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History of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present online

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1855, after serving the congregation effi-
ciently for four years, and considerably in-
creasing the membership.

Rev. A. W. Lilly, D. D., of Baltimore,
the present pastor, was elected on April 17,
1855, and began his pastoral work June 1,
following. The work prospered, the congre-
gation increased, harmony and good-wili
prevailed. There was cordial co-operation
and the accommodations became inadequate
to the necessities of the congregation. In
1869, an addition of twenty-five feet was
built to the rear of the church. In addition
to this a recess of twelve feet was attached
for pulpit and library and pastor's study.
With this extension, the auditorium furnishes
a larger seating capacity than any church
room in the town. The cost of this enlarge-
ment was about $12,000.

At the anniversary, in 1885, the pastor re-
ported 445 members. The fact that sevea
Lutheran congregations occupy this town of
18,000 or 19,000 of a population, invests the
material and draws the line closely. But
there is room and work for all, and for all
other Christian denominations. The Sun-
day-school numbers about 450 scholars and!
forty-eight teachers, and is divided into two
adult Bible classes, intermediate depart-
ment and infant department.

Union Evangelical Lutheran Church. — This
church is located in the western part of York,
on the south side of Market Street. As that
portion of town began to grow rapidly, th©
members of the Lutheran Church desired a
place of worship west of the Codorus. Feb-
ruary 12, 1859, a meeting was held in tha
schoolhouse on the corner of King and Mar-
ket Streets for the purpose of effecting an or-
ganization; John Weyer, Joseph Smyser,
Adam Smyser, Christian Bender, Jacob Her-
man and Jacob Kessler were elected elders,
and John Kraber and George Leitner, dea-
cons; Rev. C. J. Deininger, of York, pre-
sided. A charter was granted March 12,
1859. A lot was purchased for $1,000; W.
M. Weiser contracted to build the church for-
$5,636. On Ascension Day, June 2, 1859,
the corner-stone was laid, when all the prot-
estant clergymen of York were present. In
February, 1860, Rev. J~. H. Menges was
elected pastor, and the chiu'ch was dedicated
the same month. Revs. Kurtz, McCron,
Lochman, Oswald, Lilly, Menges and S. Os-



Wald were present. The cost of the church
and lot was $8,007 ; nearly the entire amount
was paid by the time of the dedication. Rev.
J. H. Menges entered upon his duties as pas-
tor with forty- five members. In the year
1870 the building was repaired and the audi-
ence room frescoed at a cost of $4,062. In
1880 an infant Sunday-school room was built
to the rear of the lecture room, at a cost of
$1,200. In 1882 the audience room was
again frescoed and a new pipe organ pur-
chased, all at a cost of $1,900. Rev. J. H.
Menges continued his pastorate until August
15, 187-1:. His successor was Rev. M. J.
Alleman, who began his labors November 1,
1874, and served the congregation two years.
The present pastor, Rev. A. G. Fastnacht,
entered upon his duties February 1, 1877.
The membership now numbers 380, and the
Sunday-school has 386 pupils and teachers.
During the past year this church contributed
for local and beneficial purposes $3,180.
The parsonage adjoins the church.

St. John's German Evangelical Lutheran
Church. — 0.1 October 27, 1873, a number of
German Lutherans resolved to organize a
church. At a meeting held at the residence
of John Palmtag, on West Philadelphia
Street, the resolution was signed by the fol-
lowing-named gentlemen, each of whom, at
the same time, subscribed a certain sum of
money for the erection of a church: Henry
W. Grothe, Frederick Ottemoeller, Carl
Schmidt, Frederick Strathmann, John Palm-
tag, Henry A. Boesch, William Becker, E'red-
erick Carls, Will Ottemoeller, Frederick
Pape, John Eimerbrink, Henry Kuhlmann, '
Carl Dempwolf, Sr., Henry Schlueter, Sr., I
and Louis Plitt. The principal cause which I
led to this step was the introduction of more
English services than had previously been
the case, in the Christ Lutheran Church, to
which most of the above named members be-
longed. Another reason was the dissatisfac-
tion among the German Lutherans with the !
mode in which the services were conducted in
the old church, it being, in many respects,
difl'erent from the customs in the fatherland.
A third reason was the desire of German Lu-
theran parents to have their children edu-
cated in the German language. Od Decem-
ber 15, 1873, it was resolved to hold public
services, and to invite a minister of the Ger-
man Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri.
The father of Frederick Carls, after having
resided in York for a number of years, re-
moved West about ten years previously. He
there joined a congregation in connection
with the synod of Missouri, and subscribed to
the Lutheraner, the official organ of the said

synod. Mr. Carls sent the paper regularly to
York to his son, Frederick, who was pleased
with its contents, likewise a few others to
whom he handed it. The first services were
held in the court house on January 4, 1874,
conducted by Rev. C. Schwankovsky, of Har-

Rev. C. Stlirken of Baltimore, visitator of
this district, saw that the appointments for
preaching were filled. E. C. Grevemeyer,
translated the church constitution into the
English language, and had the congregation
incorporated by the court.

A lot of ground on West King Street was
bought for $9,000. Rev. H. Walker of Pat-
erson, N. J., who had been pastor of a con-
gregation there for seven years, was called
to York. The call, however, was returned
by Rev. Walker, his congregation not being
willing to let him go. At a subsequent
meeting the call was renewed. On April
24, Rev. Walker arrived in York, and on
the Sunday following was installed as pastor
by Rev. Stlirken.

The plans for the new church were pre-
pared by J. A. Dempwolf, architect. N.
Weigle was chosen master builder. The
church was to be 102x57 J feet. The build
ing committee were Frederick Greimann,
Henry AV. Grothe, Carl Hififmeyer, William
Oermann, H. A. Boesch. Louis Plitt, Henry
Wagner and Carl H. Schmidt ; elders
elected were Frederick Strathmann, Fred-
erick Westerhold and Peter Breeswine;
trustees, William Becker, E. C. Grevemeyer,
John Palmtag; deacons, Henry Dollmeyer,
Henry Kuhlmann, Henry Mliller, John
Henry Ottemoeller, Henry Hiffmeyer and
Frederick Meyer.

On July 12, 1874, the corner-stone was
laid, and on October 17, 1875, the church
was dedicated.

The cost of the church, with bell and or-
gan, was nearly $25,000. The cost of ground,
church, school and parsonage, and other im-
provements, approached $40,000. Of this
sum a little over $15,000 was unpaid at the
time of dedication. Considering that nearly
all the members were, and still are, working
men, they have done well. In the year
1878, the debt was reduced $3,000. In 1881,
$3,000 were paid off. The year 1883, being
the fourth centennary of the birth of the
great reformer, Martin Luther, was a great
jubilee for the Lutheran Church throughout
the world, and was everywhere marked by in-
creased activity and zeal in church work.
The pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church
of Y'ork proposed to avail himself of this
opportunity to induce his people to make a


final effort to cancel the debt, and he was

It is one of the leading features of the
Missouri Synod to have their children edu-
cated under guidance and direction of the
church, and it has been successful in this
respect since its organization in 1847. There
are now about 1,000 such schools under the
charge of this synod. Frederick Rtinzel, a
graduate of the Teachers' Seminary or Nor-
mal School of this denomination, at Allison,
111., was called as teacher of the school con-
nected with this church. The pastor also
taught for two years. G. A. Schwankovsky
was afterward called, and is the present as-
sistant teacher. In 1883, A. F. Brouhahn
was installed as teacher and organist of the
school and church. The school is under the
special care of the pastor. This church has
this year (1885) 451 communicants; including
children, there are 734 members.

St. Luke's Lutheran Church is located on
Maple Street, between Duke and Queen
Streets. The congregation grew from the
success of a Sunday-school, started in the
armory on Maple Street, on July 16, 1882.

David Emmit, a prominent member of St.
Paul's Church, purchased a lot for 12,100,
and in October, 1883, Eev. M. J. Alleman
became pastor of the new congregation
formed, which at first worshipped in the ar-
mory. In April, 1883, N. Weigle contracted
and soon after built the present brick church,
70x40 feet, on the lot presented by Maj. Em-
mit, at a cost of $6,000. In 1885 a Sunday-
school and lecture-room building was at-
tached to the north end of the church, at a
cost of 1800. Maj. Emmit contributed all
the money for the erection of both buildings,
with the exception of about ?1,700, and in
this way has done a noble and good work.

The church was dedicated in October,
1883. The officiating clergymen were Revs.
Lochman, Gotwald, Anstadt and Herring.
The last-named is the ,'present pastor. The
congregation has about 125 members, and
has connected with it a Sunday-school of
200 pupils and teachers. Samuel Ilgenfritz
is superintendent, and J. F. Mitzel, assistant

The First Methodist Episcopal Church. —
A reminiscence of the introduction of Meth-
odism into York County, is given in au arti-
cle in the general history, entitled "Relig-
ious Denominations." There are no records
to show the prosperity of this denomination
in York from 1781 to 1819. During the lat-
ter date. Rev. Andrew Hemphill was sta-
tioned here, and the congregation had a
membership of 122. Mr. Hemphill was

succeeded, in 1821, by Rev. William Pretty-
man. In 1822 Rev." Robert S. Vinton and
the Rev. Tobias Reily were appointed by
conference, the former to York Station, the
latter to York Circuit; in 1823 Rev. Joseph
Larkin. In 1824 the congregation numbered
146 members, and was supplied by the Rev.
Charles A. Davis. In 1825 Basil Barry was
the clergyman of the congregation here, and
was reappointed in 1826. In 1827 Andrew
Hemphill supplied the congregation, which,
at that time, numbered 208 members. Mr.
Hemphill was reappointed to this station in
1828. In 1829 Henry Smith and James
Brent were sent to York Station. In 1830
Mr. Smith was here alone. In 1831 and
1832 John A. Gere supplied this station.
In 1833 conference appointed Edward Smith,
and at their session in 1834 reappointed the
same gentleman; 1835, Charles Kalfus; 1836,
-37, Tobias Reily; 1838-39, John L. Gibbons;
1840, John Poisel; 1841, John C. Lyon;
1842-43, John A. Henning; 1844-45, George
CChenowith; 1846-47, Joseph France; 1848,
James Sewel; 1850-51,William AVicks; 1852,
William D. Clemm; 1853-54, Robert S. Vin-
ton; 1855-56, James Brads; 1857-58, John
Stine; 1859-60, Joseph A. Ross; 1861, D. S.
Monroe; 1862, Joseph France; 1863, John
H. C. Dosch; 1866, N. S. Buckingham; 1868,
William R. Mills; 1869, Henry C. West-
wood; 1871, W. M. Ryan, M. D. ; 1872, D.
S. Monroe; 1874, A. M. Barnitz; 1876, S.
L. Bowman, D. D.; 1879, J. H. McGarrah;
1881, S. 0. Swallow; 1884, J. Max Lautz.
The present church membership is 388.
There is a Sunday-school of 421 members;
B. E'. Frick is superintendant.

The first house of worship belonging to the
Methodists of York was built on the site of
the first United Brethren in Christ Church,
west of the Codorus. That property was
sold in 1840 and on an elegible spot on the
corner of Philadelphia and Duke Streets, a
church was built which was used until a few
years ago, when the present handsome
church was erected. West Princess Street
Methodist Episcopal Church and Ridge
Avenue Church grew out of mission work
from Beaver Street Chtuxh when under the
pastoral care of Rev. S. C. Swallow.

The Princess Street Church was the direct
result of a Sunday-school opened in Septem-
ber, 1881, in a schoolhouse in West York,
then known as Smysertown. Prof. W. H.
Shelley was the superintendent. A church
was built and dedicated in 1882. The Sun-
day-school now numbers 150 pupils. The
Ridge Avenue Church was dedicated in 1884,
and together with the Princess Street Chm'ch



form one charge, under the pastoral care of
Rev. Metzler. This charge will soon be self-
sustaining. At present §250 are paid to it
from the First Church.

Methodism has grown rapidly and prosper- ,
ously in York within the past five years.

Duke Street Methodist Episcopal Church. —
On March 21, 1861, Rev. W. Maslin Frysin-
ger was appointed to York Mission, and
preached on the street until July 14, of the
same year, when the mission chapel was
dedicated, the money and materials being
furnished largely by the members from the
York Station. A Sunday-school was organ-
ized numbering forty scholars. Rev. Fry-
singer was elected superintendent.

The mission, by the next conference, num-
bered 139 scholars. Dr. Frysinger returned
the second year, and Gates J. Weiser was
elected superintendent of the school in 1862.
Rev. W. W. Evans was appointed 1863, and
remained three years, his labors being marked
with success. The first trustees appointed
were Caleb Kepner, John Mitzel, Henry
Reisinger, D. A. Warfield, "William Gehring,
J. W. Buckingham, O. P. "Weiser; all of whom
were appointed in 1861. Only one remains
to the present as a trustee— J. "W. Bucking-
ham. He has been identified with nearly all
the history of this church from its beginning.
Rev. E. T. Swartz was appointed in 1866,
and served one year. In 1867, Rev. L. S.
Crone was appointed and served one year,
being succeeded by Rev. J. H. S. Clarke, in
1868. Rev. W. H.,Norcross was appointed
in 1870. It was during this year the charge
was connected with Goldsboro appointment,
and became self-sustaining.

Rev. G. D. Pennepacker was appointed
March, 1871, and this year the chiirch was
commenced; the corner-stone was laid June
19, 1871. The lecture room was dedicated
by Bishop E. R. Ames, the following Novem-
ber. The work on the church was then
abandoned until the next spring, because of
the lack of funds.

Rev. G. "W. Miller, was appointed in
March, 1872, and the church was dedicated
November 29, 1872, by Bishop Thomas Bow-

The collections and subscriptions for the
day amounted to $4,000, leaving a debt of
§1,000. Through the shrinkage in thesub-
Bcriptions, and other debts being contracted,
the indebtedness was increased to nearly
$3,000. The trustees of the church, at the
time of the dedication, were J. "W. Bucking-
ham, D. S. Coble, Henry Hepperla, Jacob
Seacrist, "W. H. H. Craver, "W. Schenck, S.
Decker, A. G. Corpman, and J. J. Frick.

The indebteduess on the church was car-
ried ten years, or through the pastoral terms
of Revs. G. W. Miller, H. R. Bepder, T. S.
"Wilcox and John Vrooman. The last of
these finally cancelled it, after being gradu-
ally decreased. He served the church one
year more, and was succeeded, in 1883, by
Rev. A. R. Cronce. During his pastoral
term of three years, improvements were
made on the church property to the amount
of $1,000, and all debts paid.

The following are the names of the present
official board: J. W. Buckingham, John
Laughlin, John E. Ilgenfritz, John Harris,
"W. A. Buckingham, M. J. Mumper, Eli F.
Grove, Christian Marklev, David Feiser,
Alfred Bond, Charles F. Sechrist. David S.
Coble, W. H. H. Craver, John Morrison, H.
C. Ziegler, Levi Pinkerton, H. M. Ney.

St. Patrick's Catholic Church. — In attempt-
ing to write the history of this church it is
difficult to get accurate information. As
early as April, 1750, John Moore secured Lot
No. 295 (the present site of St. Patrick's
Church). On the 20th of June, of the same
year, John Moore assigned his right and title
to Casper Stillinger. who shortly after erect-
ed thereon a stone dwelling house. In 1776
it was purchased from the heirs of Casper
Stillinger by Joseph Smith, who presented it
ta the then small Catholic Congregation to be
used as a place of public worship.

York congregation was presented with a
place for the freedom of worship in the same
year that our forefathers were presented with
that inestimable boon for which they labored
BO long, viz.: Liberty and Independence.
After considerable remodeling, this old stone
dwelling was converted into a place of wor-
ship, and dedicated and consecrated. The
parish was attended at intervals by priests
from Conewago Chapel, near Hanover. In
the year 1809, Rev. Thomas Neal, of George-
town, D. C. , visited York, and not being sat-
isfied as to the legality of the title to the
church property, made application and re-
ceived a deed, "in trust for his heirs and
assigns, to and for the only and proper use
and behoof of the Catholic Congregation of
the borough of York, Penn., their successors
and assigns, forever." This deed remained
in the custody of some unknown person for a
number of years, unrecorded. The old stone
building was continued as a place of worship
until the year 1810, when the rapid and large
increase of the congregation made it neces-
sary to replace it with one of larger dimen-
sions — the present church on the same site.
The corner-stone was laid by Rev. Father
Debrath. From 1810 to 1819 the congrega-



tion was supplied with spiritual aid from
Baltimore, Conewago, Paradise and other

The lirst regularly stationed pastor in this
parish was Rev. Lawrence Huber, who came
to York in 1819, and remained six months;
was succeeded by Rev. George L. Hogan,
for two years. Rev. P. J. Divin came in
1822. During his administration the missing
deed to the church property was secured and

Father Divin remained sixteen years. In
1832 the church building was too small to
accommodate the congregation, which was
composed of Irish, Germans and Americans.
It was enlarged by an addition of tifteen
feet. FatherDivin died February 2, 1838, and
his remains were interred beneath the floor
in the central aisle of the church.

The venerable Father Rafl'erty was assigned
to the pastorate in 1838. Pews were placed
in church, an organ purchased, and, in 1840,
a steeple and bell were added. Father Raf-
ferty was succeeded, in 1842, by Rev. Father
Kelly, for eight months. In 1844 Rev. Father
McKin was sent, remained but seven months,
and was succeeded by Rev. B. A. Shorb, who
was a native of York County, and, under-
standing the English and German languages,
was a great favorite. Rev. M. F. Martin
came in 1846. He had built the first pai'o-
chial residence, also established a parochial
school. In 1854 he was succeeded by Rev.
Patrick Reily, and he by Rev. Father Mc-
Laughlin. Rev. Sylvester Eagle was stationed
here from 1855 to 1866, when he died, and
his remains were interred at the northeast
corner of the church, where a tablet, designed
by himself, marks his resting place.

Rev. Father McGinnis came next, and then
Rev. Father Murray in 1867. He remodeled
the church. Rev. Thomas McGovern served
from 1870 to 1873; his retirement was re-
gretted by all his parishioners. Fathers Mc-
Ilvaine, Kenny and McKenna, succeeded in
order named. Father Shanahan, the present
pastor (1885), has made some valuable im-
provements to the church property, having
erected an additional building for the use of
the sisters in charge of the parochial school.
He also secured for the congregation a ceme-
tery on the suburbs of the town, the old
cemetery attached to the church being filled.

St. Mary^s Catholic Church. — St. Mary's
Catholic Church was founded in 1852, Rev.
Martin, an Irishman, who did not understand
the German language, being pastor of St.
Patrick's Church, where the Germans wor-
shipped. By order of Rt. Rev. J. H. Neumann,
Bishop of Philadelphia, Rev. J. Cotting, S.

J. , of Conewago, Adams County, called a meet-
ing of the Catholic Germans, when they
decided to build another church. The first
resident rector was Rev. Father Wachter, a
Tyrolean, who started a German school and
bought a lot for a new graveyard on the
Baltimore pike, not far from town. The
small congregation of German Catholics, who
worshipped in a church between New Free-
dom and Shrew.sbury, and which was under
the charge of the Redemptorist fathers of
Baltimore, was then attended by Rev. Wach-
ter, who got for an assistant Rev. F. X.
Treyer, a Switzer; the congregation of Dallas-
town was also under the charge of these
two priests. June 4, 1859, Rev. Treyer died,
and was buried in St. Mary's cemetery. Rev.
Philip Woerner is mentioned as next pastor.
He was succeeded, in 1859, by Rev. Matthew
Meurer, a young priest, who had celebrated
his first mass in St. Mary's Church under
Rev. Wachter. He was rector until October
20, 1861, when Rev. Joseph Hamm was
appointed. During his term the old
schoolhouse was removed to the rear of the
church, and a new two-story pastoral resi-
dence of brick was built along side of the
church. In December, 1866, Rev. B. Bau-
meister from Muenster, Westphalia, became
rector. In hia time the large Diocese of
Philadelphia was divided in other different
districts — Harrisburg, Scranton and Wil-
mington. The bishop of Harrisburg, Rt.
Rev. J. F. Shanahan has under his charge
the Catholics of York, and seventeen
other counties of Pennsylvania. Rev. J.
George Pape, a native of Warrendorf, West-
phalia, took charge of St. Mail's congrega-
tion of York and missions in November, 1868.
In the following year he commenced to build
a schoolhouse; gave charge over the school
to three Franciscan Sisters of Philadelphia,
Sister M. Hieronyma being the first superior.
In 1883, old St. Mary's Cemetery becoming too
small. Rev. J. George Pape bought six acres of
ground from William Felty (lying along the
Baltimore pike, about a mile from the church),
for a new graveyard, in which, after being
dedicated by the pastor, the dead were trans-
ferred from the old one. In 1884, a fair was
held and funds collected for a new church
which was commenced in March, 1884. The
congregation assisted the pastor with their
utmost ability; new bells were purchased by
P. Pfeffer and J. Mayer, and blessed by Rt.
Rev. Bishop J. F. Shanahan, December 29,
1884. Beautiful stained glass windows and
the stations of the cross — oil paintings —
were given by different parishioners and
friends of the pastor. New Gothic altars


were presented by the societies. The church
has three steeples (the center one 185 feet
high, with three bells, and a large gilded
cross on top) is built in new Gothic style
57x129 feet; was dedicated on Whit
Monday, 1885. The cost of the church was
about $30,000; the architect being George
Bell; builder, N. Weigle; superintendent of
the carpenter work, M. Little. The brick
work was done by Messrs. Garrety, and the
steeple erected by John Plonk, a young man
of the congregation, The two large chande-
liers were procured by J. Mayer, and the iron
fence in front of the church by H. Boll. A
new organ was bought for $3,000. The Sis-
ters, with the help of Edward Reineberg,
purchased a Brussels carpet for the sanctuary
and communion-rail. St. Mary's congrega-
tion has about 160 families.

First Church of the United Brethren in
Christ. — In 1840 the Mission Society in con-
nection with the Otterbein Church at Balti-
more, established a mission in York, and
sent Rev. Christian S. Crider to begin the
work; at the same time, the Methodist Epis-
copal congregation of York, offered their old
church for sale. It was located on the site
of the present United Brethren Church, and
was bought for $1,500. Peter Rahauser, of
Dover; Adam Strayer, of Winterstown, and
Jacob Ehrhart. of York Township, were
chosen as trustees of the York Church.
There were, at that time, no members of this
denomination in York, Rev. Crider soon
organized a congregation, and ministered to
it for two and one-half years, and was suc-
ceeded by Rev. Jacob Rhinehart, who re-
mained two years, during which time a par-
sonage was built. Rev. Enoch Hoffman
succeeded, remaining two years. In 1847
Rev. J. C. Smith, now a highly respected
citizen of York, became pastor. He found a
membership of fifty persons. At the expira-
tion of four years, the congregation increased
to 125 members, through his etScient labors.
In 1851 Rev. W. B. Wagner assumed charge,
remained three years, and was followed by

Online LibraryJohn GibsonHistory of York County Pennsylvania From the Earliest Time to the Present → online text (page 111 of 218)