by Sister Terasita Kittell, O.S.F. and Marcie Baer - 1982

With permission from the Manitowoc County Historical Society


How it Began

Catholic Ghost Parishes in Manitowoc County
   Manitowoc Rapids...................3
   Church in Noonan’s Corners.........6
   Holy Trinity Church at Kasson......7
   Acknowledgments for above..........8
   St. Fidells of Spring Valley.......8
   St. George, Centerville............9
   St. Peter’s Newton................11
   St. Wencel’s in Greenstreet.......12

Jewish and Protestant
   Free Thinkers.....................20
   United Church of Christ...........42
   United Methodist..................48
   List of active churches, 1982.....59
   Ghost Cemeteries of Man. Co.......63
   About the authors.................79

HOW IT BEGAN by Marcie Baer The 1982 yearbook of American and Canadian churches indicates that today there are 232 separate national church organizations in the United States alone. Most of these national bodies can be classified into about a dozen families of churches such as Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, and so on. In early Manitowoc County history the beginnings of a number of churches were due to the efforts of circuit riding ministers and priests. Most of those churches survived and are active today. The main subject of this booklet, however, are those which are now defunct (ghost churches) for a variety of reasons such as economics, language problems, transient populations or mergers. In November 1969, the Rev. Francis Rose, then a pastor of St. Isidore Church, Osman, and a Society member, proposed the Manitowoc County Historical Soci- ety publish “GHOST PARISHES AND CEMETERIES”. Approval was given. An effort was made to start but then interest waned for a time. In the spring of 1975, the Manitowoc County Old Cemetery Society was started and the work of copying information from old tombstones was begun. It was while working at the various cemeteries that I met people who gave me information on defunct churches which I in turn passed on to Mr. Ehlert. As a result, interest in publishing the booklet was renewed. Prior to this, Sister Terasita Kittell had written an article on the Rapids church which was published in the newsletter. She began collecting information on Catholic ghost churches as an interest of her own and in 1976 she agreed to gather this informa- tion together to be used in this publication. That same year I was assigned to do research on Protestant church in the county and on cemeteries. Now in 1982 the project is as complete as we could make It. There are some missing gaps for which little informatjon is available. There were a few inquir- ies for data which went unanswered. We simply could not delay any longer and as a result we had to settle for what we had already accumulated. Sister Terasita took time out in between to complete a book on the history of Holy Family Convent. My own efforts were slowed — sometimes because of simple procrastination — much of the time because of articles and monographs which needed to be written (I am a free-lance writer in my spare time), and a full time job. As a result the research for the booklet was delayed. The time lapse proved to be a benefit to me in doing the Protestant church histories. Articles I came across and saved contained bits of useful information; people seemed to have become more history conscious and willingly shared in- formation they came across or remembered; a recent edition of an encyclopedia was an invaluable tool in sorting out information because of mergers; several churches celebrated anniversaries and the material gathered for those booklets was very helpful. Each piece of information was like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. FindIng an elusive piece to finish a history puzzle was very satisfying. Through out much of the history there is a common thread of faith and hope In God which the early pioneers brought with them to this county. Some of those threads were woven into firm foundations evidenced in the churches existing in Manitowoc County today We hope you will enjoy reading about these early pioneers, their strong religious convictions and their determination and struggles to establish churches in Manitowoc County. Their efforts are still bearing fruit today. 2

CATHOLIC GHOST PARISHES IN MANITOWOC COUNTY by Sister Terasita Kittell MANITOWOC RAPIDS Of all the historical markers In Manitowoc County, both official and unoffi- cial, none are more important than the many well-kept cemeteries that mark the almost forgotten locations of ghost parishes, parishes that once served our pioneer forefathers but are now monuments to the undaunted spirit of the men and women who endured the hardships of an untamed wilderness to build better lives for themselves and for their children. These God-fearing men and women were served, in the main, by traveling men of God who, unmindful of the danger and hardship, trudged the forest trails to bring the comforts of religion to set- tlers in the scattered homesteads when the population of the entire county scarcely reached one thousand souls. The Reverend Kaspar Rehrl was such a one. From his headquarters in Cain- met County he traveled his circuit, winter and summer, everywhere encouraging the few scattered settlers to build a little log church where they could congregate to pray for God’s blessing and to encourage each other in their hardships and loneliness. His circuit led him through Sheboygan County, along the shores of Lake Michigan into Manitowoc County across the ford at Manitowoc Rapids, along the Green Bay-Fort Dearborn trail, to Green Bay, down to Fond du Lac, a three month circuit. Then with a minimum of rest he would begin his travels again. It was this intrepid Reverend Kaspar Rehrl who decided that Manitowoc Rapids, with its rapidly growing settlement, was the most suitable place to locate a parish. Here he purchased two lots on November 17, 1848, thus beginning the first Catholic parish in Manitowoc County-the Maternity of Mary. Although lumber was purchased for the building, times were hard and ser- vices continued to be held in the homes until the coming of the Reverend Joseph Brunner, S. J. The story of his coming to the Rapids is told by Reverend Gott- fried Noevers, pastor of the parish from 1876-1881, in a chronicle dated Novem- ber 22, 1878. This Reverend gentleman seems to have been historically minded and it is he who has given us much of the extant information about the earliest days of this parish. The chronicle is in German but we quote from an English translation by the late Monsignor Joseph A. Marx, Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay and author of a series of monographs entitled, “Diocesan Ghost Parishes”. Early in the winter of 1850, Father Joseph Brunner came to Manitowoc Rapids and during the Mass announced to the people that he would remain among them at least three weeks, that he would prepare the young people for their First Com- munion, that this event must take place in church. That therefore the church must be built and ready for occupancy in three weeks. The Father would admit of no delay. It was possible to erect the church within the three week period. He said, “It must be done. It will be done. Of this I am positive.” 3

It seems that some carpenters volunteered their services for a reasonable wage and on the Saturday before the third Sunday the church was up, painted and ready for services. Father Brunner remained in Manitowoc Rapids about four years and, from his headquarters there, established parishes which still exist today, i. e., St. Isadore in Osman, St. Luke in Two Rivers, St. James in Cooperstown, St. Anne in Francis Creek, as well as a ghost parish along the Manitowoc-Menasha trail (now Hwy. 10) which has entirely disappeared leaving not even a cemetery to mark the spot. During these years Father Brunner made Manitowoc Rapids his headquarters while attending the above mentioned parishes. From 1853 to 1857 the Reverend H. S. Nuyts, a member of the Crozier Order, assumed the pastorate. Attracted by the beauty of the spot, he hoped to estab- lish a monastery there. At one time there were four priests of the Order and three lay brothers in the village attending the scattered parishes, but his plan did not materialize and this project at “the Rapids” has become only an obscure memory. In 1876, when the Reverend Gottfrled Noevers assumed the pastorate, the parish was flourishing as shown by the inventory of the parish properties signed by himself and by members of the parish committee. He says a new parish house had been purchased, the old rectory moved across the street for a school and altered with a room added as a domicile for the teacher. He noted that a bell had been added to the little church which, he says, had ten windows and seated 132 persons. There was a barn with two stalls and a hay mow, although he does not mention any horses. Perhaps they were the property of the individual pastor. It is to be noted that the school mentioned above was begun in 1857, one year before the school at St. Nazianz was founded. Thus it has the distinction of be- ing the first Catholic school in the county. Truly this was a prosperous parish, but times were soon to change. As has been noted, the shift in population, trade and government was toward the lake shore. Manitowoc was growing faster than “the Rapids”. The building of the church at Alverno also drew heavily on the membership of the church of the Maternity of Mary, although there was still a resident pastor until 1887 when it became a mission of St. Boniface Parish, Manitowoc. It is uncertain when the school ceased to function. By 1918, however, the rectory as well as the school 4

had been damaged by fire. Then the little frame church building was sold for $405.00 and the first Catholic parish in the County became a ghost parish with only the cemetery remaining. Then began the slow neglect which all too often follows the demise of a parish. Soon the little graveyard was completely Overgrown with brush and weeds. The tombstones were the objects of vandalism. Thanks, however, to members of the committee of the Manitowoc Historical Society headed by the Reverend Francis Rose of Osman and ably assisted by Mr. Wally Meyer of Alverno together with the Boy Scouts of the area, the cemetery has been beautifully restored. Consid- erable time and research were necessary to locate some of the early graves and to mark them again with small white wooden crosses like the ones that time and weather had destroyed. The oldest decipherable stone marks the grave of “Anna Marie Rief, Mutter von Mathias Rief, geb. 1790, gest. 1856”. When the church was dismantled, the bell and the little collection basket were given to Holy Family Convent. This bell served the convent for years until, a- bout forty years ago, it fell from its moorings and broke. The damaged bell, however, is still kept among the memorabilia at the convent, as is also the teach- er’s desk from the old school, treasured mementos of days long past. Acknowledgments: Heming, Harry H. THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN WISCONSIN FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE PRESENT DAY. Milwaukee: Catholic Histor- ical Publishing Company, 1896. Prltzl, Alfred, Rev. “History of St. Boniface Congregation, 1853-1953.” In ST. BONIFACE CONGREGATION, 1853-1953, n. p.: n. d., pp. 16-24. SADLIER’S CATHOLIC DIRECTORY, ALMANAC AND ORDO ... New York: D. and J. Sadlier and Company. 5

THE CHURCH AT NOONAN’S CORNERS This church at “Noonan’s Corners” is truly a ghost parish. Nothing remains to mark the site of one of the first Catholic Churches in the county. Even the graves have been moved to the cemetery at St. Patrick’s, Maple Grove and, with time, the location, yes, even the very existence of such a parish has faded from the memory of most of the residents of the area. Therefore, it is understandable that we met with all manner of contradictions and vague answers in pursuing our research. It was through the assistance of Monsignor John B. Gehl, recently de- ceased, that many hitherto unknown facts came to light. As recognized historian of the Green Bay Diocese he was able to gather infor- mation from old, not generally available, issues of the Official Catholic Director- ies and materials from the Archives of the Diocese. He gradually pieced together the story of this llttle church. From notes thus gathered we find that this parish was founded in 1850 along the Manitowoc-Menasha Trail (now Highway 10) by Father Joseph Brunner, S. J. to serve fourteen families, mainly Irish and German settlers. This church was reported as being in Maple Grove. The first services were held in the home of Mrs. B. S. Lorrigan. Here the confusion begins. The village of Maple Grove did not exist at that time. There was a township of that name which, by 1855, was divided into the four present day townships of Maple Grove, Franklin, Rockland and Cato. By this division of townships the location of this little parish was no longer in Maple Grove but in the Town- ship of Cato. It can be seen, therefore, that this parish, begun in the Township of Maple Grove, has been confused with St. Patrick’s in the village of Maple Grove. We have been calling this parish simply the “Church at Noonan’s Corners”. What was the correct name? The members of St. Patrick’s, Maple Grove, call it “old St. Patrick’s” while the older people we questioned in the Village of Cato called it simply “Noonan’s Church”. There is no doubt from material obtained from Monsignor Gehl that it was dedicated to St. Paul. This is also verified by data on the deeds for the land donated to St. Patrick’s, Maple Grove, where it is stated that this land is for the exclusive use of St. Paul’s (Cato) and for St. Augustine’s (Reif Mills)— parentheses mine. How late was the church functioning? Evidence is scanty on this point Monsignor Gehl tells us that Rev. Andrew Seubert, pastor at St. Patrick’s, Maple Grove from 1870 to 1874, completed the present church there, built a convent and moved the old St. Paul’s Church from Cato to Maple Grove for a school. Monsignor quotes from a letter from Rev. Seubert in which he states that in mov- ing this church he incurred the displeasure of some of his parishioners and that he left the parish soon after. Today, as has been stated, there is nothing to mark the location of this chapel or church in Cato only that it stood in the southeast corner of section five of the Township of Cato along the Manitowoc-Menasha Trail on property then owned by Mike Noonan—now owned by Mr. Kenneth Hennessey. It is also to be men- tioned that when Bishop Rhode authorized a new parish in the city of Manitowoc he called it St Paul’s to keep alive the memory of the old St. Paul’s built in 1850 along the Manitowoc-Menasha Trail. 6

Acknowledgment: Reference work of Monsignor John B. Gehl from the Official Catholic Director- ies and the Diocesan Archives. HOLY TRINITY CHURCH AT KASSON This parish of Holy Trinity, located in the village of Kasson in the Township of Maple Grove, was begun in 1875 by a group of farmers. They built their own church at a time when Kasson was a prosperous rural hamlet. The venture flour- ished and soon the congregation consisted of eighty families, although as yet they had no resident pastor but were served by the priest from Reedsville or Clarks Mills. In a very short time, however, the church became too small for the number of worshippers. It was enlarged and a steeple was added. The members of Holy Trinity Parish were an extremely active group, proud of their parish society and their choir, however, times were rapidly changing. With the coming of the railroad a new village of Brillion sprang up beside the tracks and grew at the expense of its neighbor to the north, soon outstripping Kasson in population. It was not long before the Brillion parish planned a school Kasson “contributed liberally” and the children of both parishes attended the new facility. Little by little, however, Holy Trinity Parish became smaller and smaller and, with improved transportation, its members found it more convenient to attend services at St. Mary’s in Brillion, Then in 1961, much to the dismay of the older parishioners, the church at Kasson was torn down following the modern pattern of consolidation of parishes. Today the cemetery, located on Marquette Road about a mile east of the county line, is all that is left of a once flourishing rural parish. The records are kept in the files of St. Mary Church, Brillion, from which church an occasional burial takes place in Holy Trinity Cemetery, Kasson. 7

Acknowledgments: Parish records now in St. Mary Parish, Brillion, courtesy of Rev. Raymond Dowling, Pastor; Harry Hemming, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN WISCONSIN FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES TO THE PRESENT DAYS. p. 724. ST. FIDELIS OF SPRING VALLEY Saint Fidelis of Spring Valley, or German Meeme as it was frequently called, is a late addition to the roster of ghost parishes in Manitowoc County. There on May 13, 1960, the bells tolled while the school children of that parish received their report cards for the last time. The next autumn they would attend a new Consolidated Catholic School at Osman. Truly it was a sad day for the members of Saint Fidelis Parish as they listened to the tolling and realized all too well that their church and school would soon be razed and that the parish which had served them so well and for which they had worked so zealously would soon be only a memory, a memory that stretched back for more than a century when the first German settlers had come to Spring Valley. The first record that we found of Saint Fidelis parish is in the OFFICIAL CATHOLIC DIRECTORY of 1857 from which we quote. “Father Seif, station- ed at Herman, Saint Joseph, Sheboygan County also visits Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen regularly where a chapel is building.” This little chapel, built of logs, stood on the summit of cemetery hill on the spot now marked with a cross. Almost immediately, in 1858, a log school was also built forming a parish com- plex which was destined to serve the needs of its members until 1875. In that year, Father H. Korphage, stationed at Saint Wendel, with missions at Centerville and Saint Fidelis, built a new church and also a school with ac- commodations for resident teachers. Saint Fidelis now had a beautiful set of parish buildings as can be seen from the accompanying photograph taken on the occasion of thier Golden Jubilee. In 1949, in preparation for the Golden Jubilee which was to take place the next year, a thorough rehabilitation program was undertaken. The steeple was replaced by a tower, the church was given a new roof, the exterior was covered with simulated lannon stone, and a thorough renovation of the interior was under- 8

taken. Saint Fidelis would have an entirely new look for the gala occasion that was planned. At the request of Bishop Bona, because of the small number of members and the deteriorating condition of the buildings, plans were begun to merge with the neighboring parish of Saint Isadore in Osman. In this planning, the school was their major concern. Education had always been important to the folks in Spring Valley. We learn from the early records that, even before the log school building was erected, classes were held in the home of Mr. Adam Seipel, who was the first teacher. When the log school was build in 1858, the Oschwald Sisters took charge, follow- ed for a few years by the Silver Lake Sisters who, in turn, were succeeded by the Franciscan Sisters from Bay Settlement. These later began their work there in 1918 and have continued to the time of the dismantling of the school. Now the problem was the building of a Consolidated School at Osman to care for the child- ren of both parishes. When this new school was completed, plans were finalized for the transfer and the children from Saint Fidelis would begin the fall term of 1960 in the new lo- cations. The church at Spring Valley would be razed, but the bells would be transferred to Saint Isadore’s. The same bells that they had heard for so long to call to worship would still ring out although in a different location a few miles away. Now the beautifully kept cemetery crowning the hill still bears witness to the faith of these early settlers. Acknowledgments: OFFICIAL CATHOLIC DIRECTORY, 1857 Archives of Holy Family Convent, Manitowoc Archives of St. Isadore Church, Osman, courtesy of Rev. Francis Rose, (1976) Rev, Ronald Reimer, (1982) Mrs. George G. Sessler Mrs. Marvin Kutz ST. GEORGE CHURCH, CENTERVILLE The parish of St. George at Hika or Centerville, is another casualty of the lake shore and of the western railroad. Begun just before the mid-century mark of the eighteen hundreds, the village was called Centerville because, half-way be- tween Sheboygan and Manitowoc, it was a promising lake port with three mills and two piers extending into Lake Michigan, shipping grain and cord-wood to the larger cities to the south. Soon two parishes, a Lutheran and a Catholic, were begun. 9

The eighteen Catholic families had been organized into a parish by Father C. A. Schraudenbach from Sheboygan in 1861 and immediately began their little frame church in a beautiful location about a block from Lake Michigan on land donated by Captain Larson. From parish records we find that their first resident priest was Father Josaphat Reible, 0. F. M. Cap. The Official Catholic Directories, however, make no mention of the parish in Centerville until 1864 when we find the following entry: “Centerville, Manitowoc County, St. Francis Church, Rev. W. Bernard, pastor.” Then in 1865 it says: “Centerville, Manito- woc County, St. George Parish, Rev. W. Bernard, Pastor.” it is interesting to try to explain the change in names. Did the first pastor, Rev. Reible, 0. F. M. Cap., hope that his patron, St. Francis, would be the patron? Then who changed the name? We note the change, but have no way of knowing the answer. In 1866 the entry in the Catholic Directory lists the church at Centerville as St. George with St. Wendeline as a mission with Rev. X. Zuber as pastor, and again in 1867. Then the picture changes. 10

The railroad was now carrying grain and lumber which had been the source of the prosperity of the little village on the lake shore. Soon lake traffic dwindled, while rail shipments increased. The farm lands around St. Wendel prospered, while the shipping at Centerville decreased. In 1875 the pastor of Centerville moved into the new parish house at St. Wendel’s and St. George became the mission. This situation continued until 1953 when the church was razed and the church furnishings sold. At present the cemetery is kept in good condition by the parishioners who have family graves there. St. George parish is no more. Acknowledgments Picture: Mrs. Jerome Koenig; materials collected by Mr. Francis Bouda; Official Catholic Directories. ST. PETER’S NEWTON St. Peter’s, another interesting parish, was located a little over a mile south of Viebahn Street in Manitowoc on the road between the Townships of Manitowoc and Newton, still called St. Peter’s Road. The first building, a log structure about a block south of the still existing cemetery, was destroyed by fire and a new frame church was built adjoining the cemetery in 1887. The parish apparently never had a resident pastor, as the Official Catholic Directories list St. Peter’s, Newton, as a mission of St. Mary’s, Manitowoc Rapids from 1857 to 1859 and of St. Boniface, Manitowoc, from 1859 to 1929 in which year the frame church was sold for $125.00 and torn down. Prior to that time, Father Henry Letz of St. Andrew’s, Manitowoc, had services in the little church on the feasts of Sts. Peter and Paul as well as for an occasional funeral. The bell from this church is now on the grounds of St. Andrew’s Church, Manitowoc, and burials are still occasionally conducted from the same parish. 11

The cemetery Is beautifully kept, perhaps because of two bequests made for that purpose. Mrs. Elizabeth Roberts left a gift of $10,000 which is administer- ed by the Calvary Cemetery in Manitowoc. The other bequest was from the Rock brothers who are buried in a mausoleum with their wives. It seems that these two men were doctors in Milwaukee who had spent their boyhood on the family farm in the vicinity and wanted to be buried in their old home parish. An old record book of the parish has this interesting note: June 20, 1892. Parish meeting: Officers elected: John Lonsdorf, Matth. Roberts, Matt. Hem. Cemetery lot owners must keep grass cut or pay $1.00 a year. Not allowed to throw rubbish in the cemetery or to throw cut grass and weeds on the road. Acknowledgments: Records compiled by the late Monsignor Joseph Marx, Green Bay; Information obtained from Mrs. Betty Kinz whose grandfather was caretaker of the cemetery for years. ST. WENCEL’S IN GREENSTREET St. Wenceslaus Church in Greenstreet, named for the saintly Duke of Bohemia, is the oldest Bohemian parish in the county. The first settlers in this area arrived from Bohemia In 1853 at a time when economic conditions were particularly bad in eastern Europe. The struggle to earn enough money working in the woods and mills to buy land or to send back to Europe so that loved ones could come to America, kept them from building a church for a time. For some time they assembled in the homes of neighbors for Sunday services. As early as 1854, however, Simon Zaruba donated an acre of ground for the church and Frank Simbersky an acre for the cemetery. Still the building of the log church progressed very slowly. There was no one who knew how to put up the type of roof they wanted. It seems that, in their homesickness for their 12

fatherland, they wanted a steeple like those they remembered from home which are so common in eastern Europe. When it was finally finished, they were proud of their church—the only one in the county with an onion steeple. Although it was poor by modern standards, they boasted of having a char- coal picture of St. Wenceslaus drawn by a seminarian, Joseph Koudelka, who later became the first Bohemian Bishop in the United States. This little parish which began so auspiciously, however, was destined to be torn by dissension on matters of discipline and doctrine. Because of this tension, in 1859, two of the parishioners living in Kellnersville donated land for a church and a cemetery in their own village a few miles away. Thus the parish was divided and Greenstreet became the mission of Kellnersville where the pastor resided. Of the pastors who served in this parish the names of two are still mentioned by the older Bohemian citizens of Manitowoc County: Father Joseph Maly (pro- nounced Molly) and Father Adelbert Cipin. The first of these in the early years traveled throughout the area of Manito- woc and Kewaunee Counties attending to the spiritual needs of Bohemian set- tlers. The little cabin of hewn logs is still standing in Tisch Mills where this pio- neer priest first held religious services. The other, Father Adelbert Cipin, known and loved throughout Kewaunee and Manitowoc Counties, an artist of no mean ability and a talented musician, was pastor at Greenstreet during the years 1908 to 1922. It was during his pastorate that the Golden Jubilee of the parish was celebrated on October 12, 1910. The history of the parish says: The day was one of great rejoicing and festivity. In memory of the celebration a new cemetery cross of stone, purchased from Mike Kettenhoven of Manitowoc, was erected. This beautiful cross still stands in the Green- street cemetery. The morning Mass was offered by Father Cipin for all deceased members of the parish ... Twenty three persons, all descendants of the original founders were present. They wore special badges and were given places of honor in the church. By 1914 the question of building a new church was brought up but nothing came of it. Soon the First World War put a damper on this suggestion which would come up at intervals, but nothing was done. Then it was suggested that the Greenstreet church was too near St. Joseph Church at Kellnersvllle and that it should be built at Maribel. Money was collected for the new venture but the change was never made. Soon, at the suggestion of the Bishop, it was decided to discontinue the parish. In the CATHOLIC HERALD CITIZEN, March 1, 1947, we read: This is something unusual—a Catholic church building is up for sale! It is the little church at Greenstreet, about two miles north of Kellnersville. Like so many other early churches In Wisconsin, this one was a log cabin place of worship ... When the larger St. Joseph Church at Kellnersville was built 17 years ago, the Greenstreet church was no longer used. (Note: This is quite certainly an error on the part of the newspaper). It has stood empty for 17 years,and now it is to be put up for sale ... It is ex- pected that the shortage of building material and the 13

splendid condition of the old church, will cause the bids to be high. In addition to the logs of the original struc- ture, there is the siding with which the church was walled in later years . . . (Note: The Church was sold at auction for $678.00). Thus the only church in the county with an onion steeple is gone, leaving only the cemetery and a tavern to mark the location of the little village of Greenstreet. Even the origin of the name is unknown to many. It seems that the man who owned the tavern was named Zelenty, which in Bohemian means “Green”, so the village street was called “Green’s Street” which has been short- ened to “Greenstreet”. The cemetery with the cross put up for the Golden Jubilee of the parish still gives mute evidence of the trials and aspirations of the early Bohemian pioneers while the grave of Father Mazanek brings to the minds of the older folks the days of trial and strife through which the parish passed in its growth and development. Acknowledgments: Information for this article was obtained from a history of the parish written by Father Cipin, translated by Matthew S. Tlachac and from material from the Misses Shleger, long time residents of Greenstreet. 14

JEWISH AND PROTESTANT CONGREGATIONS by Marcie Baer When I first started gathering material for the early history of Protestant churches in Manitowoc, the project seemed almost overwhelming. My first task was to learn something about each of the backgrounds of the churches I would be writing about. Because this information was so helpful to me, I felt it would also be of interest to the reader of this booklet to better understand how each church evolved over the centuries. For this reason I in- cluded the background of each denomination from Europe to Manitowoc County. Some of this material was found in Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia; others from church histories of area churches celebrating anniversaries. In some cases I included a history of an active church—either because the church was the mother church of other area churches, had ties with a defunct church (ghost parish) or perhaps because of mergers. I am grateful to my friend, Rolf Erickson, who wrote the history of the Jambo Creek Church included in this booklet; to Bob Bjerke, who shared use- ful information and translated some records for me; to John P. Otis of Mil- waukee, who while gathering pictures of churches in the county, (material now at the Milwaukee Public library) shared copies of county church histories; Mr. Ed Ehlert for his encouragement; Helen Maresh and Lester Ahlswede for church pictures; to the E. and R. Library, Lancaster, Pa. for their interest; to Dr. Ralph Ley and Rev. Alfred W. Swan of the Wisconsin Conference United Church of Christ for their helpful suggestions; to the helpful employees in the register of deeds office; and to so many others, most of whom are mentioned in the history. A special thanks to my patient friends who have listened to me talk about the booklet for what seems forever. It was a project which I hope will give read- ers as much enjoyment as I had in compiling it. Every effort was made to include all churches in the county and if any were missed it was not intentional. BAPTISTS In order to explain the early history of Baptists we are including these ex- cerpts from the booklet, “THE PEOPLE CALLED BAPTISTS”, written by Rob- ert G. Torbet and published by the American Baptist Board of Education and Publications. The people who are called Baptists can point to no single leader or founder. They have no distinctive creed. Nor do they belong to a common organization. Their origin lies in seventeenth century English Puritanism, although some Bap- tists seek to trace it back to New Testament times. Puritanism was a movement of reformers within the Church of England who sought to restore church life to New Testament standards. To accomplish their goal, some left the state church and established separate congregations independ- ent of secular control. For this reason, they were called Separatists or Congregationalists. 15

One such congregation under the leadership of John Smyth fled to Holland in 1608. Settling in Amsterdam under the hospitable auspices of the Mennonites, these religious refugees examined carefully the scriptural basis for church mem- bership, particularily in the light of their hosts’ doctrine of believer’s baptism. As a result, Smyth rejected the convenant idea by which infants were baptized into the church. He had become convinced that only persons capable of mak- ing a commitment of life to Jesus Christ as Lord should be baptized. He there- upon invited his followers in 1609 to form a new church on this basis. He bap- tized himself and then administered the ordinance to about forty other persons. In 1611, a year before Smyth’s death, a part of this church returned to Eng- land under the leadership of Thomas Helwys. It became the source of one stream of Baptists known as General Baptists. A second stream came into existence in London in 1638 under the leadership of John Spilsbury, a Congregationalist. By 1641, this congregation restored immersion baptism and within a short time this practice became universal among Baptists. BAPTIST BEGINNINGS IN AMERICA Baptist beginnings in America date from the establishment of a Baptist church at Providence, Rhode Island, in 1639 by Roger Williams. The colony he founded at Providence in 1636 became the center for Baptist growth. According to Torbet, in 1845, Baptist unity was broken over the viewpoints of slavery. Southerners withdrew and formed the Southern Baptist Convention. After the Civil War, Negro Baptists began to organize their own churches. By 1973 more than ten million Negro Baptists were united in three major bodies, the National Baptist Convention of the U.S.A., Inc., the National Baptist Con- vention of America and the Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc. Baptists of the North organized the Northern Baptist Convention in 1907, In 1950 its name was changed to the American Baptist Convention, and in 1972 to the American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. A number of other Baptist bodies have arisen at various times during the past century and a half. They include: Freewill Baptists, extreme Calvinistic Bap- tists, Seventh-Day Baptists, Landmark Baptists and bilingual Baptist groups from Europe. There are also protest groups like the General Association of Regular Baptists and the Conservative Baptist Association which separated from the American Baptist Convention in 1925 and 1944 respectively. BAPTISTS IN MANITOWOC COUNTY Baptist history in Manitowoc County dates back to 1849 in Kossuth town- ship among the Germans and 1856 among the English (Welsh) settlers living in the Town of Meeme. The Kossuth membership relocated to Manitowoc and only a cemetery re- mains to mark where the original church stood. A second church built on the site was moved to North Ninth and School Streets in Manitowoc and sold for use as a home. The Meeme church is defunct and most of the members moved out of the area. The history of that church was taken from Falge’s History of Manitowoc County and courthouse records. 16

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH The history of the Kossuth church is also the history of First Baptist Church of Manitowoc and the following information was taken from a history supplied by the church. “During the 1840’s and 1850’s a number of German immigrants settled near Manitowoc in what is now known as Kossuth township. In late 1849, the Rev. E. Grimm of Milwaukee first visited some of these settlers. He discovered they had a Baptist background. Through his efforts, twenty-nine persons were drawn together “On June 2, 1850, the German Baptist Church of Kossuth was officially or- ganized and Brother Grimm was called as its first pastor. One problem encount- ered immediately was the fact that Rev. Grimm lived in Milwaukee and trans- portation was very poor. The new congregation soon engaged the services of Brother H. Nortorf who served for about one year. During those early days when there was no pastor, Deacons H. Gruschus and F. Anthold occupied the pulpit. In 1855 the congregation ordained Brother M. Schmidt as their pastor. “As of 1851, the congregation decided to purchase land for a permanent building site. At a cost of $4 - two acres of land from the Schmidtmann home- stead section was deeded to the church at what is now County Highway Q and Rockwood Road. By 1852, Andreas Rutz, with the help of several other church members, erected a log-cabin church building at a total cost of $21.30. A church cemetery was established on the same property. A new frame church building was erected in 1888. “During 1856, missionary zeal swept this new rural congregation and twenty- eight members were to leave the fellowship and establish a Baptist Church in the city of Manitowoc. The Mission, however, did not prosper and so in 1890 the city property (in Manitowoc) was sold and those in its membership returned to the Kossuth church. “The year 1873 marked the organization of a Sunday School, not only to offer instruction in the Bible but the German language as well. A parsonage was erected adjacent to the church building in 1894 at a cost of $389.00. “The period between 1920 and 1937 marked a time of transition as a change- over occured in the use of the German language that gave way to English ... 17

“Another transition took place when the congregation voted to move to Man- itowoc.” On May 30, 1943 Worship services were started at the Lincoln Park Fieldhouse. On July 28, 1943, the church changed its official name to the First Baptist Church of Manitowoc and in 1949 became affiliated with the Northern Baptist Convention. A lot was purchased on the corner of North 11th and Waldo Blvd. with the plan of moving the old church building (frame structure) to this new site. These plans were partially carried out, but found unsatisfactory, so the old building was sold for a home which is now at the corner of North 9th and School streets. In 1955 the cornerstone of the present building was laid and the church was dedicated July 1, 1956. MEEME BAPTIST CHURCH The Meeme Baptist Church no longer exists. An attempt was made to con- tact the owner of the land on which it stood but this was unsuccessful. It is be- lieved the members of the congregation moved to another area of the state in the early 1900’s. Falge’s history, in his “HISTORY OF MANITOWOC COUNTY”, supplied the following information: The Baptist denomination is not a very strong one in Manltowoc County but still a number of churches have been established in various sections. The only one, however, in which the English language was used was established at School Hill in 1856 by Rev. Joseph Jeffreys. He was a Welshman and at the morning service he preached in the Welsh lan- guage, while in the evening service he used the English language. He remained for two years and for seventeen years following, no regular services were held, with the exception of a short period in 1863 when Rev. P. Work officiated. A new church was erected in 1873 and two years later, Rev. H. A. Sears was sent to the congregation of School Hill and Plymouth in Sheboygan County. He remained three yeats, during which time membership was increased from thirty to fifty. In 1879 Rev. W. H. Whitelaw served as pastor of the church and after he left, until 1881, the church was without a pastor, when for three years it was served by Rev. A. T. Miller of Sheboygan Falls, who held services on alternate Sundays. He was succeeded in 1884 by Rev. Edward Jones. After a year, Rev. Jones pass- ed away and the church was then without a pastor for three years when Rev. J. Phillips assumed charge. In 1892, Rev. Miller of Sheboygan resumed his visits to the church and was succeeded in 1894 by Rev. A. Goodwin, in 1895 by Rev. S. W. Wilshire of Sun Prairie and in 1898 by Rev. Thomas Davis, with services held only every fourth Sunday. The church at that time (1912) had a membership of thirty and was situated in the Milwaukee district. The following was recorded at the courthouse January 6, 1874 (Vol. 23, Page 192): “This indenture made this sixth day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand, eight hundred and seventy four between David Davies and Elizabeth, his wife, parties of the first part and the trustees of the First Baptist Society of Meeme, party of the second part” for the consideration of $17.50 and with the following conditions: “Namely that the parties of the second part must build and maintain a good and substantial fence on the south and west side of the lot herein described and further conditional that when the above 18

named society no longer wish to use said lot for a church site, the lot shall revert back to the then owners of the land from which the lot was taken, Viz: the following piece in parcel of land commencing at the quarter post in the center of Section No. twenty-one (21) Town Seventeen (17) North - Range No. Twenty two (22) east then running south (8) rods thence west five rods, then north eight rods, then east five rods to the place of beginning containing one-fourth of an acre being the same more or less from the north one-half of south west one-fourth of Sec. 21 as above.” The following, also found in courthouse records, was signed by the trustees of the First Baptist Society of Meeme and read in part: “We the undersigned three voters present nominated by a majority of voters present of the First Bap- tist Society hereafter mentioned, do hereby certify that on the 15th day of Sept. (1873) the male persons of full age belonging to a religious society in which di- vine worship is celebrated met at the place of public worship heretofore occupied by the said society in the town of Meeme in said county for the purpose of incor- porating themselves and did then and there elect by plurality of voices, David Morgans, Sevard Nellis and William Danforth as trustees of said society ..." The Meeme Center Cemetery located on nearby Mineral Springs Road is the final resting place for a number of these people including William Danforth, 1908; David Davies, 1902; David Morgans, 1911; his wife Phebe who died in 1890 at age 68. There are other English names as well such as Willey, Day, Ed- wards, Jenkins, Jones, etc. One such tombstone of William Leech states he was from Manchester, England, and is the only one on which a birthplace is given. CHRISTIAN/CAMPBELLITE CHURCH Again in Falge’s History we find a reference to the Christian or Campbellite church. “In the winter of 1895-1896 revival services were conducted by the Chris- tian or Campbelllte church at Manitowoc, and since that time the people of that faith have met regularily at private homes, F. J. Ives acting as their leader for a time. In 1901 Elder Star of the church made frequent visits to the congregation." No mention was made of the church in a later county history. The Christian Church or Disciples of Christ was organized by Thomas and Alexander Campbell in 1827 (this according to Funk and Wagnall). In 1906 a split occured, leading to the establishment of a branch known as the Churches of Christ, (a church of this denomination is now active in Manitowoc). EPISCOPAL CHURCH The Protestant Episcopal Church or the Episcopal, according to Funk and Wagnall, is a Christian denomination organized in Philadelphia, Pa. in 1790. The church derives its doctrine, liturgy and traditions from the Church of England (Angilcan) with which it is in communion. The Anglican religion was brought to Jamestown, VA in 1607. When political independence was achieved, the ties of the Anglican congregation to the Church of England was severed. At that time most Anglican congregations in the United States adopted the name Protestant Episcopal. 19

FIRST IN MANITOWOC It was an Episcopal minister who held the first religious services in Manitowoc County. Because St. James Episcopal Church also had a number of missions in the county which no longer exist we are including the early history of this (act- ive) church The following information was taken from Falge’s history. “St James Episcopal church is the oldest religious organization in Manitowoc County The Episcopals were early in the missionary field in the state. Richard F. Cadle came to Wisconsin as a missionary on the Oneida Reservation in 1834. “In the latter 30’s he visited the Rapids settlement and held the first Protes- tant service in Manitowoc County. In his report made in February, 1842, he speaks of a second visit as follows: ‘On the evening of Tuesday, December 7, 1841, I preached to a congregation of about sixty persons in a private house at Manitowoc Rapids... Previous to this visit there had been no religious services at Manitowoc Rapids for a period of about a year and a half.” For eight years various missionaries made an occasional visit and held reli- gious services. On the 28th of February, 1848, a parish was organized under the name of St. James Mission. Rev. Gustavus Unonius was called as pastor and he assumed his duties on the 20th of April of that year. There were six families in the parish or twenty-seven communicants, including Lemuel House, E. H. Ellis, Richard Steele, Alden Clark, S. H. Sherwood and Colonel Edwards, and the aver- age congregation numbered about forty or fifty souls. The meetings were held in the upper rooms of the pastor’s home. After a year Rev. Unonius resigned as pastor of the missions. The mission was then with- out a pastor until June 23, 1851, when Rev. G. P. Shetky took charge. It was through his ministrations that a church edifice was erected. For this purpose a hundred foot lot at the corner of North Ninth and Chicago Streets was donated by Benjamin Jones, and plans were made for the erection of a building to cost $1500. The cornerstone was laid November 24, 1851, Rt. Rev. Jackson Kemper, the missionary bishop officiated. In the meantime services were held in a school- house. Every two weeks Rev. Shetky made trips to Two Rivers and held services, the first meeting being held October 19, 1851, which was attended by fifteen persons. OTHER MISSIONS At intervals he also visited the village of Rapids, while Branch was the scene of monthly services. At a point fourteen miles from Manitowoc there were seven Irish communicants who occasionally met for religious services, and there was a similar gathering in Meeme. “In speaking of these visits later Rev. Shetky remarks in his report, 'The im- passable condition of the roads at this season obliged me to discontinue these monthly visits. I have no horse - am too poor to keep one and am therefore obliged to perform all these journeys afoot.'” “The strenuous life soon told on the young minister and he was forced to resign on April 1, 1853. At the time he left the charge there were fifty-two communicants, twenty-eight of whom resided in Manitowoc. The church by this time had been completed and was dedicated July 25, 1852.” “After the resignation of Rev. Shetky, the church was without a pastor until August, 1853, when Rev. George W. Thompson took charge. His ministry covered but a short period, however, for in 1854, while nursing cholera patients he 20

became ill with the dread disease and died on the 14th of October. He was suc- ceeded by Rev. Melancthon Hoyt, who had been in Wisconsin as a missionary since the early ‘40s. He soon built up an interest in the church and the follow- ing year Bishop Kemper confirmed a class of eleven in Manitowoc and four at Two Rivers. At the latter place a society had been organized and the corner- stone for a church was laid September 3, 1856.” “At Manitowoc the indebtedness on the church was soon liquidated and add- itions to the structure were made at a considerable cost. During Rev. Hoyt’s ministry the cummunicants increased to forty-three. He served the people until 1858, when he resigned, and was succeeded, in April, 1859, by Rev. W. H. Cooper who remained until the following March. Rev. G. B. Engle took charge of the church in 1860. He also served the society at Clarks Mills.” “When the Civil War broke out, Rev. Engle resigned his charge to become chaplain in the Fourteenth Wisconsin Infantry. The war had such a detrimental effect upon the congregation of St. Paul’s at Two Rivers that the church was sold May 15, 1864, to the German Lutherans. In that year Manitowoc was taken off the mission list and it was thereafter obliged to be self-supporting. In order to economize Rev. Engle sold his horse and discontinued his visits to Clarks Mills and soon after resigned. (Could some of those buried in the little cemetery south of the river in Clarks Mills have been members of this early church? Whether buildings were ever erected or meetings held in homes only, is not known.)” “He was succeeded, in January, 1865, by Rev. Lyman N. Freeman and the church and Sunday school grew in numbers. Rev. Freeman was followed by Rev. F. B. Dooley. During his incumbency a rectory was built, a parish school established with over fifty scholars which was maintained for some years and the attendance at church largely increased. In January, 1870, Rev. Dooley left the charge and for a time Rev. Ward filled the pulpit. He was succeeded by Rev. E. Peake, who remained a year.” “For several months the church was then without a pastor, but eventually Rev. F. R. Haff of the Missouri diocese was appointed to the charge at Manito- woc. In the spring of 1873 he removed to Green Bay and was succeeded by Rev. De Forest, who remained at Manitowoc for three years.” “In 1874 St. James, which had heretofore been in the Milwaukee diocese, was transferred to the new Fond du Lac diocese. After Rev. De Forest’s remov- al to Missouri, the parish was placed under the guidance of Rev. M. E. Averill of Green Bay, who remained until 1881. During the 70’s the church decreased somewhat in numbers but it was in a fairly prosperous condition and a mission was maintained at Branch.” “After Rev. Averill’s service at St. James was completed, Rev. H. C. E. Costelle, who came from Albany, New York, took up the work. He revived the mission at Two Rivers and did much for the advancement of the church at Manitowoc." “Rev. Costelle left for Arkansas in March, 1883, and was succeeded by Rev. H. T. Bray, who remained until, 1886. He was succeeded by Rev. David Lase- ron, during whose pastorate of three years missions were sustained at Branch and Two Rivers. In December, 1887, Rev. B. Talbot Rogers was appointed to St. James. At this time the parish numbered two hundred and fifty souls and over one hundred children were in the Sunday school” “During his pastorate the number was greatly increased and the Two Rivers mission was reorganized in 1901 with thirty members.” 21

“April 21, 1895, Rev. S. R. S. Gray took charge of St James congregation and at once laid plans for the erection of a new church edifice. A site was chosen at the corner of North Eighth and State Streets and the cornerstone (of the pre- sent church) was laid on the 14th of August, 1901. . . The structure is of stone and cost in the neighborhood of $35,000.” In the publication STORY OF A CENTURY (1948), it states the original church built in 1852 was sold in 1902 and turned into a warehouse and store (this was located on the northwest corner of Chicago and Ninth streets). The parochial school was closed in 1870. In regard to the Two Rivers mission, the booklet states: “St. Paul Episcopal parish was organized in Two Rivers in 1855 but disbanded within a few years as most parish members moved away. It was in charge. . . of the Manitowoc St. James’ rector...The church holds services in the Two Rivers Community Building at certain times of the year.” Vestry minutes give very little information on any of the missions, and in particular the one at Two Rivers (which does not exist today). It would appear the reorganization in 1901 was short lived. Whether any church buildings were ever built other than St. Paul, which was sold to the German Lutherans, is some- thing we have been unable to learn. A Branch resident remembers an old timer telling her there had been a church in what was later a home and shop but this is only speculation. We cannot be certain if it was Episcopal or another denom- inatlon. Each of these missions at Two Rivers, Branch and Clarks Mills did, however, at one time exist and so for this history they could indeed be considered ghost churches. FREE THINKERS About 1845 a movement was underway In Germany. Its slogan was “For- schung Und Fortschrett” (Investigation and Progress.) It was not intended as a break with the established churches but to reform them from within. When the movement came to the United States in 1850, Edward Schroeter, the humanist, stated, “We call our society the United Free German congrega- tion.” It’s purpose was to unite the foes of clericalism, official dishonesty and hypocricy and to unite the friends of truth, uprightness and honesty all those holding the same views but now found scattered among all religions, churches and sects.” All authority, Schroeter claimed, rests in the congregation and in all its members, men and women alike shall have equal rights. They believed in independ- ence and individuality of thought, will, decision and action. Rites and ceremonies were accepted in connection with birth, death, mar- riage and reception into the congregation but were not compulsory. They had no dogmas but fundamental principals which were subject to continual clarifi- cation. In general they recognized no other authority in religion than their own reason. They did recognize a speaker or teacher whom the congregation was free to select and appoint after it was satisfied of his vocation, qualifications and moral character. It was his duty to address the congregation at its meeting on topics in the field of history, philosphy and morals. 22

According to the Wisconsin Magazine of History (vol. 28), “To the two con- gregations which existed at the beginning of 1852, twenty-seven had been added by the end of that year.” In addition to Milwaukee County, there were congre- gations In Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Washington, Fond du Lac, Dodge, Racine, Waukesha, Jefferson, Dane and Sauk Counties. THE HISTORY OF CHURCHES IN SAUK COUNTY states that “the only active group today is in Sauk City. In 1955 they aligned with the Unitarians and they are called Free Congregation - Unitarian Fellowship. There is more stress on social activities than on Free Thinking as previously.” Since the Free Thinkers were not mentioned in Falge’s History, It would seem the group was very short-lived in Manitowoc County. JEWISH The people of the Jewish faith have a very active congregation founded Feb. 18, 1900. They are included in this booklet of ghost parishes for two reasons: The previous owner of two of their synagogues and a number of Jewish fami- lies who lived in the Steinthal area of the County. According to a history written about the Manitowoc congregation, the present synagogue is the third since its organization. In 1900 the congregation purchased a wooden building from the First Norwegian Lutheran Church. It was moved from Eighth and State streets to the Middle of the black at 1221 S. 13th Street. In 1925 It was replaced by a brick building. In 1953 the brick building was sold to the Seventh Day Adventists. The present building was purchased from the First Norwegian Lutheran Con- gregation (Now First Lutheran). They had built a new and larger building in the next block. In the 1878 Atlas of Manitowoc County, a number of Jewish families were listed as owning farms in section 32 and 33 in the town of Eaton and section four and five in the town of Schleswig, both near Steinthal in southwestern Man- itowoc County. Two life-long county residents, John Stauber and Hugo Drews, who were born in the area, recall that some of these families still resided there in the early 1900’s and would sometimes hold services in their homes. It is be- lieved most later moved to the Sheboygan area. LUTHERANS In a booklet written on the history of the First Reformed United Church of Christ in Manitowoc, the following excerpt also explains the beginnings of Lutheranism. “By definition, the Reformed Churches are those European churches which during the Reformation undertook to reform their faith and live, as they declar- ed ‘according to the Word of God’, under the leadership of such men as Martin Luther, Huldreich Zwingli, Martin Bucer, John Calvin, Heinrich Bullinger and John Oecolampadius.” “The movement first began in German-speaking Switzerland and Germany. Perhaps the men most closely associated with the Reformation were Luther, Zwingli and Calvin, who were contemporaries of each other. Zwingli was born in Switzerland and began preaching the Gospel in Zurich in 1516. Luther post- 23

ed his ninety-five theses on the door of Castle Church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. Only after 1529, over a serious controversy as to the nature of the elements of the Lord’s supper, did the followers of Martin Luther become known as Lutherans and non-Lutheran Reformation bodies as the Reformed.” In Lutheran churches the unit of organization (according to Funk and Wag- nall) is in the individual congregations, which is also the seat of authority. Broad policy and relations among individual congregations in the United States are coordinated by synods, that is, councils composed of clergy and laymen re- presenting the affiliated congregations. MANITOWOC COUNTY SYNODS In early county history there were three synods represented - Norwegian, Wisconsin and Buffalo. Today there are four major synods - The American Lutheran Church; The Lutheran Church in America; The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod; and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran synod represents the largest number of churches in the county today. This synod was organized in 1850. The American Lutheran Church (Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in early county history) was formed in 1960 by the merger of the American Lutheran Church, The Evangelical Lutheran Church and the United Evangel- ical Lutheran Church. In 1963, the Lutheran Free Church also joined the synod. The forming of this synod, according to Funk and Wagnall, was to bring to- gether groups that had retained identification with European National churches including German, Norwegian, (Valders and Manitowoc churches) and Danish backgrounds. The Lutheran Church in America denonlmation was organized in 1962 with the merger of the American Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Augustana Evan- gelical Lutheran Church, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church and the United Lutheran Church in America. The United Lutheran Church was form- ed by the mergers of 12 independent synods in 1918. The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, was formed in 1847 and was begun by Saxon, Hanoverian and Franconian emigrants in Missouri, Indiana and Michigan. The Buffalo Synod is now defunct though the date is not known. The only Manitowoc County church to be part of this synod until sometime after 1918 was St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Town of Cooperstown. (This church was founded in 1854 and is now part of the Wisconsin Synod.) In the March/April issue of the Wisconsin State Old Cemetery newsletter, the history of this synod was supplied by Professor Gerhard B. Naeseth from the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LUTHERANISM. “The Buffalo Synod was organized in 1845 by Prussian Lutherans who had fled oppression in the homeland for refusing to participate in the Prussion Union. Because this synod adhered closely to the Lutheran Confessions, its president and guiding spirit, J. A. A. Grabau, hoped for closer cooperation with the Missouri and Iowa Synods. Disagreement on the doctrines of the church, the ministry and eschatology led instead to controversy in both bodies. Until 1866 Buffalo Synod congregations were plagued with dissension and schisms which limited its growth. Even after peace was achieved it grew very slowly.” In 1930 this Synod was represented in fifty-one congregations in the United States. 24

MANITOWOC COUNTY GERMAN LUTHERANS In writing the history of Lutheranism in Manitowoc County, the name which appears more often than any other is Pastor Carl F. Goldammer. He was respon- sible for beginning churches at Newtonburg, Manitowoc, Reedsvile and Two Rivers. The early history of these churches are included in this booklet - St. John Church, Newtonburg, because it is the mother church of the Wisconsin Synod congregations in the county; the others and St. John also have a connec- f tion with a ghost parish which resulted because of shifting population or mer- gers for economic reasons, etc. The following was taken from STORY OF A CENTURY (1848-1948). Early Lutheran pioneers who came from Germany about a century ago were from the provinces of Mecklenburg and Hanover. Unlike their ancestor of present day Lutherans who came to America to escape religious persecution, these fore- fathers of Lutheranism in our county came to escape economic and social con- ditions in Germany. ST. JOHN, NEWTONBURG In the spring of 1851, according to Falge history, Pastor Carl F. Goldam- mer, a young man educated for the ministry and sent by the Barmen mission of Barmen-Wuppertal, Germany, came to Newtonburg at the request of a small group of settlers and established the first German Lutheran congregation in the county. The first church was set up at Newtonburg in 1852. The structure of logs was replaced in 1860 by a frame edifice and that was replaced in 1888 by a brick church which burned in 1922. The new and present church was dedi- cated in 1923. It should also be noted that Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in the town of Liberty was organized in 1853 by Pastor H. C. Zarwell and was served by St. John, Newtonburg until 1891. They have had their own pastors since. ST. PAUL LUTHERAN, CLOVER The St. Paul Evangelical Reformed Lutheran Church in the town of Newton, located at what is today known as Weyer’s Corners, began with the purchase of property for $10 from Freidrich Sachse and Dorothy Sachse in 1858 (Vol. T - Page 37 of deeds) and contained two acres and 88 rods. Elroy Schrank, one of the last remaining members of this congregation be- fore the church was dissolved in 1947 remembered the church structure located on the property. The members joined the St. John Evangelical Lutheran con- gregation. The wood frame building was about 30 feet wide and 40 feet long and had a 40 ft. bell tower. When the church was closed, the bell was electrified and to- day is being used at Bethany Lutheran Church, Manitowoc, The furniture and fixtures were given to a mission congregation in Fond du Lac, this according to Mrs. Keith Haberkorn, wife of the present minister at St. John, who located the information in a previously published church history. 25

There were, Schrank recalled, three stained glass windows on each side. There was no electricity so in the winter church services were held in the afternoon. The church was heated by a wood stove. St. Paul was served by pastors from St. John, the last being Rev. Kionka. The church property was sold but the cemetery near the church remains. Among the names found on the tombstones are: Bartels, Bruns, Grapentin, Groelle, Groth, Heydrich, Kalle, Kansler, Kirchoff, Kreie, Lawerenz, Nieberleim, Pleuss, Prower,Ruchhoeft, Sachse, Schmitten, Schultz, Sieker, Strube, Sturm, Thiele, Thiessen, Voss, Waak, Wehrwein, Weyer and Wingelmann. The earliest burial for which a tombstone still exists is that of Dorothea Sachse in 1869. The last burial was in the 1940’s. FIRST GERMAN LUTHERAN, MANITOWOC Pastor Goldammer walked to the small village of Manitowoc to hold services every second Tuesday in the district school house at the corner of Washington and Seventh streets. The growth of the village of Manitowoc brought a demand for a new congre- gation in the village. In 1853, the first step was taken when a lot on the north- east corner of South 10th and Marshall streets was purchased. In the spring of 1854, Pastor Goldammer resigned his county missions to devote more of his time to the newly organized Manitowoc congregation. As the first site, according to Falge’s History, was deemed unsatisfactory, the property at South Eighth and Marshall streets was in part purchased and in part received as a gift from Sam Hinckley of New York. The new church was named Evangelical Trinity congregation. In 1860 the name was changed to First German Evangelical Lutheran. The first church build- ing was dedicated in 1856 and was replaced in 1873 by the present First German Lutheran Church. St. Mary’s Catholic congregation purchased the old First Ger- man’s building and moved to 21st and Marshall streets where it was used until 1899 when the present St. Mary Church was completed. At that time the build- ing, first used by the German Lutherans, was sold and is being used as a home at 1223 S. 20th Street. The present brick First German Evangelical Lutheran Church was dedicated in 1873. ST. JOHN EV. LUTHERAN — Two Rivers and vicinity (Two Rivers — Shoto — Tannery) The following information is taken from the anniversary booklet of St. John Ev. Lutheran Church, Two Rivers. “Lutheran services were held in the Two Rivers area as early as 1855 by Pas- tor C. F. Goldammer who had come to serve a group of residents in the town of Newton four years previously. The Two Rivers locality being sparsely settled at this time, services were held in private homes in the vicinity of what now is known as Shoto. One of those homes was that of Irwin Wilke who became one of the founders of our present congregation. Pastor Goldammer also established the First German congregation in Manitowoc in the year 1855 and accepted a call to be its first pastor. 26

Pastor Philip Koehler came to this Manitowoc congregation in 1858 and also continued to serve the Two Rivers people. At a site about three miles up the East Twin River, a tannery flourished at this time and a village grew around it. Here services were conducted in a school house by Pastor Koehler as early as 1858. The Lutherans of Two Rivers jour- neyed to this village by boat up the river or on foot through the woods. On September 9, 1860, the people gathered around the Word and Sacrament in this village organized a congregation fittingly called Emmanuel Congregation - Em- manuel means God is with us. Through November, 1862, Pastor Koehler performed 35 baptisms at Emman- uel Congregation which is certainly an indication of the size of the gatherings which took place here and also accounts for the hopes of a permanent church at this site. Shortly after, 31 person signed the constitution of this newly form- ed parish, land was purchased and part of it was plotted as a cemetery. (The cemetery still remains.) Pastor Koehler later began preaching in the village of Two Rivers because German Lutherans here wanted a pastor and a church of their own. On Feb. 1, 1863, St. John Church was organized. Through Pastor Koehler’s efforts, Pastor H. Bartlett followed the call to this newly established congregation and was installed as the first pastor of the Evan- gelical Lutheran St. John Church of Two Rivers and vicinity. The establishment of this congregation and the ordination of Pastor Bartlett was sanctioned by the Wisconsin Synod in 1863. The first services were held by Pastor Bartlett in what was then known as Smith’s Meeting house, located on Washington Street between 15th and 16th streets. This building had been built in 1857 and served for many years as a gathering place for the Congregationlists. Not too far away from this place, namely on the site of the present church (St. John), St. Paul Episcopal Church, erected in 1856, was lying idle due to loss of members during the Civil War. On May 14, 1864 this building was purchased for Lutheran services. When this building was acquired, the Emmanuel Congregation at Tannery was disbanded and its members affiliated with St. John, Two Rivers. ST. JOHN - ST. JAMES, REEDSVILLE St. John Lutheran Church was incorporated Dec. 29, 1858, when according to courthouse records, full voting members assembled. Known as the German Evangelical Lutheran St. John Church, unaltered Augsburg Confession, they had met for the past two years in the town of Rockland. The trustees were listed as John Behnke and Frederick Pape and Frederick Otto. Falge’s history states: The early Germans hereabouts were all from Pomer- ania and West Prussia, and of the Lutheran and Evangelical faiths. The first church of the old Lutheran faith was a log structure, built a few rods south of the present Evangelical parsonage adjoining the cemetery. In this church ser- vices were held until 1861. (Faige’s history says 1868) The land was purchased from Fred Guse in 1855. The first pastor of the name of Jox was installed March 15, 1856. In 1861 some members seceded forming the nucleus of the present St. John - St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church. The remnants found- ed the Evangelical congregation whose church is now located in Rockland one mile to the south. 27

The unused old building was sold on the condition that no liquor be dispen- sed. The proprietor ignored his promise, started a tavern, but by a queer coin- cidence it burned to the ground on opening night. St. James church started in 1857 when Pastor C. F. Goldammer held services in the home of John Martin Bratz. Boards served as pews and the pastor preach- ed from the doorway. According to the history of the church, in 1860-1861 when members of St. John church decided to disolve, a meeting was held Oct. 7, 1861 to incorporate under the name, St. John and St. James Evangelical Lutheran Congregation, the same name it is known as today. ST. JOHN - ST. PETER, CLEVELAND St. John Ev. Lutheran Church, Hika, was organized in 1860. St. Peter Ev. Lutheran Church, often referred to as the Saxon church, was located on Union Road and was organized in 1863. The two congregations were served by the same pastor. Then on May 23, 1920, the decision was made to merge the two congregations and build the pre- sent church in Cleveland. The church, which is affiliated with the Wisconsin Synod, was named St. John - St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church and it con- tinues to be active today. ROSECRANS LUTHERAN CHURCH The Rosecrans Lutheran Church 1878-?, according to the GENEALOGIST GUIDE TO MANITOWOC COUNTY, was originally located between Rosecrans and Maribel on County Trunk Z. The building was purchased by the Town of Cooperstown and moved to Rosecrans where it was used as a town hall. According to Falge’s history, the church was organized in 1878 and was served by Revs. Albert Keibel, Christian Sieker and Paul Kionka. NORWEGIAN LUTHERANS The Norwegian Lutherans organized a church In 1850 and including congre- gations at Manitowoc, Gjerpen and West Valders. In 1853 the three churches became part of the Norwegian synod. In a Historical Society newsletter written by Gordon Berg (Vol. 12, No, 5, Nov. 1978), he relates this early history of NORWEGIAN IMMIGRATION. “Religion played a major role in the early Norwegian settlements in Manit- owoc County. In 1848, the Muskego settlement received their called minister in the person of Rev. H. A. Stub. When word of his arrival reached Manitowoc, Christian Anderson, a Norwegian settler in Manitowoc went to the Muskego settlement. He wanted to arrange for Rev. Stub to visit the settlers in Manitowoc County and to establish the Lutheran church there. In 1850, Rev. Stub came to Manitowoc and established a church for Norwegian Lutherans. “On October 4. 1850, the first meeting was held at Amund Salveson’s house in Manitowoc. A constitution of five short paragraphs was adopted and thus ‘The Norwegian Lutheran Congregation of Manitowoc and vicinity’ was founded. 28

“At this same meeting 124 men of the congregation issued a call to the Rev. Jacob Aall Ottesen of Norway. On June 16, 1851 the congregation adopted a more complete constitution with twelve by-laws, Church services were held in private homes until the church was built. “In the call to Rev. Ottesen, the Norwegians pledged to provide a suitable dwelling for the minister. The size of the building was to be 22 feet by 30 feet and centrally located in the rural settlement. The church, graveyard and parson- age were to be located on 40 acres of land, purchased at a cost of $64, at Gjer- pen. The minister was to have use of this land also. The minister was to be paid $300 annually, one-half in cash and the other half in natura (grain, butter, veg- etables, meat, etc.). The new church, called the Song House, was completed at Gjerpen by mid-summer of 1854, some fifteen months after construction began. “Gjerpen was considered the principal congregation of the three settlements which also included those in Manitowoc and Valders. Since Gjerpen had half the church services, they paid half of the expenses and the other congregations shared the remalning costs. “Rev. Ottesen arrived in New York on September 11, 1852 on the ‘Incog- neto’...and arrived in Manitowoc in November of 1852. “The location of the new church (west Valders) created quite a problem in the settlement of Valders. After much ado, Ole Gigstad and Thomas Thompson 29

Helle were chosen to decide the issue. Each was to chop down a tree and the first one to fell his tree would have the right to decide the location of the new church. It was said that few woodsmen could make an ax ring more true than Ole Gigstad, and he proved this by felling his tree first. “He decided that the church would be built on a slope about a mile west of the present village of Valders. In March of 1853 construction on the octagonal structure was begun. However, by the following summer only the walls were up, for the settlers had not yet gotten around to putting on a roof and installing the windows, doors and flooring. Services were held in this open air structure. Rev. Ottesen remark- ed, ‘With no roof and no floor, a few boards were laid to place a table on, but the boards would tip and my foothold was uncertain.’ It wasn’t until September 1856 that the church was dedicated.” A second church was built at Valders in 1869 at a cost of $4,000. The sec- ond church at Gjerpen was built in 1864. In a translation by Professor Robert Bjerke of Manitowoc County entries from NOESK LUTHERESKE MENIGHETER I AMERIKA 1843 - 1916, by 0. M. Norlie (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1918) it states the Valders and Gjerpen churches divided into separate congregations after the connection with the Man- itowoc church was discontinued in 1872. The Manitowoc congregation (a part of Gjerpen until 1872) split in 1897 because of the predestination controversy (First Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church — Norwegian Synod; St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Congregation — Free Church.) The Augustana St. Paul Norwegian congregation was founded in 1873. As a result of the 1897 split, the Missourians (c. 175) went over to the Norwegian Synod; c. 200 came into St. Paul’s of the United Church. Our Savior Lutheran Church (United Church) was organized in 1899 at Val- ders. The first pastor, E. T. Rogne, also served at St. Paul Church Manitowoc, and pastors from that church continued to serve. 30 ----------------------------------------------------

In 1964, the Gjerpen, West Valders and Our Savior church congregations merged and a new church, Faith Lutheran Church, Valders was built. All three of the churches, which served the congregations at the time of the merger, were later demolished. The Valders church, the First Norwegian Evangelical Church (now First Lutheran) and St. Paul Lutheran Church in Manitowoc are all member churches of the American Lutheran Synod, and all are active churches today. TWO RIVERS NORWEGIAN CONGREGATION The following information was found and translated from NORSK LUTHER- SKI MENIGHETER I AMERIKA, (1843 - 1916) by Prof. Bjerke. “The Two Rivers Norwegian Congregation organized in 1873 (75 souls). Dissolved (?) 1874.” From a Two Rivers newspaper of May 1899, we include this excerpt: “The two Norwegians in this city held a mass meeting last Thursday and resolved un- animously to observe in a proper manner, Norwegian Independence day.” No other information is available so we can perhaps assume the members were absorbed into other area Lutheran churches. GRACE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH (Ed. note: This church is not to be confused with the Grace Lutheran Church founded at the southern edge of Valders in 1911. That church was built in 1922 and the first pastor was Rev. Paul Hensel. It continues as an active church today.) According to courthouse records dated Nov. 2, 1934, a rectangular one-half acre parcel on land known as the Norstak farm and located in Section 25, town- ship 19, 22 East, was deeded to the Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Man- itowoc County by the Norwegian Synod of the American Evangelical Church, In the STORY OF A CENTURY (1848 - 1948), it states “The little white church east of Gjerpen is serviced now by the Rev. Dale and is of the Grace Norwegian Lutheran Synod”. This church, which was still shown on a county map for 1950, has since been discontinued and the building is now a home. There was one burial reported and it is believed the body was moved to a town of Liberty cemetery - though this has not been verified. (Ed. note: the following history of the Jambo Creek ghost church was written by Professor Rolf H. Erickson.) THE NORWEGIAN LUTHERAN CHURCH At Jambo Creek in Gibson Township By Rolf H. Erickson Gibson township once contained a thriving Norwegian community, although, aside from the cemetery, very little physical evidence remains today. The Norwegians bejan arriving in the 1850’s, discovering that the Bohem- ians in the township of Kossuth to the south had arrived a full decade earlier. 31

What is now Gibson Township was heavily forested and inhabited by Indians. The large Ottawa and Potawatomi Indian Black Earth Village, located on the East Twin River (then called Mishicot) was one and one-half miles north of what is now Tisch Mills. The only “roads” were Indian paths which followed the river. Land had to be purchased at the U. S. Government Land Office in Menasha, fifty miles away. In 1855 land in the area was selling for $3 an acre. This locale was alternately referred to as “Jambo Creek” or “Mishicot”. Jambo Creek passes through the township of Gibson and “Jambo” was the Indi- an pronunciation of the name of “Jean Vieau”, the French fur trader who had established a trading post for the Northwest Company at the creek in 1795. “Mishicot” (Hairy Leg) was a respected local Indian chief. Louis Falge (in the HISTORY OF MANITOWOC COUNTY) says that the pio- neer settler of Gibson was Edward Brown and that the earliest Norwegian set- tlers in the area were Anne and Oliver Wilson who arrived from “Vestlandet,” the West Coast of Norway, September 6, 1849. Even though I could not find the Wilsons listed on census records until 1860, six Norwegian, heads of families, are listed in the 1855 Wisconsin census (while Gibson was still part of Mishicot township). They are: Amund Jonsen, Ch. Nelson, H. Gunneson, Mickel Olson, John Thompson and Peder Hansen. Gib- son became a separate township November 8, 1858. The Norwegians of Gibson came from many different parts of Norway. The Wilsons, as noted, emigrated from “Vestlandet”. Brothers Erick and Anders Olsen came from Elker parish in Buskerud. The Hilmens, the Reas, and the Hovies (Haaves) came from Valders. Others reportedly were from Birkenaes and Vestre Moland. The “Gibson Norwegians” were a very small number com- pared with the other Norwegians who arrive in Wisconsin at about this same time. In 1850, WisconsIn counted 8,651 Norwegians in Wisconsin. The settlers who settled in Gibson found their new homeland very inhospit- able, and it is hard for us to comprehend the hardships suffered. The land was covered with dense forest which was difficult to clear although some settlers used it to some advantage by manufacturing cedar shingles and fence posts and selling hemlock bark to the tannery at Two Creeks. The settlers’ first crops were cereal crops, wheat and rye, so in 1867 a German immigrant, Charles Tisch, built a grist mill and a sawmill on the East Twin River. The village which grew up around them was henceforth called Tisch Mills. The ports at Kewaunee, Sandy Bay and Two Rivers provided an outlet to markets in Milwaukee and Chicago. Transportation was with slow-moving oxen through a landscape with no real 32

roads. Communication remained difficult even after the first post offices were established at East Gibson, Larrabee and Zander. Basic food supplies were pur- chased at general stores located at Larrabee, Zander, Tlsch Mills and Mishicot. Because of the relative isolation, the Norwegians of Gibson thought of them- selves as a single colony. They nevertheless maintained social contacts with the Norwegians in adjoining Mishicot township and with the small settlements in Franklin and Carlton townships of Kewaunee County to the north. As early as 1856, Norwegian Lutheran services were conducted in the settlers’ homes by the Reverend Jacob Aal Ottesen of First Lutheran Church in Manitowoc. By 1863, the Norwegian colony in Gibson had grown sufficiently so that on June 7 thirteen men gathered at the home of Lars Olson to form a Lutheran congregation. These were: Amun Jonsen, Andreas Halvorsen, Evan Jonsen, George Wilson, Ole Olsen, Tldeman 0. Hilmen, Ole Tidemansen, Ole Mickelson, Ole Larson, Peder Hansen, Knud Knudson and Jeppe Stenningsen. At that meet- ing the new congregation asked the Reverend Ludvig Marinus Birn of Manitowoc to be their pastor, holding six services a year. Pastor Birn agreed and the congregation thus joined the theologically conservative Norwegian Synod. During the Civil War eight Norwegians from Gibson served in the Union Army. Jeppe Stenningsen fell at Look Out Mountain in Tennessee; Mickel Olsen was in Sherman’s army during the “March to the Sea” and Ephraim M. Jonsen, Charles Wilson and George Wilson were with the 27th Wisconsin regiment at Little Rock, Arkansas, and later took part in the conquest of Mobile. Others who server(sic) were Knud Knudson, Andreas Halvorsen and Lars Olson. For nine more years, until 1872, the small congregation held services in mem- bers’ homes. However, the statistical data (the records of births, confirmations, marriages and burials) continued to be recorded in the ministerial records of the Gjerpen - Valders congregation in Cato and Liberty townships or at First Luther- an in Manitowoc. Only after 1880 did the congregation have its own ministerial records books. When the decision to build a church was made in 1872, the site had already been selected: a cemetery had earlier been established on Peder Hansen’s land, a corner lot directly north of Jambo Creek. Anna Peterson had been buried there in 1858, Betsy Kvitne in 1863, and Nills Knutson in 1870. At this same time, Gibson joined forces with “Mishicot”, a sister congregation which had also been formed in the early 1860’s in the adjoining township. Be- fore the union, Gibson counted 48 confirmed members; “Mishicot” had 95. The new congregation reported 198. Although the congregation first expressed a preference for a stone church, they quickly agreed on a frame building. The members laid the foundation (there was no basement), and the contract was let to Evan Johnson who agreed to com- plete the building by August 1, 1873, for $655.00. In 1875, the congregation formally completed the land transaction with Peder Hansen by purchasing the lot for $1.00. The church, a rectangular white frame building, was topped with steeple and cross. The door opened east. There were three plain glass Gothic-arched win- dows on each side. Inside, the simple furnishings consisted of an altar, baptismal font, pulpit, and pews with a seating capacity of 100. Kerosene lamps with reflectors were 33

affixed to the walls; a round wood-burning iron stove provided heat in winter. There was no bell. This simple white church, reminiscent of the small parish churches which these people left in Norway, was well situated. Perched picturesquely on the top of the hill overlooking the Jambo Creek Valley, It could be seen from many directions. On the opposite corner, directly south, stood the horse shed...a long wood- en frame building open on one side and designed so that teams could be driven into the shelter without having to be unhitched. Reverend Birn served the small Gibson congregation until 1879. His vacancy was filled by the Reverend Martin Pedersen Ruh, then temporarily stationed at Manitowoc. Wanting to choose their own minister, Gibson sent a deputation to the Manitowoc congregation. Manitowoc offered to allow its pastor to give an equal division of services on condition that the congregation pay one-half of the pastor’s salary and carry one-third of the expenses incurred in providing a parsonage. Manitowoc then also asked Gibson to accept its candidate, Pastor C. Preus. With only one dissenting vote, Gibson overwhelmingly rejected Manitowoc’s proposal. Gibson then joined its neighbor congregation “Kewaunee”, in Frank- lin township, Kewaunee County, and the two congregations met to choose either Ruh or Edward Borgen, a recent graduate of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. Ruh received 24 votes, Borgen 16. The minority immediately decided not to accept Ruh. The majority then withdrew Ruh for the sake of peace, and an of- fer was made to Borgen who declined. In the following year, 1880, the call was accepted by the Reverend Ole Gundersen Jukam. Shortly after, a sturdy brick parsonage was built across from the church. Jukam served until 1896. Then, for the succeeding 16 years, the congrega- tion was served by a series of pastors from First Lutheran in Manitowoc - the Rev. John Olai Jensen Hougen (1896 - 1898), the Reverend Peter Edward Thorson (1898 - 1907), the Reverend Johan Carl Keyser Preus (1907 - 1912), and the Reverend Edwin Arthur Boyd (1912). In 1912, the few remaining congregation members asked the Reverend Edward Frederick Zell of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Mishicot to be their pastor. With this action the congregation accepted its dismissal from the Norwegian Synod and joined the German Lutheran Joint Synod of Wisconsin. In spite of the decline in membership, the Gibson congregation proudly re- tained its identity. In 1923 the sixtieth anniversary of the congregation was marked and Pastor Zell read a brief history of the observance. During Reverend Zell’s time there were services two Sundays a month - in the winters at 2 p.m. and in the summers at 7:00 a.m.. During the early years the small size of the congregation and the infrequent services surely precluded many social activities. A Ladies Aid Society was form- ed in the 1880’s under the guidance of Pastor Jukam. Louis Falge reports that for many years the spiritual leader and mainstay of the congregation was And- reas Halvorsen; after his death (ca. 1904), decline in interest accelerated, Throughout its history the size of the Norwegian congregation at Gibson can be only roughly measured. Some statistics were reported, but the records are not complete. In 1868, Gibson and Mishicot congregations had a total of 140 confirmed members. In 1872 they together reported 143, and at the time of 34

the union in 1873, 198. By 1910 the count had fallen to 45. The Gibson settlement’s original inhabitants and their descendants scattered over the entire country. The Ingeborg and Erick Olson family, as well as brother Ole, John and Peter Hovie, pioneered again in Lessor Township, Shawano County; Andrew (Ellingboe) Thompson took his family to Maple Grove Township, Shaw- ano County. The children of Alette and Anders Olsen settled near Wlttenberg, also in Shawano County. Helena and Knut Hovie’s three daughters and their husbands went to Comstock, Nebraska. The Rea (Rye) family relocated to Norse Texas. The widow and children of Andreas Halversen re-established themselves near Berwick, North Dakota. Peder Hansen and his family moved to Wilson, Michigan. Three sons of the congregation entered the ministry: Peder Tidemandsen Hilmen (1851 - 1897), the son of Tideman and Guri Hilmen, attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri; Melvin Walter Halvorsen (born In 1881), the son of Andreas and Elen Halvorsen, attended Luther Seminary, St Paul, Minnesota; and Paul Stephen Soukup (born in 1941), the son of Ralph and Mabel (Knutson) Soukup, attended Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wisconsin. Finally, in 1949, faced with ever-dwindling attendance, the congregation de- cided to discontinue services. Most of the few congregational members who re- mained joined St. Peter’s of Mishicot and the ministerial records were deposited there. In May, 1951, the furnishings were sold to an antique dealer in Sheboygan and the money received put into an account to provide care for the cemetery. The church was then torn down, leaving only the cemetery as an indication that Gibson once had an active Norwegian Lutheran congregation. (About the author: Rolf Erickson was born in 1940 and is a native of Oconto Falls, Wisconsin. He graduated from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, in 1962, and earned a master’s degree in library science at the Universlty of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1966. Rolf is head of the Circulation Services Department at Northwestern University Library where he has worked since 1966. His history of the University Library was published in the ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LIBRARY AND INFORMATION SCIENCE. A biographical sketch of NU Librarian Theodore W. Koch was published in DICTIONARY OF LIBRARY BIOGRAPHY in February, 1978. Before coming to Evanston, Rolf taught school in Wisconsin and in the Territory of Papua - New Guinea, in the mission schools of the American Lutheran Church. Long interested in the history of Norwegian-Americans, as a college student he worked for the Norwegian-American Historical Association, and is now actively collecting archival material for NAHA in Chicago. He has since done research on the history of some of the Norwegian communities of northern Wisconsin and on his own family (some of whom live or lived in Manitowoc County). He is also a member of several Norwegian-American societies such as Nordmanns Forbundet, Sons of Norway, and Vesterheim — the Norwegian American Museum in Decorah, Iowa, where he is on the Board of Directors. In 1975 he was one of the editors of FROM FJORD TO PRAIRIE, an account of the 150th anniversary celebrations (held in Chicago) of the Norwegian-American immigration.) MORAVIANS The Moravian Church was organized in Herrnhut, Saxony, in 1722, as a re- constitution of the 15th-century Bohemian Brethren. 35