Immanuel Lutheran Church
Dixon, Lee CountyIllinois

Filled with missionary zeal and traveling from Ashton and Franklin Grove, Pastor Staufenberg served the German Luterans of Dixon from 1890 to October 14, 1894. It was during his pastorate that the Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran church in Dixon was organized, and in 1892, the church edifice was built, and dedicated. The charter members numbered 24.

Pastor L.C. Lentz was chosen by the congregation as successor to Pastor Staufenberg and installed on November 11, 1894. During his term of office a men's chorus was organized on January 15, 1895 and on the 24th of the same month the Ladies' Aid Society was organized Pastor Lentz served the congregation until September 12, 1897.

The following month, on October 31, Pastor H.F. Schmidt of CLinton, Iowa was chosen as pastor and duly installed. Previous to Pastor Schmidt's coming and during a portion of his ministry, the parsonage was located on Woodlawn avenue, south of the Northwestern railroad tracks. Pledges were obtained to purchase the lot north of the church and for the erection of a parsonage. This was accomplished and the building erected during the year 1900. Improvement and repairs were made on the property. Pastor Schmidt served until Sep. 1, 1907.

On October 16, 1907 the newly chosen pastor, Theodore Drexel, delivered his initial sermon. The same year a new funace was installed in the parsonage; then the wooden sidewalks about the parsonage were replaced with cement ones, the street was paved, the space between the church and parsonage filled and seeded, sidewalks were raised and replaced in part.

Toward the end of 1911, through the generosity of the Ladies' Aid a church bellw as obtained and dedicated on Christmas Eve. In 1915, 1 new furnace was installed and in 1916 the Ladies Sewing society had the interior of the church redecorated.

On October 15, 1916, Pastor Drexel, after 9 years of service, presented his resignation in order to follow a call to Atalissa Iowa. It was accepted and on October 29, 1916, Pastor Graff was called. During his incumbancy the congregation celebrated its 25th anniversary.

In 1921 English services were introduced and held on the 3rd Sunday in each month. Pastor Graff served until January 1923.

The history of the congregation is especially interesting since 1923, because of the enthusiastic interest and leadership of the Rev. and Mrs. August Suechting, successor of Pastor Graff.

The congregation, under Pastor Suechting, immediately started making improvements. On July 8, 1923, the Jacob's home was purchased by the trustees, with the proceeds of a legacy from Diederich and Sophie Jacobs to be used as a home for the aged of the congregation.

In 1925 the Luther League started a pipe organ fund and by contributions and combined efforts the organ was purchased and dedicated in April 1927.

The present pastor Rev. C.L. Wagner was installed during August 1937. At present there are 3 activ societies: The Ladies Aid Society, the Young Women's Missionary Society and the Luther (Wartburg) League. The formation of a Brotherhood is in prospect. The congregation, although still called the German Lutheran church is altogether English. From the original 24 charter members the congregation has grown to include 424 baptized and 300 confirmed members.

The Dixon Evening Telegraph 1951

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