Franklin T Oldt.

History of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryFranklin T OldtHistory of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) → online text (page 50 of 56)
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A. Young, P. E., J. G. Dimmitt, J. L. Kelley (at Catfish), J. T.
Colentan (at Cascade). J. H. W. Hawkins, a famous temperance
advocate from Baltimore, lectured on that subject in the Congre-
gational church in October. Lincoln Clark was president of the
county bible society. In November, 1850, the Dubuque County
Temperance society held a big convention at Dubucjue. The Iowa
annual conference of the Methodist church met here in 1850: the
assignments were : Dubuque district. Rev. Alcinus Young, P. E. ;
Dubuque Station. Rev. William Hulbert ; Catfish, Rev. Alpha J.
Kynett ; Cascade, J. G. Dimmitt and Isaac Newton ; Dubuque cir-
cuit, Rev. Joel B. Taylor.

The Sabbath school at Dyersville, on October 8, 1851, celebrated
its second anniversary; over 150 persons were present. Rev.
Joel Taylor preached ; Revs. Isaac Newton and William Frich also
spoke. There was singing, recitations by the children, and a sup-
per. In a fair at the city hall, Dubuque, in 185 1, the Methodist
ladies made $140. In 1850 tlie Methodists began their new
church. The Methodist camp ground was near Mr. Funston's.

In June, 1850, the ladies of the Congregational church gave a
dinner which netted $80 toward a new residence for Rev. Mr.

The Methodist church at Epworth was organized in 185 1 with
Thomas G. Briggs and wife, Otis Briggs and wife, Alfred Garner
and wife, A. H. Van Anda and wife, Joseph Smith and wife and
others as members. The first services were held that year in a
schoolhouse on the farm of Otis Briggs with Rev. Joel B. Taylor
as pastor. Early in 1853 they built a small frame church at Center
and Main at a cost of about $1,000, which was dedicated by
Mr. Taylor in December of that year. At this time the member-
ship was about twenty-five. In 1S70-1 tlieir large brick church
was built and dedicated in November, 1871, by Elder H. W. Reed;
the pastors have been Taylor, Kelly, Reed, Haven, Cameron,
Thompson. Ashbaugh, Miller, Isham, Bronson, Ruler, Laverty,
Moore. Houghton, Hartsough, Piatt, Ferris, Albrook, Swearingen
and many others.

Zion Reformed church, on section 16, Cascade township, first
held services in May, 1853, with Rev. F. C. Bauman in charge.
Spring Valley schoolhouse was used. Regular services were not
held until 1863, when Rev. Bauman permanently etTected the or-
ganization with twenty-three members. In September, 1867, the
cornerstone of the brick church was laid and the building was duly
dedicated in October, r868. Rev. J. Riale officiating. Among the
pastors have been Revs. Bauman, Reltig, Smith, Bouser and others.

Prairie Presbyterian church stands on Section 11, Washington
township; it is a frame structure, erected in 1863; among the orig-
inal members in 1855, when the society was first organized, were
John and Aliza A. F. Crew, Jessie and May Peirson, Alexander and


Margaret Foster, Joseph and Margaret McGregor, Robert and
Catherine Kennedy, Thomas and Martha McCurdy, Lucinda Van
Kirk, Jane A. Mathers, Christian and Ann DenHnger. The early
pastors were Revs. Allen, Vawter, Harmon, LeClere, Gay, Lyons
and others.

In 1853 Professor Mathews gave spiritual rappings here and
was arrested for showing without a license. He defended himself
on the ground that he gave a religious performance and stated
that the fee at the door was the contribution solicited by all re-
ligious bodies. After a trial he was discharged. Rev. John C.
Holbrook edited the Congregational Herald in 1853.

A Methodist organization was established at Centralia about
1853 and a schoolhouse, moved from Sharp's farm, was the first
church. Elder Reed and others preached to the members. In
1872 fire destroyed the building and scattered the members.

The Collegiate Institute for Young Ladies, established by Miss
Catherine Beecher, began operations in 1853. The Main Street
Methodist church was dedicated April 14. 1853; Rev. W. F. Cowles
was in charge.

The Methodists had an organization at what is now Dyersville
as early as 1849, when Judge Dyer provided a place for them to
assemble. In 1853 a frame church was commenced and com-
pleted in the spring of 1854, and Rev. Wm. Trick became first
pastor. Their new church was erected in 1856 aiul cost about
$12,000, a large sum for that day.

In August, 1855, the Second Presbyterian church of Dubuque
was organized with seventeen members and belonged to the new
school branch of the church. By January i, 1856, tliey numbered
about forty members and were preached to regularly in Thedinga's
hall, over the store of Charles Suffrins, by Rev. J. Guernsey. Early
in January, 1856, they purchased a lot at Locust and Ninth streets
and made preparations to build a church in 1856.

In 1855 Thanksgiving day services were held by the United
Baptists, Methodists and Congregationalists at the Main street
Methodist cliurch. The Presbyterians held services at their own
church. The Presbyterian church at Epworth was organized in
1856 with John V. McCune, Jacob B. Waynant, Joseph Scott and
their wives, R. S. Alexander and relatives and others, numbering
about twenty-five. They had held services in the Methodist
churcii. The first services in their own church were held in June,
1859, in the basement by Rev. S. T. Wells. The church was
dedicated February 19, i860: among the pastors have been Revs.
Wells, Carsons, Potter, Bailey and Fisher.

The Young Men's Christian Association of Dubuque, was or-
ganized in June, 1856, and held its first regular session July 7.
It started with about thirty members and in a year had nearly 130.
It had a reading room and a library was soon started.


Mission Sunday schools, started by the Methodists and old
school Presbyterians, were doing well.

On July 24. 1856, the cornerstone of the new Congregational
church in Dubuque was laid with great ceremony. On July 7,
1856, the first regular meeting of the Young Men's ChristianAs-
sociation was held in the Congregational church; William Mills
was chairman and F. J. Harron secretary. In 1856 Rev. Mr. Hol-
brook and Dennis A. Mahony, editor of the Express and Herald,
discussed at length in the newspapers the question of slavery, the
former denouncing that institution and the latter upholding it.
By the last of January, 1856, the Congregationalists had raised,
by subscription, $8,000 of the $25,000 required for their new
church. Rev. J. H. Trowbridge was pastor of the Second Presby-
terian church at Locust and Eighth streets in 1856. Bishop Simp-
son lectured here on "Christian Unity or Oneness," and "The In-
visible," in August, 1856; packed churches heard him.

The Congregational church society sold their church and lot on
Main street to C. H. Booth for $20,000. The church, with
$10,000 additional subscription, designed to erect a new structure
at Locust and Tenth streets. Already by March. 1857, the foun-
dation had been laid.

In the fifties the German Lutherans had a small congregation
on Clay street near Twelfth. In all there were fifteen religious
bodies in Dubuque in the summer of 1857 and all except one had
regular or stated pastors.

In tlie Dubuque district of the Upper Iowa Conference of the
Methodist Episcopal church in 1857 the following appointments
were made : H. W. Reed, presiding elder : P. E. Brown, Dubuque ;
E. S. Stout, Dubuque centenary; T. Thompson, Dubuque cir-
cuit; J. W. Batter, Rockdale: L. S. Ashbaugh. Epworth ; S. A.
Lee, Dyersville; J. Newton, Colesburg; H. Taylor, Rockville; J. L.
Kelly, Cascade.

The Dubuque district preachers' meeting and the district Sunday
school convention of the Methodist church was held at Dversville
in August, 1857. A large increase in the membership of the
schools was announced. The opening sermon was preached by
Rev. P. E. Brown, and the closing one by Rev. Stout, both of
Dubuque. The Baptist church at Cascade was built in 1854. The
Baptist state convention was held here in October, 1857. Rev.
Elihu Gunn of Keokuk, preached the annual sermon. Rev. John
Bates of Cascade, was president pro tern. The Central Baptist
church at Epworth had fourteen members in September, 18^7.
Several of them lived at Centralia. They were supplied by Rev.
John Avil, who preached alternatively at Epworth and Centralia.

A union revi\al was carried on here in April, 1858, when preach-
ing was conducted at the Julien theater, preachers of the different


denominations alternating. At the same time the CathoHcs held
daily services at the cathedral.

"There have been remarkable religious revivals in all the
clnirches in this city during the past few months and the interest
in spiritual affairs seems to be still maintained." — (£. &■ H.,
April 15, 1858.)

Tlie annual meeting of the Congregational Association was held
here in June. 1858. Ministers were here from all parts of the
west. Many important questions were considered, among which
were slavery, Iowa college, home missions, Christian union, etc.
Among those present were Revs. William Anderson, Dr. Badger,
Mr. Harper, Mr. Jones, J. P. Kimball, Mr. Robbins, Mr. Magoun,
D. Leonard, Mr. Reed, Guernsey, Emerson, Salter, Canfield, Grin-
nell, Benton, Butter, Radcliffe, Turner and others.

The German Lutheran church at Dyersville was organized in
1858 by Rev. M. Van Vliet. In 1872 their stone church was built.
The Congregational church was established here in 1858 by Rev.
W. H. Heu de Bourgh, through whose efforts the church was

The First Presbyterian church was dedicated June 27, 1858, by
Rev. J. P. Phelps, pastor at Locust and Eleventh streets.

Rev. Mr. Avery preached in Dubuque on Universalism in Feb-
ruary, 1858, at the Congregational church. By January, 1859,
there were two Methodist churches at Dubuque. Miss Martha
Hulett, medium of Rockford, Illinois, lectured here on Spiritual-
ism in April, 1859.

The Dubuque Sunday School Union held its annual meeting at
the Baptist church in April, 1859. The churches represented were
the following: Methodist, Congregational, Baptist, Presbyterian,
Julien Avenue Mission. Third Ward Mission, Eagle Point Mis-
sion, Episcopal. The aggregate of children represented was 3,000.
Richard Edwards was elected president.

The new Congregational church building was dedicated April
I, i860, at Tenth and Locust streets. There must have been pres-
ent between 900 and i ,000 people ; it was the largest Protestant
gathering ever convened in Dubuque. The sermon was preached
by Rev. J. C. Holbrook. He was assisted by Rev. J. Guernsey
and others.

The first Universalist society, on June 30, i860, gave an ex-
cursion in two steamboats, which cost for the occasion $200 and
besides engaged the Germania band. The boats were the Alham-
bra and Fannie Harris. They were loaded to the guards and ran
to Cassville, where they were received with cannon shots. Rev.
J. S. Dennis was the orator.

The following wet'e the appointments of the Dubuque district
of the Methodist conference in i860: P. E. Brown, presiding
elder; Dubuque Main street, R. L. Collier; Dubuque Centenary


and West Dubuque Mission, I. K. Fuller: Rockdale, I. W. Newton;
Dubuque circuit, E. F. Joffries ; Epvvorth, H. W. Reed ; Dyers-
ville, S. N. Fellows: Cascade. T. C. Wolf and C. Isam; Epworth
Seminary, R. W. Keeler, member of Dubuciue quarterly con-

The Dubuque County Bible society held its annual meeting No-
vember 20, i860. All the Protestant churches closed and as-
sembled in the Congregational church to hear the services. Rev.
J. C. Holbrook preached the annual sermon. R. Edwards was
chosen president of the society for 1861. The report showed that
large numbers of bibles and tracts had been distributed.

In November, 18C0, the ladies of the Presbyterian church held
a grand fair at Lorimer hall to raise means to pay off the indebted-
ness on their church. It netted about $200 for the supper and
musical entertainment.

Johns Creek Methodist Episcopal church stands on section 2,
Cascade township. It was erected in i860 and dedicated in June,
186 1 ; it is in the Farley circuit. Among the first members were
Richard Baker and wife, William Morgan and wife, Thomas
Baker, William Ganfield and wife, and Mrs. H. Rogers.

The Christian church at Epworth was organized about 1861 by
John Trowbridge. FVancis Rogers and wife, Aaron Wood and
family, Ephraim Story and wife and about twenty others. A
church was built, but the society disbanded after six years. In
1873 it was reorganized, with Rev. Bennett as pastor: other min-
isters have been Martin, Crocker, Muller. Applegate and others.

The Presbyterian church at Farley was organized in 1865: pre-
vious to this date members of that faith had attended at Epworth.
When organized they secured the stone hall at Wood and Thir-
teenth streets, where services were held by Rev. William Carson
of Epworth. In 1868 a better church was secured: Rev. Jewett
became pastor : later. Bailey, Agnes and Fisher served the con-

The Baptist church at Epworth was organized in March, 1866,
with Luther Mason, T. H. Davis and wife, Benjamin Goodrich
and wife, Leonard Wright and wife, Mrs. Chapman, Mrs. Good-
rich, Mrs. Pratt, Daniel Durham and wife and others. In 1872
their church was erected: among the ministers in charge have
been Revs. Hill, Johnson, Skemp, Lill, Whiting, Weaver and

The Methodist church at Farley was incorporated in 1866, but
the congregation had been organized before as part of the Ep-
worth charge and occasional ser\ices had been held in residences,
etc. Revs. R. W. Keeler, H. W. Houghton, Burgess. Dove,
Thompson, Smedley, Cowgill, Rogers aufl others have been pastors.
When fully organized the congregation met in Farley hall, which
was purchased : a parsonage was built near.


Rev. Dr. C. B. Smith was pastor of the Baptist church, Dubuque,
in 1861. On May 29, 1861, the eighth annual convention of the
Protestant Episcopal church of the diocese of Iowa met at St.
John's church, Dubuque.

Rev. J. S. Dennis resigned from the pastorship of the Uni-
versalist society in Dubuque in March. 1863, and engaged in mer-
cantile pursuits in Chicago. Their church at Tenth and Main
streets was dedicated in 1862. Rev. D. M. Reed was the new

All the Protestant churches united in a grand musical conven-
tion and carnival in January, 1862; it continued a week and vvas
the greatest musical event ever here up to that date. The Jewish
synagog was in existence early in the sixties and stood on Locust
between Ninth and Tenth; Rev. A. Alexander was rabbi. Later
Rev. H. J. Messing was rabbi, and Alexander Levi was president
of the synagog. Bishop Lee preached in St. John's church in Oc-
tober. 1863: in February, 1864, a festival given by this church
netted over $500. The Lee Female Seminary, under Miss Julia
A. Titus, was in existence in September, 1864. The Universalist
fair, in 1864, netted over $1,500. A fancy dress festival at the
city hall in February, 1865, yielded $1,290 for St. John's Episco-
pal church.

The Swedenborgians had a small organization in Dubuque in
i856. In 1867 the Baptist church at Worthington was erected;
Rev. James Hill was pastor. In June, 1868, three sisters named
Whiting were married in succession on the same day in the Con-
gregational church, Dubuque: Rev. Lyman Whiting, father of
the brides, officiated. The Second Presbyterian church was dedi-
cated in November, 1869; Rev. Dr. Specs preached the sermon.
The new Episcopal church at Main and Fourteenth was com-
menced in 1869. The new organ in the Congregational church
was twenty-two feet wide and thirty-two feet high. In November,
1869, the new Methodist church was dedicated; Rev. Dr. Reid
preached the sermon; improvements to the church had cost $24,113 ;
organ, $3,000. The fourteenth annual session of the Upper Iowa
Conference was held in 1869 in Dubuque.

The new Presbvterian church at Farley was dedicated in 1871
by Rev. W. T. Marshall.

In 1872 the Protestant churches of Dubuque united in a grand
re\ival, one of the most successful ever held here. Rev. E. P.
Hammond, the evangelist, was the leader, but was assisted by the
Dubuque pastors. Saloons were visited and the whole city was
stirred to its moral foundations. Revs. Bingham, Raymond, Os-
trander, Rebman, Alderson, Young, Marshall and others assisted
the evangelist. Of the converts the Methodists secured no, Con-
gregationalists 86, First Presbyterians ;^/, Second Presbyterians
37, Primitive Methodists 15, Baptists i. The Herald objected to all


revivalists. Thomas Paine's birthday was often celebrated by
the Free Thinkers of Dubuque. The cornerstone of the Epis-
copal church at Dyersville was laid in September, 1875. Rev.
C. H. Seymour and Rev. H. L. Everest conducted the ceremonies;
the building cost $3,600. The Episcopal carnival at the city hall
in April, 1875, realized over $1,000; the representations of Red
Riding Hood, Mother Goose, Gulliver. Cinderella, Jack Frost,
Mother Hubbard. Bo Peep, etc., were attracti\e features.

St. George Episcopal church at Farley was organized in 1870
and the next year two lots were secured and the church was
erected at Tenth and Lang^vorthy streets, Rev. W. F. Lloyd lay-
ing the corner stone. Other early pastors were Phelps, Everest,
Magee, Archdeacon and others.

Christ Episcopal church at Dyersville was organized in 1874,
the first services being held in the Congregational ciiurch by Rev.
H. L. Everest.

In 1875 the Spiritualists lield a camp meeting on the hill: there
were present adepts in spiritualism, clairxoyance, trance medium,
mind reading, free love, woman's rights; also short haired women
and long haired men. In ridiculing this gathering the Herald
spoke slightingly of Susan B. Anthony. A fair for the Home for
the Friendless netted $804.39 i" iS/S- I" 1862 the Baptists gave
up their church at Tenth and Main and in 1875 met in a small
frame building near the postoffice. In 1876 they bought a lot
at Twelfth and Main and began to increase in size; Rev. Allen
Curr was pastor; he became invohed in serious trouble. The
Eagle Point branch of the Y. M. C. A. was opened in 1877. An-
other immense union re\ival was conducted here in 1877.

The old stone First German Presbyterian church, erected in
1856, was undermined b\- the high waters, was torn down and a
better one was built late in tlie seventies; Rev. E. Schueth was
pastor. The Iowa convention of Universalists met in Dubuque in
1883. Rev. Dr. Burrell sharply criticized the people of Dubuque
in 1886; he called Dulnique "an utterly, defiantly, confessedly law-
less place." In 1886 roughs and hoodlums on the street broke up
Salvation Army meetings on the streets ; the leaders were ar-
rested. By 1888 the Episcopalians had raised $132,000 for a new
church, grounds, tower and chimes. They secured the old Pea-
bod}- residence for $40,000: the church proper cost $80,000. In
1889 the First Congregational church celebrated its semi-centennial
in beautiful fashion.

On September 28, 1893, the Emmanuel German Congregational
church celebrated the silver jubilee of Rev. Herman Ficke's pas-
torate of the cluuch. When he arrived in 1868 he first preached
to five adults and two children in a small frame building; the
little band owed $1,200: the society of the year before was scat-
tered; it had been organized by Rev. Jesse Guernsey. By 1891


"Tmmanuel Kirche," a fine building was the home of the large con-
gregation and well-attentled Sunday school ; the cornerstone of
this building was laid October i6, 1887.

"The Second Presbyterian church of Dubuque is distinguished
by a long line of brilliant preachers. Two of its pastors, Dr. D. J.
Burrell and Rev. Henry E. Mott, are now supplying churches
among the most important aixl influential in the country. It is
now looking for a brilliant preacher and good pastor." — (New
York Evangelist, 1894.)

In 1894 the Methodists projected a new church on the old site
to cost $60,000. In 1895 the fiftieth anniversary of St. John's
Episcopal church was celebrated with splendid ceremonies. In
March, 1895, the First Congregational, Second Presbyterian and
Main Street Methodist churches united in three weeks of special
religious services. The Upper Iowa Conference convened here in
1897; Bishop H. W. Warren conducted the services. In 1897 St.
Luke's new Methodist Episcopal church was completed at a cost
of about $80,000.

In 1905 Finley hospital received a bequest of $100,000 from
the Finley estate. In 1906 Andrew Carnegie gave $10,000 or
$15,000 to the German Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

The German Presbyterian Theological school of the northwest
has done an immense work in establishing churches of this faith.
For many years it struggled alone and with small success to edu-
cate the German race coming to America in the gospel of Christ
according to this faith : The bible is the fundamental condition of
all study. Rev. W. O. Ruston was president. The origin of this
school was a new departure to meet new and needed surroundings
for religious worship. It is the parent of over 100 churches
planted throughout the west. It has a large and able faculty and
furnishes a rare education. Its beautiful building back on the
bluffs at Dubuque commands a magnificent view up and down the


Congregational : First at Tenth and Locust ; Immanuel at
Jackson and Eighteenth : Summit at Delhi and Allison.

Episcopal : St. John's at Main and Fourteenth.

Lutheran : St. John's Evangelical at Thirteenth and White ; St.
Mark's at Ninth and Locust ; St. Mathew's, German, at White and
Eighteenth; St. Paul's, Evangelical, at Rhomberg and Jackson; St.
Peter's at Lincoln and Eden ; Zion's Evangelical at Seventeenth
and Jackson.

Hebrew: Congregational Cueses Israel at 1760 Maple.


Methodist: African at 1681 Iowa; Grand View Avenue at
Jackson, Grand View and Delhi; St. Luke's at Main and Twelfth.

Presbyterian: First German at Seventeenth and Iowa; Inde-
pendent German at Seventeentli and 104 West; Third at Garfield
and Stafford ; Westminster at Thirteenth and Locust.

Scientists : First Church of Christ at Ninth and Bluff.

Others : Cleveland Avenue Mission at 85 Pearl ; Eagle Point
Sunshine Mission at 1821 Adams; Y. W. C. A., Y. M. C. A., Sal-
vation Army.


THE law of Michigan Territory provided that the county court
of Dubuque county should be held on the first Monday of
April and September of each year. It further provided that
"all laws now in force in the county of Iowa (afterward in
Wisconsin Territory east of the Mississippi) not locally inapplicable
shall be and hereby are extended to the counties of Dubuque and
Demoine and shall be in force therein," and that "processes both
civil and criminal issued from the circuit court of the United
States for the county of Iowa shall run into all parts of
said counties of Dubuque and Demoine and shall be served
by the sheriff or other proper officer within either of said
counties." This law took effect October i, 1834. Previous to
this date Dubuque was wholly without law, not having been attached
to any organized community. In May, 1834, before the above law
took effect, the murder of George O'Keefe by his partner, Patrick
O'Connor, occurred. The citizens were called together to consider
the case. They appointed as sheriff Mr. Adams, who arrested the
murderer ; Captain White was appointed prosecutor and D. G. Bates,
of Galena, was appointed to defend him. Twelve men were selected,
sworn in as jurors, and he was found guilty of murder and sentenced
to be hung about twenty days later. This sentence was duly executed
— the first hanging in Iowa. The execution took place on a mound
a little distance southeast of the present court house. A thousand
people gathered to witness the event, the Brazil steamer bringing
many from Galena. Among the jury were Woodbury Massy, Hosea
T. Camp, John McKensie. Milo H. Prentice, James Smith, Jesse M.
Harrison, Thomas McCabe, Nicholas Carroll, James S. Smith and
three others. Six were Americans, three Irish, one Scotch, one
English and one French. During the trial O'Connor said, "I'll not
deny that I shot him, but ye have no laws in the county and cannot
try me." He soon learned that he was mistaken. The trial was held
in the open air under an elm tree in front of the cabin of Samuel
Clifton. Massy was foreman of the jury, which deliberated one
hour. Before the execution O'Connor and his friends endeavored to

Online LibraryFranklin T OldtHistory of Dubuque County, Iowa; being a general survey of Dubuque County history, including a history of the city of Dubuque and special account of districts throughout the county, from the earliest settlement to the present time (Volume 1) → online text (page 50 of 56)