Source: "A History of Manitowoc County" By Ralph Gordon Plumb, 1904
[Submitted by K.T.]
Manitowoc County Wisconsin
CHAPTER XI. - CHURCHES.
Church life is an essential feature in the growth of every community. The stories of the struggle's of a small but faithful congregation in the early years of existence is air ways interesting and there is often an element of the heroic in it. Manitowoc county has a past in this respect that will bear comparison with any similarly situated community and the growth of its spiritual interests has been from the beginning marked and rapid. An attempt is made in the following pages to describe the onward progress made by each denomination represented in the county.
As the oldest in point of continuous existence as an organized society the history of St. James Episcopal Church first demands attention. The Episcopals were early in the missionary field in Wisconsin and the efforts of Bishop Kemper will live in remembrance as long as that of the record of the state itself. One of his ablest coadjutors was Richard F. Cadle, who came to Wisconsin as missionary on the Oneida Reservation in 1834. In the latter thirties, probably in 1831, he visited the Rapids settlement and held what was the first Protestant service in the county. In his report submitted in February 1842 he speaks of a second visit as follows; "On; the evening of Tuesday, December 7th (1841) I preached to a congregation of about sixty persons in a private house at Manitowoc Rapids, the county seat of Manitowoc county and situated on a river of the same name, three miles from its mouth. At the settlement where I officiated the population amounts to about sixty persons and at the mouth of the river the population is represented to be about three fourths of that number. Previous to this visit there had been no religious services at Manitpwoc Rapids for the period of about a year and a half."
Eight years passed with an occasional visit by a missionary, among them two or three by Rev. Melancthon Hoyt in 1844. In February 1848 Bishop Kemper was making a tour of the Wisconsin parishes under his charge, being accompanied by a young Swede, Reverend Gustavus Unonius, then a recent graduate and the first of Nashotah Seminary. Upon reaching Sheboygan two members of the church, residing in Manitowoc arrived with the request that the bishop visit Manitowoc. This was impossible for him to do, so Reverend Unonius was despatched and held divine services. On the next day, February 28th, the resident members of the church met and organized a parish, naming it St. James Mission The meeting took place at the home of Lemuel House, Colonel T. A. H. Edwards, the lighthouse keeper and Alden Clark, a merchant, being chosen wardens. It was decided to call Reverend Unonius to the parish and he accepted, assuming his duties on April 20th. At that time there were six families in the parish or twenty-seven communicants in all, including Lemuel House, E. H. Ellis, Richard Steele, Alden Clark, S. H. Sherwood and Colonel Edwards and the average congregation numbered about forty or fifty souls. The meetings were held in the upper rooms of a house, the lower part of which was occupied by the pastor and his family. Reverend Unonius remained in charge of the parish for a year, until April 1849, when he resigned and left for Chicago, where he organized a Swedish church. Born in Finland August 10, 1810 he came to America in 1845, going direct to Wisconsin and settling at Pine Lake. After several years of service at Chicago he returned to his native land in 1858 and was rewarded by a gift of 3000 kroner from the Swedish government in recognition of services rendered his countrymen in America. He also held office in the customs service until 1888 when he retired on a pension and is now (1902) living on a farm near Stockholm, beloved by all. In 1862 he published in the Swedish language a book entitled "Reminiscenses, Seventy Years in the Northwest of America," which contains many interesting references to Manitowoc. It was a noticeable fact that the Scandinavians who came to the county and settled near the Rapids in 1848 and 1849 at first united with the Episcopal church since the pastor was of their race, eight of the original parish being Norwegians. As soon, however, as there were sufficient of them they separated and established a church of their own, the Lutheran, denomination. During Reverend Unonius' term four members were gained by immigration and six lost by death. By his resignation the church was left for some time without a rector as was also the Sheboygan mission, which he had attended. Said Bishop Kemper in his report in 1850: "Reverend Unonius was in this county about a year ago and is remembered with much respect. When invited to a larger sphere of action and particularly among his own countrymen I readily consented to his departure from Wisconsin, notwithstanding that this diocese had peculiar claims upon his services. No one as yet succeeds him and yet Manitowoc and its neighborhood present a scene of much usefulness to a self -sacrificing and laborious minister of the Gospel."
During the interim the Rapids communicants managed to keep up occasional services and a regular Sunday school but it was not until June 23 1851, the date of the appointment of Reverend G. P. Shetky that much interest was manifested. This clergyman was a very devout young man, fresh from his theological studies, being ordained at Manitowoc. He was however full of ambition and his first aim was the building of a church. In the summer of 1851 he visited the east to secure contributions and in a year $1074 had been raised with pledges of $295 in addition. Plans were made by Architectts A. Gilpin of Philadelphia for an edifice that would seat two hundred and fifty persons to cost about $1,500 and a hundred foot lot at the corner of North Ninth and Chicago streets was donated by Benjamin Jones. The cornerstone was laid, all being in readiness, on November 24, 1851, Rt. Rev. Jackson Kemper, the missionary bishop officiating. Several presents were made to the church by eastern friends, the communion service being donated by acquaintances of Rev. Shetky residing in Germantown, Pa., the copies of liturgy coming from Philadelphia and the font from a gentleman in Albany, N. Y. In the meanwhile meetings were held by the congregation in the schoolhouse, the average attendance being about eighty and the communicants amounting to forty-three, while fifty children were in the Sunday school. Once in two weeks Reverend Shetky made trips to Two Rivers and held services at that village, the first taking place on October 19, 1851, attended by fifteen persons. The village of Rapids was visited at similar intervals, there being six communicants while Branch was the scene of monthly services. At a point fourteen miles west from Manitowoc there were seven Irish communicants who met occasionally to receive spiritual instruction from the minister, ten others usually attending, and there was a similar gathering occasionally in Meeme. In speaking of these9visits later Reverend Shetky remarks in his report: "The impossible condition of the roads at this season obliged me to discontinue these monthly visits. I have no horse, - am too poor to keep one and am therefore obliged to perform all these journeys afoot." The strenuous life led by the young clergyman soon told upon his strength and, after a vacation, he returned only to resign April 1 1853. When he left a month or so later there were fifty-two communicants in his charge, twenty-eight of whom resided at Manitowoc. The church in the meantime had been completed, M. Fellows being the contractor, and it was consecrated July 25 1852 on the occasion of the festival of St. James. Rev. Shetky at first moved to Memphis, Tenn., and later attained prominence as a pastor in South Bend, Ind., Bay City, Mich, and in Philadelphia.
Another short interim followed his resignation lasting until the arrival of Rev. George W. Thompson, in August 1853, he coming from Cincinnati to take up the work. At this time a mission was maintained at Robinson's settlement and the local church included thirty-three communicants. His ministry, however, was short for in 1854, while nursing cholera patients he fell ill of the dread disease and died on October 14th, his body being interred at Evergreen. After two months he was succeeded by Rev. Melancthon Hoyt, who had been in Wisconsin as a missionary since the early forties. A man of great energy he soon bad the church in a very satisfactory condition and in the next year Bishop Kemper confirmed a class of eleven at Manitowoc and four at Two Rivers. At the latter place there had been organized St. Paul's Congregation and the cornerstone of a church was laid on September 3 1856. The first officers of the church were William Aldrich, senior warden; J. N. Fisher, junior warden; L. S. House, J. Teele and M. McDonald, vestrymen and services were held every Sunday afternoon. At Manitowoc the worshippers at St. James soon paid off the $500 debts still outstanding and additions were made to their structure at a considerable cost. During Rev. Hoyt's ministry the communicants increased to forty-three and the Sunday school remained prosperous. In the latter part of 1858 he resigned, continuing his labors in other fields for many years, finally removing to Dakota Territory. In April 1859 Rev. W. H. Cooper was sent to Manitowoc and remained until the following March, when he removed to Waukegan, Ill. He, also, officiated at Two Rivers, where the church had been completed, so as to seat three hundred persons, the last of the debt incurred in its construction being paid off some four years later.
The next clergyman to officiate was Reverend G. B. Engle, who came from Michigan in 1860. In his ministry services were held at Clark's Mills for some time. The great civil strife then broke out and Rev. Engle gave up his pastoral duties for a time to become chaplain in the Fourteenth Wisconsin, he being an ardent patriot. The war had a detrimental effect on the church life and St. Paul's congregation at Two Rivers became so depleted that the church was sold on May 14 1864 to the German Lutherans. In that year also Manitowoc was taken off the mission list, it thereafter being obliged to be totally self-supporting. In order to economize Rev. Engle, as he said in his report, sold his horse and discontinued his visits to Clark's Mills and soon after he resigned, moving to Indiana where he long resided. His successor, who took charge in January 1865, Rev. Lyman N. Freeman, came from Illinois and was most energetic. There were in that year nine baptisms and the Sunday school was comprised of twenty-two teachers and one hundred and thirty-seven scholars while there were three hundred persons in church connection. His ministry was injured, however, by certain charges made against his conduct, which were brought up before the standing committee at its meeting at Janesville in November. Investigations by Revs. Eastmann and Davis followed, as a result of which Rev. Freeman was cited to appear before the court of the diocese in June. This ecclesiastical trial, unique in character took place in the courthouse, Rev. Ashley of Milwaukee acting as president, there being besides four other judges. The accused was ably defended but was found guilty and withdrew from the ministry. He was followed by Rev. F. B. Dooley, formerly of the Michigan diocese, whose efforts were of a high order. During his incumbency a rectory was built, a parish school established with over fifty scholars, which was maintained for some years and the attendance at church largely increased. Rev. Dooley returned to Michigan in January 1870 and after a month or so, in which Rev. Ward supplied the pulpit, Rev. E. Peake assumed charge, he however removing to Missouri within a year. Several months passed without a pastor, when Rev. F. R. Haff of the Missouri diocese was appointed to Manitowoc. It was about this time that the church was called to mourn the loss of the venerable Bishop Kemper, whose relations with St. James had always been most amicable. Reverend Haff removed to Green Bay in the spring of 1873 and has since held a leading place among the Wisconsin clergy, officiating later at Trinity Church, Oshkosh. His successor was Rev. De Forest, who had that year been ordained and for three years he continued his ministry at Manitowoc.
In 1874 St. James, which had hitherto been in the Milwaukee diocese was transferred to the new Fond du Lac diocese. After Rev. De Forest's removal to Missouri the parish was placed under the guidance of Rev. M. E. Averill of Green Bay, who remained until 1881. The church and Sunday school membership had somewhat decreased during the latter seventies but the church was fairly prosperous and a mission was maintained at Branch. After Rev. Averill's service at St. James was completed, Rev. H. C. E. Costelle, who came from Albany, N. Y. took up the work. He revived the Two Rivers mission and did much for the advancement of the church at Manitowoc as well. During his ministry the Lydia E. Conroe bequest, comprising several acres of land in Manitowoc Rapids, was sold. Rev. Costelle left for Arkansas in March 1883 and died several years later in Quincy, Ill. Rev. H. T. Bray next assumed charge and remained until April 1886, being a man of fine scholarly attainments and an ardent worker. His successor was Rev. David Laseron, during whose pastorate of three years missions were sustained at Branch and Two Rivers. In December 1887 Rev. B. Talbot Rogers was appointed to St. James. By this time the parish numbered 250 souls and over 100 scholars were in the Sunday school. During the years of his ministry the number was vastly increased and the Two Rivers Mission was reorganized in 1901 with thirty members together with a Sunday school of about the same number. Recognized, however, as a man of great ability and attainments he was offered and accepted in 1894, the position of warden of Grafton Hall at Fond du Lac, where he has since maintained a high reputation as an educator. His successor was Rev. S. R. S. Gray, who came to St. James from the Milwaukee diocese on April 21 1895 and has since officiated. It was his aim to see the congregation have a new church edifice and funds sufficient for the starting of the enterprise were forthcoming in 1901. A site was chosen on the corner of North Eighth and State streets and the cornerstone of the new structure was laid on August 14th, the services being conducted by Rt. Rev. Weller, bishop-coadjutor of the Fond du Lac diocese amidst appropriate and elaborate ceremonies. The structure is of stone and cost in the neighborhood of $35,000. St. James church is today as at the beginning the only church of the denomination in the county and has an increasing membership. Several guilds made up of the ladies of the church are doing active work.
The early history of the Methodist Church in the west is one of struggle and in that struggle Manitowoc has played its part. Owing to a rule long prevailing in the denomination that a pastor should not remain in one situation more than two years there was not the opportunity for any one of the long list of resident ministers to identify himself with the community in any very large degree yet there are many of them whose memory will long be cherished. In 1837 Rev. Hiram W. Frink was appointed to a mission at Sheboygan which took in Sheboygan and Manitowoc counties and the villages of Brothertown and Stockbridge. There is however, no record or probability that he ever formed any classes in the county and the mission was discontinued after the panic of 1837. In October 1843, however, Rev. David Lewis was assigned to the Manitowoc and Sheboygan mission and held services at the two places on alternate Sundays. He had two stations in Manitowoc, four in Sheboygan and two in Washington county. To reach these widely separated places Rev. Lewis was obliged to make long journeys on foot through the forest and often forded the Manitowoc river at Rapids when the feat was a dangerous one. A class of eleven members were formed at Manitowoc, among whom were P. P. Smith. The meetings were held in the upper story of B. Jones' warehouse in the summer while in the winter the congregation gathered at the home of Lighthouse Keeper Johnston, who was a Baptist. In July 1844 Rev. Lewis was succeeded by Rev. Garret N. Hanson, an earnest young man, just entering upon the profession. After six years in Wisconsin he retired and died in 1856 at Fall River, Mass. In 1845 he was followed at Manitowoc by Rev. Samuel W. Martin at the end of whose term the village was dropped from the conference rolls.
In 1849 in company with Rev. Allen Mcintosh Rev. Lewis was reappointed to Manitowoc and Sheboygan Counties, services being held at the Rapids in the Court House and at Manitowoc and Two Rivers in the schoolhouses. The next year Rev. Lewis alone was assigned Manitowoc County and he preached occasionally at Manitowoc Rapids, Two Rivers, Neshoto, Riley's and Mishicott, a small class being formed at Two Rivers. The pastor boarded with Henry Edwards and with his own hands during the fall and winter erected a parsonage, working upon it when not engaged in pastoral duties. Rev. Lewis was in later years the agent of the American Bible Society, then pastor at Fond du Lac and finally in 1874 retired, since residing in Sturgeon Bay. Born in New Jersey November 25 1815 he forms one of the striking examples of those hardy pioneer preachers whose heroism was only excelled by their practical piety. His successor was Rev. R. W. Barnes, who led a most successful ministry, the church metnberNhip increasing from 13 to 35, the Sunday school attendance from 24 to 50 and a library of 250 volumes being accumulated. Rev. Barnes was instrumental in securing funds for St. Paul's Church, a frame structure 35 by 40 feet which was erected on North Seventh Street during the succeeding years. He removed to Sheboygan Falls in 1853 and was succeeded by Rev. W. Sturgess, who remained a year and later officiated as pastor at various Wisconsin villages, being succeeded at Manitowoc by Rev. N. J. Alpin. In his ministry the church was dedicated, Prof. Cook of Lawrence University delivering the address on that occasion, May 3 1856. Rev. Alpin was born in Batavia, N. Y. in 1821 and was ordained while at Manitowoc. After forty years in the ministry he was superannuated, spending his last years in Waukesha. Rev. Willlam Rowbotham took charge of St. Paul's in 1856, being followed by Rev. A. C. Squier a year later. Rev. Rowbotham removed to Mellette, South Dakota when he retired while Rev. Squier died at Sturgeon Bay.
In 1859 Rev. C. C. Symes was assigned to Manitowoc by the conference, which met that year at St. Paul's, he having charge of Two Rivers also. An Englishman by birth he was twenty two years old at the time and had been in America six years. After a year at Manitowoc he preached at Berlin, Lake Mills and Columbus and died at Manitowoc November 13 1870. For the following two years Rev. Rositer C. Parsons was the pastor, coming from Green Bay to assume his duties. He was born in Georgetown. N. Y. May 30 1817 and with his parents early moved to Ohio, where he attended Allegheny College and in 1854 came to Wisconsin, preaching at Port Washington, Milwauke and, after his Manitowoc pastorate, at Whitewater, Lake Geneva, Spring Prairie, Menomonee Falls and East Troy, finally passing away at Lyons, Wis., July 27, 1887. He had under his charge two churches, one built at Maple Grove some time during the later fifties and St. Paul's. His successor was Rev. L. N. Wheeler, who also remained two years and under his able management .the church grew rapidly. Rev. S. S. Smith followed and the church, formerly in the Fond du Lac, was placed in the Appleton district. Rev. Smith was in 1899 the pastor of the Zion Church near Oshkosh. In 1867 Rev. Alexander C. Huntley assumed charge which he retained two years. He was another New York man, having been born December 27 1819 and moving to Ohio at the age of thirteen, entered the ministry in 1843. He preached in New York until 1857 when he removed to Wisconsin and for twenty eight years labored at various places, dying at Fond du Lac at the age of sixty six years. During the two years following the pulpit was filled by Rev. Loren L. Knox, a former Lawrence University professor, who had been in Wisconsin for ten years. Rev. Knox later retired and has lived many years in Evanston, Ill. His successor at Manitowoc for two years was Rev. James Lavelle, who in 1873 was transferred to Ripon and the next year withdrew from the conference. The wishes of the Manitowoc congregation were then gratified in the reappointment of Rev. L. N. Wheeler. He occupies a unique place in the history of Methodism in Wisconsin. Born in Waukesha June 28 1839 he entered the ministry at the age of nineteen, his first charge being Two Rivers. After his first Manitowoc ministry he was sent to China to take charge of the Foo Chow Mission, where he arrived after a long journey via Africa. He was instrumental in starting The Missionary Record and in a few years returned to America, Manitowoc again seeking and securing his valuable services. Later he preached at Lake Mills and Jauesville, became the presiding elder of the Fond du Lac district in 1879, returned to China for three years and then preached at Beaver Dam, Bay View, Evansville and Fort Atkinson. In 1890 he went to China a third time in the interests of the American Bible Society and died at Shanghai April 9 1893. He served as chaplain of the Fifty First Wisconsin during the Civil War and was the author of several works, among them "A Foreigner in China."
Then came the ministry of Rev. Philo S. Bennett, also a leader in Methodism. Of New York birth he entered the ministry in 1837, coming to Milwaukee nine years later. After securing an advanced degree at Beloit he was made presiding elder of the Appleton district, acted as financial agent of Lawrence University and preached at Racine, Waukesha, Grand Rapids, New London and other places. He was a writer of power, having been a bitter opponent of slavery and in 1890 together with Rev. Lawson published the "History of Methodism in Wisconsin." He died in Appleton after several years of retirement on April 5 1895. The church membership of St. Paul's during his incumbency numbered sixty-six, but it was increased to seventy-two by his successor, Rev. J. W. Olmstead, who remained in Manitowoc two years. In recent years Rev. Olmstead has acted as agent of the Children's Home Society. In 1878 Rev. C. N. Stowers commenced a two years' pastorate, coming from Dakota Territory. He was born in Maine in 1835 and came to Wisconsin at the age of thirty-three years, acting for some years as professor of Lawrence University. He died some years since in Minneapolis. His successor, Rev. G. H. Moulton, who also remained but one year was a Canadian by birth and after his transfer from Manitowoc became the presiding elder of the Fond du Lac district, later removing to Nebraska. He was followed by Rev. J. F. Tubbs for a year and then came Rev. H. Stone Richardson, another commanding figure in Wisconsin Methodism. Born in New York on June 27 1827 he was early left upon his own resources and drifted to Albany, where he made his way through the State Normal School. For some years succeeding he traveled around the world, visiting Italy, Cuba, Texas and at one time being one of the Texas Rangers. In 1849 he visited California as a gold seeker and led a life of adventure for several years on the Pacific coast, serving for a time in the legislature. When the war broke out he enlisted as chaplain of a regiment and later became a major. After the conflict was over he entered the ministry and held charges in many Wisconsin cities, retiring after a successful ministry at Oshkosh. He passed away after a short illness February 9 1899.
The next Methodist pastor was Rev. J. D. Foote, a man of Connecticut birth and a graduate of Lawrence University. He entered the field in 1858 and in 1860 was made a regent of the state university, later becoming the chaplain of the Fifteenth Wisconsin. After some years spent in Kansas and Texas he returned to Wisconsin in 1883 and came to Manitowoc from Fort Howard. Later he visited California for his health and died at San Diego July 29 1899. His successor at Manitowoc was Rev. J. Wills, who is still in the active ministry and it was during his incumbency that the church was repaired and rededicated September 5 1886. The conference then sent Rev. William Clark for a year, who later removed to Sharon, and was succeeded by Rev. A. L. Whitcomb, who in 1888 was transferred to Oshkosh. During that year the church was served by Revs. E. B. Service, J. N. Funston and J. D. Cole. By this time the membership had reached eighty and there were over one hundred children in the Sunday school. For two years following Rev. J. H. Tippet officiated as pastor, then for two years Rev. T. D. Williams acted as such, followed for a jear by Rev. H. J. Duecker and then by Rev. O. P. Christian for two years, Rev. C. F. McGaha for one year and Rev. J. E. Garrett for a year. All of the last named six are still in the ministry in Wisconsin, except Rev. Duecker, transferred to the Southwest Kansas conference in 1896 and Rev. McGaha transferred to the East Ohio conference a year later. In 1898 the present pastor, Rev. William Hooton, assumed his duties at Manitowoc and has been very successful in his ministry. The church numbers about eighty members and a thriving Sunday school with one hundred and thirty pupils is an important adjunct as is also a ladies society. An Epworth League was started in connection with the church and the convention of the Appleton district of the society was held in Manitowoc in June 1898. The Woman's Missionary Society, in existence for seven years, is an active association and the district convention of the society was held in the city in May 1897.
As said before missions were early established at various points in the county. In 1858 Rev. L. N. Wheeler was sent to Two Rivers and Gibson, being succeeded by Rev. Walter McFarlane in 1860, who also remained two years. By this time an $800 church had been erected at Gibson and two Sunday schools were maintained by the minister. Reverend McFarlane was an ardent worker born in 1819 in Glasgow, Scotland and entering the Wisconsin ministry in 1856. After twenty years of pastoral service he retired and passed away at Evansville, Feb. 9 1896. During the war, services at Two Rivers were discontinued and the Maple Grove charge, formerly dependent on Manitowoc, was combined with that at Gibson. A. C. Elliot acted as supply in 1864 but the congregation there grew smaller steadily and a few years later both were dropped from the conference list. An effort was made in 1870 to revive the Two Rivers class by W. Rose, a local preacher but after a year or so the attempt was given up. The Gibson church was again active in 1883 occasional services being held by Rev. H. Stone Richardson. The pulpit was later filled for several years by supplies, among them W. C. Morris, J. R. Joslyn, Alfred de Ford, F. Robertson and George A. Cooke. In 1886 under the last named the congregation numbered thirty members and a Sunday school of seventy-five scholars was maintained but soon after the church was finally discontinued. Thus today St. Paul's is the sole English speaking Methodist church in the county.
The Methodist church has always been expansive in character and thus it was not strange that an effort should early be made to establish its doctrines among the German immigrants who came to Wisconsin in such large numbers in the latter forties. Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties were made a working unit in this effort and as early as 1849 these two counties were on the Illinois Conference rolls although no regular pastor was sent to the region until 1851, when Rev. John Bischoff came to Manitowoc county and gathered together fourteen converts. After his departure a year later Rev. H. Senn assumed charge, succeeded in 1854 by Rev. Frederick Kluckholm, the German Methodists in the two counties then being eighty-two in number. It was Rev. Kluckholm who in reality was the founder of the church in the village of Manitowoc, the small building which for many years was used by the congregation being constructed in his pastorate: In 1856 he was succeeded by Rev. H. Withorn. By this time Sheboygan county had been taken from the circuit and efforts were made at the establishment of other churches in the county, notably in the town of Newton, a church being built there. In 1858 Rev. S. Schilfsgard assumed charge of the village work while Rev. C. Schneider looked after the interests of the country congregations. Later however the circuit was consolidated. Rev. John Salzer serving for two years, Rev. John W. Roecker for two and Rev. F. Feistkorn and Rev. Richard Fickenscher for one year apiece, followed by Rev. C. Leiprandt's two year pastorate, commencing in 1865. By this time the churches had been placed in the Chicago Conference and there were three congregations outside of the one in Manitowoc, having a large aggregate membership. This led to a division of the county in 1867 into two charges, Manitowoc and the Manitowoc circuit. In that year Rev. C. Stellner was assigned to the former and Rev. Henry Overbeck to the latter, Rev. Stellner remaining two years while. the latter was succeeded by Rev. Conrad Eberhardt. In 1869 Revs. Theodore Strauble and C. Eberhardt shared the duties, the former remaining two years but the latter being transferred elsewhere, leaving the circuit vacant for some time.
In 1871 the work was assigned to Revs. J. J. Sandsmeier and Conrad Lampert, the former taking the city charge. Rev. Lampert soon left, being succeeded by Rev. Michael Enzminger while the city church was put under the ministry of Rev. Carl F. Allert in 1873, he remaining three years. Rev. Charles Rakow served two years (1874-1876) in the circuit after a year's interim being succeeded by Rev. E. Drescher, who also served two years. In the meantime Rev. B. Becker had become pastor of the city church and remained such until 1879 when Rev. J. J. Keller succeeded him for a year. By this time the circuit had diminished in size, only the Newton church being left with fifty members, while the Manitowoc church numbered seventy-five. Rev. Peter Schaeffer had charge of the Newton church in 1879 but in 1880 the two were combined, Rev. Charles Irwert assuming charge. It was he, whose efforts brought about the construction of a new brick church home at the corner of South Ninth and Hamilton streets, the cornerstone of which was laid in July 1882. His successors have been Revs. Anton Meixner (18831885), Ernst Fitzner (1885-1886), C. Roehl (1886-1891), A. F. Fuerstenau (1891-1895), J. F. Romoser (1895-1902) and Rev. J. F. Mueller the present pastor. The conference of the church met at Manitowoc in 1885 and again in 1900.
A Norwegian Methodist church was organized in Manitowoc in 1869, Rev. C. Jensen being chosen the first pastor. The charge included a church at Sheboygan also and both were placed under the Northwest Norwegian Conference. A small frame church was erected on North Sixth street and the membership was at first nineteen in number, gradually increasing as the years went by. Rev. Jensen was succeeded by Rev. B. Johansen in 1872, who retained the charge for two years, his successor being Rev. Charles Omann, who remained for a like period. In 1876 Rev. O. Wiersen was assigned to Manitowoc and Sheboygan, and was succeeded a year later by Rev. Gustafsen, who in turn gave way to Rev. O. L. Hansen after a year's ministry. Since 1880, however, there have been no regularly appointed ministers, occasional visits being made by itinerant evangelists. Reverend Peterson of another denomination of faith occupied the pulpit for some time in 1900.
Among the churches in Manitowoc the First Presbyterian has always been prominent. The history of the organization dates back to June 26, 1851 on which day the church was founded at the home of Frederick Borcherdt in the village of Manitowoc Rapids The instigating spirit in the movement was Rev. William Herritt, who was sent to the county as a home missionary in August 1850. Rev. Herritt was a graduate of Lane Seminary and had been licensed to preach a year before entering on his duties at Manitowoc. His first efforts were at Two Rivers, where he established a Congregational Church the following January but later he broadened his work so that the Rapids organization' assumed life. The charter members were F. Borcherdt, Mrs. Wilhelmina Borcherdt, James and Isabella Patterson, Mrs. S. D. Herritt, M. E. Hall, Margaret Allen, Abigail Sherman, J. S. Reed, EA. Sherman, D. M. Thomas, Moses Tufts and Misses Eliza and H. A. Tufts. For a little over two years Rev. Herritt had charge, making a circuit of over twenty miles each Sabbath on foot at first, although later he purchased a horse. Mrs. Herritt, who was an educated woman, later wrote a book containing the family's experience in Wisconsin entitled "A Keepsake," which contained many interesting facts concerning their life in the county. The Herritts removed in 1853, the husband dying at Quincy, Ill., January 19, 1867, being survived for many years by his wife, who made her home in Kansas City. In 1852 the church was removed to Manitotowoc and in the same year the Milwaukee Presbytery met in the latter village. The church was connected with that body from the beginning.
After meeting in the schoolhouse for some time it was decided that a church should be built. It was on the 30th of March 1854, at a meeting presided over by Frederick Borcherdt, that the matter was definitely settled. Five trustees, since the organization perfected by Rev. Herritt had fallen into desuetude, were then chosen as follows: - Louis Sherman, James Patterson, Frederick Borcherdt, Hanson Rand and GeorgeReed. On July 16,1855 a contract was entered into by which arrangements were made for the construction of a building at the corner of North Ninth and Chicago streets, and it was not long before it was completed at a cost of $490, being known as "The Tabernacle." The efforts of the Enterprise Ladies Society of the church provided furnishings for the new house of worship at a cost of $100 and the structure was duly dedicated in November. In May Rev. Mead Holmes had been engaged at a salary of $600 a year and he entered upon his duties soon after. An energetic worker he soon had the little congregation in a flourishing condition. He paid particular attention to the Sunday school, later in life being a leader in this line and this important feature of church life was added in the same year. After four years of ministry at Manitowoc Rev. Holmes resigned and was succeeded by Rev. M. C. Stanley, who had been in Wisconsin since 1856 and who had been for some time pastor of the Congregational church at Two Rivers Rev. Holmes continued to reside at Manitowoc a number of years as a religious worker and writer, among his works being a volume entitled "A Soldier of the Cumberland," descriptive of his son's experiences in the war. Later the family moved to Rockford, Ill. where the venerable clergyman still resides. Rev. Stanley was a man of great integrity and strong principle, - a sturdy advocate of liberty before the war, attracting much attention in the village by his sermons against slavery.
Early in 1860 he removed to Milwaukee and was succeeded by Rev. John H. Dillingham, formerly of New York. Three years later he was, in turn, followed by Rev. A. G. Beebe, who served the congregation ably until 1865 when Rev. W. J. Stoutenberg assumed charge. In 1868 upon his removal to Michigan a new era was inaugarated by the calling of Rev. C. B, Stevens of Hancock, Mich. An energetic and yet practical leader he decided that the church should immediately seek better and more commodious quarters, giving largely of his own means to see that end consummated. In January a lot at the corner of North Eighth and State streets was purchased from Hiram McAllister for a consideration of $1500 and two years later the construction of the building began. In the meantime the church had increased in membership and the Sunday school under the charge of O. R. Bacon reached a high standard. The cornerstone of the First Church as it was called was laid on June 21, 1870 with solemn ceremonies. A parade, in which the Odd Fellows, Masons, Sons of Hermann and musical societies participated, was formed and when the site was reached President Louis Sherman opened the service. Songs, prayers and the reading of a text by Rev. Wilson of Two Rivers followed; then E. B. Treat of the building committee read the figures giving the cost and dimensions of the structure and a brief response was made by J. D. Markham, representing the trustees. The stone was then duly laid, taps of the trowel being administered by Mayor Peter Johnston, Rev. Stevens, Rev. Knox of the M. E. Church, Rev. Windemuth of the German Reformed and H. A. Raine of the Masons. In 1872 the structure, completed at the cost of $20,000 was ready for occupancy and for five years Rev. Stevens had the pleasure of preaching in the edifice, which his efforts had made possible. Then, in 1877 he resigned, being succeeded for three years by Rev. W. F. Cellars. In 1880 a call was extended to Rev. J. M. Craig, a very able and eloquent clergyman of Scotch descent, liberal in opinions and learned in the classics. During the next six years the church enjoyed great prosperity and it was with genuine regret that his flock received his resignation in July 1886, in order that he might accept a call to Holyoke, Mass.
After a few months interim the congregation called Rev, Guido Bossard, then a young man fresh from theological studies, whose scholarly attainments soon gained him general respect. He was ordained February 7, 1887 and remained until September 1890 when he left for Oconto, later establishing himself at La Crosse. In 1889 the Milwaukee Presbytery again met at Manitowoc. At this time the elders of the church were E. K. Rand, H. F. Hubbard and W. Thombs, L. M. Sherman succeeding the last named later and C. F. Smalley being added in 1892. Rev. O. H. Chapin of Delevan was called in 1890 and was a most popular pastor during his four years of service. In November 1895 he resigned to accept a call to a Milwaukee church, his successor being Rev. Emmet Rankin, who served from February 1896 to July 1899. Rev. Rankin was born in Paoli, Kansas in 1869 and graduated at the age of twenty from Parks College, Kansas City, later doing post graduate work at Princeton, besides pursuing theological studies at the McCormick Seminary in Chicago. Three years after leaving Manitowoc he resigned from the ministry to assume the editorial chair of a leading agricultural paper. The next pastor was Rev. Walter Johnston, who came from Ironwood, Mich., a man of great eloquence and power. His ministry, however, was short as he accepted a call from Logansport, Indiana. His successor, the present pastor, Rev. D. C. Jones assumed his duties in April 1901. The church is largely attended and maintains a Sunday school. A society of Christian Endeavor was organized in 1887 and for many years it has led a successful existence, the convention of the Winnebago district being held in the city in March 1898. A Junior Endeavor is also an adjunct to the church as are also a ladies society and a young womans' guild. Extensive improvements to the church edifice were made during the winter of 1902, and the Presbytery met there in the spring of 1903,
On November 26, 1858 the First Presbyterian church of Eaton was organized, trustees being elected as follows: - J. M. Curtiss, J. Mott, G. Monroe, E. A. Brown and J. Tyler. This continued in existence for some time but during the war interest lagged and the services became infrequent. In 1869 a Presbyterian church was established at Cato, the elders being S. D. Robinson, later succeeded by R. McNutt, N. Darrling, D. Robinson and O. Davis. No regular pastor served the church until 1893 when Rev. A. Rederus was called from Sioux City, Iowa. On May 19th two years later he revived the Eaton church at Niles, M. Johnson and W. Tyler being chosen elders. He continued to minister at both places until 1898 when he resigned, since which time the pulpits have been vacant. The Hope Bohemian Presbyterian Church was Started at Melnik in 1892 by Rev. Joseph Balcar, who was ordained at Manitowoc, but he left after two years service for Ely, Iowa, being succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. F. T. Bastel. Occasional Presbyterian services in that language are held in Manitowoc also.
[The author desires to state that he owes the names and dates of the rural priests of the county to that admirable work, the Catholic Church in Wisconsin. ]
The part played by the Roman Catholic Church in Manitowoc county has always been a large one and in membership the congregations professing that faith far outnumber all others. The parishes in the county are partly in the Milwaukee and partly in the Green Bay diocese, the latter having been founded in 1860 with the Manitowoc and Fox Rivers as the dividing lines. Green Bay was the center of early activity along missionary lines in Wisconsin and thus it was that Rev. Joseph Brenner was sent to Manitowoc county in 1850. An occasional visit from a Jesuit wanderer had been made before this time but it was not until Rev. Brenner's arrival that definite pastoral work began and perhaps no man better fitted could have been chosen for the work. Energetic and zealous at the end of his four years of service he had established congregations at Manitowoc Rapids, Two Rivers, Cooperstown, Meeme, Maple Grove and French Creek, holding services and building churches in each of these places. This was a wonderful accomplishment considering the circumstances, - the newness of the community and the poverty of the parishioners. The congregation at the Rapids included for some years the members of the faith at Manitowoc, the latter being obliged to go to the county seat to attend services, a church being erected at the Rapids in 1852. In the next year Father Brenner was called away from his duties and later left for the island of Java in the East Indies. A member of the Jesuit order the clergyman was forty-five years of age when he came to Manitowoc, having for some years previous resided at Green Bay where he gained a reputation as a linquist and writer. He died in the midst of his labors at Bombay, India in January 1885. His successor, Rev. H. J. Nuyts had also been previously stationed at Green Bay and upon assuming charge decided that a church should be built at Manitowoc. Accordingly the first St. Boniface, a frame structure 40 by 70 feet, was erected on a lot on Marshall, street, it being capable of seating seven hundred people and soon after a small parsonage was built and a five acre burial site purchased at a point some distance south of the city. Rev. Nuyts continued in service at Manitowoc and Rapids for three years, when he left for Grant County, from where soon after he returned to his native Holland, dying at a ripe age.
His successor was Rev. Michael Beittner; who came in 1856 and officiated for a year. Father Beittner was of Bavarian birth and was ordained by Bishop Henni, officiating at New Coeln and Potosi before being sent to Manitowoc. After serving as pastor at Brighton, Jefferson and Racine for a time he returned to Bavaria, where he died May 28 1895. From April to August 1857 Rev. Joseph Maly was the priest of St. Boniface. He was born in Bohemia in 1828 and graduated from the Budweis Theological School at the age of twenty-eight, coming to America a year later. After a short residence at Syracuse, N. Y. he came to Wisconsin and for many years was engaged in work in Manitowoc County and later in Kewaunee county. In the fullness of age he then retired to a farm in Pane County. On August 23, 1857 he was succeeded in Manitowoc by Rev. Mathew Gernbauer, who remained until July 1859, being followed a year by Rev. Max de Becke, both serving the Rapids church as well. During the earlier sixties Rev. J. M. Pfeiffer acted as priest, resigning to take a trip to Germany and dying at sea on his return voyage September 30, 1863. During his absence Rev. E. A. Van Steenwyk of Two Rivers had officiated but the vacancy caused by the former's death was filled by the appointment of Rev. James Staehle, who remained in Maniiowoc until 1868. During the next ten years Rev. Joseph Fessler was the resident priest. He was a German by birth and came to America in youth, studying at St. Francis Seminary. He was largely instrumental in the foundation of the convent at Alverno and after leaving Manitowoc went west, dying at Beaverton, Oregon June 20,1896. On March 17,1878 Rev. H. Jacobs assumed the duties of the parish and held the position until March three years later. He was born in Germany in 1841, came to America at the age of nineteen and soon graduated from St. Francis. After traveling in Europe he began his work in Fond du Lac County, where he returned to die after giving up his Manitowoc parish. For three months Rev. George Fessler of Alverno filled the vacancy and in May Rev. W. J. Peil the present incumbent assumed charge. Born in Racine October 3, 1849 he was ordained after a course at St. Francis, in 1872 and acted as assistant at St. Joseph's in Milwaukee for some months, later being stationed at Caledonia. A man of indomitable energy he soon made his influence felt. At his arrival there were one hundred families connected with the parish while at present there are about four times that number. His first aim was the building, of a church as the older structure was becoming too small. The cornerstone of the new St. Boniface was laid May 5, 1885 with due ceremony, addresses being delivered by Fathers Willmes and Cleary, while the consecration occurred Nov. 25, 1886, Bishop Heiss officiating. The total cost of the structure, which was 136 by 60 feet with a spire 136 feet high, was $30,000, the frescoing and other decorations being elaborate. The old church was used as a school for a time, Father Fessler having started such an institution in his ministry. An important adjunct to the church has been the St. Joseph Benevolent Society formed May 15, 1874. The first officers were: President, T. Mohr; Vice President, Adam Bleser; Secretary, N. Gentgen; Treasurer, C. M. Peters. It was incorporated two years later and celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in 1899, the event being attended by many thousands. During its existence it has expended over $12,000 in benevolence - Branches of the Catholic Knights, Catholic Order of Foresters and Knights of Columbus are also connected with the church. The preseat constituency of the congregation is mainly German and Irish and the work has become so extensive that for several years it has been necessary to have an assistant, Revs. Mueller and Salbreiter having filled the position.
Another of the oldest Catholic organizations of the county is St. Luke's at Two Rivers. In 1851 R. M. Eberts and wife donated three lots in Block 51 to Bishop Henni for a church and accordingly Father Brenner established a mission on July 16, a frame structure being built to accommodate the worshippers. A. majority of these were French Canadians although many Germans and a few Irish were in the number, necessitating representation of the various nationalities among the priests. After Father Brenner departed the following officiated: -- Revs. W. De Yonge 1856-1857, Peter Menard 1857 -1858, J. C. Perrodin.1858-1860, S. Senner 1860-1861, J. M. Pfeiffer 1861-1863, E. Van Steenwyk 1863-1864, Bonaventurade Goey 1864-1865, N. Hens 1866-1867, Jacob Gauche 1867-1870, J. F. Zawistowski 1870-1873, J. Gauche 1873-1877, A. Bogacki 1877-1879. The next pastor, Rev. George J. Veith, died suddenly October 1, 1881 while visiting in Green Bay and was succeeded by Rev. Mathias Welbes, who in 1891 was transferred to Kewaunee, being succeeded by Rev. J. A. Geissler. After two years Father Geissler departed and Rev. John G. Dries became pastor. On March 16, 1898, however, he died and Rev. Geissler was recalled, having since served the congregation. Father Dries was born in Luxemburg July 6, 1852 and came to America at the age of thirty, some years after entering the priesthood and at first ministering to congregations in Brown and Kewaunee counties. Father Geissler was born in Patterson, New Jersey April 4,1854 and spent his early years at school in Belgium. His place in the hearts of his parishioners is high and he has done much for their advancement, the church now numbering 370 families. The cornerstone of a new church was laid July 12, 1891 and the structure, a fine stone one costing $25,000 was dedicated in October the year following. A benevolent society, taking the name of St. Joseph, was organized in 1872 and has done much good. A branch of the Catholic Knights also exists.
Another of the original churches of the county is that, known as St. Patrick's, in the town of Maple Grove. Fourteen Catholics met at the home B. S. Lorigan in 1850 and formed a church, which was visited at first by Rev. Brenner. A frame church was built and occasional services held by the priests in charge at Manitowoc until 1861 when Rev. Sebastian was made a resident pastor. He was a sincere patriot and did much towards filling Maple Grove's quota during the civil struggle. His successor in 1865 was Rev. Eugene McGinnity now of Janesville and largely through his efforts the building of a new church was undertaken, the cornerstone being laid November 1, 1868, the structure when completed being 100 by 46 feet. The succeeding pastors having been Revs. James Mahoney 1868-1870, Andrew Seubert 1870-1874, Louis Cornelius 1874-1875, C. Lemogie 1875-1879, Roman Schotter 1879- 1881, W. J. Rice 1881-1887, Conrad Seule 18871893 and the present pastor Rev. T. J. Ryan. Father Ryan is of Irish birth and became a priest in 1884, ministering inOmro, Winneconne and Ripon for some time. A branch of the C. K. W. is in existence in connection with St. Luke's.
A fourth church to be established by Father Brenner was St. James' at Cooperstown. A building was erected in 1850, six years after the first permanent settlement in the township. Until 1865 it was visited by Father Brenner of Manitowoc and Father Maly of Francis Creek but in that year Rev. Augustin Lang took up his duties at the parish, succeeded in two years by Rev. William Mahoney. Rev. Eusebius Henzle, who came to the church in 1868, died February 20, 1870 and was succeeded by Rev. James Gauche now of De Pere for three years. A new church was erected in 1871, made possible by the energetic efforts of the building committee. From 1876 to 1884 Rev. August Rossochowitz, an exile from Germany officiated, being succeeded for a few months by Father Stirn of Francis Creek. The later priests have been Revs. J. A. Duermeyer 1884-1887, John H. Holzknecht 1887-1892, F. X. Steinbrecher and F. W. Geier 1892, John D. Schwartzmeyer 1892-1895. In 1895 Rev. G. J. Pellegrin assumed charge, a man of extraordinary attainments, of Belgian birth and a linguist of reputation. Born in 1846 he came to America at the age of nineteen and is a graduate of St. Francis Seminary. His successor was the present pastor, Rev. F. W. Geier. The congregation was incorporated in 1883 and now numbers one hundred and twenty-five families. Branch No. 10.1 C. K. W. is made up of members of St. James.
Father Brenner also organized St. Ann's at Francis Creek, the first church being built by his successor, Rev. Joseph Maly. Rev. F. X. Steinbrecher became the pastor in 1877 serving until 1885. Later Rev. William H. De Haan, a native of Amsterdam, Holland assumed charge, removing to Aniwa in 1896 and being succeeded by Rev. Lakoney, who in turn gave way to the present priest, Rev. J. Vorlichek. The congregation numbers seventy families.
St. Isidore's Church in the town of Meeme is another monument to the organizing ability of Father Brenner. In the fall of 1850 a few religionists gathered at the home of John Maltilor and formed a church. Henry Mulholland, Sr. donated a three acre plot upon which was constructed a chapel 50 by 30 feet, Bishop Henni naming it. It was visited by priests from surrounding churches until 1862 when Rev. Lawrence Kenney took charge. He induced his people to build a new structure, which was completed in 1864 and blessed by Bishop Henni on his memorable trip through the county that year when a total of 910 were confirmed at the various churches. Rev. Kenney died while at St. Isadore's and was buried under the new church. Rev. McGinnity of Maple Grove then looked after the parish for four years until the appointment of Rev. Thomas McDoneell who also died in the midst of his labors February 24 1869. After a vacancy of a year the following pastors officiated in the order named: - Revs. E. R. Goss 1870-1871, Dennis Tierney 1871-1874, J. R. Briller 1878-1879, Thomas Corry 1879-1880, R. J. Roche 18801882, A. J. Gerhard 1882, J. J. Smith 1883-1885, E. E. Graves 1885-1886, E. F. Pitt 1886-1890, M. B. Norton 1890-1894 and Rev. E. Henderson. The church numbers 500 families, largely of Irish descent. Branch No. 68 C. K. W. was established at Meeme April 14 1887.
The next church to be established in the county was St. Joseph's at Kellnersville. In 1852 fifteen Bohemian families settled at that village, - originally all Catholics. For six years they were attended by Rev. Joseph Maly of Francis Creek and a log church was built in the town of Cooperstown, dedicated to St. Wenceslaus, there being 150 families in the parish. After various vicissitudes a dispute arose over the property and the church, led by Rev. Gideon Manazek, became schismatic, the pastor being suspended from the priesthood. Reverend Manazek died in 1873 and was followed for four years by Reverend Sadimir Klacel, who continued the church in defiance of the diocesan authorities. Reverend A. Cipin of Carlton at last brought about a reconciliation and a new church was then built, one mile south of St. Wenceslaus and dedicated to St. Joseph. Among the later priests have been Revs. Ignatz Lager, J. Maly, F. Privoznek, W, Koerner, J. Jiranek, A. Cipin, R. Lakomey and F. Just. A division occurred during Rev. Koerner's ministry, several families withdrawing. Reverend Just is a Bohemian by birth and came to America at an early age. He also has a mission at Greenstreet under his charge.
In no community in the county has religious and secular life been more closely allied than at the village of St. Nazianz. Rev. Ambrose Oschwald, a native of Baden, a man of high intellectual order with tastes tending somewhat toward asceticism, was responsible for the founding of a colony at that village, communistic and religious in character. Gathering around him one hundred and fourteen of his followers, mainly from his parish in the old world, he set out for a new country in order that he might found a Utopia. He arrived in Milwaukee in August 1854 and was there induced to purchase 3840 acres of land in the town of Eaton, paying $3.50 per acre. Arriving at their new home on the 26th of the month the settlers set at work hewing down the wilderness and among the first structures built was a church, St. Gregory's. A convent for the women was soon constructed and in 1864 a monastery of the Franciscan order was added. The land was owned and worked in common and the whole domestic economy was under the guidance of Father Oschwald. The latter has been described as "intimate with the classics and history, learned in medicine and eloquent as a divine" and he was above all a consistent communist. A common treasury was established and certain rules and regulations adopted for the government of all. Father Oschwald was somewhat of an architect and his design of the settlement buildings Were unique. The sisters' convent was a large three story building situated on Main street, plastered on the outside and painted a delicate pink. One wing was used as a chapel, containing two galleries and was capable of seating a large number of persons. The brothers' monastery was similar in construction and also contained a chapel. Around the grounds were various "stations," boxes on posts containing representations of sacred scenes and upon the summit of a little hill was erected a small chapel, resembling and named after the famous Mount Loretto, the interior decorations being quite elaborate. The first church soon became too small for the increasing number of the colonists and accordingly a larger one was built. The parishioners themselves engaged in different occupations, some tending in the fields while others made articles of straw, shoes, fancy work and a certain kind of cheese that became immensely popular in the market. All prospered until Father Oschwald's death, which occurred on February 27, 1873, whereupon dissensions arose and many of the communal features were abandoned. The sarcophagus containing the remains of the dead priest still lies in the basement of the monastery always guarded by a lighted lamp. Rev. P. A. Mutz was his successor, he having been ordained as one of the graduates of St. Francis some years before. The present pastor is Rev. Diebl. The village is still full of the old world atmosphere and religious influences are great. A branch of the C. K. W., exists in connection with St. Gregory's.
Among the older churches of the county is that of the Nativity at Tisch Mills. Founded by Rev. J. Maly it remained as a mission connected with Carlton, Kewaunee county until 1893. Among its pastors have been Revs. August Lang, A- Cipin, Joseph Kirpal, A. Vychodil and E. Kabat. Since its separation from Carlton Revs. F. Shimonek, F. Windisch, F. Kolen and L. Ulauschek have had charge of the parish in the order named. The church numbers 150 families.
In 1861 Father Schrauderbach of Sheboygan established St. Wendel's in the town of Ceaterville. Rev. Kleiber, a Bavarian, was the first resident priest, followed a year later by Rev. P. Stuecki of Sheboygan, who died Feb. 4 1863 and was buried near the church. A log structure was erected at first, then a frame building in 1864, which burned down thirty years later and was replaced by an elegant new church in 1895, A mission at Centerville was established also in 1861 by Father Schrauderbach and another, St. Fidelis', in the town of Meeme by Father Korfhagein 1872, both of which have since been under the care of the priests of St. Wendel. The pastors since Rev. Stuecki's death have been: - Revs. J. Welter 1863-1864, Bernhard 1864, M. Weiss 1864-1865, A. F. Zuber 1865-1871, H. F. Korfhage 1871-1875, Thomas Breiker 1875-1877, C. Schilling 1877-1880, J. P. Van Treek 1880-1882, H. Pelfstern 1882-1893, Rudolph Ollig 1893, Wiiliam Dejalle 1893-1899, and W. Wolf, the present pastor. About 100 families are under his charge.
St. Augustine's congregation in the town of Kossuth, made up of the settlers of Bohemian nationality who early came to the town, was started in 1862. The church is attended by priests from Francis Creek and Kellnersville. The congregation numbers about one hundred families.
In 1865 Ira Clark gave two acres for a church site at Clark's Mills and upon it was built the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Before 1865 occasional services had been held by priests from Maple Grove but it was not until that year that a priest was assigned the locality regularly, Father Fessler serving the congregation for some time. Then for some years it was a mission of St. Nazianz and Maple Grove until 1875 when Rev. John Wernert was assigned the parish. A brick structure, 75 by 13 feet costing $4000, was then erected and a parsonage completed. The succeeding pastors were Revs. Gerhard Hornish 1878, Clement Lau 1878-1879, Joseph Rhode 1879-1885, John Holzknecht 1885-1887, J. A. Duermeyer 1887-1890, George Brenner 1890-1895, E. Kabat 1895-1899. The present pastor is Rev. Ulrich. Branch No. 146 C. K. W. is located at Clark's Mills.
The Church of the Assumption was built by the Bohemian residents of Reedsville in 1866, there having been originally twenty-five families in the parish. It was first attended by priests from Francis Creek but in 1876 Rev. Julius Stroelilke assumed charge, being succeeded the next year by Rev. Maly for a few months, he in turn being followed by Rev. T. Spunor. During the latter's pastorate the cornerstone of a new church was laid, it being completed by Rev. John Videnka, who died in the midst of his labors on May 29, 1885. During the term of his successor, Rev. William Kraemer a branch of the Catholic Knights was established and a parochial school started and in 1896 Rev. Adelbert Cipin assumed charge. Rev. Cipin is a Bohemian by birth and entered the priesthood in 1873, serving at Ahnapee and Kellnersville before being transferred to Reedsville. Holy Trinity church at Kasson was established as a mission from the Assumption in 1875 and has since been so connected.
A Polish church, named St. Casimir's was established in 1868 at Northeim in the town of Newton. Fire destroyed the first structure in 1880 but it was rebuilt and is now a substantial edifice. The pastors of the congregation have been Revs. B. Buwzynski 1868-1870, F. X. Kralczywski 1870-1871, P. Koncz 1872-1873, Alexander Michnowski 1873-1874, Simon Wieczorik 1874-1877, C. Goerik 1877-1878, R. A. Bukowski 1878-1879, J. Musulwicz 1879-1880, Aenitas Goch 1880-1881, George Fessler 1881-1882, Felix Ozechowski 1882-1884, J. Deilkicaworz 1885-1887, J. Horbacz 1887-1888, John Maczynski 1889-1891, Z. Luczycki 1891-1893, Henry Cichocki 1893 and the present pastor, Ignatz Paluch.
St. Mary's Polish Church was organized at Manitowoc February 24 1870. The frame building used formerly by the German Lutherans of the city was purchased three years later and removed to "the Hill," being dedicated September 6 1874. The congregation grew rapidly until now it embraces three hundred families. In 1888 an orphan asylum was founded and placed under the care of the Polish Felician Sisters and it has since become an important benevolent institution. In the same year it was decided to begin the construction of a new and costly church but after the foundation had been laid funds grew scarce and it was ten years before the structure could be completed, the dedication ceremonies occurring October 1 1899. The list of pastors of the church is as follows: - Rev. F. X. Kralczywski 1872, Peter Koncz 1872-1873, A. Michnowski 1873-1874, Simon Wieczorik 1875-1876, Erasmus Bartkiewicz 1878, Joseph Musylwicz 1879-1882, Felix Orzcechorisk 1882-1884, Joseph Deiticwicz 1884, Ladislaus Zuczcki 1886-1890, C. Monczysk 1893, Henry Cichocki 1893-1894. As the chronology shows there have been frequent vacancies but a new era of prosperity was inaugurated upon the arrival of Rev. Wenceslaus Krzwonos, the new priest, on October 1 1896. Born in Bouk, Galicia, September 28 1852 he was educated at Rycszow and at the age of twenty entered the Cracow Military Academy, later graduating and becoming a lieutenant in the Fortieth Austrian Infantry for four years, at the expiration of which time he came to America. After entering a Benedictine Monastery in Missouri he was ordained a priest and served at St. Joseph, Missouri and later at South Chicago. He left the church on account of factional troubles in April 1903. There are connected with the church St. Adalbert's Society and the Holy Rosary Society, both large in membership.
St. Michael's at Whitelaw or Pine Grove was established in 1872, a church being built a year later. It was a mission of the Clark's Mills congregation until 1876 when the first resident pastor, Rev. Godfrey Noever was transferred from the Rapids church, the latter at the time being discontinued and its congregation divided. Later Clark's Mills priests again had St. Michael's under their charge but Rev. Joseph Hemmer assumed the duties of priest at the place in J896, being succeeded the next year by Rev. Joseph Mack. A branch of the C. K. W. was organized at Whitelaw in July 1894.
On November 9 1869 Rev. Joseph Fessler of Manitowoc induced four sisters to take the vows and steps were immediately taken towards the building of a convent at Alverno, the structure being completed in September of the following year. Sister Odelia was the first mother superior and the number of sisters gradually grew until it reached twenty five or thirty. To accommodate these and also the inhabitants of that part of the county, St. Joseph's Church was constructed in 1874 and placed for a time under the care of Father Fessler of Manitowoc. On his removal from the state in 1880 Rev. George Fessler assumed charge, which he retained until 1885 when on May 28th he died at the age of thirty seven. During his pastorate, on September 1881, the convent burned, the loss being about $65,000 but by dint of great effort the structure was speedily rebuilt and continued its successful existence, many hundred young people receiving instruction. A chapel was built in 1890 to accommodate the sisters. The successors of Father Fessler have been Revs. A. J. Gerhard 1885, I. P. Van Treck 1885-1887, H. Neihaus 1887-1888, P. H. Welbes 1888-1890, M. Oberlinkels 1890-1892. Rev. Norbert W. Dieuinger assumed charge in 1892.
Among the churches later established was St. Peter's and Paul's at Kiel. During several years it was a mission of St. Anna's in Sheboygan County but in 1892 Rev. G. Weisse was appointed, followed in 1896 by Rev. M. J. Schmitz, who had just graduated from St. Francis.
On May 10 1889 the Poles at Two Rivers, who were a part of the congregation of St. Luke's, separated and established Sacred Heart Church. Rev. F. Luczycki was the first priest, being succeeded by Revs. Chelkocki, Bozwiacki, Geruss, Podlicki, Mozejuski, Kubazeski and Pociecha. A new church was erected by the congregation in 1899. A church at Mishicot which, since its foundation in 1866, had been connected with St. Luke's also separated in 1898, Rev. A. Bastian and Rev. P. St. Louis being the first priests.
A Catholic hospital, named the Holy Family, was erected in Manitowoc in the latter nineties at a great expense and forms one of the most important public institutions in the county, having been designated as a marine hospital by the United States Government.
Sacred Heart Congregation composed of English speaking Catholics was organized in 1902 in Manitowoc under Father O'Leary's guidance. The building formerly known as St. James' Episcopal was purchased but efforts were immediately put forth to secure a site for a larger church, land being purchased at the corner of State and North Seventh streets.
Many of the first German settlers who came to Manitowoc County were members of the Lutheran denomination and it was only natural that efforts should early be made at the establishment of a church. Thus it was that in the summer of 1851 the residents of the town of Newton formed a congregation, led by Rev. C. F. Goldammer, a man of great spiritual gifts who saw many years of useful ministration in Wisconsin. A rough church was built and the worshippers, although few in number, took much interest in the enterprise. Rev. Goldammer was not a man to limit his usefulness and as early as 1851 he came to Manitowoc every second week to hold services with a few families. For years these gatherings took place in the old district school at the corner of South Seventh and Washington streets. Finally on April 9 1855 St. John's congregation was organized in the village with thirty families in church connection and it was decided to call Rev. Goldammer to the parish. He accepted and a church, parsonage and school were completed the following year the latter being enlarged in 1859 to meet the growing demands. The church was a frame structure 35 by 50 feet in dimensions, which was capable of seating about four hundred people. In 1858 Rev. Goldammer left for Burlington, Wis. and Rev. Philip Koehler accepted the work and responsibility for the next nine years. In 1861 the congregation had a membership of ninety-one families; in 1865 the report shows 184 families and 193 children in school attendance. By act of the legislature March 23 1866 the congregation was incorporated and in the same year a new school was erected, which continued to do duty for twenty-five years until it was taken away to make room for the present structure. Rev. Koehler left in 1867 and was succeeded by Rev. M. Quehl. It was during his pastorate that, the old church proving utterly inadequate, it was decided to build a new brick structure. The building was completed in 1873 at a cost of $16,000 and is one of the most commodious in the city. By this time Rev. K. Huebner had taken up pastoral work in the city but after two years' service he gave way, in 1874, to Rev. G. Thiele, later of Milwaukee. Rev. F. Pieper assumed charge in 1876, followed by Rev. R. Pieper in 1878. Two years later the Synod of Minnesota and Wisconsin met at St. John's and the church was again chosen as the gathering place in 1894. In February 1891 Rev. Karl Machmueller, the present pastor, assumed charge and has assisted materially in the development of church life. The congregation numbers 435 families and there are 250 children in attendance at the school. A thriving ladies' society is maintained in connection with the church.
As early as 1861 occasional Lutheran services were held in the village of Two Rivers but it was not until 1863 that St. John's Congregation was organized by Rev. H. Barthels, a missionary pastor of the church. In the same year "the little brown church" built and owned by the Episcopals was purchased from Bishop Kemper and was used as a place of worship by the new congregation. Rev. Barthels remained until the latter part of" 1865 and was succeeded by Rev. Braun and under his pastorate a parsonage was built. In October 1869 Rev. Braun was succeeded by Rev. Zuberbier, who died in the midst of his activities in 1872, whereupon Rev. C. Jaeger assumed pastoral duties for six years, he now being a resident of Racine. His successor was Rev. P. Lucas, who passed away at Two Rivers July 28 1881, Rev. J. P. Koehler then taking up the work. He remained seven years, at the end of which time he resigned to accept a position as professor in the Northwestern Theological Seminary at Watertown. It was under his guidance that the congregation decided to build a new church edifice. T he building operations, however, were carried on by his successor, Rev. A. F. Siegler, the dedication taking place in 1889. In September 1892 the present pastor, Rev. C. A. F. Doehler, assumed charge of the church and under his leadership it has prospered, numbering now about nine hundred communicants. The school, started at the same time as the church, was for ten years under the care of the pastors but from that time on teachers were hired and the institution now numbers 160 scholars. Two frame structures are utilized for school purposes, one of them being the old church.
The Newton church, the oldest in the county led a very successful career, celebrating its golden anniversary in September 1901. Among the pastors have been Revs. C. Wagner, E. Strube, A. Pieper and Christian Sieker. In the town of Centerville two churches of the Lutheran denomination exist St. John's Congregation was organized in 1860 with forty members and a church was built the next year. Seven years later St. Peter's was organized and a church built. One pastor has continued to serve both, the list being as follows: - Revs. M. Quehl 1862-1867, C. Dowidat 1869 1875, F. Pieper 1875-1877, J. Haase 1877-1883, C. Jaeger 1883-1887, P. Sprengling 1887. St. John's numbers seventy-two members and St. Peter's forty-six. Among the other early churches was that established at Reedsville. Rev. Goldammer held occasional services in the neighborhood during his Manitowoc pastorate and in the early sixties Revs. C. Gauschwitz and C. Braun were sent to the parish, the latter leaving in 1865 to take up his duties in Two Rivers. There were about twenty-five communicants at the time and under Rev. A. Kluge, who came in 1865, the congregation was increased and in 1869 St. Johannes and Jacobus Church was organized. Rev. Kluge remained fifteen years and in 1879 a new church was erected, replacing the earlier one built twenty years before. Rev. A. Topel served as pastor for seven years, at the end of which time the present minister, Rev. Phillip Brenner, was called. A parochial school with seventy scholars is maintained. In 1878 a church was established in the town of Gibson with C. Jaeger as pastor, he being succeeded by Rev. P. Kionka. The Larrabee church dates from 1884, the pastors since that time having been Revs. H. Prohl 1884-1888, H. Bruss 1888-1890, and the present minister, H. Mueller. The same year also witnessed the beginning of a church atRosecrans, served consecutively by Revs. A. W. Kubel and Christian Sieker. At Niles in the town of Eaton a church was started in 1893 by Rev. W. Schlei, who has since officiated as pastor and in the same year Rev. H. Zarwell began his ministrations at a church established at Rube, being transferred to the Liberty Church later, his successor being Rev. F. Weertz. Rev. Schlei officiates at present, also, in a church built at Collins.
A mission church has existed for some years at Mishicott being served by Two Rivers ministers. Of late, however, Rev. Vater, a resident pastor, has had charge.
Not only were there many German settlers of the Lutheran faith but a large number of the Scandinavian race as well. In the latter forties many Norwegians settled in the towns of Liberty and Eaton and a few joined the Episcopal Church under Rev. Unonius. However they soon became strong enough to form a society of their own at Gjerpen, which was one of the oldest Norwegian settlements in the state. The church was organized October 4, 1850 and Rev. H. A. Stueb was called as the first pastor. Rev. Stueb was born in Bergen, May 13 1822 and came to America at the age of twenty-six and for many years was a leading figure in Wisconsin Lutheranism. After two years he was succeeded by Rev. J. A. Otteson, who was twenty-seven years old at the time, having come directly from Norway to his charge. Within three years he had established congregations at Manitowoc, Liberty, Maple Grove and Valders, making the circuit of the churches at as close intervals as time would allow him. Both Revs. Stueb and Otteson are still living and the former was present at the semi-centennial exercises held at Gjerpen in October 1900. In 1864 a church, the largest then in existence in the county, was dedicated at Liberty. The structure was 90 by 40 feet in dimensions and cost $4000, it being the scene of the Lutheran Synod two years later. Rev. L. M. Biorn had by this time undertaken pastoral work in the county, having the five churches under his supervision. For years the Manitowoc society met in the district school but in 1865 the construction of a church at the corner of North Eighth and State streets was commenced. When completed and ready for occupancy on Christrras day 1867 the building had cost $5000 and was capable of seating f.ve hundred people, being 50 by 70 feet in dimensions. It was rebuilt and greatly beautified in 1899. Rev. Biorn continued as pastor of the church until 1879, when he resigned and was succeeded by Rev. C. F. Magelson. In 1880 the Synod of the church met at Manitowoc. In February 1893 Rev. J. A. Haugen assumed charge of the city congregation, remaining five years. At the end of his pastorate the congregation was divided, those denoted as the Missourians retaining the old church and calling Rev. P. R. Thorsen as pastor while the Anti-Missourians formed a new organization under the name of St. Paul's. This division, however, merely emphasized the separate organizations which had existed since 1874. The original St. Paul's Congregation had been organized on February 24th of that year and had constructed a church at the corner of North Seventh and St. Clair streets although the same pastor preached in the two churches for many years. In the fall of 1898 a new brick church was constructed by the parish three blocks west of the old site at a cost of $10,000, being dedicated March 19 1899. Rev. E. T. Rogne of Austin, Minn, was called to the pastorate and the congregation has led a very harmonious existence.
St. Paul's maintains a very successful branch of the Luther League, the Wisconsin convention of that organization being held in the city in the summer of 1901. A branch of the Luther Alliance is an adjunct of the older church and active ladies' societies are connected with both. A new Lutheran Church was erected at Valders during the fall of 1899, while the church at Gjerpen, which had been constructed in 1856 was thoroughly reconstructed in the same year at a cost of $10,000. Rev. C. Alfson has for some years past had charge of the country congregations.
When Rev. W Herritt came to Manitowoc County in 1850 he set about establishing at Two Rivers a Congregational Church. On January 17th of the next year the plans were consummated by the foundation of the First Church, which was attached to the Milwaukee district, later being transferred to the Winnebago district. At first the congregation numbered but fourteen members although the average Sunday school attendance was about seventy. After Rev. Herritt's removal D. Pinkerton acted as pastor until 1857, when he was succeeded by Rev. M. C. Stanley. Just before the latter's arrival a church bad been erected, one of the oldest in the county now standing. The pastor was called to Manitowoc a year after beginning his ministry and was succeeded by Rev. H. Pierpont, the father of Judge Pierpont, who increased the membership to nearly fifty and maintained a thriving Sunday school. From 1860 on, however, the church declined and having no pastor, finally passed out of existence. Rev. Pierpont removed to New York and died at Rochester in 1871. In 1867 Rev. Charles W. Wilson, a missionary of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of America arrived in Two Rivers and reestablished the congregation. After ten years of faithful labor he passed away and Rev. Thomas G. Pearce was called, he again instituting Congregational forms. The church membership at the time was but eleven. In November 1877 he was succeeded by Rev. D. M. Wooley, who in turn gave way to Rev. Sidney B. Demarest in March two years later. Rev. Demarest was a native of New York and was fifty-five years of age at the time he assumed pastoral duties at Two Rivers. He was a graduate of Western Reserve College and the Chicago Theological Seminary and officiated at several points in Wisconsin before his death, which occurred on August 14 1887 at Waupaca. His successor was Rev. David B. Spencer, Two Rivers being his first charge. He was an energetic young man and in a few months had increased the membership to fifty but in June he left for Hartland and the church discontinued services for a number of years.
In 1890, however, another effort was made, described in the Congregational Report as follows: --"At Two Rivers there was once a church but the life has gone out of it and its name removed from the names of the living. There has been this year a new church organized on the spot out of Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists and Episcopalians under most happy auspices. Complete harmony exists among the Christians. They have sustained services five months, have called Rev, Alexander Chambers and will raise among themselves the larger part of his salary. This is practically a new church and the only one in the English tongue in a population of 3500 souls." Rev. Chambers accepted the call and soon the church was a thriving one of thirty members. He was succeeded by Rev. John N. Davidson, a local historian of some note, in 1893 and two years later a branch was started among the English residents of Two Creeks. Rev. Davidson resigned in February 1901 to accept a call from Dousman, Wis. and was succeeded by Rev. T. W. Cole, of Ivanhoe, Ill. The church today numbers about fifty members and a Sunday school of over one hundred pupils is maintained. A Christian Endeavor Society was established in 1893 and later another in connection with the Two Creeks church.
A Congregational church was established in Maple Grove in 1853 with fourteen members. Rev. Israel C. Holmes, father of Rev. Mead Holmes, was the first regular pastor and soon had a thriving Sunday school established. After about seven years, however, the services were discontinued and the congregation dissolved.
Although the Baptist denomination has not played a very prominent part in Manitowoc county there have been several churches of the sect within its borders. The only one in which the English language was used was established at School Hill in 1856 by Rev. Joseph Jeffreys. Rev. Jeffreys was a Welshman by birth and was ordained in Wisconsin. In his first report he said: - "This is an entirely new field among our Welsh people, settled in the forests along the lake shore" and told how "the Macedonian cry for help" had been sent to the Baptist convention of 1855. The pastor preached in Welsh at the morning' and in English at the evening services but during the first year the congregation gained but one member. The minister remained two years and then there was an interim of seventeen years, in which there were no regular services held with the exception of a short time in 1863 when Rev. P. Work officiated. A new church was constructed in 1873 and two year's later Rev. H. A. Sears was sent to the parishes of School Hill and Plymouth, Sheboygan County. He was born in Springfield, N. Y. in 1818 and had been in Wisconsin since 1843. He died at Beaver Dam soon after leaving his pastoral duties in Manitowoc. During his three years of ministry the congregation increased from thirty to fifty and a thriving Sunday school was established. Rev. W. H. Whitelaw was the pastor in 1879 and then there was a vacancy until 1881, when for three years Rev. A. T. Miller of Sheboygan Falls officiated on alternate Sabbaths, being succeeded by Rev. Edward Jones in 1884. Rev. Jones died while engaged in his duties a year later and after an interim of three years Rev. J. Phillips assumed charge for some time. In 1792 Rev. Miller of Sheboygan Falls resumed his visits to the church, being succeeded in 1894 by Rev. A. Goodwin, in 1895 by Rev. S. W. Wiltshire of Sun Prairie and in 1898 by Rev. Thomas Davis, services being held every fourth Sabbath. The church at present numbers over thirty members and is situated in the Milwaukee district.
A German Baptist church was established on South Seventh Street in the village of Manitowoc in 1866 by Rev. C. Kleppe, a missionary. He held meetings .at various points in the county but died at his work in 1867. He was succeeded by Rev. Theodore Klinker, the church numbering then about fifty members and in 1872 Rev. R. Haab assumed charge, which he retained for two years, being followed by Rev. A. Freitag for a year. After a vacancy of five years Rev. J. Miller of Watertown became the pastor and soon a Sunday school was started. After four years he gave way to Rev. M. Schwendener of Kewaskum but the latter's stay was brief and a long vacancy ensued. Rev. Freitag established another German Baptist church in the town of Kossnth in 1875, which soon grew to a membership of sixty. It was served jointly with Manitowoc until 1887, when Rev. M. Schwendener assumed charge. After a vacancy of five years Rev. G. Engelmann of Freedom, Wis. came to the church in 1892 but remained only a year. In 1896 Rev. P. Hoffmann of LeRoy became the pastor and has since acted as such.
The first attempt at the organization of a church of the German Reformed denomination in the county occurred in the town of Newton in 1851, at which time a church was built, served for three years by Rev. Goldammer. A church was also built at Centerville and the two were served by Revs. J. F. Kluge (1854-1858) and Chr. Schiller (1856-1862) but on March 10 1862 they separated. The organization in Newton is known as the Reformed Salem Ebenezer Congregation and has been served by the following pastors: - Revs. J. Blaetgen 1863-1866, T. Grosshuesch 1867-1873, G. Zindler 1874-1879, W. Walenta 1879-1883, T. Grosshuesch 1883-1887 and D. W. Vriesen 1887 on. A new church building was erected in 1876. The ministers of the Centerville church have been Revs. Jean Grab, F. Nullhorst, John Blaetgen, E. Scheidt, H. Schenk, W. Lienkaemper, E. W. C. Brueckner and R. A. Most. In 1867 a church was built at Kiel, Rev. Praikschatis being the first pastor. He was succeeded by Rev. Schoepfle, who in turn gave way in 1871 to L. W. Zenk. For twenty years the latter faithfully served the church and under his pastorate a new edifice was erected in 1889. His successor was the present pastor, Rev. John Roeck.
The church in the city of Manitowoc dates from March 25 1868, on which date the congregation was formed by twelve families. The first preacher was Rev. Jacob Lotka, who remained but a few months. During his pastorate a lot was purchased and a small frame church costing $800 was erected. Rev. Lotka's successors have been: - Revs. George Windemuth 1869-1870, Paul Schoetke 1871, Henry Rusterholz 1872-1874, E. W. Henschen 1S75-1880, G. Zindler 18811886, D. R. Huecker 1886-1889, C. Bonekemper 1889-1891 and L. W. Zenk, the present pastor. In 1889 it was deemed necessary to build a new church and a brick edifice costing $7000 was accordingly erected. The present membership is about 350. A mission was established by Rev. E. W. Henschen at Branch in 1879 and a church built there, which is still in use. The membership is about sixty.
In 1856 Rev. William Siekoreik, a missionary of the Evangelical Association visited Two Rivers and succeeded in forming a nucleus, which on July 16 1859 became a duly organized congregation. A church was built that year on Pine Street and Rev. Peter Held called to the pulpit, which he occupied for two years His successors during the sixties and early seventies were Rev. William F. Schneider, J. Banzhaf, J. H. Hammetter, E. Bockermuehl, L. G. Stroebel, W. Wittenweyler, J. Koch, G. Schwantes, D. Herb and F. Dite. Rev. George Hun, the next pastor was succeeded by Rev. F. Huelster, under whose guidance a new church, 60 by 40 feet, was erected. His successor was Rev. J. C. Runkel, who left for Milwaukee in May 1885, being succeeded temporarily by Rev Nickel and then permanently by Rev. M. Finger. The latter left for Berlin in 1888 and then Rev. J. G. Kern took up the work for two years, when Rev. Richard Eilert assumed charge. After three years service he left and his place was taken by Rev. Droegkamp of Sister Bay and later by Rev. F. J. Siewert. The present pastor, C. W. Schlueter has brought the congregation up to a large number, it now embracing 180 members. Two churches of the denomination have been maintained for some years in the town of Cooperstown, they being attended by the resident pastors of Morrison, Brown County, Rev. A. Lutz being the present minister. Another church at Reedsville, is a part of the Calumet parish and is administered at present by Rev. H. W. Lutz of that county. Meetings are occasionally held in Rockland and Eaton as well.
GERMAN EVANGELICAL CHURCH.
Late in the eighties a mission of the German Evangelical Church was organized in the town of Meeme, Rev. J. Holzapfel of Mosel, Sheboygan County officiating. This has been since maintained and is still a mission. On January 4 1891 Rev. J. K. O. Ritzmann, now retired, organized the St. John's German Evangelical Church at Manitowoc. The first pastor was Rev. Emil Albert, who left in the fall of 1893, accepting a call to a charge at Oshkosh where he still resides. His successor was Rev. John Heinrich who remained until the summer of 1896. For the succeeding two years the church was connected with other charges, being served successively by the pastors of Oshkosh and Brillion but this not proving practicable, the church again received a pastor in the summer of 1898, Rev. M. Rosenfeld. He remained until the fall of 1900, the present pastor, Rev. Carl Nagel, then in Ohio, taking up the work on November 1st of that year in answer to a call by the missionary board of the synod. In 1901 the church building was moved to the corner of South Fifteenth and Marshall Streets and completely reconstructed. The membership is rapidly growing. Another church of the synod is located at Reedsville, being under the charge of the Brillion pastor, Rev. E. J. Fleer.
During the later nineties the city of Manitowoc became the home of a goodly number of Jews, sufficient at last to warrant the holding of services. After a few informal gatherings, on March 14 1900, the Ansha Polia Sadik Society was incorporated by I. Green. M. Stein, J. Sklute, M. Green, M. Phillips, M. Davidson, A. Schwartz, J. Phillips, D. Balkansky, S. Salicavitz, P. Schorney and J. Golden and regular meetings have since been held. In 1902 a synagogue was built.
During the winter of 1895-96 revival services were held by the Christian or Campbellite Church at Manitowoc. An immersion of a number of the converts of the sect occurred at the Little Manitowoc February 28 1896 and since that time the members have met regularly at private homes, F. J. Ives acting as leader for a time. During 1901 Elder Stark of the church made frequent visits to the congregation.
Interest in the doctrines of Christian Science was awakened in Manitowoc to a considerable degree in the decade 18901900 and the result was the formation of a society in 1899. A hall was rented and regular meetings have since been held. Miss Jerauld has officiated as local reader and outside speakers have frequently been secured.
There have been in the county several societies doing Christian work along interdenominational lines, whose record is of interest. Among the earliest of these was the Manitowoc Bible Society. This was organized at Manitowoc Rapids at a meeting held in the courthouse February 18 1849, its object being the distribution of copies of the Holy Book. O. C. Hubbard was chosen its first president and E. H. Ellis its secretary and treasurer. Its second meeting was held in the Manitowoc schoolhouse, among those present being Rev. D. Lewis and Rev. Herritt. It has continued a useful existence ever since, many copies of the Bible being distributed. In 1860, for instance, when B. B. Cary was the agent, 1197 were placed in the homes of the county. Annual meetings are still held and C. F. Liebenow acts as the agent. A similar society was organized in Two Rivers in 1873.
Another important society was the Manitowoc County Sunday School Association. A preliminary meeting for the formation of this society was held at the Presbyterian Tabernacle on Tuesday June 24 1861, which was opened by prayer by Rev. Mead Holmes. Rev. J. H. Dillingham was chosen permanent chairman and reports were received to the effect that there were forty Sunday schools, numbering 1500 scholars, a goodly proportion in a county which then had but 24,000 inhabitants all told. Messrs. Carey, Groffman and Canright were chosen a committee on permanent organization and the following were the officers first elected: - President, C. S. Canright; Vice President, George Groffmann; Secretary, Rev. Mead Holmes; Treasurer, H. A. Shove. A vigilance committee was appointed in each township and for some years annual meetings were held in June. The organization, however, was but short lived.
A branch of the Young Men's Christian Association was organized in Manitowoc in February 1888 and led an active existence for some years, using the Jones Library rooms. The first officers were: - President, Louis Sherman; Vice President, Gottfried Esch; Corresponding Secretary, Dr. J, T. Martin; Recording Secretary. Eugene C. Smalley; Treasurer, H. Esch, Jr. The organization disbanded in the early nineties. A Sabbath Observance League in Manitowoc led an equally short career
a little later.
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