Rock County, Wisconsin History
Source: "Rock County, Wisconsin, Volume 1" By William Fiske Brown Historian M. A., D.D.; Publ. 1908 a new history of its cities, villages, towns, citizens and varied interests, from the earliest times, up to date,
Transcribed and submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack
CHAPTER XII; HISTORY OF THE JANESVILLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS; By H. C. Buell (1907).
The earliest settlers of Janesville pitched their camp and erected their first log cabin in October, 1835, opposite the "big rock" near the southern end of the bridge connecting Monterey with the Spring Brook portion of the city. The first school was established in 1838 in the log schoolhouse on the property of Mr. Abram C. Bailey, near this first log house, on the south side of the bend of the river. The first teacher was Hiram H. Brown, who later lived in Green County. This was probably the first school opened in Rock County, if not in the entire Wisconsin portion of the Rock River valley. This primitive schoolhouse was of the rudest construction. Its chinked walls were of rough hewn logs and the seats were basswood slabs. Thus at the "big ford" of the Rock River, within a few rods of the "big rock," from whose flat summit Mucketay Muckekawkaik (Black Hawk) had angered his braves, was founded in 1838 the first educational institution in Rock County and the Rock River Valley. This log schoolhouse was used until 1843, when another log house was occupied by the school until the erection of the red frame schoolhouse of the joint districts of Rock and La Prairie in 1844, a full half-mile east of the first log house. Daniel Nurse taught the school in the winter of 1841-42 and Mr. Benedict in 1842-43. Orrin Guernsey was the first teacher to wield the birch rod in the new frame building during the winter of 1843-44. Mr. Guernsey in 1856 wrote the first history of Rock County, a work of 350 pages, published under the auspices of the Rock County Agricultural Society and Mechanics' Institute.
While school matters were well under way in the Spring Brook region the settlement near the Jane's Tavern and ferry also established a school. This school was opened in a log house in the woods near North Main Street three rods north of East Milwaukee Street. Miss Cornelia Sheldon (later Mrs. Isaac Woodle) taught the first term of school in the summer of 1840. She was succeeded the following winter by Rev. G. W. Lawrence, who established the first debating society in 1841. Other instructors in the village school were Messrs. Little, Bennett, Arnold, Wood and White. The records and names of the women who taught the summer terms of the school are Miss Wingate, Miss True, Miss Bennett and Mrs. Catlin.
In 1845 a brick building was erected on Division Street which was regarded as a model of comfort and convenience in the early 40s and 50s.
The Janesville Academy.
Before the days of the free high school private academies were established throughout the Middle West. In 1843 a charter was granted to A. Hyatt Smith, E. V. Whiton, J. B. Doe, Charles Stevens and W. H. Bailey for the establishment of the Janesville Academy. A stone building was erected on High Street near Milwaukee Street, on the site of the present Lincoln School, and in 1844 the academy was opened with Rev. Thomas J. Ruger, an Episcopal clergyman, as principal. Many of the business men of that generation received their education at this old stone academy on High Street. Mr. Ruger was succeeded by Mr. Alden and he by Messrs. Woodard, Webb, Spicer and Gorton. In the early 50s the school was known as the Janesville Collegiate Institution. It was purchased by the city in 1855 and became known as the Janesville Free Academy. It was used for public school purposes until 1876, when it was superseded by the present Lincoln School.
The Public School System.
Few states in the Union have made such liberal provision for free education as has Wisconsin.
The delegates sent from Janesville to the convention assembled in 1845-47-48 to draft a state constitution were Hon. E. V. Whiton and Hon. A. Hyatt Smith. After a notable partisan controversy the present constitution was adopted in 1848. Therein provision was made for a school fund of more than $5,000,000, only the accrued interest of the sum to be expended.
For nearly ten years under the village charter, Janesville maintained her district schools, but these were crude in methods and, as the population increased, a higher grade of culture was demanded. A few enterprising citizens with wise forethought determined upon thorough organization and gradation of the schools. Among those who were enthusiastic promoters of this achievement were Hon. J. J. R. Pease, Dr. Lyman J. Barrows, Hon. W. A. Lawrence, Hon. James Sutherland, Judge M. S. Prichard and Hon. B. B. Eldredge. In April, 1855, the present system of schools was adopted, although it was not in practical operation until the schools were thoroughly graded in 1856.
At this time a record of educational and literary institutions of the city embraced a central high school, eight schools of lower grade, three select schools and the state institution for the blind, also the Janesville Lyceum and Mechanics Institute, the latter society assembling for improvement in arts and sciences.
The following is a list of educators who have successively had charge of the public schools in Janesville during their organization: O. N. Gorton, 1854-56; Levi M. Cass, 1856-61; J. G. McKindley, 1861-62; S. T. Lockwood, 1862-64; C. A. Hutchins, 18641866; 0. R. Smith, 1866-70; Dr. Brewster, 1870 (one term); W. D. Parker, 1870-75; R. W. Burton, 1875-85; C. H. Keyes, 1885-89; I. N. Stewart, 1889-90; F. W. Cooley, 1890-93; D. D. Mayne, 18931901; H. C. Buell, 1901-, superintendent at the present time.
April 4, 1854, James Sutherland was elected nominal superintendent of the Janesville schools, with O. N. Gorton as principal. December 9 of the same year, C. P. King was elected to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James Sutherland. G. S. Dodge succeeded C. P. King. On March 29, 1855, an act of the legislature amended the city charter by which the constable, assessors, school commissioners and superintendent of schools were elected by the common council. April 14, 1855, the following school commissioners were appointed: James Sutherland, Shubael Smith, M. C. Smith and Andrew Palmer.
Since the amendment of the charter, approved March 17, 1859, school commissioners have been elected at the annual charter election and have held their office for two years.
The following is the enrolment of the Board of Education since 1856. Many having served more than one term, names are arranged in accordance with date of first term of office: Hiram Foote, G. W. Lawrence, H. Collins, W. Mclntyre, Isaac Woodle, Alexander Graham, B. B. Eldredge, Hiram Bowen, James Armstrong, Henry Palmer, H. A. Patterson, W. B. Strong, E. F. Spaulding, W. A. Lawrence, H. N. Comstock, O. J. Dearborn, C. R. Gibbs, A. S. Jones, B. F. Pendleton, C. L. Thompson, S. Holdredge, G. R. Curtis, E. G. Fifield, L. F. Patton, J. B. Whiting, L. J. Barrows, 0. R. Smith, L. Hunt, G. C. McLean, J. Sherer, S. C. Burnham, M. M. Conant, J. W. St. John, Thomas T. Croft, W. D. Hastings, B. J. Daly, Stanley B. Smith, C. L. Valentine, Isaac Farnsworth, C. E. Bowles, W. Ruger, A. 0. Wilson, A. H. Sheldon, Charles Atwood, Thomas Madden, M. L. Richardson, Cyrus Miner, L. Holloway, T. Judd, J. M. Nelson, J. C. Metcalf, Q. O. Sutherland, J. Kneff, F. F. Stevens, C. C. McLean, Ogden Fethers, Horace McElroy, V. P. Richardson, T. W. Goldin, John Slightam, John Lynch, A. G. Anderson, M. M. Phelps, P. J. Mouat, John Weisend, John Cunningham, F. Clemons, F. C. Burpee, Silas Hayner, J. M. Thayer, C. K. Miltimore, S. M. Smith, George King, W. S. Jeffris, H. C. Cunningham, Paul Rudolph, Alva Hemmens, E. B. Heimstreet, Dr. S. B. Buckmaster, Mrs. Janet B. Day, Arthur Fisher, William Kuhlow, Francis Grant.
Those who gave this faithful service to the public without remuneration, and often at the sacrifice of personal interests, should receive public recognition and appreciation.
In 1856 commodious buildings were erected in the Second and Fifth wards, and the schools were graded into high school, grammar, intermediate and primary departments, the old academy becoming the central or high school of the system. With its several departments in which were pursued studies taught in our best academies, with its ability to graduate pupils with a thorough English and classical education, the old academy became a magnet of superior force and an important factor in municipal affairs.
A demand for more room secured the erection of a high school building in 1858 at a cost of $40,000, and in 1859 the high school department, with Levi Cass as principal, was transferred to its new location.
An increase of population soon rendered additional accommodations necessary, and in 1866 and 1873 buildings were erected in the First and Fourth wards. In 1876 requisite appropriation was made for the Lincoln School building, which was erected on the site of the old academy.
Since then the Second ward school house has been rebuilt, new buildings have been erected in the Fifth, Fourth, First and Third wards, and also the new high school building; thus, year by year the school property has been increased until now its valuation may be approximately estimated at $300,000, with accommodations for nearly 3,000 pupils.
The High School.
The high school proper was organized in 1856. The first class of three was graduated in 1858. Since the first commencement in the old academy building, which occurred without public exercises, the school has graduated 988. Of this number 513 have graduated within the past ten years, of whom 203 are boys and 310 girls. In the preceding thirty-nine years 113 boys and 362 girls have graduated. The goodly proportion of boys who continue in school in recent years is doubtless due to the school curriculum, which includes manual training, a commercial course and other practical features. The third floor of the old Jefferson School building was used for the high school rooms from 1859 to 1895. In the fall of 1895 the school was moved to the present commodious high school building on High Street.
There are today eight courses of study. The equipment includes three well supplied laboratories for the science course, a manual training department with sufficient lathes for wood and iron turning a domestic science course with sewing and cooking facilities and ample room throughout the building for 450 students. Fourteen teachers are employed.
In 1903 the overcrowded condition of the primary schools, together with the fact that large numbers of small children of the minimum school age were enrolled in the schools, led the Board of Education to establish the public kindergarten as a part of the school system. There are four large kindergartens in the city, with an enrolment of 250 pupils.
The "Great Teacher" once placed potential emphasis upon the "Fruit" as the criterion for estimating individuals and institutions. The young people who have gone out from the Janesville schools bear striking testimony to the value and efficacy of the educational institution, as well as the homes and churches, from which they came.
One old time pupil, Ira Dutton (Father Joseph), sacrificed family, home and country upon duty's altar and has devoted his life's purposes to the lepers in the Sandwich Islands.
Frances Willard attended the Sabbath School held in the old academy on High Street.
Clarence Antisdel, of the class of 1882, is a prominent missionary in southern Africa.
James Sutherland, the first superintendent of schools in Janesville Township in 1848, and of the city schools after its first charter, introduced and championed the normal school bill through the state senate in 1857.
In April, 1864, Principal Samuel P. Lockwood, accompanied by a large number of the high school boys, responded to one of the last calls for volunteers and left the school room as captain of Company A, Fortieth regiment. The five boys of the graduating class were among the number who enlisted, and their diplomas were awarded to them by the Board of Education the following June. The boys of that graduating class included S. C. Burnham, DeWitt Davis, Ira C. Fredendal, Silas P. Gibbs, Rufus Ressiguie.
Space forbids the mention of other prominent men and women who have graduated from or been connected with the city schools. The professions of medicine, law, dentistry, the ministry, and teaching have been successfully filled by the graduates and students of the schools. The trades have received additions of skilled workmen and faithful employees from her ranks. Some of the most successful business enterprises of the country have been managed or aided by some of the thousands of young people who received their early education in the Janesville public schools. Thousands of intelligent and successful homes have received their greatest inspiration and happiness when former school girls of Janesville came to preside over their destiny.
~H. C. BUELL, Superintendent of Schools, Janesville, Wis.~
CHAPTER XIII; BELOIT CHURCHES.
The First Congregational Church of Beloit, Wis., was organized by Rev. W. M. Adams, in the large kitchen at the east end of Caleb Blodgett's house, northeast corner of State and School Streets, December 30, 1838, with these twenty-four charter members: Deacon Peter R. Field; wife, Hannah, and son, Alfred L.; her sister, Mrs. Nancy Crane; nephew, Robert P. Crane; niece, Sarah T. Crane, and son-in-law, Horace Hobart, all from Colebrook, N. H. Three were from Groton, N. H.; Benjamin I. Tenny and wife, Ann, and Mrs. S. Cummings (later Mrs. McEl Henny); Asahel B. Howe and wife, Betsey; Henry Mears and wife, Louisa, and her sister, Maria Clark; Ira Hersey and wife, Committee; Elizabeth Field (wife of Alfred), Amanda Cooper, Chauncey Tuttle and wife, Amy; Sophronia Blanchard, Mrs. Cordelia Blodgett Hackett and Martha Blodgett. At the first communion season, January 27, 1839, were added Samuel G. Colley and wife; his sister, Mrs. Ann Jane Atwood, and Mrs. Esther Crosby.
At first this church received home missionary aid to the amount of $75, but thereafter became independent of aid. Meetings were held in private houses until the Union school house was built, by private subscription, in the fall of 1839, at the northeast corner of School and Prospect streets. In that house the Methodists and Episcopalians held services on alternate Sunday mornings, and the Congregationalists every Sunday afternoon and evening. April 7, 1840, Rev. W. M. Adams reported a Sunday school of twenty scholars, organized during the previous year, the first superintendent being the surveyor, John Hopkins. The first child baptized (in November, 1839) was the infant son of Deacon Hobart, Horace R., (now, 1908. editor of the "Railway Age," Chicago).
In November, 1840, Rev. Dexter Clary became the minister (1840-1850), and Mrs. Sarah M., his wife, came with him. (She lived here until her death, in 1899, at the age of ninety-two years.) The corner stone for their first building, "the old stone church, was laid at the northwest corner of Broad and Prospect streets, July 6, 1842, and the completed building was dedicated January 3, 1844. In May, 1843, Benjamin Brown joined that church, where his wife was already a member, and in 1845 their infant son, William Fiske (the editor of this county history) was baptized there by the Rev. Mr. Clary. There also, December 25, 1843, had occurred the funeral services of Dr. Horace White, leader of the New England colony. In this church, August 7, 1844, was held the first convention which met to consider the organization of a college, leading finally to our Beloit College.
The succeeding ministers were: 1850-1851, Rev. A. L. Chapin; Rev. W. S. Huggins, to November, 1852. H. N. Brinsmade, D. D., 1853 to 1861; Simon J. Humphrey, D. D., 1861 to 1864; George Bushnell, D. D., 1865 to 1884; Cyrus Hamlin, D. D., 1885 to 1895; George R. Leavitt, D. D., 1895 to 1906; Wilfred A. Rowell, 1907.
In 1852 the first building was lengthened twenty feet and the front approach changed. The new brick building on the hill, northeast corner of Church and Bushnell streets, was dedicated July 6, 1862, and seats with the galleries 1,200. The chapel at the north end was erected in 1873. Plans are now (1908) matured for changing this chapel to a modern structure.
This church is organized for the usual forms of Christian service, and has a present membership (January 1, 1908) of 327 resident and 149 non-resident; total, 476. Of these, three are missionaries in this country-Rev. and Mrs. Cyrus Hamlin, Tougaloo, Miss., and Rev. Thomas L. Riggs, Oahe, S. D.; and seven are foreign missionaries-Mrs. T. D. Christie, Tarsus, Asia; Mary H. Porter, Henry D. Porter, M. D. and D. D., and Mrs. Elizabeth Chapin Porter, Rev. Dr. Arthur H. Smith and Mrs. Emma Dickenson Smith, and Mrs. Isabella Riggs Williams, all of China.
Their first pastor, Rev. Dexter Clary, kept a register of marriages and deaths. As there is no record elsewhere of these facts his account for those earlier years is given here, so as to help preserve a valuable record. The original book, with the consent of Dr. Clary's grandson, R. J. C. Strong, M. D., of Beloit, Wis., will be deposited in our new state historical library building, at Madison, Wis.
Register of marriages:
1841- July 12. Wm. C. Boilvin, Ill., to Juliette Bird, Pecatonic $5.00
September 1. Hiram Hill, Beloit, to Caroline Cheney, Beloit 2.50
September 2. Saml Hersey, Picatonic, to Hannah Cole, Beloit 1.00
1842- Mch. 20. David Merrill, Whitewater, to Agnes Fonda, Beloit 3.00
June 30. Lucius J. Fisher, Beloit, to Caroline E. Field, Beloit (This was undoubtedly Lucius G.
Fisher. Mr. Clary made a mistake as to his middle initial.-Ed.) 5.00
Sept. 1. Chs. H. Conrad, Rockford, to Harriet Bradley, Roscoe 5.00
Sept. 26. Edwin Bicknell, Beloit, to Jane A. Fisher, Beloit 5.00
Oct. 26. Doct. Geo. W. Bicknell, Patosi, to Abigail Rawson, Mendon, Mass 5.00
1843- Mch. 6. Saml 0. Wells, Michigan, to Lucinda Holmes, Janesville 5.00
May 27. Joseph Roahriz, Indiana, to Arabella Dayton, Beloit (late of Milwaukie) 1.00
June 5. Thos. B. Talcott, Pickatonic, to Sophia Willard, Picatonic 5.00
Oct. 11. Chs. C. Wright to Harriet Talcott, Picatonic 5.00
1843- Eli Hayes, Beloit, to Naomi K. Curtis, Beloit 2.00
1844- Feb. 8. Mr. Blackinton, Lydia Smith, all of Rockfd 4.00
Apl 2nd. Lawson Carrier to Amelia A. Carrier, Ill. 2.00
June 3. Peter Smith, Rock Grove, Ill., Julia Chamberlin, of Clinton, Wis 5.00
Nov. 27. John B. Saxby, Beloit, Harriet Warner, Beloit. Sent the certificate to Eimbal, Dec.
17, by Revd. Mr. Buckley 3.00
1845- Apl. 6. Geo. C. Albee, Pickatonic, HI., Susan C. Mills, Beloit 1.50
August 15. Saml Hinman, Prairieville, Eliza M. White, Beloit $ 5.00
Gave certificate myself to Kimbal.
Nov 22. Revd. J. D. Stevens, Plattville, Esther Humfrey, Victor, N. Y
Dec. 9. John Benedict to Sarah Ann Herick, of Turtle, Wis 3.75
Dec 11. Abram River, Beloit, Agnes Stenhouse Beloit 3.00
Sent the 3 above certifts to the office by H. Hobart.
1846- Mch 10. Dr. Dexter G. Clarke to Sarah Jane Moore, all of Beloit
Sent certificate by J. M. Keep, June 6, 46. D. C. (His initials.-Ed.).
Apl. 27. Sd. C. Field to Mrs. Marthan A. Cooper; Sent certificate, June 6, by Mr. Keep.
Aug. 11. Joseph Carr to Azuba L. Cheney 3.00
Sept. 28. William Castle to Martha L. Washburn.. 5.00; Sent the 2 last certificates by G. L.
Dec. 10. John Jaquish to Betsey Abernathy, of Illinois (Married at Beloit) 1.00
Sent certificate by Revd. Mr. Adams.
1847- June 29. Edwin R. Wadsworth to Emeline Eames. 5.00; gave certificate myself to Kimball's
clerk, Augt. 3rd.
Aug. 20. Honl. A. H. Jerome, Mantins, N. Y., to Charlott J. Murray, of Clinton 10.00
Aug. 24. Philip F. Chamberlin, of Niles, Michn., Harriet Hill, Beloit 2.00
Nov. 6. Geo. W. Gillet, of Clinton, Sarah Murry, Clinton 2.00
Sent the last 3 certificates to Kimbal by A. B. Howe.
Dec. 9. James M. Works, of Rockford, Selvina Hersey, of 5.00
Dec.29. Arthur L. Kincaid to Murial H. Perkins 3.00
1848- Jan. 20. T. C. Manchester to Julia E. Parish 10.00
Gave the 3 last certificates to Kimball's elk., myself, Feb. 22, 1848.
1848-May 18. Abram W. Parker, of Janesville, to Sophia Howe, Beloit $ 5.00
May 28. Clark G. Antisdal to Harriet Newell.... 2.50
July 13. Mr. Lewis Spencer, of Union, to Miss Maryann Newton, of Rockton, Ill 5.00
Sent the last three certificates to Kimbal by G. L. Becker, July 19.
1848-Oct 24. Mr. Geo. W. Mitchell, Beloit, to Miss Lucy Pierson, do 5.00
Sent by A. L. F., Dec. 26.
1849-Jan. 3. Mr. Thos. Hoskins to Miss M. J. Clarke... 2.50
Jany 11. Lyman S. Thompson to Julia A. Kincaid
Sent This certificate to Janesville, Mch. 26, by B. Fish.
Apl. 25. David Williams, of Mount Zion, Wis., to Jane Jones, Beloit 2.00
Sent the license by him to Recorder same day.
1849-May 30. H. H. Gray, Esqr., to Harriet M. Peet.... 10.00
June 15. Mr. Benj. A. Kent to Miss Elizth W. Brown 5.00
Sent the 4 preceding certificates to Jno. Nichols by S. Hinman, July 28.
July 29. Abram Conant to Cathn E. Freeland, both of Roscoe, Ill 2.00
Oct. 28. John L. Thomas to Caroline E. Goss 5.00
Sent the two last by G. L. Fowler, Oct. 29, to J. Nichols.
1849- Dec. 26. Chelsea Thompson to Cynthia Hyatt 5.00
1850- Jan. 2. Jasan C. Wadsworth, of Jefferson, Wis., to Isabella Moore, Beloit 4.00
Sent these two to J.ville by Revd. H. Foot, Jan. 21.
Jan. 24. Franklin Allis, Beloit, to Elizabeth D. Gordon, of Turtle 5.00
Sent the certificate to J. Nichols, Esq., Feb. 22, by mail.
1850-Feb. 25. Capt. Edward Kirby, of Jefferson (late from London), to Miss Lucy Jane Reed,
of Beloit. Witnesses, Mr. and Mrs. Reed, parents 5.00
Sent to J. Nickles by Mr. Emer, Mc 14, 1850.
1850- Oct 9. Geo. Henry Woodward to Mary Caroline Hollister, of Beloit. Witnesses, H. T.
Woodward & Cornelius Hollister $ 3.00
Oct. 16. Nelson Tiffany, Manchester, Ill., to Miss Miriam Elizabeth Benedict (Late of
N. Y.), now of Beloit. Witnesses, Chs H. Warren, Caroline Hanchett 2.00
Mailed these two to C. C. Townsand, Nov. 8th; also two from A. L. Chapin, & paid $1 for
fees. D. Clary.
(Although Dr. Clary's pastorate ended in 1850, July, when he became an agent of the American Home Missionary Society, his home continued to be Beloit for the rest of his life. A few later items of this record are added as being of special interest.-Ed.)
1853- Mch 1. John W. Beadle to Phebe F. Morse, Rockton, Ill 3.00
1854- Oct 16. Washington James, Beloit, to Cordelia Macklem, Sharon.
Witnesses, Orlando Macklem, George Irish 5.00
Oct. 31. Chs Lewis Anderson, M. D., of St. Anthonys Falls, Mina to Marial H. Howe, of
Beloit. witnesses, Sarah M. Clary, Lucy Brown.. 5.00
1856- Jan 1. Noah Stephen Humphrey to Harriet Marion Beedle witnesses Stephen 0. Humphrey,
John W. Beedle 2.50
1856- July 23. Jesse M. Sherwood, of Manitowoc, to Jane B. Durgin, Beliot. Witnesses, Ezra Durgin,
S. C. Field 10.00 Certificate mailed same day to the Register, Janesville.
Sept 18. John Rosenkrans, Beliot, to Mary W. Perkins, Beloit. Witnesses, Sarah M. Clary,
Sophia Field 5.00 Sent certificate same day to register by mail.
1856- Oct 2 Rev. Warren Bigelow, Black River Falls, Wis., to Lucy Woodward. Witnesses, Benj.
Durham, Henry Hollister. Sent my certifte same day to Janesville by mail.
1857- Sept. 8 Henry Partridge Strong to Sarah Maria Clary, Beloit. Witnesses, Mr. Strong (James),
Mr. Fowler (James). Sept 23 mail certificate for Janesville.
1859- Nov 30. Henry Edwd Hamilton of Chicago, to Caroline Jane Raymond, Beloit. Witnesses,
Horatio J. Murry, John Hammond $10.00; Sent certificate to register, Janesville.
1865- Jan 26. Geo H. Crosby to Adelaide L. Hammond, both, Turtle 6.00; Witnesses, Thos Crosby
John Hammond all of Turtle. Sent certificate to C. C. Keeler, by mail, Jan 28, 1865.
The Second Congregational Church, Beloit, Wis. The Second Congregational Society was organized January 5, 1859. Public services of worship were first held in a hall at the southwest corner of Bluff and Bridge Streets (now West Grand Avenue).
The Second Congregational Church was organized September 11, 1859, with forty charter members.
The first church building was erected at the northeast corner of St. Lawrence and Parker avenues and was dedicated December 5, 1859. October 5, 1903, this church and society voted to build a new church edifice. The corner stone was laid (at the southeast corner of St. Lawrence avenue and Bluff Street) October 30, 1904, and the new edifice was dedicated October 15, 1905. Cost, about $35,000.
The successive pastors have been: Rev. J. L. Knapp, 1859; Rev. N. D. Graves, 1860 to 1866; Rev. Henry P. Higley, D. D., 1866 to 1891 (his twenty-five years of service marking the longest pastorate); Rev. W. W. Sleeper, nine years, 1891 to 1900. He was an accomplished musician and built up the musical aspect of the church services with especial success. Rev. B. Royal Cheney served from 1900 until his death, when traveling in Europe during the summer of 1905, by an elevator accident in Florence, Italy. In the beautiful public cemetery of that city his remains were buried and the spot is now marked with a monument, erected by his many friends here. He had undertaken and carried through to virtual completion the building of a new church edifice, and had even arranged the programme of the dedication service. During Mr. Cheney' absence in Europe the pulpit was being supplied by Professor J. A. Blaisdell, of Beloit College. Rev. Mr. Blaisdell and Rev. Edwin A. Ralph were called as associate pastors and are still in service.
The membership of the church, September 1, 1908, was 662.
The First Presbyterian Church of Beloit. A number of those who joined the First Congregational Church did so with the understanding that whenever able to maintain a Presbyterian church they should be free to organize one. Accordingly, March 19, 1849, seventeen men and a boy met at the residence of Benjamin Brown, southwest corner of State and School streets (now East Grand avenue), organized themselves as the First Presbyterian Society of Beloit and arranged for the forming of a church.
The formal organization of the First Presbyterian Church occurred at the Aunt Jane Moore school house (now No. 439 St. Paul Avenue), March 21, 1849. Rev. Lewis N. Loss, of Rockford, 1ll., presided, and Rev. J. J. Bushnell, of Beloit College, preached the sermon, while Rev. L. Benedict, of Rockton, Ill., and Rev. Dexter Clary, pastor of the First Congregational Church, assisted. The forty-six charter members then received were: Augustine J. and Mrs. Amelia E. Battin, T. L. and Mrs. Catherine B. Wright, Robert P. and Mrs. Almira Crane, John P. and Mrs. Eunice Houston, Horatio and Mrs. Frances Burchard, Benjamin and Mrs. Lucy Ann Brown, Charles and Mrs. Teressa Peck, Samuel B. and Mrs. Amanda Cooper, A. D. Culbert, David Merrill, John M. Daniels, Miss Frances B. Burchard, Mrs. Sarah M. Burchard, Mrs. Elizabeth Burr, Benjamin Clark, Fred Lathrop, Andrew B. Battin, Jesse Burchard, Asahel Clark, M. D., and Mrs. Caroline E. Clark, Chester and Mrs. Lucretia Clark, Charles and Mrs. Harriet N. Moore, Beman Clark (the only one living in 1908), Mrs. Louisa Burchard, George H. Stocking, Lyman Johnson, E. N. Clark. M. D., and Mrs. Sarah A. Clark, 0. A. and Mrs. Emma Smith, Henry and Mrs. Louisa Mears, John Fisher, Jr., and Mrs. Jane Fisher.
At the first communion service, held at the same place, April 29, 1849, Mrs. Ann ,M. Culvert, Mrs. Agnes Merrill, Jacob and Mrs. Lydia Banta and Zilpah Clark were received by letter, and Lucy Ann Brown, Julia S. Peck, Augustus R. Peck and Joseph L. and Mrs. Sarah M. Jewett on confession of faith.
With Benjamin Brown, as chairman of the building committee, the first church edifice, southeast corner of Broad and Pleasant Streets, and costing about ten thousand dollars, was dedicated, July 23, 1850, substantially free of debt. The successive pastors have been: Rev. Alfred Eddy, 1849 to 1855; Rev. L. Hawes, 1855 to 1856; Rev. Charles P. Bush, 1857 to September, 1859; President A. L. Chapin and Professor J. J. Blaisdell, pulpit supplies, one year (a gratuitous service in order to help the church out of debt); Rev. William Adams, 1861 to 1863; Rev. David E. Beach, D. D., 1863 to 1865.
Then occurred the union of the Westminster Presbyterian Church (formed on the west side in 1858) with this First church under Dr. William Alexander, 1865 to 1869. Rev. Alexander G. Wilson, D. D., served 1870 to 1871; Professor Henry M. Whitney, of Beloit College, supplied the pulpit September 1871 to June 1872. The longest pastorate was that of Rev. John McLean, November, 1872 to 1884. Rev. A. W. Bill served 1885 to 1887, and Rev. Thomas E. Barr, 1887 to 1890; Rev. C. D. Merrill was pastor 1890 to 1896, and Thaddeus T. Creswell from 1896 to 1905, when he left for the west on account of ill health, and is now pastor of the Presbyterian Church at Pomona, Cal. Rev. Chauncey T. Edwards, D. D., the present pastor, began his labors here with July, 1905.
In the fall of 1904 two lots, the southwest corner of Public Avenue and Prospect Street, were purchased at a net cost of $7,500, and June 4, 1905, the corner stone of a new edifice was laid, the building committee being L. Waldo Thompson, J. M. Farnsworth (clerk of session) and W. F. Brown, D. D. This modern gothic edifice of norman gray brick and cut stone, costing about forty-two thousand dollars, was dedicated June 8, 1906. Fifteen of the young men of this church have entered the ministry. The present membership is 355. Besides the usual Sunday school, with three departments at the church and a home department outside, there is a C. E. society, a ladies' aid society, a woman's missionary society and a men's club of about forty members, and a branch school at 1815 St. Lawrence Ave.
The West Side Presbyterian Church grew out of a union mission Sunday School organized by Rev. Charles Kelsey, in the year 1900. A chapel was built at the northeast corner of Eleventh and Liberty Streets, west side. The opening service was held December 30, 1900. The Sunday School was organized January 2, and the first session of the school held January 6, 1901. The chapel building was dedicated January 26, 1902.
June 10, 1903, this union mission was organized as the West Side Presbyterian Church, with twenty-six members. Rev. George W. Luther, who had begun service in December, 1902, remained as stated supply of the church until the spring of 1905. He was succeeded in May, 1905, by the present settled pastor, Rev. R. A. Carnahan.
The Ladies' Aid Society is older than the church, having been organized in 1900, and now consists of about forty-five members.
The session of the church consists of Charles Sandell, clerk; Charles Cochran and B. A. Bernstein. The present membership of the church, October, 1908, is 112. The Sabbath school of about a hundred members meets in two divisions, with C. Sandell and M. W. Linderman as superintendents, and there is also a home department.
The German Presbyterian Church. May 23, 1869, this church was organized by Rev. Jacob Kolb, and, until 1870, services were held in the American Presbyterian Church. During that year they built a frame church with a capacity of five hundred, and cost $2,464. The pastors have been: Rev. Jacob Kolb, 1869 to 1872; Rev. Joseph Wittenberger, 1872 to 1874; Rev. Mr. Winder, 1874 to 1876; Rev. Martin Wittenberger, 1876 to 18-. Rev. F. W. Witte followed and remained for about five years. Rev. J. Conzett, December 1, 1884 to June 21, 1891; Rev. L. Abels, October 1, 1891 to January, 1892. Several students supplied the pulpit until 1893, when Rev. J. F. Mueller took charge and remained until September, 1894. Rev. W. F. Vogt, November, 1894 to November, 1896; Rev. F. Waalkes, June 15, 1897 to February 1, 1899; Rev. E. Schuette, D. D., February 1, 1899 to May 31, 1900; Rev. J. Figge, December 2, 1900 to March 27, 1904; Rev. H. Krawshaar, May 1, 1904 to November, 1904. September 1, 1905, Rev. A. Krebs took charge and is still (1908) the pastor.
The church, which is located on St. Lawrence Avenue, west side, in the center of the city, and the parsonage, together valued at about $5,000, have recently undergone extensive repairs and improvements.
St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church was organized February 28, 1841. For the first three years services were held in the village school house; for the next seven years in a brick building erected for school purposes, by Leonard Humphrey. Rev. Harvin Humphrey was the first pastor and labored here until November, 1845, when, on account of his advanced years, he was compelled to resign. He died October 12, 1858, age ninety years.
Rev. Stephen Millett succeeded him, and during his rectorship a church edifice was erected. The corner stone was laid in the spring of 1848. The first services were held in the building in December, 1851. Mr. Millett served until February, 1853, and was succeeded in July, 1854, by Rev. John E. C. Smedes, who remained pastor until July 1, 1858. Rev. J. H. Egar succeeding him and remained until February 4, 1861. Seven months later Rev. L. W. Davies became rector and served until October 1, 1868. During his services a rectory was purchased on the corner of Bridge and Bluff Streets. Rev. Fayett Royce came on November 1, 1868, and remained in charge of the church for twenty-nine years, and died in 1898. He was succeeded by Rev. Frank Mallett, who remained three years, when Rev. H. J. Purdue became rector, resigning in 1905. In January, 1906, Rev. Joseph Carden was called from the Diocese of Massachusetts, and is at present in charge of the church. Under the present rectorship many improvements have been made and the mortgage debt nearly wiped out. The communicant list numbers 350.
St. Thomas' Roman Catholic Church. The first Catholic services recorded in Rock County were held in Beloit, in 1846, by Rev. Father McKernan, who celebrated mass in the house of Captain Powers. There were then in Beloit five Catholic families. In May, 1853, Rev. Father McFaul cared for the Beloit Catholics until June, 1854; Father Kundig the next three months; Father Norris until January 1, 1856; then Father Kundig two months, and Father Norris again until 1859. His successors were Fathers' Riordan Smith until 1862, Herman until 1866, and Sullivan until his death in 1883, when Rev. M. J. Ward was appointed to this field.
The first Catholic Church at Beloit was built by Father Norris in 1854. This stone building was destroyed by fire December 23, 1884. The next day one of Father Ward's Presbyterian friends, meeting him, said: "I am sorry for your loss - I'm sorry twenty dollars' worth." and gave him a twenty dollar gold piece. In addition to this first contribution toward a new building Father Ward soon secured enough to erect a new church edifice of brick (on School Street, now East Grand Avenue, 830), and it was dedicated June 6, 1886.
During his quarter century of service here, completed July 5, 1908, Father Ward has done a great work for temperance and, more than any other man in Beloit, has helped in that reform both within this county and also outside of its bounds.
In 1902 Father Rivers became first assistant in this parish, and was followed in that service by Father Cuyler, and in the latter part of 1903 Father Joseph E. Hanz began that service. Father Ward has the respect and good will of all Beloit citizens, and the personal esteem and love of all his own congregation, who now number 1,560.
Saint Jude's Church, Roman Catholic. This new society was organized in the Knights of Columbia Hall, Beloit, Wis., June 24, 1908, and the certificate of incorporation was issued by the secretary of state, September 2, 1908. The trustees are: President, Most Rev. S. G. Messmer, D. D.; Very Rev. Joseph Rainer, V. G.; vice president, Joseph E. Hanz the pastor; secretary, Charles Ramsden. The site chosen is at the corner of Hackett and Roosevelt Streets, west side. The treasurer is John Meehan.
First Baptist Church. In the fall of 1837 Rev. S. S. Whitman, a Baptist minister of Belvidere, Ill., preached in the "Beloit House" the first sermon ever heard in Beloit. In the winter of 1838-39 Elder Topping, of Delavan, preached in Beloit. For a few years Baptist headquarters were established at the private school of Miss Jane Moore. Rev. Albert Burgess preached in this school house in 1840, and on April 24, 1841, he organized the Baptist Church with fourteen members. At the close of the first year the church numbered forty-three.
In December, 1845, the "Church and Society" was organized, and steps taken to build a meeting house. On January 18, 1846, the trustees resolved to purchase the present site, and $100 was paid for the same. The church edifice of stone (40x60 feet) was finished late in 1847 and dedicated early in 1848.
In the year 1874, under the leadership of Rev. E. P. Savage, the church was rebuilt and the towers added to the front of the structure, making an imposing building. This stood for ten years.
On the night of April 12, 1884, the church was burned down. A loss of $15,000 was sustained, covered by $5,000 insurance. Heroic efforts were made by Pastor F. A. Marsh and his people and the church was rebuilt and dedicated in April, 1885.
During the pastorate of Rev. A. W. Runyan the present chapel and parlors were built and a gallery
placed in the audience room. These were dedicated in May, 1896.
From fourteen constituent members in 1841 the church has increased in the sixty-five years of its history to nearly 450 members.
The church has had nineteen pastors, as follows: Rev. A. B. Winchell, May 22, 1841 to October 4, 1842; Rev. Mr. Murphy, January 1, 1843 to March 1, 1844; Rev. John Trowbridge, June 1, 1844 to January 1, 1845; Rev. Niles Kinne, January 22, 1845 to April 2, 1850; Rev. E. L. Harris, December 3, 1850 to February 4, 1854; Rev. Daniel Eldredge, January 10, 1855 to October 21, 1855; Rev. Thomas Holeman, December 22, 1855 to September 10, 1859; Rev. R. R. Prentice, March 12, 1860 to October 31, 1861; Rev. Levi Parmely, May 4, 1862 to May 1, 1867; Rev. L. F. Raymond, August 1, 1867 to December 1, 1868; Rev. H. W. Woods, June 1, 1869 to October 2, 1870; Rev. Austin Gibb, January 1, 1871 to May 1, 1872; Rev. E. P. Savage, July 7, 1872 to October 1, 1877; Rev. F. A. Marsh, May 16, 1880 to May 10, 1888; Rev. O. P. Bestor, January 1, 1889 to May 1, 1893; Rev. A. W. Runyan, September 3. 1893 to November 30, 1896; Rev. W. A. Spinney, December 27, 1896 to December 4, 1898; Rev. Howland Hanson, February 12, 1899 to June 11, 1905; Rev. F. W. Hatch, October 1, 1905 to the present time.
First Methodist Episcopal Church. This society was formed October 15, 1842, and like other organizations held their services in the village school houses, until their building was erected in 1846. During the pastorate of Rev. C. R. Pattie, from 1870 to 1872, a discussion arose in the society which resulted in the formation of the M. P. Church.
The pastors have been Rev. Mr. Hodge, Rev. Mr. Warren, Rev. Mr. Allen, Rev. Mr. Lewis, Rev. Mr. Beech, Rev. Mr. Ford, Rev. Mr. Thomas, Rev. Mr. Wood, Rev. Wesley Lattin, Rev. P. B. Pease, Rev. C. D. Pillsbury, Rev. William P. Stowe, Rev. W. W. Case, Rev. C. R. Pattie, Rev. A. C. Higginson, Rev. T. E. Webb, Rev. Mr. Bain, Rev. G. S. Hubbs, Rev. Wesley Lattin, Rev. E. L. Eaton, and the Reverends A. J. Benjamin, W. F. Warren, G. F. Reynolds, Geo. H. Trevor, D. D., George W. White, Henry Colman, D. D., J. D. Cole, T. DeWitte Peake, R. W. Bosworth, D. D., and William A. Newing, the present incumbent, who has served the church for one year previous.
During the pastorate of Rev. George F. Reynolds the old church was remodeled and repaired at a cost of $3,200. During the pastorate of J. D. Cole the church was again remodeled.
November 30, 1903, was the sixty-first anniversary and grand rally day for the Beloit Methodists. Mr. J. W. Powell of Buffalo, N. Y., was present and conducted the campaign for a new church. August 27, 1904, the corner stone was laid. Bishop Warne of Calcutta, India, gave the principal address. The new church, a red brick modern structure, stands on the site of the old church. It was erected at a cost of $31,000, and dedicated May 29, 1905. Great credit is due to the pastor and his people in the hard work done to give to Beloit such a house of worship. The Ladies' Aid Society pledged $6,000 toward the church and over $4,000 has been paid. The membership is now upwards of 500.
Trinity Lutheran Church, organized in 1871 with nine voting members, is the oldest Lutheran church organization in Beloit. This congregation has been affiliated with the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America since its organization.
At first it was served chiefly by pastors from Orfordville, Wis., who spoke Norwegian, but has gradually adopted English in its Sunday school work and then in public services. The morning and evening services are conducted alternately in the Norwegian and English languages. The church building, situated on Bluff Street, near St. Lawrence Avenue, was erected in 1876. The commodious parsonage, 928 Bluff Street, was built in 1904. Including men, women and children, the church has at present (1908) a membership of 617 souls.
The succession of pastors has been: C. F. Magelson. 1871 to 1880; T. K. Thorvildsen, 1880 to 1890; L. Scherven, 1890 to 1894; G. A. Gullixon, 1894 to 1902. The present pastor, J. Edward Hegg, came in 1902.
Bethlehem Evangelistic Lutheran Church was organized by Rev. J. A. Bergh, in the year 1892, with a membership of twenty-eight families. The church, on the west side of Oak Street, was built in 1893 and dedicated in 1895. The church services are held in the Norwegian and the English languages alternately. The present communicant membership is about 180.
Pastors: Rev. J. A. Bergh, 1892 to 1894; Rev. J. S. Roseland, 1894 to 1899; Rev. E. O. Loe, 1899 to 1903; Rev. Nels Kleven, 1904 to 1906. In that year came the present pastor, Rev. Henry M. Mason.
The First Evangelical Lutheran, St. Paul's Church, held its first service in 1873. Reverends Detzer and Reinsch, who lived in other places, preached here on alternate Sundays.
In October, 1874, the church was duly organized with six or seven members by Rev. G. Sussner, its first resident minister, who served some six months. He was followed by Rev. Mr. Schneider. In January, 1877, came Rev. J. J. Meier, their minister for two years. Rev. W. Buehring was the pastor from 1879 to 1886. Rev. G. Eaempfiein served from January 29, 1886, to April, 1890, and Rev. D. Koshe, from May 13, 1890, to the spring of 1894. Rev. R. Einsiedell, beginning at that time, stayed until November, 1900, and was succeeded by Rev. J. Mettermeier for the next two years. In January, 1903, was called the present pastor, Rev. Paul Pichler.
The number of communicants is now about 300.
The church building, at the northeast corner of St. Lawrence Avenue and Eighth Street, dates from 1882. In 1905 it was lifted several feet toward heaven and a commodious basement was built under it, with some other improvement. The parsonage, 617 St. Lawrence Avenue, was built in 1889.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Atonement. This church was organized in July, 1905, and shortly afterwards incorporated.
This congregation originated in the need of a distinctively English Lutheran congregation in this city, where there were already four other Lutheran congregations-two German and two Norwegian. From the beginning, it has succeeded in fulfilling its purpose of gathering and saving to the church English speaking Lutherans.
For the first year without a settled pastor, worshiping in town in the old Presbyterian Church, Odd Fellows Hall and Hadden Hall, the work was difficult. Steady progress, however, has marked its career. In May, 1906, the present pastor, the Rev. Paul H. Roth, took charge, a 1906 graduate of the Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary. That same year, a fine building site on the east side of the corner of Clary Street and Harrison Avenue was purchased and paid for. In 1907, plans were drawn for a stone church, which, after many alterations and complete re-drawings, were adopted. At this writing (the summer of 1908), the foundations of the church are in and contracts let for the continuing of the building. The church has in the meantime grown from a membership of one-half a dozen to over 200 souls.
History of the Evangelical Lutheran, St. John's Church. The Evangelical Lutheran St. John's Congregation was organized October 18, 1896, with eight voting members. The first officers were: William Samp, F. Wegner and August Nohr. On January 15, 1897, a candidate was called. On this same date the congregation also resolved to build a new church. On February 7, 1897, the congregation was incorporated. With great joy and thanks to God, the new church was dedicated and the first pastor, Rev. H. Studtmann, was inaugurated on the 15th of August, 1897. The congregation now began to grow rapidly. Rev. H. Studtmann left in the summer of 1900. As successor Rev. H. Waltmann was called. He also worked faithfully until the 25th of October, 1903, when he accepted a call to another field. During Rev. Waltmann's pastorate, the parsonage was erected. Rev. H. Waltmann was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. Paul Schaller. During his time, a teacher was called. The present teacher is Mr. Z. Rodenburg, who is doing his work successfully in the school, numbering fifty-two pupils.
The congregation at present numbers 460 souls, 270 communicants and 75 voting members.
Gridley Chapel, situated at the northeast corner of Strong and Partridge Avenues, was built and furnished by William B. Strong as a memorial of his father, Elijah Gridley Strong. The building, which is of red brick and cost $3,500.00, was dedicated August 27,1899, as a union church. At first Charles Kelsey, a missionary of the American Sunday School Union took charge of the work.
December 3rd 1899, was begun a series of revival meetings, conducted by Rev. Harold F. Sayles for two weeks. January 7th, 1900, Miss Jennie Anna Gale of St. Johnsbury, Vt., who had been the assistant pastor of a church in Brownington, Vt., during the previous year, began service as the minister of this congregation.
April 5th and 19th, 1900, at Gridley chapel, a constitution was adopted and signed by thirty members and the officers for a new church were elected. April 22nd 1900, Gridley Church was publicly organized as an evangelical but undenominational church.
July 27th, 1900, a Christian Endeavor Society was organized with thirty active members and one associate. October 18th, 1900, Rev. Charles Kelsey organized there the Gridley Chapel Sunday School, auxiliary to the American Sunday School Union.
Miss Gale (now Mrs. W. R. Irwin) served just four years and was followed by Rev. Lyman W. Winslow, who was their minister until his failing health obliged him to resign in the spring of 1906 and go to California. After two months of temporary supplies Mr. William Carpenter came and served for the rest of that year. In September, 1907, began the ministry here of the present incumbent, Rev. L. "W. Chapman.
The membership of the church is now 105, of which number about sixty-five are resident members. There is a flourishing Sunday School of some two hundred members, besides fifty-eight in a home department. There is a Christian Endeavor Society, a well attended "Mothers' Meeting," and a missionary organization of men, women and children, called the Kingdom Extension Society.
First Church of Christ, Scientist. The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Beloit, Wisconsin, a religious corporation, was incorporated under the laws of the state of Wisconsin in the year 1888. Later this corporation was dissolved and was re-incorporated December 23rd, 1904. The organization consists of a board of five trustees and a board of five directors, the former having charge of the business of the church and the latter of it a spiritual direction and welfare.
The public service consists of two readers, first and second reader, one reading from the scriptures and the other from the text-book of the sect, "Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker G. Eddy. These lessons are prepared under the direction of Mrs. Eddy and the publication committee and every church under the organization uses this service each Sabbath. The regular meetings are Sunday morning at 10:30 and a testimonial meeting each Wednesday evening.
The present membership of the Beloit church aggregates about one hundred.
Beloit has also a new organization, called the Disciples or "Christian" Church, formed in the summer of 1908. This society, having about thirty members, meets regularly for Sabbath services in a hall over Pollock's drug store, west side, and is growing.
Church services and Sunday school services are also held regularly each Sunday in South Beloit. There is also an A. M. E. Church.
Luther Valley Church. There are no records of the first meetings of the Luther Valley Church, but the Reverend C. L Clausen, from Racine County, preached at the house of Hellik Brekke on the 8th day of February, 1844, and that some kind of an organization was effected we infer from the fact that a call was made to Norway for a minister, stipulating his salary, etc.
Meanwhile Rev. J. C. W. Dietricksen had sailed for America and Luther Valley Church was referred to him. But he located at Koshkonong and the congregation was but sparingly served by him and Clausen until July 31, 1846 when the last named arrived as resident minister, accepting a call that was tendered him on the 29th day of December, 1845. Since then the Luther Valley Church has had a settled pastor.
Rev. Clausen served until 1851, when he resigned and Rev. 0. Dietricksen was called. He had charge of the congregation until 1859, when he returned to Norway and his place was occupied by Rev. C. F. Magelsen. Rev. Magelsen continued the work until 1869, when he resigned and the congregation was again temporarily served by its first pastor, the Rev. C. L. Clausen, then of St. Ansgar, la. On his recommendation, the church sent a call to Rev. I. M. Eggen, who accepted and had charge of the congregation until 1882, when he moved to Lyle, Minn., and the present pastor, Rev. J. A. Bergh, began his work.
Until about 1865 southern Wisconsin formed the center of the Norse population in America, and several important conventions were held in the Luther Valley Church-among them may be mentioned that the organization of the Norwegian Synod was begun here in January, 1851, and completed at a meeting in October, 1853.
Of this ecclesiastical body the Luther Valley Church was a charter member, but believing that slavery was a sinful institution, the congregation withdrew from the synod in 1868. This brought the resignation of Rev. Magelsen, and although he was very popular among the people, the resignation was adopted by a vote of 126 to 47. Those that sympathized with the synod, built a church of their own in Orfordsville, and were served by Rev. Magelsen.
At first the Luther Valley people of course had to worship in private houses, but a church was built in 1847. It was of lime stone and rather small, but served until 1871, when it was torn down and a new and larger one built on its site. At the same time another church was built in the western part of the congregation.
On the first Sunday in Advent, 1846, the Luther Valley Church consisted of sixty-five families, 171 communicants and 250 members; in April, 1882, when Rev. Bergh took charge, it had 111 families, 330 communicants and 571 members, and on August 2nd, 1896, fifty years after the first settled pastor began his work, we find 179 families, 548 communicants and 1,090 members. At the present writing (1907), the church numbers 220 families, about 600 communicants and 1,200 members. Among members baptized, children of parents belonging to the church are counted.
The Luther Valley congregation has two churches, and a parsonage consisting of house and thirty-five acres of land. The parsonage is located in Plymouth, the East church in Newark, and the West Church in Spring Valley Township, Rock County, Wisconsin.
CHAPTER XIV; JANESVILLE CHURCHES.
The church organizations of Janesville began with the first settlements in the country. We learn from the first records, that many of the early settlers were people connected with various church denominations; that a few, meeting together, soon increased to a number sufficient to begin the construction of some kind of a house of worship, which was often a log cabin.
The Methodists seem to have been the pioneers in church organization. The Rev. G. W. Miller, a Methodist Episcopal minister, in his work, "Thirty Years in the Itinerancy," gives the date of the first sermon preached in Janesville, as September, 1837, by the Rev. Jesse Halstead, who was then stationed on the Aztalan circuit; the services were held in a log house, which was at that time a leading tavern. He was invited to preach to the small audience of about a dozen people, and by removing the liquors from the bar room, they remodeled it into a church, very primitive to be sure, so with the bar as a pulpit, the minister delivered the sermon; no doubt it was a good one, and was listened to with respect.
In 1839 Rev. James F. Flanders made visits to Janesville, and held services wherever a place was obtainable. His first sermon was delivered in the old tavern, which stood on the present site of the Meyers house. The services were held in different places, but mostly in school houses until 1842, when the first court house was built. This edifice was used alternately by the different religious denominations. Janesville was admitted into the Troy circuit in 1840, and the Rev. James McKean was appointed the first pastor, and preached here once every four weeks; the Rev. Julius Field held the first quarterly meeting in Janesville in the spring of 1841, formed a class meeting and appointed J. P. Wheeler leader.
The First Methodist Episcopal Church, of Janesville, was organized in 1841, with Rev. Alpha Warren as the pastor. He was succeeded by Rev. Boyd Phelps in 1843. The Rev. Lyman Catlin was the first minister to have his home in Janesville. Then followed the Rev. F. W. Perkins, S. Adams, J. Lucock and Wesley Lattin. During the latter is pastorate, the congregation built their first church; it was of frame, in dimensions 35x25 feet, and was located on the west side of the river, on the east side of Center street. It was opened for worship in 1848.
Mr. Lattin was followed in succession by the Revs. J. M. Snow, 0. F. Comfort, Daniel Stansbury, Mr. Mason, Joshia W. Wood and Henry Requa. In July, 1853, they dedicated their brick church, which had just been completed; it was 75x45 in size, and stood on the corner of Center and Jackson streets (west side); the services were conducted by the Rev. John Clark. Mr. Requa was succeeded by the Rev. Alpheus Hamilton, and he was followed by the Rev. Dr. Miller, who has been succeeded in turn by the Revs. H. C. Tilton, J. H. Jenne, R. B. Curtis, A. C. Manwell, W. H. Sampson, D. W. Compt, E. W. Kirkham. C. N. Stowers, Steven Smith, Samuel Lugg, Thomas Clittro and Henry Sewell, 1879-1880; he was followed by Rev. G. W. Wells in 1881. On October 3, 1882, Rev. G. E. Goldthrop was appointed. He remained until October 13, 1885, when Rev. Thomas Walker was appointed. October 1, 1888, Rev. Matthew Evans became pastor. Rev. I. S. Leavitt was appointed September 26, 1892; Rev. J. D. Cole, September 25, 1893; Rev. Andrew Porter, October 1, 1894; Rev. H. W. Thompson, October 5, 1896, and Rev. W. W. Woodside, October 3, 1898; Rev. James Churn, October 14, 1901, and Rev. W. W. Warner was appointed September 15, 1902, and remained pastor of this church until January 30, 1904, when the First Church and the Court Street Methodist Episcopal Church were consolidated, forming a new church, named the Central Methodist Episcopal Church, which occupied the Court Street Church building, with Rev. J. H. Tippett as pastor.
The Court Street Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1867. It was an offshoot of the First Church, whose building was not large enough for the number of members, so there was a division and one-half of the membership left and organized the Court Street Church; this church edifice was built in 1868 on the corner of Maine and Court streets, east side of the river. The Rev. G. M. Steel was their first pastor. He was followed by the Revs. O. B. Thayer, H. C. Tilton, E. D. Huntly, H. Stone, Richardson N. Wheeler.
Rev. Henry Faville was appointed pastor of this church about September, 1880. About 1882, Rev. Olin A. Curtis was appointed. Rev. C. B. Wilcox was appointed October 8, 1883; Rev. T. DeWitt Peake, October 13, 1885; Rev. George H. Trevor, October 1, 1888; Rev. E. L. Eaton, September 30, 1889; Rev. W. F. Requea, September 26, 1892; Rev. Sabin Halsey, October 1, 1894; Rev. W. A. Hall, September 26, 1897, and Rev. J. H. Tippett, October 14, 1901. This church was consolidated with the First Church of Janesville (Methodist) January 30, 1904, forming the Central Methodist Episcopal Church. The building of the First Church was sold and the meetings of the new church were held in the Court Street Church, Rev. J. H. Tippett being retained as pastor of the new society.
Central Methodist Episcopal Church.
This church was formed January 30, 1904, by the union of the First Church of Janesville (Methodist) and the Court Street Methodist Episcopal Church. The meetings were held in the building of the former Court Street Church, and Rev. J. H. Tippett became pastor of the united societies. After worshipping about one year under this name, a new church was erected on the corner of South Franklin and Pleasant Streets, west side, which was named the Cargill Memorial Church, in consideration of $10,000 donated by William Cargill, of LaCrosse, Wis. The buildings of the First Church and of Court Street Church were sold.
Cargill Memorial Church (Methodist). A fine new church was erected during 1905 and 1906 on the corner of South Franklin and Pleasant streets by the united societies of the First Church of Janesville (Methodist )and the Court Street Methodist Church, then under the name of the Central Methodist Episcopal Church, which, in consideration of a donation of $10,000 from Mr. William Cargill, of La Crosse, Wis., was named the Cargill Memorial. The buildings belonging to the earlier Methodist societies were sold and the proceeds used toward the erection of the new church, which cost about $60,000, and was dedicated March 4, 1906.
Rev. J. H. Tippett, who was appointed October 1, 1901, as pastor of the Court Street Methodist Church, is the present pastor of the new church. The trustees of this society are H. F. Bliss, T. E. Bennison, W. F. Carle, R. W. Clark, E. E. Loomis, E. W. Lowell, C. W. Kemmeree, F. T. Richardson and W. I. Rothermel. The stewards are H. G. Arnold, F. J. Barfoot, S. C. Burnham, W. J. Cannon, J. A. Canniff, A. W. Hall, J. B. Richards, J. L. Hay, F. Hurd, George A. Jacobs, W. J. Mclntyre, T. W. Nuzum and I. Richards. T. E. Bennison is superintendent of the Sunday school. The Ladies' Aid Sodality has for its president, Mrs. Elizabeth Boomer. There is a men's league of 100 members connected with the church, of which Prof. Delbert D. Manross is president. The Epworth League is a society of young people and has for its president George A. Jacobs.
The Congregationalists. The first meetings of this denomination held in Janesville were composed of a few members, who met in the school house or at the residence of some member in 1843. Their numbers were small at first, and they held no regular services until 1844, when the Rev. C. H. A. Bulkley took up the work, and on February 11, 1845, with the assistance of the Rev. Stephen Peet, he organized the First Congregational church of Janesville. The following is a list of the organizing members: Joseph Spaulding, Erastus Dean, Benjamin Morrill, Chester Dean, Mrs. Elmira H. Dewey, Mrs. Lamira Culver, Miss Susan French, Mrs. Lydia Spaulding, Mrs. Judith Dean, Mrs. B. Morrill, Mrs. Hannah T. French, Mrs. Lydia Sears, Mrs. Eleanor Strunk, Frances Chesebrough and Luke Chesebrough.
In July, 1846, the Rev. Mr. Buckley was succeeded by the Revs. William C. Scofield, M. P. Kinney, G. W. Mackie, F. B. Rev. Hiram Foot. Other successions in order have been: The Norton, Lyman Whiting, George Williams, T. P. Sawin and S. P. Wilder. In 1849 a brick church was built, and in the summer of 1851, an addition to the building was made. In 1865-66 the entire structure was torn down and a new church was constructed throughout at a cost of $57,000, including an organ that cost $6,500. In May, 1875, the church was destroyed by fire. They immediately set to work to rebuild the burned structure, and the result of their efforts was one of the handsomest church buildings then in Wisconsin.
The officers now (1908) are: William Bladon, J. T. Wright, E. Heller, J. F. Spoon, S. B. Lewis, J. A. Craig, O. D. Bates, C. A. Thompson, W. S. Jeffris, H. M. Dedrick, A. M. Fisher, H. C. Buell, George Davis and Peter Jamieson, deacons. The trustees are J. M. White, head president; F. F. Lewis, secretary; A. E. Matheson, treasurer; F. A. Spoon, W. S. Jeffris and C. S. Cleland.
The church societies, Women's Missionary, Ladies' Benevolent, The Social Club, Social Club Auxilliary, Loan' Band of King's Daughters, Y. P. S. C. E., Wee Folks Band, Covenant Club, Congregational Boy's Club, Congregational Young Men's Club. The present pastor is Robert C. Denison.
The First Presbyterian Church, of Janesville, Wis., was organized in the old stone Academy building May 5, 1855, by a committee of Dane presbytery, consisting of Rev. Mr. Gardner, of Madison: Rev. Mr. Parks and Rev. Moses W. Staples, who had recently come from Marshall, Texas. Rev. Dr. Savage, of Milwaukee presbytery, and Rev. Mr. Robertson, the synodical missionary, acted with them.
Of the twelve charter members, all of whom were received by letter, Warren Norton, Mrs. Lydia B. Norton, John D. W. Rexford, Mrs. Synthia M. Rexford, Lyman J. Barrows, M. D., Mrs. Caroline J. Barrows, Auston E. Burpee, Mrs. Eliza Burpee, Joseph A. Graham, Mrs. Elizabeth Graham, Samuel Lightbody, Mrs. Mary Miller, only two survive, Mrs. C. M. Rexford and Mrs. C. J. Barrows. The church was duly organized, Mr. Gardner preaching the sermon from Nehemiah 2:18: "Let us rise up and build." J. D. W. Rexford and Warren Norton were elected and installed elders. On the next Sabbath communion service was observed and Mrs. M. W. Staples was received by letter. During the following week the trustees purchased a lot (the site of the old building) and arrangements were made to erect a chapel. In the latter part of May, Mrs. Staples visited at St. Louis to solicit financial aid for the building and returned in two weeks with sufficient to justify breaking ground at once.
Early in September the chapel was dedicated. In October, 1856, the synod of Wisconsin held its sessions in the new chapel and Mr. Staples was duly installed as pastor. At that date the membership of the church had more than quadrupled, being then fifty-three. Mr. Staples continued pastor till the summer of 1858. He subsequently served in the pastorate at Kankakee, Ill., and as secretary of the Virginia Bible Society, dying September 3, 1892, at Catskill, N. Y. On October 10, 1858, the Rev. Oliver Bronson was chosen pastor and installed on the 24th day of the same month.
The succeeding pastors were: Rev. George C. Heckman, August, 1860 to 1861; Rev. Mr. Carpenter, 1861 to 1862; Rev. Charles Lemuel Thompson from Horicon, Wis., April, 1862, to February, 1869 (now secretary of the Presbyterian Board of Home Missions); Rev. D. G. Bradford, June, 1868, to December, 1869; Rev. Thomas C. Kirkwood, May, 1871, to February, 1873 (now synodical missionary for Colorado); Rev. Joseph W. Sanderson, September, 1873, to January, 1880; Rev. William Fiske Brown, October, 1880, to October, 1903. When Milwaukee presbytery met in the little old Presbyterian church at Janesville in May, 1871, Mr. Brown, then a home missionary at Black River Falls, Wis., was there ordained by them as an evangelist. Of his thirteen years' pastorate, the most memorable reminder is the new church, built free of debt, costing about $17,000, exclusive of the lot, which was $2,300; the organ, $2,500, and memorial windows and furniture represented about $2,000 more. The corner stone was laid June 12, 1891, and the building was dedicated February 18, 1892, paid for by the 260 different subscriptions which Mr. Brown then reported and which made ten feet of names.
Mr. John G. Rexford writes: "But the planning and building of this edifice was not the only important event that marked Dr. Brown's pastorate; the records show a steady growth. April 1, 1881, there were 150 members, and the total contribution for the year was $1,630. April 1, 1903, there were 264 members, Sunday school 273, and the year's contributions had been $3,524. During these thirteen years of his pastorate, 260 names were added to the church roll. June 14, 1891, fifty-eight new members were received, of whom fifty-five then first made public profession of Christian faith."
Rev. Edward H. Pence served from November, 1893, to March. 1900, having 275 additions to the church. (He is now pastor of the prominent Fort Scott church, of Detroit, Mich.) Rev. J. T. Henderson, from Parkville, Mo., was pastor from September 9, 1900, to 1905, and received 140. During his pastorate a parsonage was bought. Rev. J. W. Laughlin, D. D., was installed in October, 1905. In May, 1908, the church reports 505 members; the Sunday school, 350. (Both Sanderson and Brown were elected at different times to the office of synodical missionary for Wisconsin.)
The list of elders to date is Warren Norton, John DeWitt Rexford, Fred L. Chapman, Henry Pullan, Willard Merrill, Daniel Urquhart, E. Storrs Barrows, Charles H. Gates, Samuel Rolston, Edward Ruger, John Stockman, John H. Kinney, F. S. Eldred, James Blair, Henry S. Calkins, Myron H. Soverhill, L. J. Barrows, M. D., William H. Blair, James Shearer, James Mouat, Samuel Waddell, A. A. Jackson, J. M. Shackleton, James Mills, M. D., Robert Airis and James Lamb. Edward Ruger, first elected in 1873, has been in almost continuous service ever since, and is senior member of the present session.
Father Morrisy, one of the three Catholic priests in Wisconsin in 1846, was located in Milwaukee. He used to make trips to Janesville on horseback, to visit the members of his church, who were quite numerous among the early settlers. He visited this and other towns on the river, and, when coming here, held services and performed marriage ceremonies at the house of James Torny, until 1847; he was then succeeded by the Rev. Patrick Kernan, who made monthly visits to this city. He first assembled his flock in the old brick school house on Center Street, but in a few months a small brick building was erected for their use, and the church called St. Patrick's. The Rev. Michael McFaul succeeded Father Kernan, and the building was enlarged to meet the needs of the congregation. Rev. Michael Smith followed McFaul, and remained for one year, when Father Kernan returned to the charge, and remained until 1854. Then the Rev. John Conroy was placed in charge of the church. As the membership had increased greatly, Father Conroy commenced working on the project of building a new church, a solid and beautiful structure, in which he was successful. His successor, J. M. Doyle, beginning in January, 1864, completed the new building and also built near by the convent of St. Joseph for the Sisters of Mercy in 1870. On account of a large mortgage, the church building had to be sold to a non-Catholic in 1881. In June, 1880, Rev. E. M. McGinnity took charge. He personally guaranteed the owner of the building $500, provided it was thrown open three Sundays. This was done, and on the third Sunday a collection was taken amounting to $800. Father McGinnity then began a personal canvass of his parishioners and secured a sum large enough to pay off the greater part of the indebtedness of that parish. He has since completed that work of redemption and added various improvements, a $6,000 parsonage and an altar costing $1,200. He became Dean McGinnity, and when he died this year (1908) the parish comprised about 2,500 souls.
St. Patrick's has a branch of the Catholic Knights of Wisconsin, Holy Rosary Confraternity, St. Patrick's T. A. and B. Society, Young Ladies' Sodality, Union Catholic League, Altar Society League of the Sacred Heart, and Ladies' Aid Society to help the poor.
St. Mary's (Catholic) Church. A movement was made in 1876 toward the formation of a new Catholic parish in the city of Janesville, the congregation of St. Patrick's, then the only Catholic Parish in the city, having outgrown its church building. A number of meetings were held looking toward this object during that year, and a building site was purchased on March 3, 1876, on the northwest corner of Wisconsin and North streets. On March 14 of the same year, the contract was let for building the new church, a plain frame building, which was completed in July, 1876. Rev. Michael Obermueller, of Monroe, Wis., celebrated mass for the new congregation and conducted services twice during the succeeding August.
On Monday, September 4, 1876, the Rev. John Stephen Muenich was installed as the first regular pastor. The congregation increased rapidly and it was soon found necessary to enlarge the church. An addition of about twenty feet was made, and, after its completion, the new church was dedicated on Thanksgiving day, November 30, 1876, by the Very Rev. Martin Kundig, vicar general of the diocese of Milwaukee.
In 1878 a parochial residence was built on the west half of the church lot.
During a vacation trip to Europe which Father Muenich took in 1880, Rev. Bernard B. Smedding took charge of the parish and served as pastor from April to November of that year. Father Muenich resigned June 1, 1881, leaving the church in a prosperous condition.
Rev. Robert J. Roche succeeded Father Muenich, and took charge of the congregation on Thursday, August 1, 1882.
On August 17, 1883, St. Mary's congregation was incorporated under the laws of the state of Wisconsin.
While Father Roche was pastor, many improvements were made on the church lot the residence of the priest was decorated and furnished, the church frescoed and painted, a new altar built and a handsome organ purchased. Property was also secured for school purposes.
Father Roche severed his connection with the parish September 11, 1898, and was succeeded by Rev. W. A. Goebel, at that time pastor of St. Patrick's Church at Ripon, Wis.
Father Goebel immediately set about planning for the erection of a larger church, the congregation having outgrown the first building, and the following building committee was chosen: Rev. W. A. Goebel, Andrew Barron (secretary), John Champion (treasurer), Fred Roesling, Sr., Edward J. Ryan (attorney for the congregation), Peter Neuses, William Kennedy, John S. Doran. This committee visited many new churches in Wisconsin and Illinois and in the spring of 1899, plans drawn by F. H. Kemp, under the supervision of Father Goebel and Fred Roesling, Sr., were adopted. Mr. Roesling was an architect and contractor, and gave up most of his time for two years in supervising the construction of the building. Father Goebel rendered valuable assistance in this work, devoting every moment to the service which could be spared from his duties as pastor.
During the summer of 1900, the old church and the rectory were moved to make room for a new building, and, soon after, excavation was made for the foundation. On May 30, 1901, the corner stone was laid, Father R. J. Roche, the former pastor, officiating at the ceremony. Father L. J. Vaughn
preached the sermon.
The ceremony of dedication for the new church, which took place June 14, 1902, was performed by Bishop Muldoon of Chicago, in the absence of Archbishop Katzer of Milwaukee.
The church, which is of Menominee red brick, with a foundation of Waukesha stone, stands on the east side on a hill overlooking the city and presents a fine appearance. The interior is handsomely furnished and decorated and the windows are rich and beautiful, many of them having been presented as memorials by members of the congregation. The church was built at a cost of $50,000. which sum does not include gifts or donations.
There are various societies connected with the church: The Guard of Honor, which is composed of men of the congregation, both young and old. John J. Lynch is its president. The married Ladies' Sodality has for its prefect Mrs. J. M. Kneff; Mrs. N. Casey is the secretary and Mrs. A. Pierce treasurer. Of the Young Ladies' Sodality, Miss Belle Connell is prefect, Miss Mamie Cantwell secretary and Miss Laskowski treasurer.
Rev. William A. Goebel, pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church at Janesville, Wis., was born at Marietta, Ohio, November 26, 1857, and is a son of Louis and Maria (Schilling) Goebel, both natives and life-long residents of that place. He acquired his preliminary education in his native town and supplemented this with a course of study at Marietta College, followed by courses of study in Toronto, Ont., and at St. Francis' seminary, in Milwaukee, Wis., where he was ordained to the ministry on June 24, 1881. In August following his ordination, Rev. Goebel was appointed to take charge of a mission at Kingston, Wis., and after two years of successful work there, he, in September, 1883, was given a charge in Ripon, Wis., whence in 1898 he was transferred to his present pastorate in Janesville.
Rev. Goebel is a man of intense energy, thoroughly consecrated to the work to which he has dedicated himself, and by his pure, simple, earnest and devoted life, holds the confidence and esteem not only of his immediate parishioners, but also of the community and all who come within the scope of his influence. Through his instrumentality and under his direction, a new and splendid church edifice has been erected at a cost of $51,000, the corner stone being laid in May, 1901, and the completed building being dedicated in June, 1902. In all his work, Rev. Goebel brings to bear the force of a strong personality, and to this, coupled with his various attainments and firm reliance upon Him whom he seeks to faithfully follow and serve, is to be attributed the gratifying results of his activity.
The Unitarian Church.
As early as 1842, clergymen of the Universalist faith paid occasional visits to Janesville, among whom may be mentioned the Revs. S. Barns, G. W. Lawrence, C. F. La Favre and Frank Whitaker. The latter gentleman preached at both Beloit and Janesville. In 1850 the "First Universalist Society" was organized, with the Rev. J. Baker as pastor. He filled the pulpit for two years, and was succeeded by the Rev. C. F. Dodge, of Palmyra, who was their pastor for one year. After this date there seems to have been a lack of interest, though meetings were held, but not regularly, until 1864, when the Rev. F. M. Holland, a Unitarian minister, arrived at Janesville; on February 16 a meeting was held in Lappin's Hall, which was largely attended, and the organization of "The First Independent Society of Liberal Christians of Janesville" was perfected and incorporated. The following were the trustees elected: Orvin Guernsey, Samuel G. Bailey, Levi Alden, James M. Burgess, George W. Bemis and Jonathan Church. During the time of Mr. Holland's Pastorate, meetings were held in Hope Chapel which was later the German Lutheran Church, on West Milwaukee Street. The society grew very rapidly, and soon it became apparent that more room was needed and measures were taken to build a church to their needs, the result being the construction of All Soul's Church, on West Court Street. The church was dedicated in 1866, by the Rev. Robert Collyer, the Rev. Silas Farrington, who succeeded Mr. Holland, being the pastor at the time. He was succeeded in turn by the Revs. Charles F. Balch, J. Fisher. Rev. Jenkin Lloyd Jones, now of Chicago, Ill., was pastor of the Unitarian Church until August 30, 1880. During the three years following, the society was without a regular pastor, and the pulpit was supplied from the liberal churches of other cities. On February 5, 1884, Rev. H. Tambs Lyche took charge as pastor and remained for about one year. The church was closed for six months and October 1, 1885, Rev. Joseph Waite accepted a call.
He resigned April 1, 1888. Rev. Charles F. Elliott succeeded Mr. Waite, his pastorate beginning on September 1, 1888, and ending May 1, 1891. September 1, 1891, Rev. Sophie Gibb took charge and remained till September 11, 1894. She was followed by Rev. Victor E. Southworth, who was pastor for two years. February 12, 1899, Rev. A. G. Wilson came, remaining about one year and a half. At a meeting of the trustees of the society, held April 25, 1901, it was decided to sell the church property, sealed bids for its purchase having been received, and on the next day, April 26, 1901, the sale was made to Dr. E. F. Woods. At the time of the sale the trustees, who are still holding office (1908), were as follows: William A. Smith, chairman; Walter Helms, secretary and treasurer; William H. Greenman, W. H Merritt, Fred Howe.
The mutual improvement club was organized in the winter of 1873-4 and carried on its meetings until the winter of 1884-85. Its officers then were: Treasurer, Lily M. Godden; secretary, Ida Harris; librarian, Zelia Harris. Two other literary clubs were connected with the church following the disbanding of the Mutual Improvement Club-the Fortnightly Club and the Culture Club. They were short lived and the minutes have not been preserved.
The First Baptist Church, of Janesville, was organized October 13, 1844. The old records have been lost, but according to reliable verbal statements there were thirteen constituent members.
In 1851 the first house of worship was built at a cost of $5,000. Subsequently this edifice was sold. A temporary church home in the Hyatt block was christened "The Baptist Tabernacle." One wintry night it was burned to the ground. Driven from this home, the church established itself in Lappin's hall until the second edifice was built in 1868. This was a magnificent structure, and for nearly a score of years the church worshipped and prospered within its walls. But in 1884 this building was also burned. During the erection of the present house of worship there was for a year an interchange of courtesy with the Congregationalists. They furnished the church, and this society furnished the minister, Rev. Dr. M. G. Hodge. The church home is a beautiful sanctuary loved sincerely by many hearts.
(A. D. 1908.) The number of members is now 710, the largest Baptist church in Wisconsin. During this year 100 new members were received.
The pastors have been: Rev. J. Murphy, Rev. J. R. Eldrige, 1844 to 1847; Rev. Otis Hackett, 1847 to 1849; Rev. 0. J. Dearborn, 1850 to 1854; Rev. William Douglas, 1854 to 1856; Rev. Galusha Anderson, 1856 to 1858; Rev. E. J. Goodspeed, 1858 to 1864; Rev. M. G. Hodge, 1865 to 1871; Rev. F. W. Bakeman, 1872 to 1873; Rev. J. P. Bates, 1873 to 1875; Rev. W. S. Roberts, 1875 to 1878; Rev. F. L. Chapell, 1878 to 1881; Rev. M. G. Hodge, 1881 to 1897; Rev. A. C. Pempton, 1897 to 1900; Rev. R. M. Vaughan, 1901 to 1908.
The Episcopal Church. The history of this church in Janesville dates from August, 1844, when the Rev. Thomas J. Ruger came to Janesville as a missionary, sent out by the Domestic Board of Missions, from the diocese of New York. On September 18 a meeting was held for the purpose of organizing an Episcopal church, and at this meeting the following wardens and vestrymen were elected: "Wardens, William Lupton and J. Bodwell Doe; vestrymen, William B. Sheldon, A. Hyatt Smith, John J. R. Pease, Guy Stoughton, Joseph Croft, A. C. Wood, A. C. Bailey and Isaac Woodle.
Until January, 1846, services were held in the small brick school house on the corner of Milwaukee and Bluff streets. At the end of two years a parish was organized. Mr. Ruger became rector, and remained in that position until 1855. At a vestry meeting held July 5, 1847, it was voted that a church building should be constructed without delay. Lot 83, in Smith & Bailey's addition, west side, was donated by A. Hyatt Smith, and the work of building Trinity Church was begun. The building was constructed in June, 1848. The list of rectors who have been in charge since the formation of the parish are in order following: The Revs. Thomas Ruger, Samuel S. Ethridge, J. M. Coe, Hiram Beers, Fayette Durlin, George Wallace and F. W. McLean.
Christ Episcopal Church.
In the year 1859, owing to some differences which are liable to occur, and which did occur, there was a division in Trinity Church, and steps were taken toward organizing another. Meetings were held in Lappin Hall, and the Rev. Thomas J. Ruger was chosen as their rector. On September 20, 1859, they effected a permanent organization, and the following officers were elected: George Cannon, senior warden; Frank M. Smith, junior warden; vestrymen, John J. R. Pease, L. F. Patten, Lewis E. Stone, Shubael W. Smith, Hiram Jackman, B. Wheeler, John E. Jenkins and George Barnes. Lappin's Hall being very much in demand, they were compelled to look elsewhere for a convenient place to worship. Colonel Ezra Miller offered the society the use of the Ogden House dining room, which was accepted and used until 1861. At a meeting of the vestrymen held April 4, 1861, a lot was purchased of Hamilton Richardson on Court Street, near the east end of the public square, and a contract made with V. G. Nettleton to build a church. It was consecrated October 31, 1861, by the Rt. Rev. Jackson Kemper, D. D., bishop of the diocese of Wisconsin. The following gentlemen have officiated as rectors of the church since its organization: Revs. Thomas J. Ruger, Henry W. Spaulding, D. D., Robert W. Woolsey, E. Tolson Baker, Joseph Wood, George W. Dunbar and Rev. Lee Royce in 1877, who was succeeded in 1881 by Rev. C. M. Pullen. In 1887, Rev. H. W. Spaulding, who took charge as rector of the church in December, 1859, was recalled, and remained in charge until September, 1889, when Rev. H. Baldwin Dean became rector. Rev. A. H. Barrington was called to the rectorship February 1, 1891, and resigned November, 1905. The church was without a rector until May 9, 1906, when Rev. John McKinney, the present incumbent, became rector.
Church societies: Christ Church Guild, Mrs. L. C. Brewer, president; St. Agnes Guild, Mrs. F. F. Stevens, president; Daughters of the King, Mrs. William Ruger, president; Woman's Auxiliary, Mrs. John McKinney, president; Junior Auxiliary, Mrs. Abby Winslow and Miss Bessie Woodruff, presidents.
Vestry: Senior warden, William Ruger; junior warden, Robert M. Bostwick, Jr.; vestrymen, George S. Parker, Jr., William Sayles, George Smith, William Skelly, Joseph L. Bostwick and Norman L. Carle. Robert M. Bostwick, Jr., is treasurer of the society and William Ruger, Jr., is clerk of the vestry.
New windows and new pews have been placed in the church during the present year (1908).
St. Paul's Lutheran Church was first established here in 1865, with Rev. H. Ernst as the first pastor. Meetings of members of this faith had been held at different times as early as 1855. The Rev. F. Locher and the Rev. A. Wagner had preached here frequently, but no stated or regular meetings were held until 1865. In 1870 the Rev. Mr. Duberg was chosen as their pastor, and two years later he was succeeded by the Rev. G. Rousch, and was followed by the Rev. J. Schlerf. In 1867 the society purchased Hope Chapel from the Baptists, for which they paid $2,500. The original members of the congregation came from Pomerania and Mecklenburg in Germany. Rev. John Scherf served from September 1, 1875, to September, 1888, and was followed by Rev. Max. J. F. Albrecht, from October, 1888, to July, 1891. He was followed by the Rev. Christ. John Koesner, from July 5, 1891, and who is at present (1908) its pastor.
The church was erected in 1883, and in 1889 the congregation purchased a large pipe organ, costing $1,400. The steeple was built in 1893, and three large bells were purchased for $1,000 at the time.
The church membership at present (1908) consists of 240 families.
The congregation supports a parochial school, of which Mr. K. F. G. Kath is principal and Miss Mary Gallitz assistant.
The parsonage was built in 1880, and greatly improved in 1907.
The Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church had its first beginning in Janesville in 1855, when meetings were held in a small apartment near the court room, and they also rented of other denominations occasionally. In 1873 they built a church near the depot at a cost of $2,700. Among the original members were A. Anderson, S. Trulson, M. Hanson and C. C. Peterson. The first pastor was Rev. Adolph Preuss, who has been succeeded by the Revs. Duus, Duberg and C. F. Magelson.
United Brethren in Christ. This church was organized, and the first services were held on Sunday, May 10, 1908, in their new church building, which, with the parsonage just completed, cost $20,000. Rev. L. A. Mclntyre, pastor.
In April, 1897, First Church of Christ, Scientist, Janesville, Wis., was organized with twenty-two charter members. The Christian Science church, being based on the healing of sin and sickness, as preached and practiced by Jesus, the membership consists of those who have had proofs of this healing in their own experience.
The Christian Science church has no pastor in the usual sense of the word. The Bible and the Christian Science text-book are their only preachers. This text-book is "Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures," by Mary Baker G. Eddy.
Two readers are elected from the church membership every three years. Those who have served as first readers are Miss Stella F. Sabin, Mrs. Clara J. Persels, Mrs. Helen C. Sherer and Mr. Marshall P. Richardson.
Church services are held at present in the hall formerly occupied by the city library. The church owns a lot on the corner of High and Pleasant streets and now has a growing building fund for the erection of a church edifice. The membership has more than doubled and the average attendance at Sunday services is between sixty-five and seventy.
St. Peter's Church.
The congregation of St. Peter's was organized by Rev. A. C. Anda, western field secretary, February 6, 1903. Nineteen charter members signed the constitution and with but few additions were the sole representatives of English Lutherans in central Wisconsin for the year and a half that services were conducted by Chicago seminary students, in the small hall down town. In June, 1904, the congregation took possession of the church property at Jackson and Center Streets, which was purchased from the Methodists at a very low price. At this time Rev. W. P. Christy was installed as pastor. In the summer of 1905 a new roof and new chancel platform and arches, new furniture and carpets were added at a cost of $1,000. In 1906 a large, two manual, electric organ was purchased, rebuilt and installed at a cost of $1,200. With these material improvements, which represent a value from $15,000 to $16,000, the congregation has been correspondingly blessed with substantial increase and numbers at this time more than 350 souls.
This congregation has been self-supporting from its very beginning, and its only obligation to the church at large is a $3,000 church extension loan. It is a substantial evidence of what can be done in 100 other places on the territory of our synod, where the church is ready with the men and an adequate church extension fund to possess fields ripe unto the harvest. Rev. W. P. Christy is still (1908) pastor.
The German Evangelical Lutheran.
St. John's congregation was organized in the spring of 1890, by Rev. George Kaempflein. There were sixteen members to vote. Church and parish were dedicated September 9 of the same year. Rev. George Kaempflein stayed with the congregation until his death, which occurred on April 9, 1898. Since then until this day, Rev. Paul F. Werth has been the officiating minister.
A new parish house was built in 1902, provided with modern conveniences. At present the congregation consists of 100 voting members, 300 members admitted to communion, while the total membership is 500.
Young Men's Christian Association, of Janesville, was organized in April, 1892. The first officers were B. F. Dunwiddie, president; Thorwaldson Judd, vice-president; J. B. Hayner, secretary; 0. G. Bennett, treasurer. There was a membership roll of sixty and meetings were held in the different churches of the city. A movement was almost immediately started to raise funds by public subscription for the erection of a suitable building, but the hard times of 1893 to 1896 impeded progress to such an extent that the building was not completed till 1905-06, at a cost of $33,000, to which was added $2,000 for equipment. During the year 1901 a dormitory was erected by Mrs. M. P. Leavett and added to the original building at a cost of $5,750, which included makes the total cost of the building about $40,000.
During the fall of 1903, a woman's auxiliary was organized, and is a strong adjunct to the association. In 1893, Mr. J. C. Kline was called as general secretary of the association, which position he still holds (1908). There are now a total of 445 members, with officers as follows: F. F. Lewis, president; Dr. E. E. Loomis, vice-president; L. K. Crissey, treasurer, and Dr. F. M. Richards, recording secretary.
CHAPTER XV; COLLEGES IN ROCK COUNTY.
Beloit College - The Beginning.
At the twenty-fifth anniversary of Beloit College, Tuesday afternoon, July 9, 1872, its first and only president, up to date, Aaron L. Chapin, gave the following account of the beginning of that institution.
"The first scene is in the old stone church, in the fall of 1843. That old stone church was not quite finished, but when completed a few weeks later it was the most stately and grand house of Christian worship then in Wisconsin. At the time (that fall) it was made comfortable for the meeting of the general Presbyterian and Congregational convention of Wisconsin, whose members at that fall session numbered just twenty-eight, representing all parts of the territory of Wisconsin into which Christian civilization had then made its way. It was my first introduction to that body. I found those men then and there thinking on a college. They had been thinking on it for a year or more. Less than ten years after Black Hawk and his wild Indian troop had been chased by the Illinois volunteers up through this Rock River valley those pioneers of Christ's army had come in and entertained the thought of planting a college, on the colony plan, away up by the Beaveris Dam on the headwaters of this clear stream. They abandoned that scheme only because it had the smack of a private money speculation.
"In the early summer of 1844, in a little stateroom of the steamer Chesapeake on Lake Erie, were delegates returning from a northwest gathering called to consider the interests of Christ's kingdom in the wide Mississippi valley. They were Stephen Peet, Baldwin, J. J. Miter, Gaston, Hicks, Bulkley and Chapin.
"The Western College Society was organized and its secretary, Baldwin, said that a hand from the East would be stretched out to help on the establishment of a genuine Christian college in the West. Stephen Peet enlarged on that point; his words kindled hope and enthusiasm in the rest; there was earnest consultation and fervent prayer, and Beloit College became a living conception. These seven then and there took the responsibility of calling a meeting of the friends of Christian education in Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa for definite consultation on the matter.
"August 6, 1844, that meeting convened in the old stone church, Beloit. Four came from Iowa, twenty-seven from Illinois, twenty-five from Wisconsin-in all, fifty-six delegates. For two days they talked and prayed, and finally decided that a college and a female seminary should be established, each near the border line. A committee of ten was appointed to consider and report at a future convention. This met in October, 1844, with fifty members from Illinois and Wisconsin, affirmed the purpose of a college, but deferred action. A third convention, numbering sixty-eight, met in May, 1845, and after earnest and prayerful discussion, with only one dissenting vote, located the college in Beloit. In October, 1845, a fourth convention met, adopted a form of charter, and elected a board of trustees for the college; and so the ship was launched. The first meeting of that board was held October 23, 1845, immediately after the convention adjourned. There were eight-Kent, Peet, Hickox, Clary, Pearson, Fisher, Talcott and Chapin. Mr. Kent said, Let us pray.' That fervent prayer from his lips was the first cry of life of the infant college."
The history of the college during the next two years was then presented in the following paper by Prof. J. J. Bushnell:
In 1846 Beloit pledged a site of ten acres for the college and the erection of the first building, and for the latter purpose raised a subscription of seven thousand dollars. Major Williams, of New London, Conn., had donated lands which were expected to realize ten thousand dollars, and another small tract had been given which was later sold for one thousand dollars.
When Bushnell came on April 27, 1848, the college had no money. The Beloit subscription of seven thousand dollars had dwindled to five thousand; of this, four thousand had been collected and spent in the summer of 1847, in putting up the bare brick walls of Middle College, the cornerstone being laid June 24. For six months previous to his arrival Middle College had stood floorless, windowless and roofless, without any means to finish it. Five young men had been fitted for college in the Beloit Seminary under S. T. Merrill, and were organized into a freshman class in 1847. Early in May, 1848, this class was transferred by Merrill to Bushnell, who took charge of them a few weeks until the June meeting of the trustees.
On the last of May, 1848, Joseph Emerson arrived. His first question to Bushnell was, ii Can we have a college here ?ii Bushnell is reply was, "Yes; if we will make it."
June 1 the trustees met and assigned to Emerson the department of languages and to Bushnell that of mathematics. Outsiders said that Beloit must finish that college building, or outside funds could not be obtained. For three weeks Professor Bushnell and Deacon Hinman visited the community and talked up the college. There was some pro-slavery sentiment and opposition to an abolition college. A public meeting was held in June, and it was voted that Beloit ought to raise two thousand more to complete the college building. Subscriptions were made on the spot. Mr. Spafford C. Field said he had no money but could give 160 acres of land; that proved the most important subscription of all, for it was sold for four hundred dollars. The total for that evening was twenty-four hundred dollars. Then three committees were appointed-one for the college, one for the farmers, and one for the business men, the chairman of the last being Benjamin Brown. This third committee raised the most, and altogether brought the new subscription up to four thousand dollars; these sums, however, were only on paper, and not paid. The winter of 1848-49 was a time of money scarcity; wheat was about thirty seven cents per bushel and pork, one and three-quarter cents per pound. The work of finishing the building went on slowly, and the workmen were paid mainly in orders on the stores. Besides the sale of the Field land, scarcely three hundred dollars in cash was collected from the whole subscription; that was paid by orders, labor, material, and in any way the building agent, Mr. Samuel Hinman, could devise; and so the building absorbed nearly the whole. Eight hundred dollars realized from the sale of the Williams land, donated for endowment, had been also used in the work.
In 1847 Deacon Samuel Hinman had moved to Beloit from what is now Waukesha, then Prairieville, and had taken charge of the work of building that first college building.
The building fund was thus debtor to the investment fund to that amount. But a lot immediately south of the college ground was bought for fifty dollars; boys were employed to gather cobblestones from the bed of Turtle creek. All the broken brick about the college were utilized to fill up the wall behind this stone faced work, and the subscriptions of work were used in building there a private residence which became the Hinman House. There Chester Clark worked out his subscription, laying those cobblestones with the mason help of Rev. Johnson, editor of "The Stumbling Stone." The Messrs. Gates made the cut-stone for the corners. About eight-hundred dollars' worth of subscriptions were thus worked into the building, which with the ground cost fourteen hundred and seventy-five dollars. It was sold to Mr. Hinman for all it cost and the money used from the college investment fund was replaced.
If ever there has been a crisis in the history of the college it was when Beloit raised her second subscription of four thousand dollars.
During 1848 and 1850 Mrs. S. W. Hale, of Newburyport, Mass., was led to help us through Professor Emerson. As a result she gave five thousand acres of land in Coles county, eastern Illinois, which brought to the Beloit College about thirty-five thousand dollars.
At the semi-centennial of the college, celebrated June 23, 1897, Horace White, of New York city, a graduate of the class of 1853, gave his vivid remembrances of those early days, partly as follows:
"Under Mr. Merrill's tuition I began the study of algebra and of Latin and Greek. In 1845 my mother married Mr. Samuel Hinman, of Waukesha, Wis., one of the best men that ever lived, and we went to his farm near that village, where we remained a year or two. His election as superintendent of the first building erected for Beloit College brought us back here in the spring of 1847. This was the year in which the first freshman class was formed, the year in which the cornerstone of Middle College was laid.
"I remember the time when the five young men constituting the first freshman class studied alongside of us younger ones in the old basement, under Mr. Merrill, who was acting president and professor of all departments in Beloit College until the advent of Professors Bushnell and Emerson in the month of May, 1848. I remember the coming of those two seers of Israel and the laying of the cornerstone aforesaid. The college building was in course of construction a long time, and the five freshmen (grown to be sophomores) recited their lessons in a room of Lucius G. Fisher's house down on the river bank. It was a severe struggle on all hands to get that college building under a roof. We children-that is, the Hinman children and the White children-had these troubles served up to us daily because Deacon Hinman had charge of the work, for which he received a salary of five hundred dollars per year; and this was all that a family of ten had to live on. We thought we lived pretty well, however.
We produced our own vegetables and poultry, our own pork and milk and butter. The cows grazed freely on the open prairie round about, and were lured homeward by an enticement of bran at the close of each day. We had a wood lot which supplied our fuel, and I cut down the trees. Tea and coffee were unknown luxuries to us, but we were as well off in this respect as Croesus was. Sugar was scarce, but we had more of it than Julius Caesar had. There was abundance of fish in the streams, and of game in the woods and fields. Prairie chickens, wild pigeons, wild ducks and wild geese were to be had in the greatest profusion during their season, together with an occasional deer and an occasional bear. During my senior year in college (1853) it was not an uncommon occurrence to find a flock of quails in our dooryard picking up crumbs in competition with the chickens.
Blackberries, strawberries, wild plums, wild grapes, hickory nuts, hazelnuts and black walnuts were to be had for the trouble of gathering them, and as for wild flowers I cannot begin to tell you how the prairies, the woods and the river banks glowed with them. The habitat of many of these flowers extended to the base of the Rocky Mountains on the west and to the headwaters of the Saskatchewan on the north, as I discovered a few years since while making a journey to the Pacific coast by the Canadian Pacific Railway.
So you see that a salary of five hundred dollars for a family of ten, plus the bounties of nature and our own industry, was not a niggardly allowance. Yet I fancy that the salaries offered to Professors Bushnell and Emerson, of six hundred dollars per year, coupled with the proviso, "if we can raise it," did not constitute the moving consideration with them. Ah, those noble minded high-principled men! What can I say in their praise? What can I not say, of them and of those who came a little later, President Chapin, Professor Lathrop, Professor Porter? These five constituted the faculty during my undergraduate course. Two of them are still alive, thank God, to see the fiftieth anniversary of the institution to which they gave their lives. Professor Porter, according to my recollection, came hither a victim of consumption, and was not expected to live more than three years. If Beloit were as good for all invalids as it has been for him, it would be the most popular health resort in the United States."
(And now, 1908, Professor Porter is still living in Beloit and in connection with the college as an Emeritus.-Ed.)
The following paper, abridged, given at the semi-centennial by President Chapin's son, Robert C. Chapin, Ph.D., professor of political economy in the college, together with his supplementary statement, sufficiently complete this record to date:
Epochs in the History of Beloit College.
We may distinguish four well-defined epochs in the life of the institution, each of about twelve years. First is the formative period, from 1847 to the election of Lincoln; then the war period, extending, with its influences, down to about 1873; third, the period of intensive growth, to the inauguration of President Eaton in 1886; and finally the era of expansion. Her whole history is a consistent interpretation of the motto upon her seal, "True science with pure faith." If knowledge has claimed a wider scope, and faith a deeper sacrifice, she has exhibited throughout the same steadfast devotion to both.
The instructive story of the genesis of the college has often been recited, but it is fitting that it be reviewed once more. Into the fertile prairies of Wisconsin and Illinois were pouring, in the years following 1840, the sons of New England. These settlers brought their ideas with them, and were seeking, as rapidly as possible, to embody these ideas in institutions which should both give them form for the present and perpetuate them in the future. The higher Christian education was one of these cherished ideas, dear to their hearts from the first. In 1842 and 1843 at least two definite plans were discussed in their ecclesiastical gatherings, and one for a college colony at Beaver Dam had made considerable progress before its impracticability was demonstrated.
The sentiment in favor of establishing a college was crystallized into action by a convention at Cleveland, Ohio, in June, 1844, at which representatives of both Congregational and Presbyterian churches in all parts of the Northwest discussed the religious needs of the whole region.
A conference of seven of these men in the stateroom of Stephen Peet, then agent for Wisconsin of the American Home Missionary Society, bore fruit in the calling of a convention, which met at Beloit, August 7, 1844, composed of fifty-six delegates from Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa. Caution prolonged the deliberations through three subsequent conventions before the matter could be handed over to the corporation appointed by the last of the four, in October, 1845.
The first convention recommended the establishment of one college for Iowa and of a college and female seminary for northern Illinois and Wisconsin, "one to be located in northern Illinois contiguous to Wisconsin, and the other in Wisconsin contiguous to Illinois."
In a third convention, which met at Beloit, May 27, 1845, after protracted discussion, the plan of one college and one female seminary for the two states was reaffirmed by a vote of sixty-three to one. This vote virtually decided also the location of the college at Beloit, for Beloit was the border town which had been in the minds of the leaders from the outset, and her interest in the enterprise had been manifested by an offer from her citizens of a site and seven thousand dollars, "together with their sympathies, prayers and future efforts.
The convention, therefore, then passed, as a matter of course, a resolution locating the college at Beloit, and appointed a committee of ten to draw up a charter and a list of trustees, both to be presented to the fourth convention, October 21, 1845. This convention accepted the trustees and charter as recommended, and left further arrangements, including the locating of the seminary, in the hands of these sixteen trustees: Aratus Kent, Stephen Peet, Dexter Clary, Aaron L. Chapin, Flavel Bascom, Calvin Waterbury, Jedediah D. Stevens, Ruel M. Pearson, George W. Hickox, Augustine Raymond, Charles M. Goodsell, Ephraim H. Potter, Lucius G. Fisher, Wait Talcott, Charles S. Hempstead, Samuel Hinman. Eight of the sixteen were ministers, eight laymen; eight were from Wisconsin, eight from Illinois; eight were Presbyterians, eight Congregationalists. Mr. Peet states that the denominational distribution was an accident, while the geographical location was carefully studied. A majority of the ministerial incorporators, including Peet, Kent and Chapin, were graduates of Yale, whose influence appears at many points in the subsequent history.
The trustees immediately met, October 23, 1845. After prayer they chose Rev. Aratus Kent as president and Rev. Dexter Clary as secretary. The charter fared hardly at the hands of the territorial legislature, owing to influences unfavorable to religion, if not to education. Amendments were inserted restricting the sphere of operations to the town of Beloit, and prohibiting religious tests. So dissatisfied were the trustees that they voted (April 14, 1846) not to accept the charter on these terms; but in October, finding that valuable time would be lost by waiting for a new legislature, they reconsidered their action and found that no practical difficulties had been imposed by the amendments.
The formal organization completed, the college was ready to take on the material and personal equipment for its work of instruction. The lots comprising the most beautiful part of the campus were deeded to the board, and the visitor to the village in October, 1846, was shown, amid the brush, the stakes that marked the ground-plan of Middle College. At the laying of the cornerstone, June 24, 1847, Mr. Peet announced the gift from Hon. T. W. Williams, of New London, Conn., of ten thousand dollars in western lands to endow a professorship.
The organization of classes could not wait for the completion of the building nor the engagement of the professors, about whom much correspondence had already been carried on.
The famous "Old Stone Church," which had sheltered the conventions, offered its hospitable basement. The Beloit Seminary, established 1844, had candidates ready for the freshman class, and its accomplished principal, Mr. S. T. Merrill, was ready to carry them along with their college studies. Accordingly, November 4, 1847, a class of four (within a week increased to five) was admitted, after examination by Mr. Merrill and the trustees, to entrance upon a course of study drawn up exactly on the Yale plan.
The founders of the college had realized from the first that their reliance for the accomplishment of their high purposes must be not upon buildings nor endowments but upon men. And they chose well the men to whom they entrusted the life of the newborn college. After Professor Emersonis survey it is not necessary for me to do more than to note the dates in 1848, when he and Professor Bushnell entered upon their life-work for the college, the latter arriving April 27, the former May 24. The first president, Rev. A. L. Chapin, was called from Milwaukee, November 21, 1849, and inaugurated July 24, 1850. Professor Porter came in 1852 and Professor Blaisdell in 1859. The harmonious continuity already alluded to is due in large measure to the cooperation, for so long a period, of these men of diverse gifts but kindred spirit.
The limits assigned me do not permit the tracing in detail of the events of this pioneer epoch, now fairly inaugurated. They were the days of the picturesque, of the heroic. Knowledge was Greek, Latin and mathematics. Prayers began at six a. m. The president's chair embraced such duties as the revision of freshman essays and the hearing of preparatory Caesar. The Archaean Debating Society and the Missionary Society, both organized before the first class had gone very far, were the chief voluntary organizations. These were the days of beginnings, and the beginnings were sometimes small, but they were days of high endeavor, of patient continuance, of faith and prayer.
By works, too, the friends of the college gave proof of their faith. At the end of the first ten years the trustees were able to report gifts amounting to one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, of which twenty-nine thousand had been given by citizens of Beloit, and thirty-one thousand five hundred by other donors at the West, including the ten thousand dollars which Stephen Peet had solicited from home missionaries and their parishioners. From the East had come sixty-four thousand five' hundred dollars, the largest single gift being that of Mrs. Hale of Newburyport, who gave lands which eventually were sold for thirty-five thousand dollars.
The life of this period is reflected in its buildings; in Middle College, our Plymouth Rock; in North College, a younger sister of Yale's South Middle; in the Old Chapel, where, though the interior might be severely plain, the tossing tree-tops outside seemed to waft the prayers a little nearer heaven. Plain living and high thinking are written upon every wall of the trio-written as well upon the forms and character of those men whose presence was a living power within the inert walls.
The work to which the early graduates addressed themselves was predominantly that of the Christian ministry. The need of the world and of the newly settled country, threatened with the tendencies of immigration to barbarism, impressed strongly upon these men the demand for the message of the Gospel.
Meanwhile the nation had entered upon that struggle in which the Northwest was to turn the tide of battle in favor of freedom and union. The college felt the thrill of the conflict. Faith was now faith in country, God-given and God-guided; knowledge was the discerning of the hour; training was the teaching of the manual of arms. The campus was filled at the recreation hour, not with contending ball players, but with drilling squads of recruits.
Beloit sent her four hundred heroes, her forty-six martyrs, to the front, and the hero spirit pervaded those who stayed by the stuff at home, so that the daily routine was performed with a new energy and fidelity. The impulse of this spirit carried the college along for a dozen years from 1860, until the last of her soldier sons-lieutenants, captains, colonels of regiments-had finished their academic preparation for the works of peace. How the soldier spirit carried them out into the posts of danger to "follow the flag over the breastworks" of the enemy of souls in Turkey and China and Japan, I need not, in this presence, attempt to relate.
But how the college flourished in the years succeeding the war may be seen in the catalogues with their lengthening enrollment of students, and the names of those whose presence added strength to the faculty. In 1864 Professor Blaisdell was transferred from the chair of rhetoric to that of philosophy, and the college, after the faithful solicitation of President Chapin had brought in fifty thousand dollars from generous givers East and West, to increase its endowment, declared its independence of the Education Society.
The same impulse was felt in undergraduate activities. The Olympian Baseball Club won the state championship in 1867. A students' annual, called "The Palladium" at first, later "The Register," was published from 1862 to 1871. The daily prayer meeting, which lived for twenty years, was started in 1865 among those who had prayed together in the camp. A reminiscence of the barracks was suggested by the architecture of South College, built in 1868 to shelter the increasing numbers.
A fitting crown of this period was the dedication in 1869 of Memorial Hall, erected by the gifts of many donors in response to an appeal for one hundred dollars for each man who had enlisted from the college. The soldiery in uniform, Old Abe, Wisconsin's war eagle, the martial music, the glowing oratory of Senator Carpenter, the classic eloquence of Professor Emerson, the booming of the minute-guns, fired by student veterans in honor of the dead-all bespoke what the college had learned and suffered, given and gained, through the war. As we survey the record of the college, we do not wonder that President Lincoln, shortly before the surrender of Lee, testified to a friend that it was the home missionaries and the college presidents who had saved the Northwest to the Union and thereby saved the Union itself.
Succeeding the war period came the years from 1873 to the close of President Chapin's administration, in 1886, years characterized rather by the gradual strengthening of the college than by sudden changes or dramatic incidents-the period of intensive growth.
Three important tendencies appear in this epoch. The first is the strengthening of the college by its own alumni, now a body strong in numbers as well as in character. They entrust their own sons to the care of alma mater, the first of these being graduated in 1881. They contribute a fund to endow an alumni professorship, and have begun to take their places on the boards of trust and instruction. Professor Hendrickson, appointed 1871, was the first of eleven graduates whom Beloit has called to full professorships; Dr. J. Collie, elected in 1869, was the first alumni trustee.
A second line of development shows the influence of causes that were felt in all the educational institutions of the country, tending to the introduction of more of natural science and modern language at the expense of the classics which had formed the mainstay of the course of study. The standard of admission was raised from time to time to correspond to the rise of standards at the East. Here a term of Greek, there one of Latin, had already made way for geology or history, and finally, in 1873, a philosophical course was laid out for those who knew not the sound of the limpid Greek. Though containing less philosophy than the other course, its name was justified by its originator on the ground that it was arranged on philosophical principles. Few chose it in those years, but it furnished its full share of men of mark in college and in after life. The new chairs established during this period were those of geology, astronomy and modern languages, and the scientific equipment of the college was increased in many ways, especially by the gift of the Smith Observatory, dedicated in 1883. This building, the first to bear a name suggested by the donor, were erected as a memorial to Mr. J. F. Smith by his sister, Mrs. J. S. Herrick.
We notice in the third place, as in other institutions at this time, the diversification of undergraduate activities, and it is interesting to observe how many of the features of college life that have since become so prominent had their beginnings at Beloit in the thirteen years that we are now considering. In 1875 the "College Monthly," established in 1853, expands into the semi-monthly "Round Table," and in the same year Beloit wins second place in the first interstate oratorical contest. The first fraternity was given recognition in 1880. The first Greek play to be performed, the Antigone, was given in 1885, in what is now the reading-room.
The first field-day was held in 1880; Beloit entered the Western College Baseball League in 1883; lawn tennis appeared in 1884. The Delian Band foreshadowed the merry tinkle of the Mandolin Club, as did the Phi Beta Sigma Quartette the Glee Club. The college yell was born May 2, 1884, on the eve of a tie game of baseball with the University of Wisconsin, and though of much less formidable dimensions than at present, its seven syllables formed the basis of the chorus of today.
The enthusiasm of war times found a parallel in the heartiness with which the students took up the building of a gymnasium. The project was launched by the salutatorian of '73, whose Latin speech was received with unwonted thunders of applause as he closed with the words, which for more than a year had been upon his lips, "gymnasium adificandum est." The contributions were, like those for Middle College, partly in days' works, and the Wednesday and Saturday half-holidays saw groups of busy students wheeling gravel or laying shingles.
The citizens of Beloit attested their loyalty to the college by rallying once more and raising a subscription for the remodeling of Middle College, which in 1880 was adorned with its mansard roof and colonnaded front. Less conspicuous but not less important were the additions made from time to time to the endowment funds, which by the close of President Chapin's administration amounted to nearly two hundred thousand dollars. The largest gift of this period was that of twenty thousand dollars from Mrs. Stone, of Malden, Mass.
We cannot but ask, as we see how new departments of knowledge have taken their place beside the older discipline, and how the training of the student by his fellows takes on a corresponding diversity of forms, whether our good ship has drifted away from the ideals of faith toward which her framers set her course 1 The college generation that followed the outgoing veterans of the war underwent a certain reaction from the intensity of that mighty uplift of feeling, but this was only a temporary reaction, and a recovery soon ensued. The effect of social and intellectual movements in the world outside is reflected in the apportionment of the graduates among the various callings. Of the alumni who were graduated before 1876, forty-two per cent entered the ministry; of those graduated since that date, twenty-two per cent. On the other hand, the teacher's profession shows an increase from eleven to twenty-four per cent, and the various forms of business activity attracted fifteen per cent of the earlier graduates, twenty-three per cent of the later; while law (fifteen per cent), medicine (seven per cent), and journalism (four per cent) show almost the same proportion in the two periods.
These figures mean not that the ideals which the college has held up have been lowered, but that she has shown her sons how to apply them over the wider fields that the increasing specialization of knowledge and the new application of science to industry are opening up to men of trained minds and devoted hearts. Surely, of all her sons, none have proved themselves more loyal to the "Beloit idea," to the "faith that makes faithful," than those in business and the institutions of learning.
In 1886 Dr. Chapin, after thirty-six years of service in the president's chair, resigned, and his mantle fell upon his chosen successor, Rev. Edward Dwight Eaton. Under his leadership the college entered upon its fourth epoch, that era of rapid expansion in which we all rejoice. The historian of the centennial year will be better able than we to trace the continuity of development, but I am sure that he will find that the changes of this period have been only an enlarged expression of the purpose of the founders. Elective courses, laboratory methods in all departments, the array of modern buildings, substantial, convenient, beautiful; the culture afforded by contact with art and music- these are not incompatible with a liberal Christian education, but are the long-looked-for aids in its better attainment.
It was because this expansion meant the magnifying of the old ideas that every one connected with the college-trustees, alumni, students, friends-rallied so heartily in response to the challenge of Dr. D. K. Pearsons in 1889. As Professor Blaisdell heard at his gate the cheers that came from the old chapel as the students pledged the money that many of them would have to earn themselves, he recognized the spirit of the boys of the war times. The zeal of others was kindled by the enthusiasm of the students, and to the one hundred thousand dollars which Dr. Pearsons had offered was added more than an equal sum, including the gift from Mr. J. W. Scoville of twenty-five thousand dollars for the comely academy building that bears his name, and ten thousand dollars for its endowment from the citizens of Beloit.
Other buildings followed. Chapin Hall, built and christened by Dr. Pearsons, was completed in 1891. The beautiful new chapel, costing thirty-five thousand dollars, given by Mrs. M. R. Doyon and others, was dedicated in 1892, and the tones of the pipe-organ which Mrs. H. Story placed within it called into being the musical department of the college. The vacating of the old chapel building left quarters there for another new department, art, which has been enriched by numerous gifts, including the casts sent by the Greek government to the World's Fair in 1893, presented by L. G. Fisher, Jr., and an endowment of ten thousand dollars from Mrs. Azariah Eldridge.
Meanwhile the urgent need of the college for an enlarged equipment for the teaching of the natural sciences had been appreciated, and Dr. Pearsons gave sixty-thousand dollars for the erection of a Hall of Science, and Mr. William E. Hale an equal sum, fifty thousand dollars being for endowment. The building, named for the donor, was ready for use in 1893, and in that year Mr. F. G. Logan equipped its museum with the valuable Rust archaeological collection. Hon. Wait Talcott had previously provided a fund for the purchase of scientific books. The chairs of astronomy and botany were endowed in honor, respectively, of Edward Ely, Esq., and of Mrs. Cornelia Bailey Williams.
Along with science and art, other departments have not been overlooked by the generous friends of this later period. The endowment of the chair of oratory by Hon. J. H. Knapp was completed. Mrs. S. D. Warren, a lifelong friend of Professor Blaisdell, made a large addition to the endowment of his chair of philosophy. E. P. Bacon, Esq., has provided a scholarship fund of twenty thousand dollars, and a generous legacy for the same purpose was received from the estate of Rev. Joseph Emerson, of Andover, Mass., while the gift of Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Stowell opened the way for the admission of women to the privileges of the institution.
This increase of Beloitis material equipment was accompanied by a great enlargement of the opportunities which she was able to place within reach of her students. The course of study was enriched. Occasional options had been offered before 1886, but in that year the courses were reorganized with the introduction of a large number of electives in the later years of study. Instructors in art and music were in 1893 added to the faculty, whose number had in ten years increased from fourteen to twenty-four.
With the completion of Pearsons Hall in 1893 it was possible to open a science course, incorporating not only results but also methods of investigation, and to carry yet further Beloit's standards of character and scholarship in the fields where they had been so conspicuously exhibited already under less favorable auspices.
To enjoy the enlarged advantages now offered by the college, an increasing throng of students sought her doors, as her ranks were recruited from affiliated academies and accredited high schools. With the growth of the Beloit Academy to the full capacity of Scoville Hall, the policy of developing preparatory schools in the vicinity into feeders of the college was begun, with encouraging success, while, on the other hand, provision was made for recognizing the fact that the best high schools of the region now do full preparatory work. In 1895 women were admitted to the college classes, and Stowell Cottage was opened for their accommodation. When President Eaton's administration began there were 58 students in the college proper; in 1889 there were 97; in 1897, 196.
The diversification of student life, already begun, is carried further with the increase of attendance. Class-day becomes an established institution from 1886. The Glee Club makes its first concert tour in 1889. A new series of oratorical victories encourages the wearers of the gold. The Greek play attains the dignity of an annual public performance. A "College Annual" appears again in 1889, after the battles over the "Register" have been forgotten. The fraternity houses add their charms to the social life of the students. A regular instructor in athletics is added to the faculty in 1894 by the efforts of the students, and a place on the team now means not a little desultory practice, but persistent hard work. Yet amid all these distractions, the worth of honest manhood never found readier recognition, the proportion of students dependent on their own exertions was never greater.
Numbers have increased, courses have been multiplied, facilities have been amplified. Has the growth in knowledge been at the cost of faith? Time alone can tell. We rejoice to believe that the college is not to erase but to magnify the larger half of her motto.
The experiences of each succeeding epoch have demonstrated the value of the ideals of the founders, the strength of the foundations that they laid. The prophetic words with which Dr. Chapin closed his account of the ii Origin and Early Progress of the College," delivered fifty years ago at the laying of the cornerstone of Middle College, hold good for us today: "With faith inspired by past experience, in connection with the firm promises of God, we address ourselves to the difficulties before us, with confident hope that He who has thus led us by ways that we knew not, will perfect the work that he has permitted us to begin and make it redound to his glory and the good of men."
Beloit College During the Last Ten Years.
The decade that has elapsed since the semi-centennial of Beloit College was celebrated has seen the continuation of the era of expansion that was then well begun. In external equipment, in additions to the teaching force, in enrichment of the courses of study, in the achievements of graduates and undergraduates, the life of the college has moved steadily forward.
Three well-planned buildings have been erected since 1897. The women's dormitory, Emerson Hall, the gift of Dr. D. K. Pearsons, was completed in 1898. The new gymnasium for men, long needed and desired by those who sought the physical well-being of the students, was opened in 1904, and in January of the following year the Carnegie Library building was dedicated. The attendance of students in the four college classes increased from 196 in 1897 to 341 in 1908, and the number of graduates has risen in the same ten years from 539 to 958. The faculty, likewise, has been enlarged, so that there are now thirty-six instructors in all departments instead of the twenty-two who were on the ground in 1897.
To maintain this enlarging life, added endowments have been needed. In 1898 one hundred and fifty thousand dollars was raised for this purpose, one-third being given by Dr. D. K. Pearsons, and the same benefactor in 1901 gave two hundred thousand to match one hundred and fifty thousand dollars which had been contributed by others to meet his challenge. Other additions have been made by generous friends, so that the productive funds, which were four hundred thousand dollars in 1897, have already been more than doubled. The summer of 1908 witnesses the addition of two hundred thousand more dollars, one-fourth coming from the general education board, one-fourth from Mr. Carnegie, and the remainder, general contributions, ten thousand dollars being from Beloit citizens.
Time has wrought changes in the personnel of the faculty. The venerable Professor Emerson passed away in 1900, and in the year following occurred the death of Professor Charles A. Bacon, who had for so many years carried on a heroic struggle with disease. Professor Whitney, after twenty-eight years of service, resigned in 1899. Professor Porter and Professor Pearson retired from active service in 1906, under the provisions of the Carnegie fund. The presidency of the college was laid aside by Dr. Eaton in 1905, but was resumed by him two years later on call of the trustees, and his second inauguration took place March 4, 1908. In the membership of the board of trustees changes have also taken place, and veterans like Dr. Joseph Collie, of the first class graduated, and Mr. S. T. Merrill, whose services to the college began with giving instruction to the first freshman class, have passed away.
In the formal work of instruction there has been a marked widening of the scope of the curriculum. New departments have been created by the separation of French from German, history from economics, zoology from botany, physics from mathematics, biblical literature and pedagogy have each been given to the care of one man, and additional instructors have been provided in several departments. Courses such as those in applied mechanics, sanitary chemistry and journalistic writing show a tendency to shape advanced work toward practical ends. Courses extending over three and four years of consecutive work are offered in almost every department, while the requirements for graduation demand of each student a grouping of studies which is designed to counterbalance the aberrations of the elective system.
In the voluntary activities of student life a similar diversification has accompanied the increase in numbers. Undergraduate organizations have multiplied. The new gymnasium furnishes an attractive center for social gatherings. Track athletics and basket-ball have established themselves alongside of the work of the nine and the eleven. Oratory and debating have taken on a new lease of life. Five times within the last ten years has Beloit won first place in the interstate oratorical contest, and she has more than held her own in the intercollegiate debates that have become an established institution. The Greek play has lost none of its popularity, but it no longer holds the dramatic field alone for the students have given renderings of the works of Shakespeare and Plautus and modern French and German plays. The Musical Association has achieved brilliant success in its semiannual concerts. In the honor system, applied to examinations, library property and good order in the dormitories, some of the responsibilities of self-government have been assumed by the students.
That this diversification of student life has not driven out adherence to the long established standards of scholarship and character appears in the record of recent graduates who in the first years of a professional career, or in business, are proving themselves men of the same type as the older alumni, who have everywhere compelled respect for their alma mater.
In recent years new demands have been made upon all educational institutions by the ever-increasing additions to the field of knowledge, by the lengthening of professional preparation, by the call for "practical" studies, and for training that shall help men in the adjustment of social relationships. Beloit has not been indifferent to these demands, but she is seeking to meet them not only without giving up her ideals of symmetrical liberal culture and Christian faith, but also by bringing these ideals to bear as direct aids in the solution of the problems of the present day.
Biographical Supplement, by the Editor.
Aaron Lucius Chapin, first president of Beloit College, 18501886, was born in Hartford, Conn., February 6, 1817. He was educated at the Hartford grammar school and in Yale College, from which he graduated in 1837. Teaching one year in Baltimore, Md., and from 1838 to 1843 as a professor in the New York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, he at the same time studied theology and received his diploma at Union Theological Seminary, New York, in 1842. Under appointment from the American Home Missionary Society, in 1844 he became pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Milwaukee, Wis., serving them most acceptably for six years.
In February, 1850, Dr. Chapin was called to the presidency of Beloit College, was inaugurated July 24, and served until the commencement of 1886, when he resigned on account of failing health. He continued in connection, however, as president emeritus, until his death at Beloit, July 22, 1892.
August 23, 1843, occurred his marriage to Miss Martha Colton, of Lenox, Mass. After her death he married Miss Fannie L. Coit, of New London, Conn., August 26, 1861. His daughter Elizabeth became the wife of Rev. Dr. Henry D. Porter, M. D., a missionary in China. His son, Robert C., is now a professor in Beloit College.
MILTON COLLEGE; By Professor Edwin Shaw.
A select school, called Milton Academy, was started in the village of Milton in December, 1844, and in February, 1848, became incorporated as the Du Lac Academy. In 1855 this was reorganized under a state charter as Milton Academy, and it so continued for twelve years. In February, 1867, an act of incorporation was passed, and on March 13 the charter was accepted, which made this school Milton College.
To the Hon. Joseph Goodrich belongs the honor of establishing the first school which later developed into Milton College. It was he who in 1838 selected the site for the village of Milton and built the first house. It was he who planned and had erected the edifice first used for the academy, and paid the cost of construction, about three hundred dollars. For the first three years he had the sole management of the school, paid all the losses for the teacher's salary and the incidental expenses, and for many years after the incorporation under territory and state law was a loyal friend and a generous supporter of the institution. One of the buildings, the ladies' hall, bears his name, the building of which was in large measure due to his energy and beneficence.
The building occupied by the school during the first ten years of its existence was located near the northwest corner of the public park. It was in size twenty by thirty feet and one story high; a small "lean-to" was attached to the rear end; a cupola, with four spires and a bell mounted in it, graced the front peak of the gambrel roof; and a huge sign, painted "Milton Academy," stretched the full extent of the building over the front entrance.
There was at this time no institution of learning with the rank of a college in Wisconsin. Four feeble academies had been started in the southern portion-Southport Academy, now extinct, at Kenosha; Prairieville Academy, at Waukesha, afterwards merged into Carroll College; Beloit Seminary, later absorbed into Beloit College; and Plattville Academy, changed in the early 70s into a state normal school. There were no graded schools. Meager instruction in the elementary branches was imparted in a very few common schools, held usually three months during the year and in small private houses.
The institution was originated with no other purpose than to accommodate the young people of the immediate vicinity. There was no expectation that it would ever become a first class academy or a college, yet the first year there were over sixty students in attendance.
The teachers in order of succession were Rev. Bethuel C. Church, from Michigan, one year. Rev. S.
S. Bicknell, Congregationalism graduate of Dartmouth, served two and a half years. Of the Du Lac Academy the successive principals were: Mr. Prindle, Professor J. Allen, Rev. A. W. Coon, 1849-1851; Colonel George R. Clarke, 1851, and Rev. A. C. Spicer and Mrs. Susanna M. Spicer, 1851-1858. During a part of 1853, the building being untenable, classes met in a private house, and for a part of the year the school was closed. The new brick building, forty by forty-four feet and three stories high, completed in 1855 at a cost of over five thousand dollars, was declared second to none in the state. It was paid for mainly by the stockholders of the then reorganized Milton Academy. The attendance in 1856 reached 212, with its first three graduates in the teachers' course, Susan E. Burdick, Chloe Curtis and Ruth A. Graham.
William Clarke Whitford.
After several efforts were made to secure a successor to Professor Spicer as principal of the school, the trustees prevailed upon the Rev. W. C. Whitford, then the pastor of the Milton Seventh Day Baptist Church, to assume the charge during the following fall term of 1858, and he consented to remain in the same position the balance of the year. He then resigned the pastoral charge of the church and became permanently connected with the school as the principal. He had fitted himself for college at De Ruyter Institute; graduated at Union College in 1853, and completed the full course of studies at Union Theological Seminary, New York City, in 1856. From that time on till his death on May 20,1902, a period of forty-four years, he was the president of the academy and of the college, and the history of the school for this almost a half century is in reality a part of his biography; a part, because his life was even more extended than that of the school, for he was one year a member of the Wisconsin legislature, for four years the superintendent of public instruction, and for nine years a member of the state board of regents of the normal schools. Then, he was often invited to deliver lectures and addresses wholly outside of the work of the school. He wrote many articles for newspapers and magazines, and was an influential force in all the departments of the Seventh Day Baptist denomination. During the first year in which he had charge of the school he had associated with him Professor Albert Whitford, Mrs. Chloe C. Whitford, Mr. S. S. Rockwood, Mrs. Flora H. Rockwood and Mr. W. H. Clarke, a music teacher.
During the following eight years, until 1867, when the academy became a college, the names of twenty-four different instructors appear on the academy faculty list.
The first college faculty, that of 1867, was: William C. Whitford, president (mental, moral and natural sciences); Edward Searing (Latin and French), Albert Whitford (Greek and mixed mathematics), Nathan C. Twining (pure mathematics and commercial instruction), Mrs. A. M. Fenner (English language and literature), Miss Mary F. Bailey (German), Mrs. Emma J. Utter (music), Forrest M. Babcock (penmanship), Mrs. Ruth H. Whitford (painting and penciling).
The present faculty (1906-1907), besides Professor Albert Whitford, who has been in almost constant service since 1872, consists of Jairus M. Stillman, who has been professor of music, with two or three vacations, since 1871; Walter D. Thomas, professor of Greek since 1884; Edwin Shaw, professor of Latin and of chemistry since 1890; Ludwig Kumlien, professor of natural history since 1891; Rev. Lewis A. Platts, professor of Bible study in English since 1898; Mrs. Emily A. Platts, instructor in French since 1898; Mrs. Anna S. Crandall, instructor in German since 1900; Alfred E. Whitford, professor of physics since 1900; Miss Susie B. Davis, instructor in English and Latin since the autumn of 1902, and Rev. William C. Deland, president, and professor of philosophy, English, history and civics, since June, 1902.
The principal changes and additions to the above, for the faculty record of 1907, are the new president, William Clifton Daland, M. A., D. D. (history, philosophy, English and civics), Albert Rogers Crandall, M. A., Ph. D. (natural history and physiology), Miss A. Crandall (piano), Miss Ellen Crandall (violin), Miss Agnes Babcock (elocution), Ray Willis Clark, B. S., LL. B., assistant (political science, history, jurisprudence), also instructors in physical culture and military drill.
In the autumn of 1844 the property of the school was worth about $400. In 1867, the year in which the academy was changed to the college, the total valuation of all the property was reported as $29,675, with a debt of $3,500. In 1876 the value had increased to $46,125. In 1881 the reported assets were $35,327, with a debt of $3,250. In 1893 the property was valued at $71,243.34, with several thousand dollars indebtedness. In 1901, the first year of the twentieth century, the valuation of the college property was reported as follows, with no indebtedness:
Real estate $ 23,062.72
Of the endowment fund, George H. Babcock, of Plainfield, N. J., a-noble benefactor, contributed during his life and by his will $70,000. In 1906 the endowment fund was reported as amounting to $116,601.
"At every call for volunteers during the Civil War students were mustered into the service. These were drilled in the manual of arms in the chapel and on the grounds of the institution. Of the graduates and other students, 312 entered the army, and 43 fell by the bullet or by disease. The school raised, officered and sent into the service two companies, and parts of three other companies, all belonging to Wisconsin regiments. Sixty-nine of these were commissioned for positions ranging from second lieutenant to brigadier-general."
The number of graduates, both ladies and gentlemen, is 306, which includes the seventy-three who completed courses in the old academy prior to 1867.
There are three literary societies connected with the college which hold session's weekly and public sessions once or twice during the year. The Iduna Lyceum, for ladies, organized in 1854 as the Ladies' Literary Society, reorganized in 1869 with the present name; the Philomathean Society, for men, organized some time prior to 1858 as the Adelphic, reorganized in 1861 with the present name; and the Orophilan, also for men, organized some time prior to 1858. The Christian Association dates its beginning in the spring of 1855. The most noticeable addition to the college buildings was the erection of the Whitford Hall of Science in 1906.
History of Whitford Memorial Hall (Finished October, 1906).
Milton College, like others of an early day, at first offered to students' courses of study principally in the pure mathematics and the literature of Latin, Greek, German, French and English languages, together with a short course in philosophy and a quite elementary course in the so-called natural sciences. Our limited room as well as limited means forbade us to indulge our ambition of affording better facilities for laboratory practice in such sciences. We have for years realized our needs "in these respects. At the beginning of this century, through the generosity of its friends, the college was not only free from debt, but also in the expectation that its income for the present would prove sufficient to pay the modest salaries of its dozen teachers and to meet its other ordinary expenses. At this time our late president, W. C. Whitford, determined to begin the collection of a fund for the erection of a building to be known as Science Hall. At the annual meeting of the board of trustees of the college held in July, 1901, he urged the importance of entering immediately upon this work. He concluded his annual report in these words: "While the college is free from debt, it is greatly in need of funds for the construction of a new building for library and laboratory purposes. A large and imposing structure is not required. A few thousand dollars wisely and judiciously expended would give to the college a building which, with the comparatively small attendance of students, would answer our every need just as well as the palatial structures of the so-called universities." He obtained the permission of the board to canvass for such funds, and in the intervals of his duties as a teacher collected a small sum of money while endeavoring to enlist the interest of some benevolent donor of large means in favor of his enterprise. His sudden death, May 20, 1902, closed these labors.
The alumni exercises held at the commencement on June 25 following were devoted to a service in his memory. They consisted of addresses from Professor Edwin Shaw, class of '88; Rev. J. W. McGowan, class of '83; Professor S. S. Roekwood, academy class of '61, and Rev. O. U. Whitford, academy class of '61. The theme of the last speaker was "How may we best honor the memory of President Whitford" He proposed the erection on the ground where the commencement tent then stood a science hall to be called the Whitford Memorial Hall, to ever keep bright, as he said, "the memory of a man who was manly, a gentleman of noble Christian character, a kind neighbor, a sympathizing friend, a lover of young people, a man who, honored in public life, was ever loyal to principle, incorruptible in purpose, and one who brought honor to every public position he occupied. He urged that such a building was the greatest need of the college and that in building it the last desire and purpose of the deceased president would be fulfilled.
The proposition was approved by the alumni, who appointed a committee, which reported through Mr. W. H. Ingham, its chairman, to the board of trustees of the college a plan to raise by subscription twenty thousand dollars for the erection and equipment of the new hall. The plan was indorsed by the board and a committee was appointed to canvass for necessary funds. Later Mr. Ingham was appointed financial agent for the procuring and the collection of such funds, and Dr. C. Eugene Crandall was appointed treasurer. After a sufficient sum of money had been secured to warrant the erection of a building, a committee consisting of Mr. F. C. Dunn, President W. C. Daland and Professor A. R. Crandall formulated its general plan. It was to be built of brick both as to its inside and outside walls, and two and one half stories high, on a basement wall of stone, forty-two by ninety feet, outside measurement, divided at its middle into two parts by a hall crossing it, containing a staircase reaching to the third story. The north half of the first story was designed for the library, the south half for the department of physics; the south half of the second story for the department of chemistry, and the north half for the department of biology; while the third story was to be given for the use of the Orophilian and Philomathean Lyceum. The building was to have a tile-covered roof and a steam heating plant in the south half of the basement, that would warm both the college hall and the new hall. This plan was approved by the board, and Mr. C. C. Chipman, an architect of New York and a friend of the college, was selected to perfect it in all its details. This service he rendered gratuitously, with great credit to his skill. A building committee was appointed by the board at its bi-monthly meeting in March, 1904, consisting of President Y. C. Daland, Dr. A. S. Maxson, Mr. F. C. Dunn, Mr. T. A. Saunders and Dr. C. Eugene Crandall. Under their direction the basement wall was finished in time to lay the cornerstone at the commencement of the college in June, 1904. The contract for covering the roof was let to the Celadon Roofing Tile Company; the contract for completing the building according to the specifications in Mr. Chipman's plans, to Blair & Summers, of Janesville, and the contract for setting up the steam plant, to E. S. Babcock & Son. of Milton. The cost, all told, for building and equipment of the new hall, including the heating plant and the canvass for the funds, falls a little below thirty thousand dollars. The largest share of this sum came through the valuable services of its financial agent, Mr. Ingham. It was through his solicitations that the widow of George H. Babcock gave five thousand dollars for the equipment of the new building. Special thanks are also due to Dr. James Mills, of Janesville, through whose influence a gift of sixty-five hundred dollars from Mr. Carnegie came in good time to complete the sum that, with the other subscription collected or considered collectible, was considered sufficient to meet all outstanding dues.
The new hall was delivered to the board of trustees by the contractors in October, 1906, and the school has since had the use of its excellent advantages.
Source: Rock County, Wisconsin Volum1-; By William Fiske Brown Historian M. A., D.D.; Publ. 1908 a new history of its cities, villages, towns, citizens and varied interests, from the earliest times, up to date, Volume 1 - Chapters 1 - 8; Transcribed and submitted by Andrea Stawski Pack 2011~