pages 126-144 Volume 1 History of Pottawattamie County, Iowa 1907
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History of

Pottawattamie County


Volume I


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The Catholic missionaries seem to have been the first of the religious sects to penetrate the wilderness of which this county once formed a part. The first to identify himself with the Pottawattamies seems to have been Father J. Smet, and we take the liberty of taking a few extracts from his writings after his arrival here.

"Council Bluffs, September, 1838.

"For the last four months the result of our exertions has been truly encouraging. A considerable number of savages manifest a desire to be instructed.

"We have opened a school, but on account of the limited size of our hut, we can receive only thirty children. The church in which divine service was celebrated, is perhaps the poorest in the world.

"We have already admitted one hundred and eighteen, of which number I had the consolation to baptize one hundred and five," and again, "I afterwards gave an instruction on the necessity and the ceremonies of baptism, and conferred that sacrament on twenty adults, among whom was the wife of the chief. * * * After mass I blessed four marriages." The letter from which these few lines were extracted was addressed to Right Rev. Mathias Loras, Bishop of Dubuque.

Later Rev. A. Ravoux writes from Council Bluffs under date of August 29, 1847: "We spent three or four hours near the great camp of the Mormons, which is situated in one of the most beautiful regions of the Missouri. During the spring they cultivated a large tract of land and expect an abundant harvest. They possess a considerable stock of animals, and they number from eight to ten thousand souls in the camp or within a circle of ten miles.

"The same day about sundown we reached Council Bluffs, where we passed the night. I baptized two children and. gave instruction at the house of Mr. Benoit. There are at least forty Catholic families in Council Bluffs." Much more might be quoted but this is sufficient to show that even after the Indians had left, and the Mormons were in full control, a root of the church planted ten years before remained and continued to grow.

During two or three years from the departure of the Pottawattamies, the advent and exodus of the Mormons and tide of California emigration, things



here were in a state of transition and no church seemed to be firmly established, and although three of four priests had been assigned to this place, Rev. Jeremiah Tracy was the first to erect a church since the old Indian mission. It was he that commenced the brick church that stood on a part of the ground now occupied by the Merriam block and was used until the completion of the St. Francis Xavier church on the corner of Fifth avenue and Sixth streets.

Rev. William Kelly was pastor here from April to September, 1863, and Rev. James Power from June, 1864 to June, 1865. He completed the church and was called to duties in the St. Joseph diocese.

Rev. John Dachsacher resided here from June, 1865 to October, 1869. He built a plain residence, introduced a bell, probably the first church bell in the city, was constant and faithful in all his duties. During ten months in 1869 he had eighty-two baptisms. He also attended St. Boniface church in the Plumer settlement and in other places and was recalled to his diocese in Omaha.

The next to fill this important position was Rev. B. P. McMenomy. His fame had preceded him and he was received' with warm enthusiasm, which ripened into lasting respect. Immediate steps were taken to make his abode comfortable, the church was enlarged and embellished, and a parochial school established on the northwest corner of the church grounds.

In 1871 the Sisters of Charity of B. V. M. were introduced from Dubuque and in 1873 commenced the St. Francis Xavier academy on its present site, which from the beginning has made wonderful progress, and now ranks among the best schools for the higher education of young ladies.

The rapid increase of the congregation made it advisable to sell the old church property, from which was realized $25,000, and with this and other contributions he proceeded to build the fine structure that now adorns the northwest corner of Fifth avenue and Sixth street. This building was completed in 1888 at a cost of $50,000 and one year later a fine parochial residence was erected adjoining on the west at a cost of $9,000, while three years previous St. Joseph's school for boys was built on the opposite corner east, at a cost of $6,000. Father McMenamy was one of the most highly respected of any of the clergy that have lived here, not only by those of his faith, but by all. With the expiring year of 1892 he was laid to rest on Walnut Hill, December 31, 1892.

Succeeding Father McMenomy came the present pastor, Very Rev. Patrick Smyth. He, like his predecessor, was born in Ireland, received his education in All Hallows College, Dublin, was ordained on June 24, 1871, for the diocese of Dubuque, Iowa, and shortly after set sail for America and arrived in New York on the 14th of August, 1871.

It was here in his new land on the day following, in the church of the Holy Innocents, he celebrated his first holy mass. He then proceeded to Dubuque and was appointed assistant to Rev. R. A. Byrne at Holy Cross. Since coming among us he has endeared himself to his congregation as well as won the respect of the entire community and all the institutions connected with the church feel the influence of his helping hand.
A meeting of the German Catholics of Council Bluffs was called and



assembled on May 9, 1886, attended by the following men: Peter Weis, John Murgen, Rudolph Tbller, Henry Tolier, Peter Tholl, Jacob Neumayer, Peter Beck, Joseph Miller, Jacob Apple, Joseph Schmidt, Dr. G. W. Emonds, Herman Roblings, P. J. Emig and Albert Schott. Peter Weis was called to the, chair and P. J. Emig appointed secretary, and it was resolved to organize a congregation for the German Catholics and build a church.

The second meeting assembled on May 30, 1886, and Peter Weis as chairman, called the meeting to order, when a committee was chosen as trustees, consisting of Peter Weis, chairman; John Mergen, treasurer; P. J. Emig, secretary; Rudolph Toller; Jacob Neumayer and Joseph Miller, and the committee was instructed to seek a suitable building site and report at the next meeting, and also solicit subscriptions for money. The name of St. Peters Association was selected.

On April 24, 1887, during high mass in St. Francis church, celebrated by Rev. Adolph Wesseling, O. S. B. of Atchison, Kansas, Right Rev. Bishop Cosgrove of Davenport, Iowa, published the separation of the German Catholics from affiliation with St. Francis Xavier's congregation, and announced the selection of Father Adolph as pastor for the new Catholic church for the Germans. The committee reported in favor of the site now occupied, which was approved. The bishop gave his approval, arrangements were made with Father McMenomy to use the old church during the construction of the new.

The construction of the building was commenced and prosecuted with vigor. The present pretty church with its tapering spire, and flanked by the parochial buildings makes a pretty picture and speaks well for the taste, piety and enterprise of the members, while its chime of bells emits tones for which these bluffs and ravines have listened for a thousand years.

The attendance at St. Francis, academy continued to increase and in 1904 a four story addition was made, in which is a large auditorium. An average of three hundred pupils receive instruction here, many coming from, a distance and boarding at the institution.

The attendance of boys at St. Joseph's is not so large, averaging seventy-five.

In connection with St. Peter's church are parochial schools for both girls and boys, with an average attendance of seventy-five, in which the sexes are about equally divided.


It is seldom we are able to get historical facts at first hand after a lapse of fifty-six years, as in this case, where we are permitted to interview the venerable founder of the Congregational church here, and learn from him personally of its first establishment. In 1851 the Rev. G. G. Rice, under commission of the Home Missionary Society came here, and in conjunction with Rev. Wm. Simpson, Methodist, rented a room of Isaac Beebe, which they furnished cheaply and proceeded to hold meetings and also a Sunday school. Rev. Simpson was of the Methodist persuasion, and they alternated in their use of the room, and got along amicably. '



In the spring of 1852 they bought a hewed log house for one hundred and twenty-five dollars of a man that was starting for Oregon, and raised the money by subscription to pay for it, and this became the first Protestant church in this county. In 1852 Rev. Simpson was given a charge in the eastern part of the state, and Rev. Mases Shinn was sent to fill his place. In the spring of 1853 the first Congregational church was organized, and the two congregations separated, the Methodists built their little frame church on Pierce street, and the Congregationalists purchased a small frame warehouse and fitted it up on Broadway a little west of Glenn avenue, where it was used until a small brick church was built on Pearl street, where the Brown block now stands, which was completed and dedicated in 1856.

In the organization of the church in 1853 it consisted of the eight following charter members: Rev. G. G. Rice, Martha C. Rice, J. D. M. Crockwell, James Harrison, Mary L. Harrison, Louisa Turley, Rachel Nichols and Dorcas A. Crockwell.

Of this number, all but the pastor and his wife were born in the west and came from three different denominations. While in their little rude cabin, Father Rice baptized the first infants in the Protestant faith in this community. Here also the Council Bluffs association of Congregational churches was organized and here for the first time the Congregationalists of the southwestern part of the state of Iowa gathered in fellowship. This association has since grown to be one of the strongest in the state with such churches as Creston, Red Oak, Shenandoah, Atlantic, Tabor and Glenwood in its fellowship.

The congregation continued to worship in the brick an Pearl street until the completion of the one on Sixth street and Seventh avenue. During the construction, after being enclosed, it was demolished by a tornado, thus delaying its completion until 1870. Up to 1869 the church had been assisted by annual contributions from the American Home Missionary Society, in which year the church became self supporting. During the fifty years of its existence, the church has been served by the fallowing pastors: Rev. G. G. Rice, from '51 to '58; James S. Haskell, 1859 till September. This man was a wag. Could preach a good sermon, make a beautiful prayer, playa strong game of poker, was a fine sleight of hand performer and ventriloquist and could not resist the temptation to occasionally astonish the natives with his tricks, and finally landed in a circus, where he rightfully belonged. Harvey Adams, '60 to '63; W. W. Allen, '63 to '65; J. J? Chase, '65 to '68; H. P. Roberts, '68 to 71; H. S. DeForrest, '71 to '76; Cyrus Hamlin, '77 to '84; G. W. Crofts, '85 to '92; John Askin, '93 to '97; W. W. Wilson, '97 to 1901; James Thompson, '02 to '05; O. O. Smith, D. D., to present time of '07.

The most marked periods of growth were during the pastorates of Revs. Adams, Chase, DeForrest and Crofts.

Dr. O. O. Smith, the present pastor, has served with great acceptability since May 1, 1905. The present membership is three hundred and eighteen, with a flourishing Sunday school.

Grown out of this church is the Woodbury Avenue Mission People's Church, Rev. Burkhart, pastor.



There is a growing sentiment among the membership in favor of a new church building more centrally located.

The Rev. Mr. Rice, in addition to his church work has always taken a lively interest in public affairs. He was a member of the first city council in 1853, and is still with us, wearing lightly his eighty-eight years, and now is largely engaged in fruit raising.


This small church is one of a vast body that seceded years ago from the Mormon church, and have built up churches all, through western Iowa, and are in no way affiliated with the dominant church, the head of which is at Salt Lake City.

This has a membership at this time (1907) of two hundred and ninety-seven, with a Sunday school and also a, literary society connected with it.

One peculiarity of this little church is that it is self sustaining, never asking assistance from outside, nor resorting to the schemes practiced by other denominations for raising money.

Notwithstanding this it is slowly but steadily growing. The present pastor is the Rev. Samuel Harding.


This, like most churches here, began with a mission.

It was first organized in 1891, by Rev. Monroe, with a membership of seventy. The first meeting place was in an old vacant store building on the corner of Broadway and Twenty-third streets, where services were held for three years, then moved to Broadway and Seventeenth streets. Dr. Carter preached one year, from '92 to '93, was followed by Rev. E. W. Allen till '95 when the tabernacle was built. Rev. R. W. Abberly preached until '96 and was succeeded by Rev. S. M. Perkins, from '96 to '99, then Rev. W. B. Crewelson until 1903, when W. B. Clemer took charge and continued until 1907. The church has made very rapid growth, having at this writing a membership of six hundred, about five hundred within the city and about one hundred in the country immediately adjoining, also a prosperous Sunday school of over two hundred and a well trained choir. The pulpit is vacant but a supply has been secured and will arrive and take charge in the near future.


In the settlement of a new country it is but natural for persons of the same religious faith to mingle and organize for mutual benefit, both religiously and socially. The first settlement of this county and city differed from that of most new communities in being all of one church, a body just as distinct from other organizations as were the Jews on leaving Egypt. And although persons of other religious views were tolerated, so overwhelmingly Mormon was the entire community, that there was little use for Gentiles (as all others



were termed) to attempt to organize churches until the great body with its leaders had moved on. Neither was .it a good field for missionary work, as they had our Bible, and no people on earth were more familiar with its contents and teachings than they, so that if you attempted to teach them, they would turn the tables and teach, you, and further, they had the advantage of receiving revelations from time to time, an advantage not claimed by other denominations.

It was not until 1856 that it seemed worth while to attempt the organization of a church, which was accomplished by Rev. John Hancock and thirteen others. The salary of the pastor for the first year was raised by subscription, many of the largest contributors to which were not even professors of religion let alone members. On the 12th of October, 1856, the church was organized and a room in the second story of the Empire block was secured and cheaply furnished, which served until 1861. This was over what is now Camp's drug store, and the alley in the rear of the block got the name of Presbyterian alley.

The church prospered and by 1861 it was able to build a small frame about twenty-five by forty feet on Pearl street, where the waterworks office now is.

In 1857 a lot had been secured where the present church now stands and a foundation commenced when the financial crash came, and the building was suspended for some years, the congregation continuing to worship in the little church on Pearl street.

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Jefferson Street, West from Chicago StreetJefferson Street, West from Chicago Street
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The present number of communicants is one hundred and forty-four, with a Sunday school of eighty-two pupils with sixteen officers and teachers. Also connected with the church is a Young People's Alliance in good working order and a Ladies' Aid Society of thirty members engaged in missionary work.

During the year 1906 the members contributed for all purposes twenty-eight dollars each.
The present pastor, Rev. G. P. Cawelti, is hopeful for larger results in the future.


Was organized January 18, 1868, with ten constituent members, being W. J. Midler, Florence Midler, W. H. Smith, F. D. June, Frances E. Smith, Thos. H. Stewart, Ursula Bragg, Julia Wiggs, Margaret Smith and Nancy S. Thrall. J1ev. T. S. Thickstun was called as its first pastor, and assumed charge in August, 1868, remaining with the church for thirteen years. During his pastorate a lot on Willow avenue was purchased, on which a chapel was built and dedicated in February, 1869. At this time the church numbered but twenty-nine. Later this lot was sold, and the lot on the northeast corner of First avenue and Sixth street purchased and the present building erected,

It was dedicated, free of debt, in June, 1879.

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

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

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


In September, 1906, a part of the members of the First Baptist church, living near the mission known as the Thickstun mission, aided by Alex Tipton, who had taken up his residence in its vicinity, concluded to organize an independent church. Previous to this services were held Sabbath evenings and occasionally on Sundays when a suitable person could fill the pulpit. Being encouraged by those outside, the church invited Rev. W. J. Bell to become pastor, which he accepted, and his work began February 1, 1907, ru5 assistant pastor of the first Baptist church, and on April 4th following an independent church was organized with fifty-seven members, forty-one of these bringing letters from the first church. The organization has largely increased and a Sunday school established, in which great interest is taken, and in September, 1907, the membership of the church reached seventy-two and the Sunday school increased from seventy-five to one hundred and five. Have greatly improved the church building and pay bills as made.


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



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

The present president is Geo. Whitebook.


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

They will hold their meetings this year in Grand Army hall. Its ritual is the Hebrew Reform.


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

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

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

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



who remained two years. In 1884 Rev. E. D. McCrary became pastor. The church had grown to the number of two hundred and fifty, a $5.000 parsonage was built. In 1887 Rev. W. H. W. Resse became pastor, out was made presiding elder at the close of the year, and in '88 and '89 Rev. D. C. Franklin became pastor, and it was during his pastorate that a sentiment grew in favor of building the present church. In 1890 Rev. Franklin was appointed elder of the Atlantic district and T. McKay Stewart was assigned and during his pastorate the present large structure was built at a cost of $50,000, and on May 5, 1892, it was dedicated in the presence of a congregation of 1,500 persons, by Bishop Joice, when $16,000 was raised to apply on indebtedness. From September, 1892 to '95, H. P. Dudley was pastor, and '95 Rev. J. H. Senseny was appointed pastor. At this time, 1897, the church had a membership of four hundred and fifty and a Sunday school of two hundred and fifty and an active Epworth League.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Rev. Charles Mayne is now on his third year as its pastor.


Was organized by the Rev. Edward Peet, rector of St. Paul's church, Des Moines, April 17, 1856.

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

Bishops Lee and Kemper assisted in completing the organization.

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



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

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

The following is a list of the rectors:

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

The parish began in 1856 with five communicant members.

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


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

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

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

Rev. George Snyder is the pastor.

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

Rev. J. H. Lindemeyer is the pastor.

The Danish Lutheran church was organized in 1871, and consisted of the Rev. H. Hansen and one man, a Mr. Newman. From this small beginning it has grown to a membership of three hundred at the present time, with a prosperous Sunday school and a mission on. Nineteenth avenue, and also on East Broadway, where weekly services are held and Sunday schools established.

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

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



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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

As a part of the missionary work this church has undertaken a free reading room where Christian Science literature of all kinds is kept for sale, for reference, and for free distribution.
This room is kept open every afternoon except Sunday, with someone in attendance, and visitors are always welcome.

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

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

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

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

" 'Every plant which my Father has not planted shall be rooted up.' "


"Tall oaks from little acorns grow."

The little acorn from which the Women's Christian Association Hospital has grown, was planted by five Christian women calling themselves the "Faith Band," and consecrating themselves to any Christian work into which the Heavenly Father might lead them.



The first meeting of the Faith Band occurred in the parlors of the First Baptist church in May, 1884, after the close of a district convention of the Young Men's Christian Association, and in the following month the organization now known as the Women's Christian Association of Council Bluffs was projected into being, growing into completeness as the months passed by. It began with prayers and this has been always its resource and its recourse.

The first definite object mentioned after permanent organization was effected, was a cottage hospital, but lacking unity of purpose and perhaps faith to ask the needed help for such an undertaking, the project was temporarily abandoned, and evangelistic and charitable work among the poor of the city was substituted. This was for two years carried on with much benefit to the donors as well as the recipients. Among the members of the Faith Band was Mrs. Dr. Green, always full of love for her kind and devotion to her Savior, and has passed to her reward.

Miss Laura Cole was an early member who served for two years as treasurer. She too has been called to the higher life.

In the autumn of '84 and '85 systematic visits among the poor and the dispensing of charity was carried on and brought new revelations of human life to many who had heretofore seen only its sunny side. On Christmas day of 1884 an entertainment was given at the Baptist church through means of which about three hundred women and children were presented with clothing, books and toys. Some of the Sunday schools that year gave, instead of receiving presents, exemplifying the truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive.

The result of this entertainment was a central mission Sunday school that for nearly a year distributed weekly to the most ignorant arid neglected of the city the bread of life.

Out of this grew a sewing school for poor girls where they were not only taught the art of making garments, but also provided with wholesome clothing.

This was in operation for three years until it gave way to the larger work of the hospital.

In August, 1886, the plan of opening a cottage hospital again engaged the attention of the association, but it was not until November of that year that decisive action was taken which resulted in the renting of a small cottage in the northern part of the city and opening it for hospital purposes. This was named the Cottage Home Hospital.

At this time the association was given the collection from the union Thanksgiving service, a custom which has since that time been yearly observed, and for which the members feel grateful not only to the pastors but also to the public. As the work became better known, donations came from various sources from the charitably inclined, donations of fruit, vegetables, furniture, etc. In this the Sunday schools and the public schools as well as individuals and churches have nobly borne a part. Their names cannot be given in this history, but their gifts are recorded. The hospital, while it never refused to shelter the impecunious, was not resigned to be exclusively a charitable insti-



appliances required for conducting the same, and in which lighting, heating and ventilation have received the fullest consideration.

A training school for nurses has also been established in which thirty-seven have been graduated.

The salaried employes, including superintendent, number thirteen. The building has a capacity for comfortably caring for seventy-five patients and in case it became necessary, could care for one hundred.

The directors for 1907 are: President, Mrs. R. M. Sprague; vice-president, Mrs. Clem Kimball; recording secretary, Mrs. M. C. Gaines; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Mary E. Thomas; !1uditors, Mrs. O. H. Lucas and Mrs. J. B. Atkins, Mrs. M. F. Rohrer, Mrs. W. W. Wallace, Mrs. G. H. Richmond and Mrs. J. H. Carse.

The grounds are large and so situated as not to be in danger of being crowded in the future and with abundance of room that may be needed for enlargement of present buildings, or building additional ones.


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