Wisconsin Genealogy Trails
Sauk County, Wisconsin
Church History


75th Anniversary of Stone Church (Westfield)
The Lutheran Stone Church of Westfield will celebrate its seventy-fifth anniversary the second Sunday in July. It is the oldest Lutheran congregation in Sauk County and is the mother congregation of many others in this vicinity. The church has recently undergone extensive improvements and is almost like a new church and on the same date will be rededicated. Extensive plans are nearly completed for the event. [Source: Waupun Leader News (21 May 1931) transcribed by Sandra Wright] 


Westfield Methodist Church & Community - 50 Years History
Fifty Years History Of Westfield Methodist Church and Community
By Miss Florence Alexander
The following account of the history of this church was read at the fiftieth anniversary program held recently, by Miss Ruth Alexander:

The early settlers of Westfield brought along with their unbounded ambitions the inborn need of worshiping a God, no sooner did the rude log cabins begin to appear, then they began to take an active interest in religious life. This settlement, was first satisfied by the name of Rev. Butler, who came to exhort the people, to marry, to baptize, and to bury their dead.  As the population increased the desire for more services became known. So, in 1853, the first organization was started in the Loganville school house, Rev. Bean presiding. Among the early members were Daniel Gulliford, and wife, David Wise and wife and Mrs. Sarah Newell.  In 1853 churches were started in Baraboo, Caledonia, Sealy Bottom and Bear Creek, which united with the Westfield organization. John I. Shafer was the pastor. He rode on horse back to the different fields and the meetings were held in the homes. This period was marked with emotional camp meetings and revivals which were a natural thing for men living in the midst of danger.

Rev. Miller became the next pastor, and he was followed by Adam Saltzer in whose time the work was especially blessed. He built the first parsonage at North Freedom and planted the apple trees around it. During his stay a new charge was added at Ironton.

In 1859 the first log church was built in Westfield. It was a long structure with a clap board roof, very well constructed for a building at this time. All the work was done by the members, and the logs were cut from the neighborhood woods. The building was ? on the same lot on which the church now stands. The land ? by George Moog and John Warren, Mrs. Warren being the first to be buried in the cemetery. She lies buried on the north side. Henretta Alexander was the first to be buried in the south field.

The following were ministers here in the log church: Adam Saltzer, Frederick Merton, William Meyer, John Dal, Aev. Buchnier, Rev. Baker, Charles Schultz, Charles Piesch, Rev. Entzminger and C. W. Ewert. Rev. Ewert did not want to live in the old parsonage so the congregation rented a house in North Fredom. It was later decided to build a parsonage in Baraboo. Rev. Headler was the next and also the last minister to preach in the old church. He was the first to reach in the new church.
TALLOW CANDLES
The only means of lighting the log church was the tallow candles, but as one member of that time wishes us to note, that the prayers, the songs and the sermons were from the heart and no better light was necessary. Prayer meetings were held several times during the week, and at certain seasons regular each evening for two to four weeks. All found time to go and felt well repaid.  In 1881, when Abraham Lincoln sent out a call for men, the Westfield church was ready to send the following splendid young men to the field of battle and to uphold them with their prayers. Several never returned. The following were members of the church or have at some time been members of the Sunday school who went to the Civil war from this neighborhood: Peter, Andy and Philip Stackhouse, John, Peter and Henry Alexander, John and Will Faller, Ernest, Will and Henry Black, and their father, William Black Sr., John Warren, John and Levi Waitz, Mike and Philip Heaffer, Henry Weller, George Moog and Frank Fosdick.
After the years of the war were over and the country was prospering again, the people began to build better homes and likewise began to plan for a new and better church. So a board of trustees was elected. The first board was made up of Philip Grubb Sr., Will Simon, and Henry Kipp. After much planning and sacrifice the new church was built in 1877. The church was at that time one of the most up to date buildings of its kind, surpassing all the others belonging to Rev. Headler’s field. It was for several years the one having the largest membership also. The new building cost $180.00 and on the Sunday of its dedication enough money was received to pay the remaining debt. The Ladies Aid helped to purchase the organ, carpets, lights, etc. Peter Stackhouse donated the carpet and setee and Mr. Hirschinger the bell.
Some of the early members still living are Mr. and Mrs. Henry Alexander, Mrs. Phillipina Stackhouse, Anry Stackhouse and Mrs. Amelia Risley.
LARGE SUNDAY SCHOOL
The minister to follow Rev. Headler was W. F. Kreukmen. Next was Rev. Madsick, in 1881, Fred M. Meyer and his two helpers, in 1884 F. Fritz, in 1885 Rev. Berg and in 1888 C. F. Neitzel. At this time there were four Sunday schools, 8 officers and teachers and 240 scholars. The next minister was Rev. Keyser and was followed by Rev. Meck in 1907. then came a decline in the church for many of the older members moved away. In 1913 rev. Beyer came and new members were added, but it was plainly seen that if the Methodist church of Westfield was to survive it must change from the German language to the English as the younger generation could not understand the German. The next minister was Rev. Dessmeir, a fine English speaker, and once more the church was being filled with the younger people. Rev. Reukheim became the next pastor and he was followed by Rev. Radamacher. Rev. Weishaar took up the work of Rev. Radamacher. Besides the ministers mentioned there were three local ministers who helped with the work. These were John Faller, Philip Keyser and Herman Voll.
DECEASED MEMBERS
During this story many have faltered by the wayside whom Jesus has taken home. The following are the names of those who have passed away: Mr. and Mrs. Christian Moog, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Weller, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Stackhouse, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Stackhouse, Andy, Peter and John Stackhouse, Mr. and Mrs. William Schutz, Mr. and Mrs. G. Schutz, Mr. and Mrs. George Moog, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Simon, Fred Simon Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hammermeister, Pearl Hammermeister, Louis Moog, Peter Moog, Herbert Moog, Jacob Alexander, Henrietta Alexander, John and Peter Alexander, Mr. and Mrs. James Waddell, Samuel and George Waddell, Philip Grubb, Mr. and Mrs. August Filter, Mr. and Mrs. John Ninnemann, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ninnemann, Mr. and Mrs. John Waltz, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Fick and sons Will and Herman, Mr. and Mrs. John Warren, Wesley Warren, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Rasch, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Verthein and daughter, Mart, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Black, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Weller, Mr. and Mrs. Kipp, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Klagus, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Simon Sr., Will Simon, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Schutz, Charles Schulte, Minnie Beamer, Dan and Ed Rumph, Mr. and Mrs. Herbel, Mr. and Mrs. Failing, Simon and Levi Waltz, and Mr. and Mrs. Haeffer.
When we think of these who have gone, we are reminded of the lines of the Poet Whittier when he wrote:
"How strange it seems, with so much gone Of life and love, to still live on, Ah, Brother! Only I and thou Are left of all that circle now, The dear home faces whereupon That fitful firelight pales and shone. Henceforward, listen as we will, The voices of that hearth are still, Look where we may, the wide earth o’er, The lighted faces smile no more. We tread the paths their feet have worn. We sit beneath their orchard trees We hear like them, the hum of bees And rustle of the bladed corn; We turn the pages that they read, Their written words we longer o’er, But in the sun they cast no shade, No voice is heard, no sigh is made No step is on the conscious floor; Yet love will dream and faith will trust (Since He who knows our need is just) That somehow, somewhere, meet we must. Alas for him who never sees The stars shine through the cypress trees! Who, hopeless, lays his dead away, Nor looks to see that breaking day Across the mournful marbles play! Who hath not learned, in hours of faith, The truth to sense and sense unknown, That life is ever lord of Death, And love can never lose its own." [Source: Baraboo News (13 July 1927) transcribed by Sandra Wright]


Westfield Church 50th Anniversary (1927)
WESTFIELD CHURCH OBSERVES 50TH ANNIVERSARY
Congregation Was Organized 74 Years Ago in Log Edifice
BARABOO - The fiftieth anniversary of the Westfield church was held on Saturday night and Sunday, the even being commemorated with a homecoming which brought many Baraboo residents among others back to that community, near this city. The services had been arranged by the Rev. S. Weishaar, pastor of the Second Street Methodist church, who is also pastor of the Westfield church. Miss Ruth Alexander read a history of the organization which started 74 years ago, the members holding services at the homes of the community. Later a log church was built and 50 years ago this replaced by the present frame structure. Mr. Weishaar was assisted by the Revs. A. J. Loeppert, J. J. Moor, and William Wiese of Beaver Dam. [Source: Wisconsin State Journal (16 Aug. 1927) transcribed by Sandra Wright]

 


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