History of the Immanuel Lutheran Church
County Line, Eden Township, LaSalle County, Illinois

Early 1850's -

Hessian Mennonites migrate to American because of oppresive conditions at home. They settle in Putnam County, Illinois. Lutheran families from Alsace and Saar Territory also come to America and settle in Putnam county and the adjoining townships of LaSalle county. The Mennonites buy a small church in Granville and first Lutheran settlers join them in service because service was given in German. The Mennonite congregation moves elsewhere and first Lutheran settlers are without a place to worship.


At funeral of wife of Friedrich Schafer, the first Evangelican Lutheran Pastor - Pastor John Ritter of Hollowayville, conducts funeral at Granville, Illinois. Inspired by his serman, the Lutheran settlers ask Pastor Ritter to come and occcasionally conduct worship for them. Pastor Ritter agrees and occasionally conducts services at various homes and in the Mennonite church. Members of first services were Paulus Pletsch, Johann Schaefer, Jacob Schaefer, Jacob Sucher, Johannes Kornemann, Nickolas Miller, Adam Mueller, Jerimas Klag, Friedrich Schaefer, Conrad Schaefer, Christian Bruder, Nicholas Hoffman and George Hoffman.


In 1864 Pastor Ritter prepares to leave Hollowayville and asks Pastor H. Sickmann of Peru to take charge of the new congregation on the country. Pastor Sickmann accepts and conducts worship services every fourteen days in nearby school houses including the Cedar Point school house.


In 1866 Pastor Sickmann retires and Pastor L. Austmann takes charge of the country Lutheran congregation. Cedar Point school house becomes too small to hold the rapidly growing congregation and the young congregation decides the built church. Nicholaus Mueller, Jacob Sucher and Johannes Nuerenbuerger form a building committee, Nichalaus Hoffman donates land in Eden Township and $1400 is raised for the building project in a short amount of time.


July 26, 1868, the new church is finished and named the Immanuel Lutheran Church. First church council is Nicholaus Mueller, Johann Schaefer, Paulus Pletsh and Johannes Nuernberger. Members are the families of Jacob Sucher, Adam Mueller, Friedrich Schaefer, Conrad Schaefer, Johannes Kornemann, Johann Heinrich Pletsch, Conrad Staehl, Heinrich Pletsch, Johannes Bornemann, Adam Bornemann, Hermann Studmann, Christian Bruder, Reinhardt Pletsch, Seibert Kessler, Johannes Naumann, Tobias Naumann, Jeramies Klag, Ludwig Strack, Herinrich Nuerberger, Heinrich Bruch, Phillip Brumann, Johann Etgelmueller, Alex Winteim, Heinrich Linker, Phillip Linker, Fritz Wagner, Heinrich Ernat, Hohannes Gehm, Moritz Bouxsein, Heinrich Winkler, Anton Loewenberg, Jocab Schafer, Nicolaus Hoffman, Herman Hagelbart, Reinhardt Zingel, Johann Weber, Valentine Wisher, Martin Behringer, Heinrich Schaefer, Phillip Geitz, Fritz Schaefer, Daniel Geitz, Johannes Dippel, Goerge Hoffmann. Church still does not have its own pastor and services are being conducted every 14 days.

1869- 1879

In 1869 Pastor Austmann leaves Peru and the congregation is without a pastor until 1870 when Pastor W. Krebs of the honorable Missouri Synod becomes pasta. In 1874 Pastor Krbs accepts a call to the Varna and LaRose parish in Marshall county and the church is once again without a pastor. 1874, Pastor Staehlin conducts services every 14 days. He continues conducting worship at the new church until 1879 when he accepts called to Monce, Illinois.


Congregation decides it should have its own pastor. Pastor Johannes Wittig of Clarion Township, who had met some of the congregation, conducted service at the church, and felt close to the church and its members, seeks students from the seminary of the Iowa Synod at Mendota to serve them during the vacancy. Pastor Rolof Johnson moves to Granville until a parsonage can be built. Johann Kornemann, Adam Bornemann and Phillip Linker are named as building committee. By fall the new parsonage is completed. Services were still only required every 14 days so Pastor Johnson begins a mission in Peru, serving them on Sundays when his services are not required in Immanuel Church.


Pastor Johnson accepts call to Danforth, Illinois. Doctors, S. and G. Fritschel of the seminary at Mendota accept the charge of the Immanuel church and when it is impossible for a Professor to serve, a student is sent for that purpose.

1884 - 1889

May 4, 1884, Pastor Robert Baumann of the Mendota seminary accepts the call to the Immanuel church. He dedicates himself to the instruction of the young people by organizing a day school. A school house is erected by November 1885. Students attend from the Immanuel and the neighboring Evangelical church where they learn to read and write in the mother tongue (German).

1889 - 1905

A new pulpit and altar is purchased. During the summer of 1891 an addition is built onto the parsonage. The Peru Mission becomes an independent congregation. Pastor Baumann serves them every 14 days and instructs the youth. Pastor Baumann also organizes the Lutheran church in the village of Toluca, Illinois. 1894 a balcony is built into the church to make room for the increasing attendance. 1895 a buarn is built to house the pastor's horse and make room for his buggy. 1900, a chancel is built into the church, the ceiling covered with ornamental tin, a new floor laid, the sidewalls papered and the tower enclosed. 1902 an orchard is put in north of the garden.

1905 - 1915

Pastor Baumann retires after serving the church for 21 years. May 27, 1906, Pastor Albert Blasberg is installed as pastor. April 14, 1907, the Luther League is organized. June 16, 1909, the Ladies Aid is organized. Pastor Blasberg conducts services every Sunday instead of every 14 days. Services are still being conducted in German.


The church feels in necessary for some services to be conducted in English. Pastor Blasberg resigns because he feels he can not supply these needs. January 3, 1916, it is decided that English services be conducted once a month. January 15, 1915, Pastor Carl Storek is installed as pastor.


A meeting is held and a proposition put before the congregation to either renovate the church and dig a basement under it for a furnace and meeting place for the societies or to erect a new church. The majority votes to erect a new church. Within one-half hour over $9,000 is pledged. A committee consisting of John Naumann Sr., John Immel and Pastor Storek is appointed to gather pledges. The building committee members are Fred Naumann, August Martens, William Leitschuh, Conrad Kessler and Adolph Schafer. Mr. Foster, an architect of Streator submits plans and Mr. Neufeld of Peru is secured as the contractor.


March 11, 1919, the old church is raised and moved into the orchard. On June 22, 1919 the corner stone of the new church is laid. December 21, 1919, the new church is dedicated. The cost of $30,000 was paid off before the day of dedication by its members. The Ladies Aid purchases the linoleum runways for aisles and vestibule, the light fixtures and the bell. The Luther League buys the Hinners organ. The Sunday School furnishes the Baptismal Font.

1920 - 1931

January 1920, it is decided to have English serves every second Sunday. Women are allowed to vote at this meeting. Pastor Storek accepts a call in Sterling, Illinois. March 14, 1920, Pastor M. Hafermann is installed as pastor. January 2, 1922, the congregation votes to join the Iowa Synod. 1929 The old barn is removed and replaced with a two-car garage. 1931 A decision is made to only hold German services on the first Sunday of each month, all other services to be in English.

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