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History of Calhoun county, Michigan : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principle interests (Volume 1) online

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ward wthout any one being able to see just how they were brought about.
A brief and effective pastorate was given to the charge in 1869 by the
Rev. J. W. Robinson. In 1870 the Rev. J. C. Wortley was transferred
from the Detroit conference and served the charge successfully for two
years, and at the close of the pastorate returned to his former confer-
ence. The next pastor, the Rev. II. M. Joy, who served the charge with
great popularity through 1872 and 1873, was a young man of great
promise. The tragic ending of his bright career caused the events of his
pastorate to be the more strongly impressed upon the communitj'. His
removal from Albion was in response to an urgent request from the Uni-
versity church at Green Castle, Indiana. After preaching one Sunday
in his new field, he was killed by a runaway horse while driving with
one of his official members. A brief, but earnest and effective pas-
torate was given the charge in 1874 by the Rev. Levi Tar^. Professor
W. H. Perrine, of the Albion college, served a full pastoral term from
1875 to 1878.

It was during the year of 1876 that the churcli was so extensively
repaired as to make it to be practicallj' a new plant. The floor was
raised, providing a spacious basement, and Dr. Perrine executed for the
use of the Sunday-school his well known map of Palestine. This pro-
duction covered the entire south wall of the basement. It was at this
time that the board was induced to reseat tlie entire church ; and to the
great relief of the general congregation, but to the disappointment of



462 HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY

the few pew-holders, it was found that the right to control did not
pass over to the new sittings. The next pastor, the Rev. George Hickey,
served a full pastoral term, from 1878 to 1880. While a transfer from
California at the time of his appointment, he was a Michigan man
and a former student of the Albion college. Each year of his service
was increasingly acceptable to the charge, and at the end of his term, he
was assigned to the Lansing district. The Rev. Levi blasters, who came
in 1881 and served a full term, sustained the pastoral standard of his
predecessors with earnest, thoughtful preaching, with a home life that
was exemplar}', and with a transparency of character, which left its im-
pression upon all who knew him. The Rev. John Graham was called
to this charge in 1884. After one year of strong and acceptable service ,
as preacher and pastor, was advanced to the pastorate of the Division
Street Church in Grand Rapids. Following this, two years of earnest and
constructive service were given the charge bj' the Rev. C. L. Earnhardt.
This pastorate may properly be considered as closing the second period
in the development of this church. Full forty .years had passed since
the church had broken away from dependent relation to a circuit and
had imdertaken the task of self support. The faithful and spiritual min-
istration of this long line of apostolic preachers, supported by the prayers
and the finances of a devoted and constantly increasing membership, had
developed the oi-ganization to that place in its historj' where a new and
thoroughly modern building was a necessity to its further growth.

It was at this time and under these conditions, that Washington
Gardner came to the pastorate in 1888. He solicited the funds which
px-ovided for the erection, in a town that was then only a village, of
a temple which was at the time onlj' surpassed for beauty and capacity
by a few churches in the entire state. At the end of the year, but not
before the success of the enterpi'ise was made secure, he was appointed to
St. Paul's church, Cincinnati. The pastorate of the Rev. John C. Floyd
from 1889 to 1890 was constructive in every sense. First, the building
for which funds had been subscribed and the structure well under way,
was completed under his skillful leadership. Then came the task of gath-
ering a congregation that would fill the church. This successful pastor-
ate was terminated by the appointment of Dr. Floyd as a missionary to
Malaysia. The briefest pastorate in the history of the Albion church
was also one of its most notable. Following the appointment of Dr.
Floyd as a missionarj' there was an interval of three months before
another regular pastor was secured. And it was during this time that
Bishop W. F. Oldham was a resident of Albion and acting pastor of
the church. Into the work upon this field he flung himself with the
same missionary enthusiasm which has characterized his work all round
the world. The entire citizenship of the city accorded him a place in
their esteem which caused him to be the pastor of the whole community,
rather than of anj' one church. The tilling of the vacancy was perma-
nently efi'ected by the transfer of the Rev. R. W. VanSchoick from
Pennsylvania. His pastorate covered the years from 1881 to 1894.
Additions were constantly received, the deeper truths of the bible were
attractively presented and attentive and acceptable leadership was given
to every department of the church. He was called from Albion to the



HISTORY OF OALHOrX COIXTY 463

presiding eldership of the Cokl Water district. In 1895 the Rev. Alfred
E. Craig was appointed pastor and through each of the six years over
which his labor extended there was steady progress. Both as a speaker
and as an administrator he gave evidence of those capacities which liave
since been so signally recognized bj' the general church. His pastorate
here was terminated by response to an invitation to become pastor of the
First church in Ottumwa, Iowa. The Rev. W. H. B. Urch who was the
pastor from 1901 to 1905 pursued all of his duties on the basis of lofty
standards and made every Sabbath an occasion for penetrating and in-
spiring study of the Word. His removal from this charge was to that
great post of importance in the new southwest, First church in Okla-
homa city. The man who came to Albion in exchange for Doctor Urch
was the Rev. Frank B. Day. During every week of the five years in
which he ministered to the Albion church the congregation was conscious
of having in him one of the foremost platform men in Methodism. His
vigoi'ous and successful career gained such recognition for him through-
out the Michigan conference that he was elected as one of the delegates
to General Conference in 1908. This pastorate terminated in 1900 by
an exchange with Rev. Charles J. English of the First church in St.
Joseph, Missouri. Doctor English had recently led his church in the
erection of one of the finest stnictures in the centi-al west. His prefer-
ence for work in that territory caused him to request to be returned at
the close of his second conference year, and an adjustment was eft'ected
by the bishops whereby he was appointed to First Church, Cameron,
Missouri, and the Rev. Charles 0. Mills, superintendent of the St. Joseph
district in the iMissouri conference, was transferred and appointed to
Albion. His pastorate has continued for nine months at the time of
the writing of the sketch, ilore than one hundred additions to the church
membership have been made during that time with a net increase of
sixty-five. During January of 1912 a steam heating plant was installed
in the church and in the parsonage and other substantial improvements
were made at a total cost of two thousand dollars. A subscription of
five thousand dollars has been secured to pay for these and other im-
provements previously made. The average attendance upon the various
services is the largest in the history of the church, and there is every
indication of continued and substantial growth.

The statistics tell an inspiring story of how this communion has
grown from seven members in 1836 to eleven hundred in 1912, how three
houses of worship have been erected by succeeding generations, each
of them at great sacrifice and each of them prophetic of the future needs
of the church, how the contributions of the people have advanced to a
Dudget, including benevolences of ten thousand dollars a year. All of
tne organizations are prosperous and effective. A strictly modern Sun-
day-school, thoroughly organized in all of its various departments, has
an enrollment of six hundi-ed scholars. The Methodist Brotherhood, the
Epworth League, the Woman's Home, and the Woman's Foreign Mis-
sionary Society, have each a membership of about two hundred, and are
extending the interests of the church through their respective lines of
effort. While this sketch has necessarily followed the lines of pastoral
leadership as indicated by the records of the conference from year to



464 HISTORY OP CALHOUN COUNTY

year, it should ever be borne in mind that the results here outlined were
only made possible by the loyalty, the devotion, the sacrifice of the mem-
bers and the friends of the church through more than three quarters
of a century. To make this history complete there should also be re-
corded the names of scores of laymen whose wisdom and foresight in the
counsels of the church and whose self-denying generosity in the crises
through which it has come have made its present rank a possibility. But
lest we do seeming injustice to some, we refrain from mentioning any.

First Presbyterian Church

By Mrs. Samuel M. Beed

In the year 1831 a little band of pioneers took up the land from the
government which is the present site of our ' ' Just Right ' ' city and for a
number of years was called the ' ' Forks. ' ' During the next five years,
the few scattering settlers occasionally held religious seiwices in their
homes. In 1836 the Methodist church was started and the following year,
the Baptist and the Presbytei-ian churches were organized the same
month. It is very fitting that we come together tonight, a goodly number
of pastors, members and friends to celebrate the 75th birthday anni-
versary of the founding of our much beloved Christian home.

The First Presbyterian church of Albion, was organized in the old
Albion hotel, (now destroyed) by Rev. Calvin Clark. Application having
been made to the St. Joseph Presbytery to appoint a committee to organ-
ize a chiu'ch. The request being granted, a proper notice was given
and a meeting held in the school house. On Sabbath day, the 5th of
February, 1837, twenty-four persons, who had previously presented
letters, entered into covenant with God and were organized into a
church.

For a time meetings were held in the school house and other places.
In 1839 the society purchased the lot on the corner of Erie and Clinton
streets — directly west of the present St. James church and began the
work of building a church. In 1840 it was eom-pleted and some years
later enlarged. For a number of years this building stood upon South
Superior street, on the site now owned and occupied by the German
Lutheran church. In 1857 it was decided to build a new church upon
the present location. The work of building was commenced in May,
the corner-stone laid in June, and the church was finished the following
summer. The dedication took place August 26th, 1858.

The society incurred a heavy debt in building and for a number of
years there was a severe struggle for existence. This continued for
some time but the debt was finally cleared and they were able to finish
and furnish the basement. January 2nd, 1870, services were held in the
new rooms of the basement — Rev. Calvin Clark preaching the sermon.
In the afternoon the Sunday-school took possession of their new rooms
and also had appropriate services. The church edifice was now com-
pleted and the society almost out of debt. In 1871 the bell was pur-
chased. Everything was moving along nicely, until Sunday morning
February 9th, 1873, the church was entirely destroyed by fire causing a



HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY 4t>5

loss of $15,000 and without a dollar of insurance. This truly was a sad
Sabbath morning for the members of the Presbyterian churcii.

While the chui-ch was still burning, a little boy came to the Pastor
and gave him the following note : ' ' Dear Mr. Cooper — I want to give you
these twenty-one cents, all I have in my savings bank, to help build
your new church. Signed, H. H. B." These twenty-one cents were
placed in the corner stone of the new church, where they remain today.
For a year meetings were held in Howard Hall. Mr. M. B. Wood gener-
ously offered to double the largest subscription, and when one from A. M.
Augevine for $500 was secured, ^Ir. Wood promptly and cheerfully gave
the $1,000. On the first Sabbath morning after the fire, ]\Ir. Cooper
announced there had been subscribed over $7,000 towards rebuilding the
church. The Second Sabbath amount was increased to $8,000 and the
third $10,000. Finally on September 16th the laying of the corner-stone
took place and on Sunday morning March 24th, 1874, the basement rooms
of the new church were dedicated. A collection of $82 was taken and
the society declared out of debt. Services were held in the basement for
nearly six years when the audience room was finished and services
were held Sunday morning, Nov. 16th, 1879, Rev. D. M. Cooper preach-
ing. In 1880 a fine pipe-organ at a cost of $1,000 was placed in the
church. Then, on the night of October 6th, 1883, the second churcli fire
occurred and everything was destroyed, with the exception of the brick
walls. This time it was well insured.

The work of rebuilding was soon finished and on Sunday morning
February 3, 1884, services were again held in the basement, conducted by
the Pastor, Rev. E. Van der Hart. During the summer the church was
completed and furni-shed. Dedication services were held Sunda.y, Au-
gust. 10th, 1884, Rev. Joseph Esterbrook having charge. In the evening
the sermon was preached by Dr. Willis E. Parsons, who on that day com-
menced his labors as Pa.stor of this church.

During the last twenty-eight years, no serious calamity has befallen
and we are now in a prosperous condition.

The Pastors of the church have been as follows: first, Rev. Elias
Childs, 1837 to 1839, second. Rev. John L. :\Iarvin, 1839 to 1840. third,
Rev. Alexander Trotter, 1840 to 1841. fourth. Rev. Calvin Clark, 1S43 to
1845, fifth. Rev. Marvin Hawley, 1843 to 1845, sixth. Rev. ilills H. Gel-
ston, 1845 to 1855, seventh. Rev. Maltby Gelston succeeding his brother
in 1855 to 1860. It was during his tenn of service and largely by his
efforts that the new church was built in 1857 ; eighth, Rev. Jeremiah Odell
was pastor 1860 to 1862, ninth. Rev. James Vincent, 1862 to 1864, tenth.
Rev. Joel Kennedy, 1864 to 1866, eleventh. Rev. David M. Cooper was
the faithful pastor from 1866 to 1874. The church and .society owe him
a debt of gratitude for his untiring efforts and liberality in connection
with the rebuilding of the burned church; twelfth. Rev. Edward H.
Harvey. 1874 to 1878, thirteenth, Henry E. :Mott, 1878 to 1881. four-
teenth Rev. Evert Van der Hart. 1881 to 1884. It was during tiiis per-
iod the church burned in 1883 ; fifteenth. Dr. WiUis E. Parsons, began
his labors with us in 1884 remaining until 1893, he being the pastor
at the time we celebrated the Fiftieth Anniversary and through his
efforts the C. E. Society was organized. During those years the parson-



466 HISTORY OP CALHOUN COUNTY

age was built. Dr. Parsons is beloved by all who know him and has many
warm friends in this church today; sixteenth, Rev. Richard Wightmau,
1893 to 1895, seventeenth, Rev. Fred G. Cadwell, 1895 to 1897, eighteenth.
Dr. W. T. Jaquess was pastor from 1897 to 1904 during which time his
labors were abundantly blessed. We were sori-y to part with Dr. Ja(iuess,
whose pastorate we felt was a great uplift to the church both in spiritual
and temporal affairs, and we are truly happy to have him with us at this
anniversai-y ; nineteenth. Rev. Chai-les E. Scott was an earnest and faith-
ful pastor from 1904 to 1906 ; twentieth, Rev. Charles B. Buffer, the last
and present pastor came to us in 1906 and Jias ti-uly proven to be at all
times an energetic and devoted pastor, doing earnest, faithful and we
trust effective work. Mr. Huffer and family are a comfort and help to
this people and this church in all of its departments.

Thus, we find in these yeai-s of history, there have been twenty pastors
of whom seven are now living. Rev. ]\lills B. Gelston served us for ten
years. Dr. Parsons nine and a half. Dr. Cooper eight and Dr. Jaquess
seven. Mr. William Boyd is now the senior member of the present
session — the Honor Elder of this Presbyterian church. He was elected
in the year 1876, thus having served us faithfully and honorably for
thirty-six years. We hope and pray that I\Ir. Boyd may be with us
many j'ears more. E. H. Johnison was elder thirty-two years, Ira W.
Reed twenty-seven and R. B. Shipman twenty-three years.

The membership at the time of the Fiftieth anniversary was 168;
the present membership is 428. Mrs. John White has been a member of
this church for fifty-two years and Mr. Jacob Escher forty-nine years.
There are just thirty-four members on the roll today, who were mem-
bers at the time of the Fiftieth anniversaiy.

We have a flourishing Sunday-school attendance of 250, an energetic
superintendent. Prof. F. M. Langworthy. The school has attained all
of the ten points required by the Presbyterian church with the excep-
tion of one and that is the adult Bible class. They have a large number
taking the Bible study and teachers training course. Several are work-
ing for the national diplomas and some have taken the examination. Tlie
graded system is completely installed.

The various societies of the elmrch are all doing excellent work.
The history of this church during the seventy-five years has been, on
one hand, a record of struggle and hardship ; on the other, an example
of God's favor and blessing. With an earnest work much has been done
in the past and more may be done in the future.

St. Johns C.vtholic Church

Contributed

The corner stone of St. Johns Catholic church was laid September
25th, 1873, and the church was dedicated the following spring. Prior to
the building of this church services were held in a private dwelling.
Rev. Fr. Callart was the pastor in charge at that time and he was suc-
ceeded by Fr. Farley who was succeeded by Fr. Callart who returned
and was in charge for about a year, he being succeeded by Fr. Baart
who like Frs. Callart and Farley were located in Marshall, Mich.



HISTORY OF CALHOUX COrXTY 4U7

About the year ]S!J2 Fr. Slane of Ilillstlale, :\lioli. atlfiuled the
Albion church and in turn by Fr. IMc.Glaughlin who succeeded Fr.
Slane; in the year 1896 Father Korst of Coldwater took charge and was
pastor up to the time Albion was made a regular parish. In the year
1898 Fr. Sullivan was sent to Albion to establish a regular parish and
remained here for two years, he in turn being succeeded by Fr. J. S.
Marx our present pastoi-.

German Evangemc.\l Lutheran Salems CiirKcii

Contributed

Was founded on :\Iay 17, 1896, by Rev. Otto W. Sehettler in the old W.
C. T. U. hall. During July, 1896, the church society purchased the
school building on the north side of Washington Park, facing Pine street,
immediately remodeling it into a Church Auditorium, which was dedi-
cated the first Sunday in August of the same year. The present church
was erected during the year 1S!)S and fonnally dedicated on Sunday,
October 9th, of the same year. The chinch society under the able leader-
ship of Rev. Otto W. Sehettler, gradually increased in membership and
is now growing and developing into one of Albion's progressive and God
fearing congregations.

Rev. Sehettler having completed a service of fifty yeai's in the min-
istry early in 1910, felt obliged, owing to ill health, to resign, but the
congregation induced him to remain until July 2, 1911, when lie gave
his farewell sermon. However, he remained here until his death which
occurred on December 14th, 1911. Rev. E. W. Pusch, a veiy able and
brilliant young man was formally installed as pastor of this church on
July 16, 1911, and is its present pastor. The official Board consists of the
pastor, a president, four elders, and six tinistees who are chosen annually.
The church is a member of the German Evangelical Synod of North
America.

St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church

Contributed

Its beginning dates back to the year 1868. The first services were
conducted October 25, 1868, in the old Presbyterian church, by a Rev.
Frederick Wilhelm. It was organized as St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran
church, November 15. 1868, with a membership of fiftj'-four. Its first
officers: Elder. Ludwig Steinkrauss; deacons, Fred Schultz and John
Weiss; trustees, John Wochholz and August Beilfuss; members Hein-
rich Tuchtenhagen, John Weiss, Gottlieb Fandre. George Weislogel,
Frederick Hardt, August Beilfus. Herman Rubach, Ludwig Steinkrauss
Michael Weislogel, William Voigt,, August Btermann, Carl Schwantz,
Hermann Pahl, Ferdinand Beilfuss, Herman Steinkrauss, Frederick
Schultz. Ludwig AVoehholz, August Beilfuss, Carl Krueger. Carl
Schuhmacher, Augu.st Steinkrauss, William Giith, Rudolf Tuscher,



468 HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY

Fredrick Kossack, August Schmidt, Mr. Einhardt, Gottlieb Steinkrauss,
Carl Frederick, Carl Bunde, Ferdinand Ott, Carl Steinkrauss, Fredi-ick
Pahl, John Welter, Carl Krueger, Carl Reicher, William Behling, August
Frederick, Michael Weislogel, William Frederick, John Weislogel, Fred-
rick Lidle, Adam Krenrick, Fredrick Sebastian, Ludvvig Glauk, Matthias
Kimmer, Peter Krenrich, Carl Schultz, Mr. Ruf, Caroline Steinkrauss,
Ferdinand Steinkrauss, Wilhelmine Gress, Louise Wocholz, Carl Nseren-
berg, Jacob Weislogel.

Their effoi-ts were at once directed to procuring suitable (luarters
for worship, they buying the aforementioned Presbyterian church, mov-
ing it to the site where its present edifice stands, Superior and Elm streets.
Here the building immediately was altered and changed to comply with
the wishes and desires of its members

Pastors and terms of office since 1879: Hoeck, 1879-1887; Fritz,
1887-1892; Mayer, 1892-1905; Griinm, 1905-1911; Spiegel, present
pastor.

Through the efforts of Rev. Fritz, the present church building was
erected and completed in 1888; dedicated in the fall (26th Sunday
after Trinity). The Ladies Aid and Young Peoples societies aided in
its erection. During the pastorate of Rev. Mayer, the church interior
was decorated, equipped with gas and pipe organ. In 1906, the par-
sonage was built, next to 'church.

Latest statistics : Souls, 995 ; communicant members, 600 ; active
members, 253.

It conducts a Sunday-school with ninety children, instructed by eight
teachers: Superintendent, the pastor; Carl Pretzel, Herman Zick,
Berthold Pahl, Reinhold Jahnke, Clara Pretzel, Emma Pahl, Marie Zick.

Also German school during the summer months for the promotion
of the German language. It maintains a ladies' aid, young people's
society, mixed chorus and male chorus. Its present officers: Chairman,
Rev. A. G. Spiegel ; secretary, Wm. Bohm, Sr. ; treasurer, Herman Scliuh-
maeher; elders, Albert Bloedorn, August Holtz; deacons, Ernest Kabel,
Albert Fischer ; trustees, Ferdinand Holtz, Fred Fischer, Herman Kamp.

First Church of Christ. Scientist

Contributed

First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Albion, Michigan, was organized
Febiniary 21, 1896, in support of the doctrines of Christian Science as
taught by Mary Baker Eddy. Sunday services were held in the A. 0.
U. W. hall until IMarch 1900, when the present site on the corner of Clin-
ton and Erie streets, known as the Burrall property, was purchased
and the house thereon fitted up for temporary use as a church edifice.
Here services are held every Sunday morning at 10 :30, followed by Sun-
day-school at 11:45, to which all children under twenty years of age
are welcome. Wednesday evenings are devoted to testimonial meetings.
A reading room is maintained in connection with the church, which is
open from two until four p. m. each week day.



HISTORY OF CALHOUN COUNTY 469

*E. W. HOLLINGSWORTH PosT No. 210, G. A. R.
By Levi 8. Warren.

The origin of the Grand Army of the Republic found its inspiration
in tlie hearts and minds of a patriotic few of those who survived the ti-ials
and dangers of the Civil war.

The idea so conceived fructified in the eft'ecting of a national organi-
zation at Springfield, Illinois, April 6, 1866, by the adoption of a tem-
porary code of rules and regulations and the election of Maj. Surg. Ben-
jamin F. Stephens, author of the first ritual of the order, as provisional
commander-in-chief. As soon as the requisite number of posts were



Online LibraryWashington GardnerHistory of Calhoun county, Michigan : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principle interests (Volume 1) → online text (page 56 of 74)