William Frederick Howat.

A standard history of Lake County, Indiana, and the Calumet region (Volume 1) online

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up that runs from 500 to 1,200 per Sunday in attendance.

In 1907 a new location was bought at Calumet and Summer streets.
This was paid for in two years and money raised for a new building.


The new building was begun in April, 1909, and dedicated August 14,
1910. The new building and grounds cost about $47,000 and the church
is now almost out of debt.

Aside from his good work for his society and the community. Reverend
Sharp and the Hammond Christian Church have taken the lead in
planting Christian churches at Indiana Harbor, Whiting, Michigan City,
Gary, Glenn Park, Tolleston, Shelby and Pence.

First Presbyterian Church

Rev. F. M. Elliott was the founder of the First Presbyterian Church
of Hammond. In October, 1890, he made his first visit to that city to
look over the field in the interests of the presbytery, and the outlook was
so encouraging that in the following month services were conducted by
one of its pastors. Rev. L. W. A. Lucky, of Crown Point. No further
services were held, however, until the first Sabbath in 1891, when Mr.
Elliott began the work which resulted in the formal organization of
the church.

In January. 1891, a petition to the presbytery was circulated which
came before that body with thirty-eight names attached. The petition
was granted and a committee consisting of Rev. F. M. Elliott, Rev. E.
S. Scott, D. D., and Rev. Henry Johnson, D. D., was appointed to
organize the church. Appointment was made for the organization,
which was formed in the Royal League Hall, February 23, 1891. The
new church was constituted with twenty-three members.

One requisite to the success of any undertaking of this kind is a
home. Toward this end a lot was secured on South Hohman Street and
Hammond awoke one fine morning to see the First Presbyterian Church
Building completed and dedicated. Too much credit cannot be given the
father of Presbyterianism in Hammond for establishing and developing
the First Presbyterian Church. Rev. Mr. Elliott's name will ever be
held in honor therefor. For three years he served the church ; follow-
ing him. Revs. L. M. Schofield, D. D., W. J. Young, D. D., J. B. Flem-
ing, A. M. Eels and W. E. d 'Argent have served the church and passed
on. Rev. W. E. Shirey came to the church in 1903, and has been suc-
ceeded by Rev. A. W. Hoffman.

The First Presbyterian Church has a membership, at present, of
215 and its property is valued at $12,000.

St. Casimir's Catholic Church

In 1890, Rev. U. Raszkiewicz, of Otis, assisted by an active commit-
tee of eight, undertook the task of forming the St. Casimir's Congre-


gation, which consists exclusively of Polish Catholics. At that time it
was composed of about fifty families and a few single persons. Six lots
were bought at $300 each, and two lots were donated. A frame building
of 90x46 feet was erected at a cost of $10,000. This building was to
serve for all purposes — school, church and priest's house. Rev. C.
Kobylinski, the first resident pastor, reduced the church debt to $800.
On July 2, 1897, he was succeeded by Rev. P. A. Kahellek.

St. Casimir's enjoys the distinction of having the first pipe organ
to be installed in any church in Hammond. After paying off the remain-
ing indebtedness. Rev. Kahellek made various interior improvements
to both the church and school. An additional schoolroom was also pre-
pared, and the eighty school children were taught by two female lay
teachers until 1901, when the Sisters of St. Francis of Lafayette took
charge. At the present time the attendance is 137, taught by three
sisters. The teachers reside in the room formerly occupied by the
pastor. '

The pastoral residence, a commodious l)rick building, was erected
in 1901, at a cost of $3,000. In 1905 the church was frescoed. The
debt on the church then amounted to $2,400.

Rev. John Kasprzykowski followed Rev. Kahellek, and in July, 1907,
was succeeded by Rev. F. F. Seroczynski, the present pastor, with Rev.
John Hosinski, assistant. The church membership embraces some three
hundred families and 1,550 souls; valuation of church property about
thirty-five thousand dollars. The societies are St. Joseph's, for mar-
ried men ; the Rosary Society, for married women ; St. Aloysius Society,
for single men ; the Rosary Society, for single women, and the Guardian
Angel Society for children.

St. Johannes' German Evangelical Lutheran Church

In May, 1889, a number of Lutherans residing on the north side of
Hammond severed their connection with St. Paul's Lutheran Church,
south side, and organized as a congregation of thirty-five charter mem-
bers. After incorporating, effort was made to procure a site suitable
for a house of worship. Messrs. M. M. Towle and Hoffman presented
three lots on Towle Street, south of Gostlin, on which the present
church, an edifice of 34x50 feet, with an eighty-foot steeple, was com-
pleted in November, 1889. The building now stands several lots north
because of the construction of the interurban through the original
grounds. Preparations having been made for the training of the soul,
the congregation next concerned itself with the discipline of the mind.
A parochial school was established and a small building was erected
adjacent to the church, being ready for use by February, 1890.


Rev. William A. Brauer, from Appleton City, Missouri, was called
to preach and to teach, but by 1892 the students had increased in num-
ber from sis to sixty, in consequence of which A. List, of Hancock,
Michigan, was called to take charge of the students. In 1893 an addi-
tional schoolroom was built. After four years of service Mr. List ac-
cepted a call to Chicago and his successors have been Mr. Dorn, Prof.
0. E. Heintz, P. Schuelke and R. Siegel.

St. Johannes' Church has a beautiful church property of 100-foot
frontage, including an adequate parsonage, church and school buildings
and accessories. There are sixty voting members (heads of families) and
over three hundred and fifty souls, all of whom are the sons, daughters
and grandchildren of the charter members. In addition to the school, in
which there are over one hundred attendants, there is an excellent choir
of twenty-five voices, and a missionary church at Indiana Harbor. Rev.
William A. Brauer, who was practicall}^ the organizer, builder, first
pastor and teacher, is still AAdth the church, looking forward to the
spiritual guidance of the third generation of his original little flock of
German immigrants, to whom he has taught the principles of education
and character. On November 15. 1913, there was a reunion of the mem-
bers of the church in commemoration of the pastor's twenty-fifth anni-

: Zion's German ]\lETnoDisT Church

The above-named church was organized in 1889 with a charter mem^
bership of twenty-five. Its first minister was Rev. H. J. Kamp ; Rev.
F. A. Karnopp now occupies the pulpit and presides over a society
which has a regular membership of ]12. The church property on
Truman Avenue is valued at $9,000.

Evangelical Immanuel Church

On October 15. 1890. Rev. P. Weil, present pastor of Friedens Evan-
gelical Church, organized the Evangelical Immanuel Church of Ham-
mond. The first church was completed on October 16, 1892, and in the
following year the parsonage was erected. Reverend Weil remained as
pastor until February 28, 1899, to become shortly afterward the pastor
of his present church on Sohl Street. Rev. Theodore Brown had charge
of the society from April 16, 1899. to August 28, 1904. On October 2.
1904, Rev. John Lebart began his work as pastor and teacher of the
modest but growing church and thus remained until December 5, 1905.
Rev. Valentine Ziemer was installed February 4, 1906, remaining until


June 18, 1908. Rev. C. A. Heldverg resumed the work of his predeces-
sors, beghming on August 1, 1908, and was succeeded by Reverend
Hoefer, who began his work on June 1, 1910, and delivered his farewell
sermon on April 19, 1914. Rev. Earnest Hugo, who is now in charge of
the church and school, was called June 15. 1914. The present church,
which is a handsome red brick front structure standing on Sibley Street,
was erected during Reverend Hoefer 's pastorship. The corner-stone was
laid July 4, 1904, and the church was dedicated November 14, 1909.
This building, together Avith the adjacent parsonage and other proper-
ties of the congregation, has an aggregate value of $25,000. There is
a total of 132 members, with flourishing Sunday school and auxiliary

All Saints Catholic Church • ■ '

All Saints Catholic Church was organized in 1896 with tift3-eight
members, under the pastorate of Rev. John Cook. In 1897 the church
and schoolhouse on Sibley Street were built, soon after tlie coming of
Rev. Edward F. Barrett, who has been for seventeen years in charge of
a growing parish. The brick rectory was erected in 1898 and the sisters'
convent in the following year. Father Barrett now ministers to 300 fam-
ilies and the parish school has an average attendance of 480 pupils. The
value of the church property is estimated at $100,000.


As early as 1881 Jews commenced to locate at Hammond, the cai'ly set-
tlers being Nathan Levi, INIorris Wise, Julius Taussig, Joe Handle, Wil-
liam Eisner and Jonas Lautman.

In the year 1894 Rev. Hirsli Berkman settled there, at which time
there was no Jewish synagogue or house of worship, and he was obliged to
officiate at Orthodox services in a private house until 1899, when IVIayer
Rubin organized and chartered an Orthodox Congregation, known as
Keneseth-Israel, which is still in existence, and has enrolled upon its
books a membership of more than eighty. Rev. Hirsh Berkman officiates.

In the year 1909 Mayer Rubin also organized and incorporated a
reformed congregation under the name of Beth-Al Congregation, which
has a membership of forty-five. In connection with which Congregation
a modern Sabbath school is maintained under the supervision of Mayer
Rubin, who is also president of the Congregation.

Hammond also boasts of the Jewish Ladies Aid Society, composed
of thirty-five energetic and charitabh' inclined ladies, who have in the


past and are at the present doing commendable work in relieving the
needy, regardless of color, creed or faith.

There are two Jewish lodges in Hammond — one known as Israel Zang-
will of the Western Star Order, and Zion Gate of the Sons of Zion.

Friedens Evangelical CiirRcii

Friedens Evangelical Chnrcli was organized November 16, 1905.
Abont twenty men met for that purpose. The name "Deutsche Evan-
gelische Eriedens Gemeintlc"' was adopted and the following officers were
elected: President. F. Kersten; financial secretary, W. Masepohl; treas-
urer, Henry Elster ; recording secretary, B. Koch ; trustees, F. A. Shmidt,
H. Otto, and L. Elster. At the same meeting an honorary call was sent
to Eev. P. Weil at Petersburg, Illinois. The call was accepted and on
January 2, li)()6, Hcverend Weil took charge of tlie cliurch, to which he
has administered ever since. Public services were temporarily held in
the I. 0. 0. F. hall until a lot on Indiana Avenue and Sohl Street was
purchased on which a small chapel was erected and in which the services
are still held. The organization is primarily a German Church, but
English has been introduced to meet the demands of those who are not
conversant with the mother language. There are ninety families and
approximately four hundred and fifty souls, with a present average at-
tendance of about fifty members. A handsome building fund has been
created foi- tlie j^ui'iiose of erecting an appropriate church edifice.

St. Mary's Church

Rev. Felix T. Seroczynski, pastor of St. Casimir's, came to Hammond
in August, 1910. Taking the census of the Polish people, he noticed that
their settlement in the eastern part of the city was quite large; there-
fore he thought it necessary to organize the Poles and, if possible, build
a church for them.

In bringing out his intentions. Rev. Father Seroczynski met with
many difficulties, of which the lack of work in factories and the intrigues
of the dissatisfied were most hindering. Notwithstanding in 1912 he
bought two lots on the corner of Brown and Merrill streets. In July of
that year Father Seroczynski was relieved in his laborious work by Rev.
Ign. Gapczynski, who within a few months managed to start the building
of the church. The first mass was celebrated Christmas day, 1910.

On January 13, 1913, Rev. Anthony R. Gorek was appointed pastor
of the new church. He at once built a rectory and the church w^as dedi-
cated June 1, 1913, Rt. Rev. Herman J. Alerding was the officiat-


ing prelate. In the same year Rev. Father Gorek began the building of
the school, which was completed in time for the opening of the 1913 school
year ; 126 pupils attended the school, the teaching of which is in care of
the Sisters of St. Francis.

Other Churches

Besides the churches mentioned in the foregoing sketches, there are
growing congregations in different parts of the city, which have not
responded to requests for such information as would enable the editor to
give them more than honorary mention. Reference is made to such or-
ganizations as the Pine Street Presbyterian, Church of Christ Scientist,
St. John's Catholic Church and the First Evangelical Church of

Hammond's Masonic History

The Masonic history of Hammond starts in 1883, when the population
was about one thousand and five hundred and the residence district was
bounded by Oakley Avenue, Muenich Court and the State Line. On May
27tli of that year a dispensation was issued by Bruce Carr, grand master
of the State of Indiana, to Marcus M. Towie, Hiram Hall, Frederick R.
Mott, Omar Stoddard, Alfred Smith, William H. Gostlin, John A. Keller
and David Nason, to form and open Garfield Lodge No. 569, F. & A. M.,
with Marcus M. Towle named as worshipful master, Hiram Hall as senior
warden, and Frederick R. Mott as junior warden. Alfred Smith was
elected treasurer, Omar Stoddard, secretary, and William H. Gostlin,
senior deacon, John A. Keller, junior deacon, and David Nason, tyler.

The Lodge hall was situated on the southwest corner of Plumer Ave-
nue and Morton Court, on the third floor of the Morton House, now the
Carlton Hotel. About 1888 the place of meeting was changed to the Cen-
tral Block, corner of Hohman Street and Plumer Avenue, where it re-
mained until 1892, when (on December 1st) the Lodge moved into new
quarters especially prepared for it on the third floor of the State Street
Masonic Temple, situated half way between Hohman Street and Morton

Since 1890 there had been expressions that the Masons should own
their own home and this finally resulted in the purchase of a lot at the
southwest corner of Hohman Street and Muenich Court in 1901. After-
wards deciding that they did not want a business block, that lot was
sold and the present one on the north side of Muenich Court was pur-
chased in 1906.


Ou February 17, 1907, the Masonic Temple Buildiug Association was
incorporated, the directors of which were liohert C. Kidney, Joseph T.
Hutton, Hugh R. Meikle, Joseph G. Ibach and Harry E. Sharrer, with
Harry E. Sharrer, president, Joseph G. Ibach, vice president, and Hugh
F. MeiMe, secretary and treasurer.

The present Temple was started at once and the corner-stone laid
May 1st, by Lincoln V. Cravens, grand master of the State, assisted by
Charles N. Alichels, Calvin W. Prather and George D. Wolfe of the Grand
Lodge, the past masters of Garfield Lodge together with the vice president
of the United States, Brother Charles W. Fairbanks, who was the orator
of the day. The first meeting was held in it on November 29, 1907,
and on May 27, 1908, the Lodge celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary-
at a special meeting for that purpose.

Of the eight men who founded the Lodge in 1883, AVilliam H. Gostlin.
Frederick R. Mott and John A. Keller are the only survivors among the
present membership, which has increased under the following wor-
shipful masters to 161 : Marcus M. Towle, 1883 ; Hiram Hall, 1884-5 ;
WiUiam H. Gostlin, 1886-7-8-9-91-94-95; George T. Randolph, 1890;
John Kreuter, 1892 ; T. Edwin Bell, 1893 ; Aldebert \V. Warren, 1896-
7 ; Otto Morbeck, 1898 ; Joseph G. Ibach, 1899 ; Harry E. Sharrer, 1900-
01; Frank Travers, 1902; Hugh F. Meikle, 1903-04; Robert S. Galer,
1905; William H. Spellman, 1906; Robert C. Kidney, 1907; Charles
R. Dyer, 1908; AVilliam F. Howat, 1909; August G. Schneider. 1910;
John W. Davis, 1911; Will S. Jones, 1912; Eldridge M. Shanklin, 1913;
John B. L. Hinds, 1914.

Hammond Chapter No. 117, R. A. ]\I.. was instituted December 7,
1897, by Robert A. Woods, grand high priest of the state, upon the
petition of seventeen Royal Arch Masons, with Josepli G. ll)aeh named
as high priest. Aldebert W. AVarern as king, and Edward P. Ames as

The following men have held the office of high priest since the forma-
tion of the Chapter and the membership has increased from the original
17 to 307: Joseph G. Ibach, 1897-9; Jonas M. Lautmann. 1900-3;
Edward A. Landon, 1904; Theodore F. Conkey, 1905-6; Jacob H.
Kasper, 1906; Frank C. Williams, 1907; Otto H. Rabe, 1908; Hugh
F. Meikle. 1909; William H. Spellman. 1910; William C. McEwen, 1911;
William F. Howat. 1912; George O. Mallett. 1913; Ulysses G. Petrie,

Hammond Council No. 90, R. & S. M., was instituted June 15, 1912,
by Charles L. Hutchinson, grand master of the state, upon the petition
of twenty Royal and Select Masters, and Robert S. Galer Avas named
master, John W. Morthland, deputy master, and William H. Davis,


conductor of work. The present membership is about one hundred and

Hammond Commandery No 41, K. T., was instituted January 25,
1897, by Winfield T. Durbin, grand commander of the state, upon the
petition of twelve Knights Templar, with William H. Gostlin named
as eminent commander, Hobart M. Godfrey, generalissimo, and John
C. Pannenburg, captain general. The past eminent commanders, who
have watched the increase in membership from the original twelve to
the present 209, are: WiUiam H. Gostlin, 1897-8; Charles F. Griffin,
1899; Edward P. Ames, 1900; Joseph G. Ibach, 1901-2-3; Joseph J.
Rufe, 1904; Harry E. Sharrer, 1905; Joseph T. Hutton, 1906; Hugh
F. Meikle, 1907 ; Robert S. Galer, 1908 ; Frank C. Williams, 1909 ; Carl
A. Smiley, 1910; George 0. Mallett, 1911-2; William F. Howat, 1913-4.

Orak Temple, A. A. 0. N. M. S., was instituted May 18, 1909, Harry
E. Sharrer being named as potentate, Hugh F. Meikle, chief rabban,
and Harry E. Tuthill, assistant rabban. Under the regime of Potentate
Sharrer, from 1909 to 1914, this Shrine, though one of the smallest in
the Imperial Council, has achieved a reputation for its unique cere-
monials and especially for the novelty of its banquets which has caused
it to be known all over Shrined om. William D. Ray is the present
potentate and the membership is about three hundred and sixty.

There is also a flourishing women's auxiliary of the Masonic bodies
— Hammond Chapter No. 370. 0. E. S. It was organized in June, 1910.
Its worthy matrons have been Mrs. Belle Lund, Mrs. Nancy Davis and
Mrs. Lacey Keller. Mrs. Davis is the present secretary of tlie chapter,
which has a membership of 110.

Odd Fellows Lodges

Calumet Lodge, No. 601, I. 0. 0. F., was instituted May 27, 1883,
the year preceding the incorporation of Hanmiond as a city. The
charter members were L. C. Luce, E. L. Young, "SL H. Hayes, J. H.
Johnson, A. J. Towie a.nd W. II. Gostlin. Peter Young was the first
member initiated. The institution took place in the Commercial Block,
northwest corner of Hohman and State streets, where the meetings were
held until the premises were burned by fire, after which the lodge
moved to the corner of Russell and Hohman streets. In 1889 a lot at
No. 177 State Street was purchased and the present home was dedi-
cated on September 30, 1898. The property is valued at about fifty
thousand dollars and the total wealth of the lodge at about seventy-five
thousand dollars. The present membership is about five hundred, among
whom are some of the best known men in the city. .• ,.


Doreas Rebekah Lodge, No. 263, I. 0. 0. F., was instituted July 26,
1886, its charter members being J. D. Van De Walker and wife, Mary
Halm, A. A. Walker, AVilliam Walker, John Ryan, W. H. Hayes, A. F.
Robinson, E. L. Young, ^latt Hayes, L. Rennie, George Summers, Lottie
Gregg, A. Schrieber, J. H. Kasper, Peter Reich, H. C. Soltwedle, A. G.
Towle, H. AV. Gregg, Jennie Rennie, Lena Webster, Agnes Schrieber,
Minnie Reich and Julia M. Hayes. The lodge has a present membership
of 228 and the following officers preside : Mrs. Edna Malo, noble grand ;
Mrs. Lydia Stevens, recording secretary; Mrs. Lillie W^olfe, financial
secretary; ^Irs. Louise Seestadt, treasurer.

Independent Order of Foresters

Court Hammond No. 2 was formed in 1886 as a subordinate court
of the Independent Order of Foresters of the State of Illinois, seceding
with the other Indiana courts in 1892 from the Illinois order. The
first meeting place was in the M. ]\I. Towle store, then opposite the
present freight office of the Michigan Central Railroad. The court
now meets in the Odd Fellows' Building on East State Street and
has forty-one members. The principal feature of the order is its $1,000
policy to each member for the benefit of those depending upon him.
The present officers are as follow^s: C. R., Jacob Schloer; V. C. R.,
William Flanigan; R. S., jMilo M. Bruce; F. S., John F. Krost; treas-
urer, John C. Haney; S. W., Orphy Nelson; J. W., H. M. Kays; S. B.,
George Drackert ; J. B., Richard Adams ; chaplain, William Gostlin ;
trustees, Joseph G. Ibach, Patrick Reilly and James Vanes.

Court Glueckauf, No. 1, a German organization of the Foresters, at
which the proceedings are conducted in the mother tongue, was organized
December 11, 1893, in Germania Hall, Hammond. Theodore Ahlendorf
Avas chosen chairman, and the reason for the establishment of the court
was explained by High Secretary Cooper of Crown Point. Forty appli-
cants were then signed for membership and the first officers of the court
elected, as follows : Theodore Ahlendorf, chief ranger ; Casper Schmidt,
vice chief ranger; C. Linder, recording secretary; G. Michael, financial
secretary ; August Mayer, treasurer. From that first election in Decem-
ber, 1893, until the present time the following have served as chief
rangers: Theodore Ahlendorf. Charles H. Mayer, C. Dase, William
AVinter and Charles Lavene. Gottlieb Michael has served the court
continuously as financial secretary ; Richard Hahlweg as treasurer since
1899, and Fred Siegrist has been recording secretary also since the year
named. There are at present over fifty members of the court in good


Kkights op Pythias and Pythian Sisters

Hammond Lodge, No. 210, Knights of Pythias, was instituted on
February 19, 1889, with twenty-eight charter members, of whom thirteen
are still living and in good standing with the home lodge. The present
membership of the body is nearly two hundred and twenty. Castle Hall,
headquarters of the order is in Rimbach Block. This body purchased
the Lincoln-Jefferson Law School Building, which they have leased to
the Hammond School Board. It is kno\vn at present as the Jefferson
School. The first chancellor commander was AV. C. Belman ; the present
head of the lodge, Walter Findliug.

Pythian Sisters, Hammond Temple No. 74, was organized on Decem-
ber 6, 1892, with a charter membership of thirty-two. After an existence
of twenty-one years, there still remains eleven of the original members.
The present strength of the Hammond Temple consists of 100 ladies
and 67 knights. Organized with a sincere desire to promote the
physical, mental, social and moral welfare of its members, Hammond
Temple has proved itself to be one of the leading woman orders of the
city. As an order its members are interested in all the leading move-
ments including work of a charitable and altruistic nature. ^Meetings
are held in the Knights of Pythias Hall.

The Elks Cltb

The Benevolent and Protective Ordei- of Elks organized a club at

Online LibraryWilliam Frederick HowatA standard history of Lake County, Indiana, and the Calumet region (Volume 1) → online text (page 36 of 44)