemetery association was formed to take care of the church cemetery. It was hoped the interest from money donated to the cemetery fund will eventually provide for the upkeep of the cemetery.

In 1963, a lighted cross was added to the steeple to proclaim to the community the foundation of our faith.

Rev. Wendling received a call to Emmaus Lutheran Church at Waupaca in November, 1962. Regretfully, we released him, but asked him to stay until after confirmation. On March 1, 1963 a call was sent to Rev. William Chellew. He accepted and was installed on May 5, 1963.

The matter of renovating our church building was again discussed. A committee consisting of Rev. Chellew, Theodore Adams, Conrad Bartz, James Brauer, Elmer Gardebrecht, Martin Hischke, Alfred Schuettpelz and Robert Schuettpelz was elected. The architect engaged was John Wolf of Shawano, the general contractors were Felts Construction Company and the plumbing, heating and electrical work was done by Pulcifer Hardware. Altogether the project cost approximately $65,000.00.

The sanctuary was completely repainted, new lighting fixtures installed, the stained glass windows in the chancel and the old altar were removed and a modern altar backed by a large wooden cross installed, the front of the church and the basement were enlarged for the addition of rest rooms below and a large narthex on the main floor, thus eliminating the outside steps. The Walther League bought new carpeting for the chancel and the aisles. New flooring was also put in the basement. Some current papers were added to the box in the cornerstone of the church.

A rededication of the church was observed on May 9, 1965, with two services and a noon meal. Pastor Goetz, president of the North Wisconsin District, preached in the morning service and Rev. Wendling in the afternoon. All former confirmands were invited and a Dedication-Anniversary booklet (1964 was the 60th anniversary of the church building) was printed.

During 1966, midsummer Mission Festivals were replaced by two special mission emphasis services, in spring and in fall, one to be followed by a pot-luck dinner in the church basement. The services and dinner in the grove north of the school had already been replaced by services in church. Also this year we began Student Aid door offerings as we voted to participate in the Lutheran Laymen's League efforts to help students become pastors and teachers by attending Synod's colleges and seminaries.

That autumn, 1966, Miss Carolyn Schuette became our primary teacher. Mr. Krueger asked for his release in November, 1966, and was succeeded in the New Year by Mr. Ron Wunder of Milwaukee.

A $665.00 sound system for our church was purchased in October, 1967, from A.B. Communications Service, Inc. of Green Bay.

Over the years we have, at various times, helped proclaim the Gospel over the radio stations WOCO, Oconto, and WTCH, Shawano.

Mr. Wunder stayed only a year and a half. In 1968, Mr. Terry Otto answered our call for a principal and upper grade teacher and Miss Kathleen Okerland became primary teacher. Miss Okerland taught from 1968- 1971 and then married Wilmer Schuettpelz. Miss Anita Ford followed her and taught primary grades for one year. Mr. Otto resigned in 1972 and Mr. David Schlicker took his place. Miss Ford's successor was Miss Charlotte Mensing who taught from September, 1972 until April, 1975, when, having married Frank Hoerth, they moved to Minnesota. Mrs. Esther Schlicker finished the term.

The teacherage was extensively remodeled and enlarged during 1973. The committee overseeing this project consisted of Theodore Adams, James Brauer, and Richard Nelson. A recreation court was marked off and paved, between the school and the teacherage.

A tract of one and one half acre of land was purchased south of the church and Zipple Construction Co. donated $575.00 worth of work to make a fine new ball diamond and a larger parking lot for church goers. Later, in 1983, this was black-topped to increase its durability at a cost of $9200.00

In the spring of 1973, Rev. Chellew accepted a call to West Branch, Michigan, and we again, with the Lord's guidance, found a faithful shepherd in Rev. Floyd Gogolin from Wisconsin Rapids. The members of the Gogolin family have endeared themselves to the members of the congregation.

A set of 23 chimes was added to the organ at a cost of $1990.00 in 1976. There is still an "Organ Fund" growing through memorials and donations to eventually add more pipes to the organ. A small electric organ was purchased for the church basement by the Ladies' Aid that same year.

The congregation started planning to relocate a Vietnamese or Laotian family in 1975. In 1979, a family was sent to us from Laos, but later moved to Sheboygan where they had relatives. In October, 1980, the $173.00 remaining in our Refugee Fund was forwarded to the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.

Other things accomplished between 1979 and the present were: insulating the parsonage, replacing the flat roof on the school addition with a pitched roof, and drilling new wells at the school and at the parsonage.

In May, 1980, the congregation decided to add a third teacher to the parochial school staff. Miss Nancy Schuette, primary teacher since September, 1975, retained the first three grades and Miss Janet Homp taught grades four and five. Miss Schuette resigned in January, 1983 to become Mrs. David Hischke and Mrs. Susan Tews finished the year. Miss Homp became Mrs. Roger Moede and both Mrs. Hischke and Mrs. Moede are still members of St. John.

Mr. Schlicker received a call to Readlyn, Iowa, in 1981, and accepted. Mr. James Tews was called as St. John's School teacher and principal and accepted the call. He taught from 1981-1985 when he left for a position in Michigan. In 1983, Miss Mary Diercks became teacher of the intermediate grades and Miss Carol Spratz of the primary, including children of kindergarten age. In September, 1985, Mrs. Wanda Jahn agreed to teach grades six through eight and Mary Diercks, now Mary Heimerl, became principal.

A lovely painting of the church and large photographs of all of our former (and the present) pastors were placed in the entry of the church by Mrs. Adele Schuettpelz.

One of our younger members, Miss Beth Rakow, spent 6 weeks in Brazil last summer helping to build a chapel in a retreat center.

A small group of women serve as volunteer "saleswomen" in Bethesda Thrift Store in Green Bay and the Lutheran Children's Friend Society Thrift Store in Shawano one day every month.

The last few years have been devoid of any major problems or activities in our congregation. The enlargement of our financial scope has been from the $100.00 first pledged by our charter members to an annual budget of $117,000. $12,500 is remitted for extending God's kingdom and supporting colleges and seminaries to the North Wisconsin-Upper Michigan District and the Missouri Synod administration in St. Louis, Missouri.

Our congregation now numbers approximately 89 voting, 319 communicant and 414 baptized members.

St. John congregation produced five pastors: Frank Hischke, Arnold Rakow, president of the Lutheran Church in England, Waldemar Hischke in St. Louis, Missouri, Roland Hischke in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Roland Rakow in Colby, Wisconsin.

Ruby Rakow is the wife of a missionary and Bible translator in Africa. Christian Day School teachers originating from St. John are: Mrs. Elsie (Schuettpelz) Radl, Mrs. Ruth (Hischke) Taylor, Mrs. Ruby (Rakow) Bruns, Mrs. Irene (Rakow) Cudworth, Mrs. Jane (Marcheske) Hanson, Mrs. Alice (Rakow) Bahn, Mrs. Yvonne (Schuettpelz) Wilz, Mrs. Eunice (Tuschy) Loomans, Mrs. Donna (Manthei) Gerndt, and Miss Christine Gogolin.

Written by Laura Bartz with excerpts from 50 Year History by John Radloff.


Cemetery Stone Transcriptions - St John Lutheran Cemetery (Hayes, Town of How, WI)

Contributed by Randy Fischer  Thanks Randy! (And Thank your wife too!)

* No further information is apparent on this stone.
** Unable to decipher some or all of the information on this stone.

Section 1 – – Row 1
1 HEIN, Harold  
 3 Sep 1913  
 4 May 1914  
  son of C. & M. HEIN  

2 SCHRADER, Harry F. H.  
 2 Jun 1904  
 (12 Mar), 1905  
  son of G. & L. SCHRADER  

3 WEGNER, Henry  
 11 Oct 1907  
 11 Oct 1907  

4 SCHUPELTZ, Albert  
 (26 Aug 1907)  
  son of M. S. & A. S. SCHUPELTZ  

5 SCHUPELTZ, (no 1st name)  
child of H. & R. SCHUPELTZ  

6 GEMKE, Kurt  
 24 Feb 1898  
 6 Oct 1902  
  son of Paul M. GEMKE  

7 P. G.  *  

8 RADATZ, Children of C. & J. RADATZ  
  Robert U. L.  
  Heinrich M.  
 ?? 1899  
 12 Mar 1900  

9 L. B. **  

10 SCHUETTPELTZ, Gerhart P.  
 28 Jun 1896  
 29 Sep 1903  
  son of F. & B. SCHUETTPELZ  

 13 Apr 1898  
 1 Oct 1903  
  dau of F. & B. SCHUETTPELZ

12 SCHUETTPELTZ, Irene J. A.  
 10 Jan 1903  
 16 Nov 1903  
  dau of Franz & Hulda SCHUETTPELZ  

13 SCHUETTPELTZ, Maria E. P.  
 25 Mar 1906  
 7 Jan 1907  
  dau of F. & H. SCHUETTPELZ  

14 ZADDACK, Arnold W. F.  
 1 May 1908  
 14 May 1908  

15 F. K. *  

16 PETERMANN, Ervin  
 Sep 30 1909  
 Sep 30 1909  
  son of F. & L. PETERMANN  

 24 Jul 1908  
 (29) Sep 1910  

18 BERTSCHY, Ruth  
 6 Apr 1915  
 10 Jun 1915  

19 SCHUETTPELZ, (no 1st name)  
 31 Jan 1916  
 31 Jan 1916  
  child of H. & B. SCHUETTPELZ  

20 SCHUETTPELZ, (no 1st name)  
 4 May 1918  
 4 May 1918  
  child of H. & B. SCHUETTPELZ  

 9 Jan 1915  
 22 Jan 1920  
 5 Jan 1920  
 7 Jan 1920  

22 WAGNER, Roger  
 1918 – 1920  

 13 Jan 1915  
 24 Oct 1920  

24 KLAWITTER, Norbert  
 5 Aug 1913  
 19 Oct 1922  

25 BARTZ, Gerhardt  
 1924 *  
  son of J. & S. BARTZ  

26 GENSKOW, child  
 19 Jul 1924  
 19 Jul 1924  
  child of R. & E. GENSKOW  

27 PETHKE, Conard  
 May 14, 1927  
  son of Mr. & Mrs. Otto PETHKE  

28 S. A. M. S. *  

29 HISCHKE, David Lee  
 22 Apr 1931  
 22 Apr 1931  

30 ~~~~ **  

31 ~~~~ **  

32 HISCHKE, Howard  
 1937 *  
  son of L. & L. HISCHKE  

 33 J. ~~~~ **  

34 C. J. H. *  

 1945 – ????  
 1945 – 1946  

 6 May 1936 *  
  son of L. & M. GARDEBRECHT  

37 JANSEN, Doris  
 29 Jun 1939  

38 P. P. *  

39 ???? (military stone??)  
 1956 **  

40 DRUCKREY, baby *  

41 PETHKE, baby *  

42 SCHUETTPELZ, Timothy L.  
 16 Jun 1972  
 4 Aug 1972

 Section 1 – Row 2
1 RACKOW, Maria G. E.  
 13 Oct 1896  
 13 Mar 1897  
  dau of A. & B. RACKOW  

2 RACKOW, Carl A. H.  
 24 Nov 1890  
 28 Nov 1890  
  son of A. & B. RACKOW  

3 HEIN, Maria E. J.  
 23 Aug 1892  
 4 Apr 1893  
  child of G. & H. HEIN

4 STUWER, Richard J. A.  
 9 Apr 1893  
 18 Apr 1893  
  child of C. & A. STUWER  

5. B. E. A. S. *  

6 BARTZ, Wilhelm  
 21 Nov 1895  
 22 Nov 1895  

7 K(O)LBORG, Wilhelm F. A.  
 22 Aug 1895  
 11 Feb 1896  
  son of J. & B. K(O)LBORG

8 HEIN, Johann H. L.  
 19 Nov 1896  
 3 Jan 1897  
  son of G. & H. HEIN  

9 RADATZ, Heinrich F. W.  
 10 Jun 1897  
 4 Jan 1897  
  son of G. & J. RADATZ  

10 TUMMEL, Robert F. W.  
 22 ??? 1897  
 7 Mar 1897  

11 KRÜGER, Grace  
 10 May 1897  
 11 May 1897  
  dau of A. & G. KRÜGER  

12 HUEBNER, Herman – baby *  

13 GIESE, August Jr.  
 1903 – 1903  

14 GIESE, Robert A. F.  
 19 May 1897  
 25 Oct 1897  
  son of A. & E. GIESE  

15 GUST, ??  
 29 Aug 1897  
 2 Sep 1898  
  son of G. & A. GUST  

16 R. R. *  

17 ZADDACK, Harry  
 14 Jun 1927  
 14 Jun 1927  

18 STUEWER, (Elsie)  
 21 Jan 1899  
 4 Feb 1899  
  dau of B. & M. STUEWER  

19 KOLBERG, Richard W. J.  
 22 Jun 1899  
 19 Jul 1899  
  son of H. & W. KOLBERG  

20 STUEWER, Eda  
 22 Sep 1896  
 20 Aug 1899  
  dau of H. & (J.) STUEWER

21 QUANDT (or Ouandt), Celia J. M.  
4 Apr 1899  
 (9) Jul 1900  
  dau of J. & A. Q(O)UANDT  

22 LUEPKE, Walter R.  
 16 Sep 1906  
 29 Sep 1906  
  son of Wm. & A. LUEPKE  

23 NELSON, Leonard  
 1 Jul 1906  
 2 Sep 1907  

24 HEIN, Alvina  
 6 Aug 1908  
 16 Oct 1908  
  dau of G. & H. HEIN  

25 ~~~~ **  

26 KLAWITTER, Alfred O.  
 11 Jan (1910)  
 8 Nov 1910  
  son of J. & H. KLAWITTER  

27 HISCHKE, Mable E.  
 1 Jul 1910  
 29 Aug 1911  
  dau of L. & E. HISCHKE  

28 BOHMAN, Bruce – baby  
 1914 – 1914  

29 ZIMMERMAN, Norbert  
 1922 – 1924  

30 ZIMMERMAN, Ruth  
 1917 – 1917  

31 ZIMMERMAN, Leonard  
 1916 – 1917  

32 MOEDE, Margaret  
 1918 – 1920  

33 BARTZ, daughter *  
 11 May 1920  
  dau of P. & E. BARTZ  

34 BARTZ, infant *  
  son of J. & S. BARTZ

 35 FIRGENS, Ernest *  
  son of L. & H. FIRGENS  

36 MOEDE, Ruby  
 25 Apr 1927  
 8 Aug 1927  

37 Leonard – baby (all capitals – no other text)  

38 H. W. *  

 1 Mar 1924  
 2 Mar 1924  

40 ARNDT, Harold  
 19 Mar 1927  
 24 Mar 1927  

41 GARDEBRECHT, Ruth *  
  dau of (M & M) Aug. GARDEBRECHT  


43 ARNDT, Harley *  

44 SCHUETTPELZ, Lu Allen E.  
 24 Jan 1938  
 19 Jul 1939  

45 – 47 ~~~~ **  

48 SCHUETTPELZ, Howard E.  
 1944 – 1946  

49 PERLICK, Carol Rose **  

50 TETZLAFF, Deborah *  
 Jun 1953  

51 DEEDE, Susan *  
 8 Apr 1954  

52 DEEDE, Kim L. *  
 8 May 1955  

53 SCHUETTPELZ, Ralph W. *  

54 WRIGHT, Baby Boy *  

Section 1 – Row 3
1 HEIN, children  
  Clara J.  
 11 Mar 1892  
 12 Mar 1892  
  Hermann E.  
 11 Mar 1892  
 12 Mar 1892  
  children of E. & A. HEIN  

2 HEIN, Friedrich H. C.  
 10 ??? 189(9)  
  son of E. & A. HEIN  

3 HEIN, Clara  
 14 Jul 1888  
 6 Sep 1888  

4 SCHOESSOW, Wilhelm E. H. **  
  son of W. & A. SCHOESSOW  

5 ELFE, Martha A. A.  
 20 Apr 1897  
  dau of H. & M. ELFE  

6 BUHRANDT, (child)  (top of stone  
 19 Mar 1897  appears to be  
 20 Sep 1897  missing)  
  dau of W. & H. BUHRANDT  

7 BUHRANDT, Wilhelm R. (R.)  
 31 Dec 1887  
 23 May 1888  
  son of Wm. & H. BUHRANDT  

8 SCHUETTPELZ, (Martha) H. W.  
 1 Jan 1891  
 16 Aug 1891  
  dau of A. & (C). SCHUETTPELZ

9 SCHUETTPELZ, Berthold F. A.  
 6 May 1889  
 18 Sep 1889  
  son of A. & (C). SCHUETTPELZ  

10 H. H. W. S. *  

11 ???? **  

12 HISCHKE, Gustav F. A.  
 27 Jan 1891  
 4 Sep 1891  
  son of G. & H. HISCHKE  

13 RUCH, Franz C. J.  
 14 Apr 1894  
 16 Apr 1894  
  son of A. & J. RUCH  

14 SCHEER, Hilbert F. L.  
 25 Dec 1898  
 4 Sep 1899  
  son of F. & L. SCHEER  

15 RACKOW, Alvine E. B.  
 10 Jul (1888)  
 19 Sep (1899)  
  dau of A. & B. RACKOW  

16 GUST, Paul E. J.  
 4 Jun 1899  
 2 Oct 1899  
  son of G. & A. GUST  

17 RUCH, Paul A. W.  
 30 Jun 1899  
 3 Jun 1900  
  son of August & Johanna RUCH  

18 RACKOW, Wilhelm F. G.  
 16 Jul 1900  
 6 Jan 1901  
  son of A. & B. RACKOW  

19 RADLOFF, Johanna  
 2 Nov 1903  
 2 Jul 1905  
  dau of Aug. & Marie RADLOFF  

20 BARTZ, Carl F. R.  
 2 Feb 1869  
 29 Sep 1879  
  son of Wm. & J. BARTZ

21 THIELKE, Lydia E.  
 11 Aug 1902  
 16 Aug 1911  
  dau of  Mr. & Mrs. W. J. THIELKE  

22 DEEDE, children  
 5 Oct 1912  
 11 May 1914  
 31 May 1909  
 19 May 1914  
  children of John & Emilie DEEDE  

23 DEEDE  
  John – father  
 19 Jan 1866  
 23 Apr 1947  
  Emilie – mother  
 25 Jul 1874  
 17 Jan 1915  

24 LUEPKE, Anna  
 5 Aug 1884  
 24 Dec 1918  
  wife of Wm. LEUPKE  

25 THIELKE, ???? **  
 (1883 – 1919)  

26 LUEPKE, Wilhelm  
 2 Aug 1876  
 30 Nov 1919  

  August – father  
 1864 – 1920  
  Bertha – mother  
 1876 – 1956  

 1873 – 1932  
 1869 – 1952  

29 OLSON, Kenneth Lee  
 1931 – 1934  
  Son of Mr. & Mrs. Vernon OLSON  

30 KRUSCHKE, Clarice  
 1933 – 1934  
  dau of L. & A. KRUSCHKE

31 HEISE, Hilbert  
 1934 – 1934  

32 HISCHKE, Conrad F.  
 1930 – 1935  
  son of O. & A. HISCHKE  

33 FIRGENS, LewEllyn – son  
 1928 – 1936  

34 BUHRANDT, Gordon – son  
 1929 – 1936  

35 FIRGENS, Elaine – daughter  
 1926 – 1942

36 FISCHER, Frederick F. – son  
 1936 – 1943  

37 BARTZ, Margot Jean  
 1946 – 1947  

38 SCHUETTPELZ, Andrew  
 1947 *  

39 SCHUETTPELZ, Ruth Ann  
 1952 *

 Section 1 – Row 4
  Hermina geb. SCHULTZ – mother  
 12 Feb 1854  
 26 Dec 1922  
  Wilhelm – father  
 2 Feb 1844  
 30 Dec 1924  

   Ferdinand – father  
 10 Feb 1846  
 25 May 1924  
   Albertine – mother  
 18 Mar 1846  
 18 Apr 1937  

 30 Jul 1848  
 22 Aug 1934  
 31 Jul 1850  
 10 Oct 1935  

 18 Mar 1872  
 7 Jun 1924  
 15 Apr 1876  
 17 Jul 1925

   Hulda – mother  
 8 Feb 1866  
 11 Aug 1924  
   Wilhelm – father  
 9 Dec 1858  
 4 Feb 1942  

6 HELLERT, Albertine  
 1858 – 1925  

7 HELLERT, John F.  
 1854 – (1930)  

 28 Jun 1862  
 9 Jan 1926  
 30 Apr 1871  
 17 Feb 1947  

  Herietta – mother  
 8 Mar 1858  
 6 Oct 1939  
  Edward – father  
 18 Feb 1854  
 5 Jun 1926  

10 JESKE  
   Pauline – mother  
 22 Feb 1856  
 15 Apr 1928  
   Albert – father  
 9 Dec 1847  
 11 Dec 1941

11 SCHEER, Helmuth F. – father  
 1892 – 1928  

12 SCHEER, Rudolph – military veteran  
 2 Jan 1914  
 12 Feb 1964  

13 RAKOW  
  Albert C. – father  
 18 Jun 1857  
 1 Jun 1929  
   Bertha E. – mother  
 1 May 1860  
 19 Dec 1943  

14 GENKE, Helmuth  
 1907 – 1930  

   Emma – mother  
 10 Apr 1868  
 5 Oct 1930  
   Falten – father  
 15 Dec 1863  
 25 Dec 1935  

   Mary – mother  
 1881 – 1954  
   Richard – father  
 1874 – 1930  

 21 Jan 1916  
 12 Jul 1931  

18 STUEVER, Elmer W. – brother  
 1917 – 1931  

   Wilhelmine – mother  
 1882 – 1941  
   Herman – father  
 1864 – 1934 

20 SCHUETTPELZ, Leonard  
 7 Jan 1911  
 12 Aug 1934  

 1886 – 1951  
 1878 – 1957  

   Louise – mother  
 1878 – 1935  
   Frank – father  
 1873 – 1961  

23 HEISE  
   Emilie – mother  
 1868 – 1935  
   Carl – father  
 1868 – 1955  

24 RADATZ, Herman – military veteran  
 ?? **  
 22 Jan 1940  

25 RADATZ, John  
 1893 – 1941  

26 HISCHKE, Rosalinda – daughter  
 1915 – 1942  

 1890 – 1943  
 1878 – 1953  

28 HEIN  
 1893 – 1980  
 1888 – 1946  

29 HISCHKE, Otto  
 1924 – 1948 

 Section 1 – Row 5
1 Unfortunately, we missed this row!!  
Section 1 – Row 6
  Alvin C.  
 1879 – 1940  
 1881 – 1954  

2 ZADACK, Bertha geb. MERTZKE  
 15 May 1850  
 29 Jul 1890  
  wife of C. ZADDACK  

3 DREWE, Johanne W. S.  
 7 May 1873  
 19 Mar 1890  

4 SCHUETTPELZ, Bertha A.  
 ?? **  
 12 Jun 1873  

  30 Aug 1839  
  25 Feb 1889  
  7 Sep 1840  
  11 Jun 1914  

6 ~~~~ **  

7 (SCHOESSOW), Anna H. E.  
 Jan 1883  
 Nov 1896  
  dau of W. & A. (SCHOESSOW)  

8 SAGER, Auguste (Sager may be a middle name or  
  1 Nov 1852   inscription or maiden name)  
 8 Nov 1891  
  wife of Wilhelm SCHOESSOW  

9 SCHOESSOW, (child)  
 16 Nov 1891 *  
  (child of) (Wm. & A.) SCHOESSOW  

10 BUHRANDT, Louise A. E. geb. PERLICK  
 1 Jun 1872  
 17 Nov 1892 

11 SAGER  
 10 Jul 1818  
 20 (Mar 1897)  
 21 Oct 1821  
 21 (Jul 1899)  

12 ELFE  
 1867 – 1898  
 1858 – 1931  

13 KOLBERG, Martin  
 14 Nov 1823  
 24 Nov 1900  

14 BUCHHOLZ, Louise  
 1861 – 1901  

15 KEBSCHULL, August  
 28 Jan 1857  
 4 Feb 1914  

16 BOHMAN, Lillian  
 1893 – 1914  

17 BUHRANDT, Alwin A.  
 21 Oct 1899  
 19 Feb 1915  
  son of Wm. & H. BUHRANDT  

18 SCHOESSOW, Caroline  
 2 Mar 1848  
 6 Feb 1916  
  wife of Wilhelm  

19 SCHOESSOW, Wilhelm  
 29 Mar 1847  
 5 May 1915  

20 DREWE  
   Johanna geb. SCHULTZ – mother  
 15 May 1843  
 8 Feb 1916  
   Friedrich C. C. – father  
 8 Mar 1843  
 16 Mar 1918 

  Albertine W. – mother  
 15 Jun 1843  
 4 Dec 1936  
  Julius C. – father  
 29 Nov 1848  
 25 Dec 1917  

  Margaretta – mother  
 1887 – 1918  
  Ernst – father  
 1881 – 1944  

  Hulda – mother  
 1867 – 1941  
  Gustav – father  
 1859 – 1932  

  Leo D. – father  
 1863 – 1942  
  Emma – mother  
 1868 – 1945  

  Maria – mother  
 1871 – 1950  
  Robert – father  
 1871 – 1934 

  Mathilda – mother  
 1878 – 1944  
  Paul – father  
 1885 – 1938  

27 FREE,  Ida – mother  
 7 May 1882  
 28 Feb 1940  

 1881 – 1942  
 1877 – 1969  

  Anna P.  
 1891 – 1945  
 1879 – 1964  

 1890 – 1983  
 1887 – 1950 

Section 1 – Row 7
 1863 – 1940  
 1872 – 1967  

2 BARTZ, Frank T.  
 1876 – 1938  

3 BARTZ, Amanda  
 24 Oct 1888  
 19 Feb 1914  
  wife of Frank BARTZ  

 1834 – 1903  
 1846 – 1931  

5 BARTZ, William H.  
 1874 – 1948  

6 POLZIN, Pauline  
 27 Jul 1835  
 25 Jan 1904  

7 RACKOW, Franz  
 (10) Aug 1882  
 30 May 1904  
  son of A. & B. RACKOW  

8 ZADDACK, Albertine  
 25 Jul 1849  
 15 Jul 1922  

9 ZADDACK, Christian  
 (24 Aug 1831)  
 27 Nov 1905 

10 SCHMIDT, Ida A. A.  
 2 Aug 1872  
 6 Apr 1906  
  wife of Rob. SCHMIDT  

11 HENSELER, Carl  
 3 Mar 1825  
 19 Sep 1906  

  Johanna – mother  
 1872 – 1907  
  August – father  
 1869 – 1978  

13 HUEBNER, Johan F.  
 2 May 1849  
 27 Sep 1907  

14 SIELAFF, Ida  
 1886 – 1968  

  Friedericke – mother  
 15 Sep 1857  
 1 Oct 1908  
  Michael – father  
 1 Jan 1843  
 25 Feb (1911)  

16 SABROWSKY, Minnie  
 13 Sep 1882  
 29 Jul 1910  

  Ernstiena – wife of F. W. FIRGENS  
 18 Jul 1862  
 21 Sep 1910  
 7 Jul 1858  
 6 Jun 1928  

18 THIEME, Alvina  
 27 Nov 1852  
 15 Oct 1910  

19 YAKEL, Emma L.  
 23 Jun 1893  
 22 Nov 1912 

20 ROCKOW, Gustav R. J.  
 (8 Mar 1894)  
 (6 Aug 1913)  
  son of A. & B. Rockow  

21 RACKOW, Herman C. T.  
 12 Mar 1898  
 7 Sep 1914  

  Bertha – mother  
 1873 – 1916  
  Fred – father  
 1870 – 1944  

23 DIECK, Walter G., Pvt.  
 10 Mar 1900  
 27 Oct 1918  

  Wilhelm F.  
 1898 – 1918  
  Johann G.  
 1901 – 1918  

25 RUCH  
 10 Oct 1864  
 9 Mar 1921  
 29 Mar 1853  
 4 May 1927  

  Theodore – father  
 1858 – 1932  
  Marie – mother  
 1863 – 1932  

  Minnie – mother  
 1881 – 1939  

28 BARTZ  
  Emma – mother  
 1869 – 1940  
  August – father  
 1866 – 1945 

 1876 – 1943  
 1887 – 1975  

   Emil – father  
 1878 – 1964  
   Marie – mother  
 1881 – 1935  

   Herman – father  
 1893 – 1944 

   Augusta M. – mother  
 1901 – 1988  

33 HISCHKE, Alvin  
 1873 – 1947  

 1861 – 1950  
 1867 – 1951 

* No further information is apparent on this stone.
** Unable to decipher some or all of the information on this stone.