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Homer Howard Field.

History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) online

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a foundation commenced when the financial crash came, and the building
was suspended for some years, the congregation continuing to worship in the
little church on Pearl street.

In 1859 Mr. Hancock was released for one year on account of ill health.
In 1860 he resumed his work for a while, but was obliged to give it up. and
for a time the church was without a pastor, till Rev. Wm. McCandlish suc-
ceeded him for a period of two years. He again was succeeded by Rev. J. H.
Clark. During 1865, work that had been suspended on the church on the
corner of Willow avenue and Seventh street was resumed, and the building
enclosed and basement finished, in which the most successful services were
held in which many were added to the church. Up to this time Mr. Clark
exercised a greater influence in the community than any clergyman that
preceded or has followed him, and it was a severe shock to his church as well
as to the people generally, to learn that he was guilty of gross immorality,
for which he was promptly dismissed.

Following this the pulpit was supplied by Rev. Wm. Hamilton of Bell-
view, Nebraska, until the arrival of Rev. Thomas Cleland in August. 1866.
His pastorate continued for sixteen years, during which time four hundred
and sixty members were added, besides completing the church building, which
had cost $17,270, of which amount $1,823 was supplied by the Ladies' Society
of the church.

Sixteen months intervened between the resignation of Rev. Mr. Cleland
and the employment of his successor, Rev. Alfred F. Bates of Lima. New York.
Many candidates were heard during this period and for three months the
pulpit was supplied by Rev. Henry McKeekin. Rev. Mr. Bates remained with
the church from October, 1883 to January 16, 1887, but refused to accept a
call as pastor. It was during Mr. Bates' ministry that the church began to
feel the need of more room, and after consideration it was determined to tear



132 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

down the old building and build anew, using the material as far as possible
in building the new and more modern structure.

This was earned out and resulted in the construction of the building as
it stands to-day. Rev. Stephen Phelps came to the church in 1887 during
the building of the new church, and it was completed during the first of his
ministry, which lasted until July, 1896. During his ministry three hundred
and seventy-five members were added to the church.

Following Rev. Phelps, Rev. W. S. Barnes accepted a call and remained
as pastor until September 1905.

During his ministry two hundred and ninety-five names were added to
the church roll and the membership reached four hundred and sixty-nine.

Rev. Marcus P. McClure accepted a call and assumed the pastorate in
November, 1905 and at this time (1907) is actively engaged in the work.
Number of communicants in 1907, four hundred and eighty.

Many of our most honored and prominent citizens have belonged and
are at present members of this church and many more have passed away.

The second church of this denomination is the outgrowth of the "Har-
mony Mission," started in the 80s by the ladies of the northern part of the
city, who succeeded in establishing a chapel on the corner of Frank and
Harmony streets, where sendees were held by pastors of different denomina-
tions, who, for a time, received no compensation, and although many of its
founders have long since passed away, the little mission survived, and in 1889
was organized as the Second Presbyterian church, with Rev. George Williams
as pastor, who was succeeded by the following pastors: Rev. Grosman, Alex-
ander, Sarchet, Armstrong, Litherland, Hosteller, and Rev. Grant B. Wilder,
the present pastor. In 1898 the mission building was sold and the proceeds
applied towards building the pretty church on the corner of Pierce and
Brace streets and later a parsonage was added. The first elders were Dr. David
Hutchinson and E. Morehouse. A. M. Hutchinson, E. Morehouse, R. N. Mer-
riam, C. M. Burgess and F. L. Hayden are the present trustees; present mem-
bership, one hundred and forty.

In addition to the above, a mission has been established on Eighteenth
avenue In 'tween Ninth and Tenth streets in Bethany chapel, in charge of
Rev. John Kroonsmeyer.

SALEMS SOCIETY OF THE EVANGELICAL ASSOCIATION.

Was organized in 1858. This society is composed of German speaking
people. Their first pastor was Rev. J. F. Schou r ber. Their first church build-
ing was a small brick on the southeast corner of Broadway and Stutsman
streets, where they worshipped for several years, after which they secured a
small brick building on the southwest corner of Glenn avenue and Pierce
street, where they worshipped for many years under different pastors, who,
up to the present day, number twenty-six.

The church prospered and in 1893 the present church was built on the
same ground at a cost of $6,000, and in 1906, under the administration of
Rev. G. P. Cawelti, a neat, modern parsonage was added at a cost of $3,100



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HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 135

The present number of communicants is one hundred and forty-four,
with a Sunday school of eighty-two pupils with sixteen officers and teachers.

Also connected with the church is a Young People's Alliance in good work-
ing order and a Ladies' Aid Society of thirty members engaged in missionary
work.

During the year 1906 the members contributed for all purposes twenty-
eight dollars each.

The present pastor, Rev. G. P. Cawelti, is hopeful for larger results in
the future.

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH.

Was organized January 18, 1868, with ten constituent members, being
W. J. Midler, Florence Midler, W. H. Smith, F. D. June, Frances E. Smith,
Thos. H. Stewart, Ursula Bragg, Julia Wiggs, Margaret Smith and Nancy S.
Thrall. Rev. T. S. Thickstun was called as its first pastor, and assumed charge
in August, 1868, remaining with the church for thirteen years. During his
pastorate a lot on Willow avenue was purchased, on which a chapel was built
and dedicated in February, 1869. At tlii- time the church numbered but
twenty-nine. Later this lot was sold, and the lot on the northeast corner of
First avenue and Sixth street purchased and the present building erected.

It was dedicated, fre° of debt, in June, 1879.

In April of 1876, a Scandinavian church was set off from the first to do
work among those of its own nationality.

Subsequent pastors were as follows: Rev. J. G. Lemen, L. A. Hall, D.
H. Cooley, James H. Davis, V. C. Rocho. Milford Riggs and F. A. Case.

The present membership is five hundred and twenty, with a Sabbath
school of two hundred and seventy scholars.

SECOND BAPTIST CHURCH.

In September, 1906, a part of the members of the First Baptist church,
living near the mission known as the Thickstun mission, aided by Alex Tip-
ton, who had taken up his residence in its vicinity, concluded to organize an
independent church. Previous to this services were held Sabbath evenings
and occasionally on Sundays when a suitable person could fill the pulpit.
Being encouraged by those outside, the church invited Rev. W. J. Bell to
become pastor, which he accepted, and his work began February 1, 1907, as
assistant pastor of the first Baptist church, and on April 4th following an
independent church was organized with fifty-seven members, forty-one of
these bringing letters from the first church. The organization has largely
increased and a Sunday school established, in which great interest is taken,
and in September, 1907, the membership of the church reached seventy-two
and the Sunday school increased from seventy-five to one hundred and five.
Have greatly improved the church building and pay bills as made.

CHEVRA B'NAl YSROLL.

A Hebrew church was organized in 1904 with J. Galmski as the first
president with eighteen members, also a Sabbath school of twenty-five mem-



136 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

bers. During 1904-5 the society erected a church on Mynster street at a
cost, including the lot, of $6,600.

The present president is Geo. Whitebook.

THE COUNCIL BLUFFS HEBREW SOCIETY.

Was organized in 1880 and incorporated in 1882. The first officers were
Benj. Newman, G. H. Mossier, Simon Eisman and others. Their meetings
were in various halls until they purchased Temple Emanuel on North Seventh
street, which they subsequently sold to the Swedish Baptists.

They will hold their meetings this year in Grand Army hall.

Its ritual is the Hebrew Reform.

THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

Rev. Wm. Simpson was sent out by the Methodist Episcopal conference
in 1850, and in "51, in conjunction with Rev. G. G. Rice, Congregationalist,
they rented a room of Isaac Beebe (a Mormon) and proceeded to hold regular
services, alternating in use of the room for a year of so, when Rev. Simpson
was removed to the eastern part of the state and Rev. Moses Shinn was sent
to fill his place. By 1854 the society had become strong enough to build a
small church of their own, and Rev. Goodfellow took charge for a time, and
after him Rev. Todd.

This little church stood on the south side of Pierce street, where the west
part of Hafer's large shop now stands. Mr. Todd was the most popular min-
ister wo had had up to that time and had been very successful in building
up the church. During the winter of 1859-60 they had quite a revival and
sinners of all degrees were invited. Among these was an eccentric character
named Marshall, always called Major. Bayliss, a brother of S. S. Bayliss of
the Pacific House, and a liberal patron of its bar. Pious converts succeeded
after many efforts in getting him out to attend a revival meeting. The ground
in front of the church was somewhat steep, and that night was sleety, and in
coming out he fell and fractured his hip. He said this was the first time
he had been sober for ten years, and if he got over that, he vowed he would
never be sober again, and he came pretty near living up to his resolution.

This little church did duty until the brick on the corner of Broadway and
First supplanted the Ocean Wave. This was built during the pastorate of Rev.
Joseph Knotts, at a cost of $25,000.

During the early days of the church the singing was according to the
old style, being led by one, and the congregation joining. Following Rev.
Knotts came Rev. C. C. Mabie, whose administration was successful in bring-
ing the membership up to one hundred and fifty-five with twenty-three proba-
tioners and a Sunday school of two hundred and twenty-four with a library
of five hundred and seventy-five volume.-. In 1869 S. Guyer was succeeded
by Rev. P. F. Brezee. He was followed by Rev. R. M. Smith, who remained
two years and was succeeded by J. G. Eckles. In 1876 L. M. Walters was
called and served three years. In '79 and '80 Rev. M. D. Collins was in charge,
and in '81 Rev. Brezee was again pastor, followed by Rev. J. Z. Armstrong.



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 137

who remained two years. In 1884 Rev. E. D. McCrary became pastor. The
church had grown to the number of two hundred and fifty, a $5,000 parson-
age was built. In 1887 Rev. W. H. W. Resse became pastor, but was made
presiding elder at the close of the year, and in '88 and '89 Rev. D. C. Franklin
became pastor, and it was during his pastorate that a sentiment grew in favor
of building the present church. In 1890 Rev. Franklin was appointed elder
of the Atlantic district and T. McKay Stewart was assigned and during his
pastorate the present large structure was built at a cost of $50,000, and on
May 5, 1892, it was dedicated in the presence of a congregation of 1,500 per-
sons, by Bishop Joice, when $16,000 was raised to apply on indebtedness. From
September, 1892 to '95, H. P. Dudley was pastor, and '95 Rev. J. H. Senseny
was appointed pastor. At this time, 1897, the church had a membership of
four hundred and fifty and a Sunday school of two hundred and fifty and an
active Epworth League.

In the fall of '97 Rev. Waddell succeeded Rev. Senseny, the latter being
made presiding elder of the Des Moines district, and was followed by Rev.
Calfer, who served three years and was followed by Rev. Stratton, who was
compelled to retire at the end of one year on account of sickness.

This brings it up to the pastorate of Rev. Jas. O'May, the present pastor,
and 1907 finds the church with a live membership of five hundred and a Sun-
day school of three hundred.

While in the old brick a good choir was organized with, for a time, a
pretty fair orchestra.

The pipe organ in the present church renders the orchestra unnecessary.

This appears to be the parent church. The mother of the Fifth avenue
and Trinity, besides several missions in city and adjoining territory.

During the week ending September 14 the Des Moines conference held
its meeting here, presided over by Uishop Goodsell. Rev. O'May of Broadway
church is assigned to Crtston. Rev. J. M. Williams succeeds him here. Pre-
siding elder. Council Bluffs district, A. E. Griffith ; Fifth avenue, E. C. New-
land; Epworth, W. L. Holly; Crescent, W. H. Doyle; Neola, E. B. Scrogan;
Oakland, A. J. Mathews ; Walnut, to be supplied ; Trinity, Charles Mayne, are
the assignments.

THE FIFTH AVENUE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

This church has grown from the Overton mission on Fourth avenue and
Sixteenth street, organized in 1888.

The next year the present site on Fifth avenue and Eighteenth street was
secured and a church erected.

This building was remodeled in 1905 under the pastorate of Rev. W. N.
Graves.

The pastors in the order of their pastorates are : S. Alexander, Geo. H.
Bennett, Chas. W. Brewer, A. F. Conrey, J. I. Farley, W. H. Cable, M. T.
Tweedy, G. P. Fry, E. W. Erickson, J. W. Abel, W. N. Graves and Eddy C.
Newland, the present pastor.



138 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

This church is situated in a part 01 the city that is developing rapidly;
the membership numbers two hundred; is a harmonious congregation.

It has a Sunday school numbering two hundred and fifty, under the
leadership of Dr. C. S. Erickson, a most efficient superintendent.

The church also maintains splendid Epwor'th and Junior Leagues under
the leadership of President Edward Owens and Superintendent Clara Smith.

The Ladies' Aid Society is a very valuable help to the church work; its
president is Mrs. Nellie Evans: the church is largely indebted to this society
for its existence.

The Epworth mission at Twenty-sixth street and avenue G has recently
organized as an independent church with the Rev. Mr. Webster as pastor and
has a growing membership and Sunday school.

TRINITY METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

In November, 1888, a petition addressed to Rev. W. T. Smith, presiding
elder of the Methodisl Episcopal church, was circulated l»v Mrs. Mattie Witter,
and signed by Lee and Lwenty-four others requesting him to organize them
into a society to be called the Trinity Methodisl Episcopal church of Council
Bluffs, Iowa, and pledging themselves to sustain the doctrine-, usages and
interests of said church.

On Sunday night, December 30, 1888, this list was read to the congre-
gation and a elass was organized by the pastor. Soon after this an annex
to a brick church was built on the southwest corner of Fourth street and
Ninth avenue, which was paid for, and in which services were held until 1899,
when the valu< of the church property was $5,000.

In 1902 the church .-old the lot and so much of the building as was
completed, and erected the church that now stands on the southeast corner
of Ninth avenue and Fourth street, where they haw continued to worship
until the present time.

The church is in a prosperous condition with a membership of one hun-
dred and fifty, and a Sunday school of one hundred.

Rev. Charles Mayne is now on hi- third year as it- pastor.

ST. PAULS EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

Was organized by the Rev. Edward Peet, rector of St. Paul's church, Des
Moines. April 17, 185C.

The vestrymen of the parish were: John B. Beers, D. C. Bloomer.
Horace Everett, Adison Cochran. W. C. James, T. P. Tivynor, J. P. Casady,
Samuel Perrin and Geo. W. Dodge.

Bishops Lee and Kemper assisted in completing the organization.

A lot was purchased for the church building in the fall of 1858, the build-
ing of the first church was begun in 1861 and completed in 1863. It seated
one hundred and cost $1,100. In 1867 the church was lengthened twenty-
five feet and two transepts added, doubling the seating capacity. The expense
of this enlargement was $3,000.



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 139

In 1876 a lot for a rectory was purchased and a rectory built on it at
a cost of $1,700 in the following year. In 1880 another lot was purchased.

In 1884 the building of the stone church was begun and was completed
in 1886 at a cost of $40,000, with a seating capacity of four hundred and
fifty.

The following is a list of the rectors:

April 17, '56, Rev. Edward Peet ; from January, '57 to June, '61, Rev.
Geo. W. Watson; from December 25, '62 to April 17, '65, Rev. Faber Billsby;
from June, '65 to June 30, John Chamberlain ; from '71 to '75, Theophilus
J. Brookes; from Easter, 1875 to 1882, F. T. Webb; from January 15 to July
1, 1891; T. J. Mackey; from July 23, 1891, to April 1, 1895, E. J. Babcock:
April 1, 1895 to November 20, 1898, L. P. McDonald; from February 1, 1899
to October, 1903, G. E. Walk; from March 1, 1904, Homer Worthington Starr,
being rector at this writing (1907).

The parish began in 1856 with five communicant members.

In 1907 it has three hundred and seventy-five; two hundred pupils in the
Sunday school, four hundred and thirty confirmed persons, five hundred
and forty-three baptized persons and six hundred and one individuals con-
nected with the parish.

LUTHERAN CHURCH.

This church has organizations among our people of four different nation-
alities, viz., English, German, Swedish and Danish.

That of the English was organized in August, 1891. In 1896 they built
the church on the southeast corner of Willow avenue and Seventh street.

This is known as St. John's Lutheran church, and at this writing has a
membership of one hundred and ten and Sunday school of as many children.

Rev. George Snyder is the pastor.

St. Paul's German Lutheran church at No. 627 Seventh avenue was
organized in October, 1881 and for a time rented rooms in which to hold
their meetings, until 1892, when they erected the building they now occupy.
Their first pastor was Rev. A. Detzer. It now has one hundred and forty-six
communicants and a flourishing Sunday school.

Rev. J. H. Lindemeyer is the pastor.

The Danish Lutheran church was organized in 1871, and consisted of
the Rev. PL Hansen and one man, a Mr. Newman.

From this small beginning it has grown to a membership of three hun-
dred at the present time, with a prosperous Sunday school and a mission on
Nineteenth avenue, and also on East Broadway, where weekly services are
held and Sunday schools established.

Rev. Jens P. Heede is the pastor. This church is situated on the south-
east corner of Ninth and Mynster streets.

The Swedish Lutheran church, situated on the southwest corner of
Seventh and Mill streets, was organized November 12, 1890, with twelve



140 HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY

members, Rev. C. E. Elving of Omaha serving as first pastor. The church
prospered and the following year the pretty church and parsonage were
built, the lot and buildings being of the value of $10,000. It has one hundred
and twenty communicants, a Sunday school, Ladies' Aid Society, Luther
League and a fine church choir. B. N. Glim is the present pastor; trustees,
Otto Applequist, Carl Olson, Oscar Swanson and B. A. Olson.

The Swedish Baptist church was organized in 1893. The church build-
ing now occupied by it was originally built by a German Methodist society
and by them sold to a Jewish organization and used for a time as their
synagogue, and finally sold by them to the present owners. The church is
small, numbering only forty-two communicants, with a Sunday school of
thirty-five scholars. Both of these, however, are growing.

Rev. G. D. Forssell is the present pastor.

The Danish Baptist church is situated on the northeast corner of Seventh
street and Seventh avenue, was organized in 1876.

The church was built in 1885. Like most of our churches its growth has
been slow. There being but one hundred communicantej with a Sunday
school of one hundred and twenty-five. H. A. Richenbach is the present
pastor.

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE IN COUNCIL BLUFFS.

The introduction of Christian Science into Council Bluffs was by Mrs.
E. B. Fenn of Omaha in the autumn of 1885. Mrs. Fcnn had taken a course
of instruction of Mr-. Mary Baker G. Eddy, discoverer of Christian Science
and founder of the Christian Science church, and by request bad come to
Council Bluffs to give Christian Science treatment to invalids who had failed
to find health and healing by material means, and who. having heard of this
new-old way, desired to test its healing power.

hi the spring of 1886 Mrs. Jeannette D. Coleman of Boston, came by
invitation to organize a class for the systematic study of Christian Science
with its text book, "Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures," by Man-
Baker G. Eddy.

There were eight members of this first class, prominent among whom
were Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Filbert and Mrs. Mary D. Porterfield, who afterward
studied under Mrs. Eddy as teacher, going through both primary and normal
classes in Massachusetts Metaphysical College, located in Boston, and who
later taught classes in Council Bluffs.

During the following year Mrs. Fenn taught a second class which
included several persons prominent in Council Bluffs circles.

During several years and before the organization of a church proper,
meetings for study and divine service were held in the homes of those inter-
ested in Christian Science. Later on, religious services were held on the
Sabbath in what is known as the Brown block on Pearl street. These services
were conducted by Mrs. Al. Freddie Delong of Omaha, and other students of
Mrs. Eddy, giving a short address on Christian Science.



HISTORY OF POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY 141

In the year 1895 the present form of worship was instituted by Mrs.
Eddy for all churches of this denomination and adopted by the Council
, Bluffs society.

This service consists of silent prayer followed by audible repetition of the
Lord's Prayer by the congregation, the singing of hymns and reading pas-
sages of the Scriptures and Science and Health alternately. It was not until
June. 1899 that a church was formally organized and chartered with thirty-
one members, an upper room was leased in the Sapp block on the corner of
Broadway and Scott streets for the meetings of the new church, and here for
several years the little flock met every Sunday morning and Wednesday even-
ing.

At the semiannual communion season new members were added from
time to time until the church numbered in 1902 seventy members.

In the summer of this year a second church was organized which con-
tinued a separate existence until January, 1907, when the two organizations
united in one under the name of First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Council
Bluffs.

It was soon found that the former places of meeting were inadequate
for the larger organization, and the spacious auditorium of the Carnegie
Library was secured until the church is able to erect its own house of worship,
which it hopes to do in the near future.

As a part of the missionary work this church has undertaken a free read-
ing room where Christian Science literature of all kinds is kept for sale, for
reference, and for free distribution.

This room is kept open every afternoon except Sunday, with someone
in attendance, and visitors are always welcome.

For this brief history we are indebted to Mrs. Helen C. Montgomery,
who, in introducing the subject says, "Every new movement of consequence
is more or less an invasion, or at least an innovation, hence it is interesting to
trace the causes which led to it, and its trend.

"It might be likeDed to the mustard seed which is said to be the smallest
of all seeds, and yet grew to be the greatest of all herbs. Whether this proves
true of the Christian Science faith in Council Bluffs, the future alone will
determine.

"Tt may certainly be likened to the seed sown on good ground, for it
speedily took root, and in due time brought forth its thirty, sixty, and it
may yet be an hundred fold, for the harvest is not yet ended.

"It. has at least stood the test given by the great founder of the Christian
religion, twenty centuries ago :



Online LibraryHomer Howard FieldHistory of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, from the earliest historic times to 1907 (Volume 1) → online text (page 15 of 59)