Congregationalist and Presbyterians united to evangelize the western United States. But, they maintained their own name. Congregational churches have been part of the United Church of Christ since 1957. Many of Cleveland's Congregational churches began as Presbyterian Churches.
ARCHWOOD AVENUE CHURCH
Today this church is located at 2800 Archwood Avenue, Phone 216-351-1060.
From: Archwood United Church of Christ Sesquicentennial History
1819-1969 by Karl S. Willson
On July 23, 1819, the following group of people met with Reverends Thomas Barr and William Hanford of the Association of Presbyterian and Congregationalists: Amos Brainard, Isaac Hinckley and wife Sally, James Smith and wife Elizabeth and Rebecca Brainard. They were meeting because they wanted to establish a church. This meeting was successful and on July 25, 1819, the Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn (also referred to as the First Congregational Church of Brooklyn) was established. Between October, 1819 and 1822, many other Brainards joined this church, as well as Tomesin Aiken, Abegail Aiken and Laura Kellog. In 1822, a Reverend William McLain held services as well as Rev. L.J. Bradstreet in 1826. However, these were not regular pastors. Before 1830, this group met at the town meeting house in Brooklyn. After that they met at a plain little white building located where the fire station is today at W. 25th Street and Willowdale. Ebenezer Fish had deeded the above mentioned land to the Congregational Society of Brooklyn for the sole purpose of erecting a meeting house of the said society. This location was used for church services as early as 1830. This building was later moved to Denison Avenue and used there for a number of years. Between 1826 and 1833 Reverent Stephen Peat visited as well as Reverend Shaler in 1833. The first regular minister was Rev. B.B. Drake who preached between 1834 to 1836. The next mentioned minister was Rev. Benjamin Foltz who served from 1846 1849. In 1851, Reverend Thomas Lee purchased the house of the First Congregational Church in Brooklyn, repaired it, and it was dedicated. Other records indicate that the house was moved from West 25th and Willowdale to the corner of Liberty and Newburgh Streets (W. 33rd and Denison). The architect, Daniel Farnam has a picture captioned as follows: "Frame church at the corner of W. 33rd and Denison, built in 1830 at which date the old log meeting house was vacated. Original site was Willowdale and W. 25th. On January, 1852, Rev. Calvin Durfee was installed and served until 1855. Reverend John B. Allen served from 1856 1867. In 1853, the Cleveland Congregational Conference was formed but this church had not joined it yet. From 1856 until 1867, the church was definitely Congregational but it was still associated with the Cleveland Presbytery. In 1879, the church began making plans to move to Greenwood Avenue (Archwood). The church there was dedicated on December 11, 1879. When Brooklyn Village was annexed to the City of Cleveland in 1894, the name of the church (First Congregational Church of Brooklyn Village) was no longer appropriate, so it was renamed Archwood Congregational Church. In 1928, plans were finalized for a new church. On March 4, 1928, the last service was held in the old sanctuary and demolition began. The cornerstone for the new church was laid on June 10, 1928 and it was finished and dedicated on February 24, 1929 and is the church that stands today. In 1948, a vote was held to merge the Evangelical and Reformed Church with the Congregational Christian Church in order to form the United Church of Christ. The official merger took place on June 25, 1957. On May 28, 1967, a vote was taken to merge Fourth Reformed Church with Archwood United Church of Christ. The Fourth Reformed Church and parsonage were to be sold. On July 16, 1967, the final outdoor service of Fourth Reformed Church took place at the Allen Nace home in Brecksville. The final service in the church was held on September 17, 1967. On September 24, 1967, the "Uniting Day Service" was held at Archwood United Church of Christ and from this point on, the two congregations were merged.
1834 1836 First Congregational Church of Brooklyn,
Rev. B.B. Drake
1846 1849 First Congregational Church of Brooklyn, Rev. Benjamin Foltz
1851 First Congregational Church of Brooklyn, Rev. Thomas Lee
1852 1855 First Congregational Church of Brooklyn, Rev. Calvin Durfee
1856-1867 - Archwood Avenue Church - Archwood near Pearl, Rev. John B. Allen
1867 Archwood Avenue Church Archwood near Pearl, Rev. William Rice
1868 Archwood Avenue Church Archwood near Pearl, Rev. Chauncy Hamlin
1872-1874 Archwood Avenue Church Archwood near Pearl, Rev. James A. Bates
1874 Archwood Avenue Church Archwood near Pearl, Rev. O. Fisher
1874-1877 Archwood Avenue Church Archwood near Pearl, Rev. E.A. Votaw
1878 - 1882 Archwood Avenue Church Archwood near Pearl, Rev. John W. Hargrave
1882-1889 - Archwood Avenue Church - Archwood near Pearl, Rev. John Merrill
1889 1894 Archwood Avenue Church Archwood near Pearl, Rev. George Peeke
1894 1899 Archwood Avenue Church Archwood near Pearl, Rev. Hargrave
1899 - 1906 Archwood Avenue Church Archwood near Pearl, Rev. Thomas E. Lewis
1906 - 1909 Archwood Avenue Church Archwood near W. 25th, Rev. Thomas Lewis
1909-1916 Archwood Avenue Church Archwood near W. 24th, Rev. Frank Bigelow
1917 - 1923 Archwood Avenue Church 2710 Archwood, Rev. Robert Blyth
1923 - 1953 Archwood Avenue Church 2710 Archwood, Rev. Lawrie Sharp
1953-1961 - Archwood Avenue Church - 2710 Archwood, Rev. Russell Denison
1961-1962 - Archwood Avenue Church - 2710 Archwood, Rev. Orie Vande Visse
1962-1969 - Archwood Avenue Church - 2710 Archwood, Rev. Paul Hunter
1970's - Archwood Avenue Church - 2710 Archwood, Rev. Tom Moller
1980's - Archwood Avenue Church - 2710 Archwood, Rev. Helen Greer
1990's - present - Archwood Avenue Church - 2710 Archwood, Rev. David Barr
1918 Bethel Church Franklin at W. 52nd,
Rev. F.O. Anderson
1921 Bethel Church Franklin at W. 52nd, Rev. T.A. Homme
1924 - 1928 Bethel Church Franklin at W. 52nd, Rev. Christian Kjeldgaard
1887 - 1898 Bethlehem Church (BOHEMIAN)
Broadway at Fowler, Rev. Henry Schauffler
1902 - 1913 Bethlehem Church Broadway at Fowler, Rev. John Prucha
1918 Bethlehem Church Broadway at Fowler, Rev. J.F. Berry
1921 Bethlehem Church Broadway at Fowler, Rev. George Bachelor
1924 Bethlehem Church Broadway at Fowler, Rev. Paul Stowell
1928 Bethlehem Church Broadway at Fowler, Rev. E.A. Ralph
1918 Calvary Church Lockwood near Euclid,
Rev. J.W. Rahill
1921 Calvary Church Lockwood near Euclid, Rev. James Green
1883 Grace Church Train near Hamburgh, Rev.
1887 Cyril Chapel (BOHEMIAN) Train near Hamburg, Rev. Henry Schauffler
1891 Cyril Chapel Selden near Clark, Rev. Edmund Wrbitzky
1894 - 1906 Cyril Chapel Selden near Clark, Rev. John Musil
1908 - 1921 Cyril Church W. 43rd at Cyril, Rev. John Musil
1924 - 1928 Cyril Church W. 43rd at Cyril, Rev. Andrew Moncal
1898 Denison Avenue Chapel Denison at Richard,
Rev. Claude Severance
1902 - 1906 Denison Avenue Church Denison at Richard, Rev. Edgar Scovill
1908 Denison Avenue Church Denison at W. 99th, Rev. Edgar Scovill
1913 - 1918 Denison Avenue Church Denison at W. 99th, Rev. J.W. Kuyper
1921 Denison Avenue Church Denison at W. 99th, Rev. Philip King
1928 Denison Avenue Church Denison at W. 99th, Rev. Ralph Paul
Euclid Avenue Congregational Church first began as First
Presbyterian Church in 1843 but became Congregational in 1854.
Today this church is located at 9606 Euclid Avenue, Phone 216-791-5200
1869 East Cleveland Congregational Church , Rev. A.M. Richardson
1870 1874 - East Cleveland Congregation, Euclid Ave. and Branch, Rev. J.E. Twitchell
1877 - 1883 Euclid Avenue Church Euclid and Logan, Rev. J.E. Twitchell
1887 - 1894 Euclid Avenue Church Euclid and Logan, Rev. Henry Ladd
1898 - 1906 Euclid Avenue Church Euclid at Logan, Rev. C.W. Hiatt
1908 Euclid Avenue Church Euclid at E. 96th, Rev. Caspar Hiatt
1913 Euclid Avenue Church Euclid at E. 96th, Rev. Emerson Burton
1918 - 1928 Euclid Avenue Church Euclid at E. 96th, Rev. F.Q. Blanchard
1869-1872 First Congregational (west side), Detroit
and State, Rev. J.A. Thome
1874 - 1879 First Congregational, Detroit and State, Rev. Samuel H. Lee
1883 First Church Detroit and State, Rev. Henry Tenney
1898 - 1906 First Church Franklin at Taylor,
Rev. John Malcolm
1908 - 1913 First Church Franklin at W. 45th, Rev. James Jenkins
1918 First Church Franklin at W. 45th, Rev. Harry Bascomb
1921 - 1928 First Church Franklin at W. 45th, Rev. W.R. Kedzie
FRANKLIN STREET CHURCH
From: "History of Cuyahoga County" by Crisfield Johnson (1879):
This church was organized on November 21, 1876. It is situated on the corner of Franklin Avenue and Waverly Street.
1876 - 1887 Franklin Street Church Franklin and
Waverly, Rev. S.B. Shipman
1891 - 1894 Franklin Avenue Church Franklin and Waverly, Rev. H.O. Allen
1898 Franklin Avenue Church Franklin and Waverly, Rev. Gwernyd Newton
1902 Franklin Avenue Church Franklin and Waverly, Rev. John Shingler
1906 Franklin Avenue Church Franklin and Waverly, Rev. Robert Hopkin
1908 Franklin Avenue Church Franklin at W. 58th, Rev. J.F. Berry
1887 Grace Church Gordon and Colgate, Rev.
1891 - 1894 Grace Church Gordon and Colgate, Rev. J.H. Hull
1902 - 1906 Grace Church Gordon and Colgate, Rev. E.T. MacMahon
1908 Grace Church W. 65th at Colgate, Rev. Edward McMahon
1913 Grace Church W. 65th at Colgate, Rev. G.F. Elkins
1921 - 1928 Grace Church W. 65th at Colgate, Rev. David Howie
1906 Highland Church Detroit at Highland,
Rev. Will Arthur Dietrick
1908 Highland Church Detroit at W. 117th, Rev. McHenry
1913 Highland Church Detroit at W. 117th, Rev. W.J. Paske
1921 - 1924 Highland Church Detroit at W. 117th, Rev. Charles Couch
1928 Highland Church Detroit at W. 114th, Rev. Lester Wood
PILGRIM CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH (1893)
2592 W. 14th St. at Starkweather
Pilgrim Church was first known as Heights Congregational Church. It was organized in 1859. This church had members from the Congregational, Methodist, Wesleyan Methodist and Presbyterian Churches. In 1886 Pilgrim Congregational Church established the Jones School and Home for Friendless Children.
Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ was built in 1893. This Richardsonian Romanesque building is an example of the "Akron Plan" which incorporates a sanctuary, kitchen, library, art museum, and gymnasium under one roof, with a massive internal sliding door to provide a flexible floor plan. The design of Pilgrim Church was featured in the 1900 Paris Exposition as a successful way to incorporate sanctuary, kitchen, library, art museum, and gymnasium in an ecclesiastic environment. The architect was Sidney Badgley. Today, the church continues its mission of providing for those in need. Pilgrim is also home to several cultural events in Tremont including the Arts Renaissance Tremont and the Theater Labyrinth. Of note are the dark stone, huge main arch, and large rose window. Forty-three separate rooms were constructed to house various community activities. This church was reportedly the first building on the west side of the river to use electricity, the arches of the church were originally studded with light bulbs.
Pilgrim Congregational Church began in 1854 as a Sunday school in the Tremont neighborhood, which was then called Univ. Hts. The congregation was organized in 1859 as Univ. Hts. Congregational. The congregation moved from a public school building and a brick church was built in 1865-70 W. 14th St., the present St. Augustine Church. The church was later known as Heights Congregational (1870s) and Jennings Ave. Congregational (1880s). Pilgrim Church was noted for its social and community work. In 1873 the church began its outreach to the neighborhood with the establishment of recreation rooms for young men. A new church at 2592 West 14th in Tremont was begun in 1893 and dedicated in 1894. About this time the church acquired its present name. The architect was Sidney R. Badgley. The church is Romanesque in style and features an impressive interior. The cost of construction was about $150,000. It was said that this was the first institutional church and the first building on Cleveland's west side to have electricity. The old church was sold to the Catholic Diocese and became St. Augustine's Church.
The social work of the church is reflected in the architecture of the building; two-thirds of the original structure was devoted to such space, which included a library, recreation rooms, and gymnasium. Because of its progressive design, plans of the church were sent to the Paris Exhibition of 1899. The church established a kindergarten in 1895 and over the years was a leader in participating in social programs. In recent years the church has taken part in the Head Start program, a Police Athletic League program, and a seniors' nutrition program.
FROM: Pilgrim Congregational Church - Our First One Hundred
Years - 1859-1959
The year was 1850 and West 14th Street was little more than an Indian trail that led south and west to an uninhabited area beyond. The floor of the Cuyahoga River Valley was a lush meadow where violets grew in profusion and the river itself was known as an excellent fishing spot and swimming hole. There were no stores, no mail delivery, no bridges spanning the valley and people either drove by horse and buggy or walked to town to get their supplies. The City of Cleveland was confined to the lake front, cows grazed peacefully on the "Square" and the population totaled 21,000 people.
In an area bounded by Scranton Avenue, Auburn Avenue, West Tenth Street, and University Road lived five families. They were the Branch, Kellogg, Aiken, Hadlow and Brayton families. These first settlers were of New England stock having come to this area by ox-cart and horseback from Connecticut in the year 1818. They were American farmers who chose this spot because of the fine farmland. The section was known as The Heights - later University Heights.
In 1852 a few of these stalwart people conceived the idea of a school or university to be built in this area. Mrs. Thyrza Pelton was the staunch supporter of this project and Dr. Asa Mahon, a former president of Oberlin College, was chosen to take charge of it. Land was purchased in the area now known as Lincoln Park and the school was opened with a few pupils. People were attracted to the idea of a fine school in beautiful surroundings and they soon began to move in this direction. Unfortunately the untimely death of Mrs. Pelton brought an end to the project but the seeds of education had been sown and the idea for a church had been born. While Dr. Mahon was associated with the school he held preaching services on Sunday in one of the school rooms and exchanged with other ministers of the city.
In 1854 a Sunday School was started in the University Building and Mr. Baker, one of the leaders, secured some discarded hymnals and Sunday School books from a church on Prospect Avenue. From this time forth our Sunday School has been in continuous operation.
There was no established church nearer than the Lorain Avenue - West 25th area and in 1857 Mr. Hadlow invited Rev. William Brewster from the Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church on Euclid Avenue to preach in the little schoolhouse on the site of the present Tremont School every Sunday afternoon. Music for these meetings was provided by a little melodeon which Mr. Harrington, a devoted member, carried on his back from his own home to the schoolhouse each Sunday.
The people of the community began to feel the need of a church of their own and many meetings were held in the home of Mr. John Giles Jennings. On November 13, 1859 a council met in the schoolhouse to organize a new church and 34 persons subscribed to the Article of Faith and Covenant. Thus University Heights Congregational Church was organized and Rev. William Brewster was chosen as the first pastor.
The church was founded by high-minded, devoted, unselfish people of moderate means who gave cheerfully of all that they could. In two years they were able to dispense with the aid they received from the Home Missionary Society and had $246 to its credit which they used for the starting of a Mission Sunday School in South Brooklyn. In 1862 we joined the Cleveland Congregational Conference and in 1867 the city limits were extended to include the region. In the spring of 1865, Me. Pelton gave two valuable lots at the corner of West 14th Street and Howard Avenue for a church building. By 1866, the basement was completed and occupied by the Sunday School. Three years later the auditorium was completed and would accommodate 400 people.
Under the leadership of Rev. Charles S. Mills, the sixth pastor, a movement was started for a new building. In the spring of 1893, ground was broken and the corner stone laid on July 6, 1893. The building at Howard Street was sold to St. Augustine's Roman Catholic parish and in Nov. 1894 the beautiful building we now occupy was completed and dedicated.
Early in 1919 plans were made to build a Community House in connection with the church which would give a gymnasium, shower rooms and bowling alleys. Like all Pilgrim projects this, too, was accomplished.
FROM: Visions and Dreams 1893-1993
Pilgrim's Outlook Committee recommended that a new structure be built with outreach in mind, one adaptable for multiple uses. By late July, 1892, the Construction Committee was ready to share plans developed by Canadian architect Sidney R Badgley. The cost seemed a bit high, so a few minor changes were made and a bid was let in the spring in 1893 to the contracting firm of Jacob Schade.
The architectural style is known as "Richardson-Romanesque," a popular Victorian style characterized by round arches and massive structure developed by architect H.H. Richardson.
The large building has brick masonry bearing walls and a brownish red sandstone facing from a quarry in Jacobville, Michigan. The entry area is made from a fine-grained quartz, orange-red sandstone known as "Portage Entry Red" from that same quarry. The same stone was used for the Society Bank Building, constructed on Public Square in 1890. Most areas of sandstone now have a dark patina, created by years of harsh atmosphere from the nearby Steel Flats.
Towers flank the arch. The 150 foot northeast tower is the highest, and contains a single brass bell cast for the church by the McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore and installed during construction. The central east tower is shorter and does not have an open belfry. The towers have round-headed lancet windows at mid-height and rose windows higher up; there are corner turrets and pyramidal roofs. The bell tower is accessible by climbing a steep ship's ladder through two intermediate levels, one of which still contains a wood shed that might have been a homing pigeon roost in earlier days. There are large stained glass rose windows in the gables of the north and east elevations of the church.
The main floor level contains an immense square sanctuary with a gracefully curved gallery on the north and east sides. The assembly room style of the sanctuary and seating arrangement are characteristic of the auditorium style. Classic amphitheater design was revived in the mid 19th century and used for lecture halls, camp meeting sand theaters, and later for churches. The floor plan of the sanctuary and theater/school room is an example of the "Akron Plan" of centrally focused churches, so called because it was first used in 1867 in the first Methodist Church in Akron, Ohio. The plan allowed for Sunday School rooms to be opened to a main auditorium so a speaker, choir or service could be enjoyed by many persons.
There are two separate focal points in the sanctuary: a plain, elevated stage-like area for worship leaders and preachers; a separate elevated area for performers of music. The Ferrand-Votey pipe organ is one of only three functioning in the U.S. The 40 rank organ, with 61 stops and 2,262 pipes, rests in a carved wood case. A shed-roofed addition was built onto the west exterior gable to house the massive pipes without taking too much space from the choir bay floor area.
Seating in the sanctuary is arranged in a curved pattern on a ramped floor to enhance sight lines as well as acoustics. A gallery supported by columns provides more seating; four semi-circular arches over the main area support the high dome without more columns that would interfere with sight lines.
The sanctuary and gallery originally seated 1,250 persons, and numerous ways were built in to change and expand the amount of seating available. The south sanctuary wall is actually a very large operable door panel that can be raised mechanically into a recess in the ceiling to connect the sanctuary with the theater/school room to the south.
This second room is ringed by 12 small gallery rooms, each with risers for seating and operable doors facing the theater/school room. Hence, each of the small gallery rooms could be used for small classes or meetings, or the gallery doors could be opened to allow these rooms to serve as seating boxes for the main room.
At the upper gallery level, above the entrance porch, is a large chamber connected to the sanctuary with operable interior pocket windows. With these windows open, still more supplemental seating space is available for activities in the sanctuary.
In Pilgrim, we see lots of golden oak, smooth, curved and lustrous. Carvings on post and pew recall leaf, flower and tendril shapes. All interior wall and ceiling surfaces are painted plaster, originally adorned with multi-colored Victorian stenciling. The predominant gold and green of the stained glass windows are colors of the natural world.
Two Tiffany-style stained glass windows flank the organ pipe chest, one given in memory of industrialist Thomas H. Lamson and the other in memory of industrialist George A. Sessions and Lillian Holbrook Burrows, all active in Pilgrim Church. A 24-foot diameter stained glass dome is centered in the sanctuary ceiling. The dome was designed by Elizabeth Parsons and is illuminated from above with artificial light.
The ground floor contains a large dining and social hall, kitchen and serving rooms, a past gymnasium, a parlor, a Boy's Brigade room, more classrooms, toilets, and the boiler and machine rooms.
One of the more interesting but less visited spaces is the immense attic above the sanctuary ceiling, under the steeply pitched roof. This area contains a huge spider web of the electrical "knob and tube" wiring system, huge wood beams and roof trusses evidently assembled on site, the upper side of the intricate plaster lathing and support system, the original cable and counterweight system controlling moveable walls and doors, and some of the most dramatic catwalks and interior stairs in the Cleveland area. The full cost of the building, including land, came to between $140,000 and $150,000.
In 1919 a rectangular Community House was added to the south end of the church to provide recreation. The lowest level housed a four lane bowling alley. The first floor contained a gymnasium and shower/toilet complex. The loft contained a boxing ring and exercise area.
(Information in this section from "Creating Sacred Meaning Within Secular Space: Auditorium Churches in the 1890s," by Jean Kilde.
PILGRIM CHURCH DESIGNATED AS A CLEVELAND LANDMARK
Members and friends of Pilgrim Congregational Church, 2592 W. 14th Street, gathered on the steps in front of the church following the morning worship service on June 24, 1973 for a presentation ceremony designating Pilgrim as a Cleveland Landmark. John D. Cimperman, Director, Cleveland Landmarks Commission, made the presentation of a framed certificate to the Rev. Robert S. Winegardner, Senior Pastor of Pilgrim.
CLEVELAND DAILY LEADER 10/3/1865:
NEW CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
The ceremony of laying the cornerstone of a Congregational Church on the Heights was performed yesterday afternoon in the presence of a large congregation of ladies and gentlemen. The exercises were opened with readings from the Scriptures by the Rev. Messrs. Brewster and Day, and the delivery of a fervent prayer by the Rev. Mr. McKnight. Rev. Brewster, the Pastor, made a few remarks on the history of the Church Society. It was organized November 13, 1850, with a congregation numbering 35 members. The speaker stated that although the congregation had been made up of different branches, he had never found it necessary to change the style of his preaching. The Society had increased, notwithstanding the war, until a congregation 500 strong could now be gathered. The Society of 60 members had their meetings in the Humiston's Institute. They felt it time to construct a place of holding divine service. At the conclusion of his remarks, Mrs. Brewster presented a leaden box, which was to be placed under the corner stone. The cornerstone was then formally laid and upon its face was the neatly engraved inscription: "Congregational Church, erected A.D. 1865, W.H. Brewster, Pastor, T.M. Blackburn, Architect." The new Church is situated on University Heights, at the corner of Park Street and Jennings Avenue. The walls will be erected in the course of four or five weeks, and the society will be able to use the basement during the coming winter. The edifice will be completed in the spring. Its estimated cost is $12,000. We understand that subscriptions have been made in the most liberal spirit, and that nearly every subscriber has agreed to double his subscription if necessary. Subscriptions range from $25 to $1,000.
ARTICLE BY TIMOTHY H. BARRETT - CUYAHOGA COUNTY ARCHIVE
Pilgrim grew out of the first Sunday School organized in the Cleveland University building in 1854. Eventually its Connecticut farmers built their first church, called the University Heights Congregational Church, on the corner of Howard Street and Jennings Avenue. After selling this structure to the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland (the church now houses St. Augustine Parish), they built and dedicated their present structure in 1894. The congregation's "open door" policy is figuratively represented by six broad, arched entrances. To aid acculturation of the ethnic groups in the area, the Pilgrim Congregational Church instituted educational clubs, the Olney kindergarten (the Olney residence and art gallery exists today as the Ukrainian American Center on West 14th St.), the visiting nurse program, and many cultural events.
"HISTORY OF PILGRIM CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH 1859-1929"
The history of the Church was written by Miss Jeannette Hart for the 40th anniversary. This was added to for the 50th anniversary and published in the 1909 year book. Miss Jeannette Hart's complete history has been incorporated in the 70th anniversary history, the only changes being some additions.
In 1850 Cleveland was a town of 21,000 inhabitants. Its twin sister was Ohio City, now known as the West Side. The region across the river to the south, a part of Brooklyn Twp, was mostly considered an inaccessible and impossible sort of place, only known to a few bold and venturesome explorers. In the tract now bounded on the north by Cliff Street, on the east by Herschel Street, on the south by Auburn Street, and on the west by Scranton Avenue, there were just five houses, homing perhaps thirty people. These five families were the Branch, the Kellogg, two Aiken families, and the Hadlow family. Seth Branch who came from Connecticut in 1818 purchased a farm of one hundred acres lying just north of Starkweather Avenue. Martin Kellogg coming in the same company, settled on what is now Scranton Road. Seth Aiken and his brother coming about 1825 purchased farms on the south side of Starkweather Avenue. Part of their farm was sold to Mr. Brayton who later, in 1841, sold to the Hadlow family. Shortly after, another family by the name of Bieber settled on a farm on Willey Street. These original families in this district are of interest at this time because through all the years of our church history they have been connected with Pilgrim Church. Mrs. Cordelia Aiken Common, our senior member, is a granddaughter of Seth Aiken and was born in one of the first five houses in this territory. Mrs. Martha Aiken Humiston is also a granddaughter and Mr. Hiram Humiston a great-grandson of Seth Aiken. Of Mr. Hadlow's family two granddaughters, Miss S. Gertrude Hadlow and Mrs. Caroline Hadlow Vinson and a grandson, Henry Ralph Hadlow are members of the church. Alfred N. Kellogg is the great-grandson of Martin Kellogg. Of Mr. Branch's family there are now members of Pilgrim Church three great-granddaughters, Mrs. Jessie Hartzell Throssell, Mrs. Josephine Hartzell Stuart, and Mrs. Sarah Hartzell Fish, and five great-great-granddaughters, Mrs. Helen Throssell Morse, Miss Dorothy Throssell, Mrs. Marjorie Throssell Herzberger, Miss Janet Hartzell Stuart, and Mrs. Sarah Branch Stuart Jaques. Mrs. Caroline Bieber Matz who died recently was the last member of the Bieber family. One of these families was the Hadlow's, who settled in 1841 on a farm fronting on Starkweather Avenue, part of which is still in possession of the Hadlow family. Mr. Brayton, from whom Mr. Hadlow bought the farm, said to him: "The time will come when this land will be worth a hundred dollars per acre." Mr. Hadlow replied: "It may be, but not in your time or mine." He lived to see it sold by the foot in city lots.
There is a tradition that an old Indian trail could be traced up from the valley and on into the country to the south and west. This tract is described as a lovely spot, beautifully wooded, the hillsides with green and mossy banks rising from the gently curving river. "The Flat" above which the electric cars, like the shuttles of an enormous loom, are now hurled back and forth, was a grassy plain dotted with magnificent elms. Cattle browsed peacefully in the shade, undisturbed by any premonition of the deadly "cowcatcher," or that strange animal belching forth uncanny vapors, so soon to destroy the quiet of the ages. Wild flowers bloomed on the banks of the clear and pellucid stream that flowed brightly to the river, which we know only as the sadly altered Walworth Run.
The fairy tale, for so it seems, of the old inhabitants, further relates how the roads wound around the hills and among the trees, guarded by picturesque rail fences, bordered with all the dainty wild things that Mother Nature loves to use in her embroidery. All these charms have perished under the Juggernaut wheels of so called Progress, and we are reminded of Lowell's line, "Earth gets its price for what earth gives us."
About 1852 a few brave spirits conceived the idea of founding near Cleveland a school, or rather University, on the Oberlin plan. Mrs. Thyrza Pelton was the main supporter of the enterprise, and Dr. Asa Mahan, formerly President of Oberlin College, was chosen to take charge of it.
They came, saw, and were conquered by the beauty of "The Heights", and they bought most of the tract as above defined, embracing parts of the Kellogg, Barber, and Branch farms. Mr. Branch sold his property because it had become too valuable for farm land and bought farther out. The house which he built in 1851 on Scranton Road between Branch Avenue and Mentor Avenue is still standing. A University building was erected, of which nothing remains, and a residence of fine and elegant proportions, still standing on the corner of College and University Streets, designed for the president's home. (This building was razed about ten or twelve years ago to build the Greek Catholic Church. The names of these streets and others near still mark the original character of the locality).
The plans embraced a scheme for a beautiful campus, extending westward to the present Lincoln Park. There was to be also a school for young ladies in connection. President Mahan moved into his new home with his family, and the school was opened with a few pupils. People began to move in this direction, attracted by the prospect of such a school and its surroundings, and a number of houses were built. But within a year Mrs. Pelton died, and that and other misfortunes compelled the abandonment of the project. President Mahan went away and the University building was left vacant and unfinished.
While he was there he held preaching services on Sundays in one of the school rooms, and exchanged with other ministers of the city.
In 1854 a Sunday school was started, in the University Building. William Baker obtained some discarded Sunday school books from a church on Prospect Street. Somebody else printed some labels, for love, not money, and a Sunday School Library was opened. This was the beginning of Sunday school work, continued from that time on.
Meanwhile the little community went on growing, and persisted in heartily enjoying life. As one who came here a girl in 1853 expresses it, "We went to everything that came along, at all times of day and all times of night, and thought nothing of it." Those were the days of lecturers such as Wendell Phillips and George William Curtis, and of delightful concerts; and people expected to go, not deterred by trifles like the fact that they always carried a lantern under the buggy to use in extricating them from the mud in which the wheels sank to the hubs.
The old road to the city lay down Willey Street Hill, across Walworth Run on a little wooden bridge, around through the West Side down Columbus Street, across the river, and up "Vineyard Lane," now South Water Street Hill. Needless to say, there were no street lights, and sometimes the drive home at night was through darkness so dense it could be felt. One lady tells of an experience on such a night when the horse they were driving stopped short and refused to move. The ever useful lantern revealed the fact that they were on the verge of a steep declivity and another step would have plunged them down. Another time a young gentleman and lady wandered until midnight trying to find their way home to a house on Jennings Avenue, and Mrs. Hadlow was once lost in the woods near here.
In 1856 the first Seneca Street Bridge was built and after that the journey, though still dark and doubtful, was not so long.
In 1858 the desirability of having a school was strongly felt and Professor Ransom F. Humiston, already well known in the city as a teacher of exceptional ability, was induced to open one in the University building, which stood on the southwest corner of University and College Streets. This school, which was known as "Humiston's Cleveland Institute," was very successful, and more than a hundred boys and girls, both boarding and day pupils, soon gathered in it. Pilgrim Church owns three copies of the "Star of the Institute" issued in November and December 1859, and it is noted that O.H. Burrows was proprietor of the Cleveland & University Heights Omnibus Line, far 10 cents or 16 tickets for $1.00. The omnibus ran from the University to the Melodeon, a store building having a part fitted up as an auditorium where concerts, lectures, and large social events were held. It was located on Superior Street between West 3rd and West 6th Street. One of the advertisements of the Institute lists among its "peculiar advantages its retired and healthful location, the unsurpassed beauty of its site overlooking the city, lake, and shipping in the harbor, and its ample grounds." Mr. Charles Buffett who taught mathematics was one of the corps of ten "thorough and accomplished instructors." University Heights was quite popular with the young men of the city who, even as early as 1854 used to go over there to play ball as there were plenty of open fields.
There was no church of any denomination nearer than the West Side. In 1857 Mr. Hadlow, who with his family was connected with a Wesleyan Methodist Episcopal Church on Euclid Avenue, used to bring his pastor, Rev. William H. Brewster, home with him after the Sunday morning service. In the afternoon Mr. Brewster would preach in the little school house on the site of the Present Tremont School. He and Mr. Jennings also conducted a Sunday school in the same place.
The music for these services was led by the playing of a little melodeon, which Mr. Harrington carried from his home to the school house on his back, each Sunday.
At this time the Public Square was surrounded by a two-rail fence. It intercepted and cut off Superior and Ontario Streets and was truly a beauty spot with shade trees, straight and winding walks and seats where one could rest and enjoy its beauty. The Cleveland Directory, 1859-1860, lists the Cleveland Heights Sunday School, J.G. Jennings, Superintendent, but no mention is made of the church in that year. 1859 witnessed the beginning of two great developments in the city of Cleveland. In this year the first coal oil was manufactured here and the first horse-driven street railway was built, to be followed in 1884 by the first electric street railway in operation in America.
People began to feel the need of a church of their own, and many gatherings were held, usually at Mr. Jennings' home, then on Scranton Avenue, to talk over the possibilities. The great difficulty, beside the feebleness of the community, was in deciding upon the form of organization to be adopted, Congregationalism was finally settled upon as being the least sectarian. It was really a Union church on a Congregational platform.
On November 13, 1859, a Council convened in the school house to organize the new church. The Council was made up of clergymen and laymen from the Methodist Episcopal, Wesleyan Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches.
After the Council had considered and approved the proposed action a sermon was preached and thirty-four persons subscribed to the article of Faith and Covenant previously drawn up, and the "University Heights Congregational Church" was declared duly and formally organized," with Mr. Brewster as its pastor. These 34 members represented at least four different denominations, Wesleyan Methodist, five; Methodist Episcopal, ten; Congregational, eleven; Presbyterian, four; the remaining four on profession of their faith.
The Confession of Faith was copied almost literally from that of the Second Presbyterian Church, answering equally well for Congregational needs.
It is to be remembered that with one exception, Dr. Eells of the Second Presbyterian Church, not a minister of the city approved the new enterprise or predicted anything but speedy failure for the attempt to combine so many diverse elements. Two years, it was prophesied, would be as long as it would hold together. And it should not be forgotten that for seventy years this church, beginning with four denominations and soon adding at least three more, has moved on through sunshine and shadow, not only without serious jar or dissension, but in unusual peace and harmony.
Mr. Hadlow, afterward universally known as "Father Hadlow" and his family were, as has been shown, the very founders of regular religious services here, but they were so greatly needed where they were already members, and so strong a pressure was brought to induce them to remain, that it was several years before they finally brought their letters.
The body known as the "Society" was organized the same week as the church. It was and is composed of all who sign the constitution and contribute to the support of the church. The two organizations have always moved together in such harmony and unity that no separate account of the society will be given here. The heaviest contributions have often come from those who are members only of the society and in all of its needs and plans the church has always received the cordial and hearty support and cooperation of that body as a whole and of its individuals.
Brewster Pelton and Jennette Pelton, his wife, so long as they both lived, were most loyal helpers and supporters. Mr. Pelton took a very active part in the first building and gave liberally toward it. Of deep religious feeling, he lived in every way a vital Christian life, and his death, in the prime of a splendid physical manhood, was an irretrievable loss. Mr. and Mrs. Harrington, after many years absence, came back at last to rest in the shade of the tree they had helped to plant, and which they had always cherished in very deep affection; Mr. and Mrs. Jennings had been unfailing in wise counsel and generous giving.
Mr. Jennings, whose beautiful life on earth closed, combined in a very rare way, the qualities of wisdom and grace, and his memory is a benediction to all who came within the radius of his peculiarly sweet and gentle nature; "Father Hadlow" was, as Mr. Brewster said of him, "An honest man, that noblest work of God." More than that, he was a pattern of simple, devoted piety, living in a nearness to his God that is attained by few.
Professor Humiston offered the use of the large and pleasant assembly room in the Institute for church services, but the Sunday school and prayer meetings were held in the school house. Each person was expected to carry a lamp to prayer meeting, and these little lamps furnished the sole illumination of the room.
The people were, as one of them says, "all poor," but they gave cheerfully all they could, and the church, like most others then in the city, in its outset received aid from the Home Missionary Society. Mr. Brewster, however, insisted on dispensing with that help very soon. In 1861 we find a record of benevolences of the church amounting to $246.63, including a sum for a mission Sunday school in South Brooklyn.
A "Mite Society" met at the houses, men and women attending and each one contributing five cents, the funds thus raised being used for benevolent objects. No refreshments were served, and the attraction was entirely social. Mr. Brewster was a man of unusual qualities of mind and heart, and he both preached and practiced a broad, far-reaching Christianity. A strong preacher and speaker, he was greatly interested in temperance work, and frequently went out to lecture on that subject. His wife was a beautiful woman, a model of the New England minister's wife, wise and good and helpful in every relation of her life.
Twenty-five years after he left here Mr. Brewster was invited to be present at our annual Church Banquet and in response wrote a letter from which we give some extracts.
"In the time of prosperity do not despise the day of small things. We organized in a school house. We elected as deacons a Presbyterian elder and a Methodist class leader. Those who preferred knelt in prayer and others stood. Some said "Amen," others were silent. We never tried to secure intellectual agreement but moral. Any man who recognized Christ as master was owned as a brother. Our motto from the beginning was, "In essential unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity." I hope you will maintain a free, helpful gospel, full of grace and truth. I send you my benediction, which is as good as the Pope's. Do good unto all men. I am waiting the call of the Master. I bid you hail and farewell. In love, William H. Brewster"
No word of the historian could give so clear a picture of the man as does this letter.
Until 1862 the church maintained complete ecclesiastical independence, but in that year voted to join the Cleveland Congregational Conference. In 1867 the city limits were extended to include this region. Until then there were no stores of any extent, and no delivery of mail or anything else from the city. Mrs. Common remembers that mail was delivered prior to 1867 by Mr. Dakin and that it was he who brought the sad news of Lincoln's assassination. People must either drive or walk to town, and get their supplies as best they might. During the war prices rose alarmingly. The twenty-five cents they asked for a spool of cotton thread, would frighten the prodigal present day. Yet the people contributed liberally for the soldiers, both in goods and in time. President Mahan's daughters did an immense amount of invaluable work with the Sanitary Commission of the city. Nothing daunted the women of those days, and when the Commission called for barrels in which to send off supplies to the soldiers, one of our well known ladies could have been seen driving down Superior Street in an open buggy, while another beside her struggled with the unruly propensities of an empty flour barrel, which it is needless to say, they landed in triumph and safety.
At the end of five years the church numbered only 48, and was still holding preaching services in the Institute, but planning for a building of its own. Mr. Pelton gave two valuable lots on the corner of Jennings Ave. and Howard Street, and in the Spring of 65 the building was begun. In 66 the basement was completed and occupied and the Sunday school for the first time brought under the same roof with the church. Three years later the audience room was finished, affording seating for 400, at a total cost of about $16,000.
During these years there was a very active social and intellectual life. Professor Humiston's corps of teachers were of high character and attainments and the school attracted many desirable visitors and residents to this part of the city.
In August, 1868, Mr. Brewster resigned his pastorate. Professor Humiston's school was also discontinued in that year.
In April, 1869, a church call was extended to and accepted by Rev. Thomas K. Noble, the second pastor. He was from Maine, but came directly from the army, where he had been serving as chaplain. A remarkably fine speaker, a magnetic preacher and leader, he did much to make the church known and appreciated throughout the city. This was still the only Protestant Church in this locality and was largely attended by persons not in actual membership. The church numbered at the end of the second five years, 126.
In the fall of 1869 occurred an event of great moment - the arrival of the "Connecticut Colony," including, besides others, three families from Southington, who brought greatly needed elements of strength, both personal and financial. Those who knew our dear friend, Thomas H. Lamson, need not be reminded of his unfailing and most generous interest in the church. Those who never knew him know his like in his brother Isaac P. Lamson and his partner, Samuel W. Sessions. It is needless to say that what they then were to this church and community, they have been ever since; a stronghold for all good works, never failing in willingness and ability to help and further the best interests.
The church edifice, though finished, was very bare within; the pulpit furniture was loaned by one of our good women, at some inconvenience, probably, to herself. So at Christmas time some of Mr. Noble's friends made him a present of a handsome set of the much needed pulpit chairs. Then he declared that he could never be easy in mind, until the people in the pews were more so in body, and called for volunteers to furnish cushions for the seats. Provision for from one to five seats was assumed by different individuals and in that way the house was finally furnished. The first bell was hung in the hitherto empty steeple, at this time.
The pressure of life was not so great in those years as it became later, the community being still small enough for general social life. The church socials were held at the houses of the different members and were extremely pleasant. The Strawberry Festival held in June, was a feature of the year, long anticipated, for the berry season did not then begin in January, and they had to make the most of it.
In the years 1869-1879 inclusive, the membership increased from 126 to 209. A notable number of men of strong character in this period first professed their faith in Christ.
Mr. Noble remained until September, 1872, and was followed in December of the same year by the third pastor, Rev. W.H. Warren, well known and loved in this community, where the influence of his sterling personal worth, his intense love for humanity, and his devout Christian character, will never be effaced.
In 1873 what was known as the Women's Crusade swept over the State. This was, briefly, a movement of good women arising in concert against the liquor traffic. One who was deeply concerned in it, a very conservative and peculiarly domestic woman, described it as "an inexplicable force that drew as irresistibly as ever did the Holy Crusades of old." "We did not dare not to go," she says. Many of our women, sometimes accompanied by the pastor, went to the saloons to sing and pray and try to rouse the men to the evil of, and the possible remedy for, the drinking habit. Some of our best known women were among the leaders, while others, not strong enough physically to go out "crusading," went with Mrs. Warren, the pastor's wife, to the church each day to ask divine help and guidance for those who had gone.
On one occasion the women entered a saloon filled with rough men, one of whom sneeringly declared that not one of the visitors could even repeat the Apostles' Creed. For a moment no one spoke and then the silence was broken by Mrs. Nathan Wright, who was brought up in the Episcopal Church, and who recited the Creed so beautifully that the men were completely awed into respectful deference. The results of the Crusade at the time were encouraging though not all that was hoped from it.
In connection with this movement appeared for the first time certain needs of the community, for which the churches were not providing, yet which were distinctly a part of the service which Christianity owes to the world.
The efforts of the women secured many signers to the total abstinence pledge, especially among young men, who then said, "What shall we do with our leisure hours? Outside of our boarding houses, there is but one open door for us."
In response to this appeal the ladies secured and established rest and recreation rooms on Merchant Avenue, corner of Fairfield Street, provided with games and reading matter. This was largely maintained by the contributions of our church and society members. The panic of 1875 crippled many financial enterprises, and these rooms were necessarily closed.
That was nearly twenty years before the dedication of this building, which was not only inspired by the convictions of just such needs, but adds the immense advantage of providing for them under the roof of a Christian Church.
The reading rooms were a year later reopened on Pearl Street, and in connection with them a Sewing School, said to be the first in the city, was organized, with classes in domestic training for little girls, mothers, and a partly uniformed regiment of boys. While other churches and denominations assisted in the work, some of our ablest women were still among these pioneers in hitherto untried paths which have since become so familiar.
In May, 1875, Mr. Warren resigned, and in February, 1876, Rev. Newell M> Calhoun, the fourth pastor, took the charge.
In 1877, the church was enlarged by adding transepts, and greatly improved and beautified, and a long wished for pipe organ place in it, these improvements costing $20,000, and affording total seating capacity for 700 persons.
These were years of outreaching in many directions. There was even suggestion of establishing a mission church to the west of us, so great were seen to be the needs of the young people growing up in large numbers without any religious training or connection. An exhaustive house to house canvass was three times made in behalf of children who were or should be in the Sunday School; and we can see now that the minds and hearts of the people were being prepared for the great undertakings that the future should unfold to them, in the then un-thought of Institutional Church.
Until 1878 the regular expenses of the church had been met chiefly from the rental of the seats. In that year a majority of the seat holders voluntarily released their holdings, continuing their contributions just the same, in the form of pledges for the support of the church. For some years, however, regular attendants continued to occupy their old places.
In 1883 the name of the church was changed to Jennings Avenue Congregational Church, which name it bore until June 17th, 1892 when, with general approval, was adopted the present and final name of Pilgrim Congregational Church of Cleveland, Ohio.
In May, 1884 Mr. Calhoun resigned. He was followed in January, 1885, by Dr. Julian M. Sturtevant, the fifth pastor. He was a man large in heart, as in frame. He was particularly fond of boys, and wielded a strong influence over them, organizing a large boys' club.
As the audience room was then arranged, there was great difference in the desirability of different parts of it. The need of more adequate accommodations for congregation and Sunday school became more and more evident and some plans for enlarging the building were discussed, but were for the time abandoned.
In 1881 the Young People's Association in connection with the general Association of the city, was formulated. In 1889 this was merged into the Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor which has been an extremely valuable factor in the church forces.
In September, 1890, Dr. Sturtevant resigned and we were for a year without a settled pastor. In April, 1891, a call was extended to Rev. Charles S. Mills, a young man 30 years of age, the sixth pastor, and in September of that year he entered upon his work.
Meanwhile an Outlook Committee was appointed, on Mr. Mills' suggestion, to study the needs of the people and the ways of meeting those needs. In November, 1891, Mr. Mills preached a sermon which deeply moved all who heard it, and an enthusiastic movement was at once started for a new building, adapted for work of wider extent than had heretofore been dreamed of as possible.
The steps that led up to our present "Church Beautiful" are know, at least in part, to most of us. The story of its growth, into which is woven so much of that most precious of all things, humanity, is of intense interest.
By March, 1893, the pledges for the new church had reached $52,000, and in April, 1893, the contracts were let for the aggregate of $65,000. Late in the afternoon of Wednesday, April 5, 1893, a large crowd gathered on the new lot to take part in the breaking of the ground. The first shovelful of earth was removed by Deacon J.G. Jennings, one of the original members of the church, followed by A.C. Caskey, President of the Board of Trustees; Mother Hadlow, whose life has been so connected with the history of the church from its beginning, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. F. Olney, to whose generosity the Church has owed so much.
The cornerstone was laid on July 6, 1893, after 17 months of working and planning. The architect was the well-known S.R. Badgeley. The building at Howard Street was sold to St. Augustine's parish for $20,000, and the pledges were slowly paid in. That was the year of the terrible financial panic. Finally in November, 1894, the structure was completed and was dedicated in a week of great services. The cost of the building, lot and furniture, including the organ, was $140,000. Dr. Washington Gladden preached the dedication sermon. It was the finest church of its kind in the country, stately and beautiful, a living testimony to the faith and hope, the self-denying loving labors of a people who are trying to further the Kingdom of God.
The fame of the new Pilgrim Church spread rapidly, and for years almost every issue of The Calendar reported the names of distinguished visitors who came from all parts of the country to see the building. At the request of the Commission of the Paris Exposition in 1899, an exhibit of pictures and printed matter was sent, which was highly praised.
Although I have tried to tell the story of a people, rather than individuals, some names come up so clearly that no history could be true which did not set them forth.
First of all the six pastors, every man a leader of his congregation, yet every man conscious of the force which characterizes the whole history of the church, the loyal and loving cooperation of his people. No record would be complete which did not gratefully commemorate the wise liberality of Brewster Pelton, John G. Jennings, Thomas H. Lamson, Samuel W. Sessions, Isaac P. Lamson and Charles F. Olney. Nor can we forget John G. Jennings, Albert G. Hart and Charles Buffet, each served as deacon of this church for more than 25 years.
When the later chapters of this history shall come to be written we shall find among the names of those who have done most to aid in the ever-broadening work of the church, those of the three men associated with the Pastor in leadership - Irving W. Metcalf, Oliver H. Bronson and Edgar S. Rothrock; and that of one who for eight years as Pastors' Assistant had given always her faithful and efficient service, Kate MacInnes.
Rev. Irving Metcalf was our first Associate Pastor, serving with Dr. Mills from July, 1894 to October, 1897. He is now a resident of Oberlin. Oliver Hart Bronson, Assistant Pastor from October 18, 1897 to June 1, 1899, was in 1924 teaching in Yale China University in Chang-Sha. He is now pastor of a Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.
Since the above was written, the church has wrought out ten years in serving the community, and increasing its membership from 801 to 1,115. Rev. E.S. Rothrock, called to be Associate Pastor in 1899 accomplished ten years of rare achievement, in the Sunday School and Institute, a generation of young people growing up to earnest life under his intimate ministry. In February, 1909 he removed to St. Louis, to become City Missionary Superintendent. Since 1910 he has been Superintendent of Missions in the state of Ohio.
Dr. Charles S. Mills accepted a call in 1905 to be pastor of the Pilgrim Church, St. Louis. His years of service in Cleveland constituted one of the most remarkable pastorates in Congregational history. Dr. Mills left in May, 1905; in October the church installed his successor, Dr. Dan F. Bradley, who has carried forward the work in the volume and spirit in which he found it.
On November 2, 1907, Miss Kate MacInnes, for fifteen years the Pastor's Assistant, found her heavenly reward, passing into life with the profound affection of all Pilgrims and multitudes more to whom she had commended the gospel of Jesus by her sweet life. In that same year, Dr. A.G. Hart, soldier, physician, deacon emeritus and friendly man was suddenly ushered into the larger life.
In 1906, by a generous gift of Mr. I.P. Lamson, the home formerly occupied by Dr. Mills was made the parsonage of Pilgrim Church, practically adding $10,000 to its endowment.
In July 1909, Rev. Henry B. Mowbray assumed the duties of Associate Pastor and on September 20th he was installed by a Council representing all the Congregational Churches of Cleveland Association
NOTE: At this point ends the history as written to the time of the Fiftieth Anniversary. All that follows is the work of Mrs. C.L. Fish, Historian of the Seventieth Anniversary.
On November 13, 1909, Pilgrim Church completed fifty years of its life, and the day coming on Saturday, it was determined to make the four days immediately following thereto Jubilee Days, the Sabbath to be observed as the day of worship, Monday as a day of fellowship, Tuesday the women's day closing with a concert, and Wednesday a day of memories. The weather was propitious, the audiences large and inspiring. The Jubilee will long be remembered as a fitting climax to a glorious period of history.
About this time, a change was coming in the community served by Pilgrim Church. Cleveland, growing very rapidly, offered a wonderful opportunity to the multitudes of foreigners who poured through Ellis Island, and our neighborhood, brought so close to the center of the city by the opening of the Central Viaduct in 1888, was becoming thickly settled by these newcomers. As the years have passed, the original German immigrants have given way to the Irish, and they in turn to the Slavic peoples, and now we find the Greeks and Syrians rapidly coming in.
This invasion of foreigners, together with the rapid extension of the electric railway system and the invention and phenomenal development of the automobile, has resulted in the removal of many of our members to other parts of the city, so that now, 20 years later, our membership is scattered from one end of our great city to the other. Now our neighborhood includes 20 or more different nationalities. In spite of this changing community about 1/3 of our active membership still resides within two miles of the church.
During the summer of 1910 Pilgrim Church joined with its neighbors, the German Evangelical and the Methodist Churches, in holding union services in Lincoln Park.
In 1913, with the growth of the city, the downtown churches were finding themselves left behind by their members and in this year Plymouth Congregational Church sold its property on Prospect St. and went with its members to Shaker Heights. In the western end, Lakewood Congregational Church was building its beautiful new home. Pilgrim has always been especially interested in Lakewood Church and our records show that since the organization of Lakewood, in November 1893, Pilgrim has given to it 79 members by letter.
On September 9, 1914, Mr. Mowbray resigned to accept a call in California. He and his wife have done a wonderful work for us and have won the love of our people. No visitors are more welcome at Pilgrim than Henry Buckingham Mowbray and his lovely wife.
Following Mr. Mowbray's resignation, on July 15, 1915, Sireno Carl Weist came to us as Associate Pastor. Those were trying times; the World War, already of a year's duration, was being seriously felt. Pilgrim Church was going through a time of prayerful waiting, for early in January 1916 Mr. Weist was taken to the hospital for an operation for appendicitis, and Dr. Bradley lay at home desperately ill with pneumonia. The whole community rejoiced when they were once more back among us, well and strong. In the Spring of 1917, the United States declared war and the whole country sprang into action. Pilgrim Women worked making supplies for the Red Cross and hospitals. Mr. Weist, anxious to do his part for his country, resigned in September 1917 and left for Russia to join the YMCA work.
Following Mr. Weist's departure, Mr. Fred Leslie Brownlee came to us on January 1, 1918 as associate pastor. During that summer a vacation school was carried on in Pilgrim Church. Eight nationalities and sixteen churches were represented.
Early in 1919 plans were made to build a Community House in connection with the church which would give us more gymnasium room and shower baths and provide space for bowling alleys. Pledges over $76,000 were made, three lots to the south were purchased, and the building started. It was completed in November, 1920. On November 2, 1919, the church marked its Sixtieth Anniversary. Dr. Bradley was a speaker.
In November, 1920, Mr. Brownlee resigned. We were then without an associate pastor until June of the following year when Rev. Walter N. James came to be associated with Dr. Bradley and remained with us until September, 1924, when he went to Columbus.
On December 1, 1924, Walter H. Stark came to be our associate pastor. Mr. Stark was born in England, brought up in Toronto, and educated in Philadelphia. Mr. Stark and his interesting family quickly made for themselves a very definite place in both the church and community.
1924 marked the Thirtieth Anniversary of our new church and it was celebrated with appropriate services at the annual meeting in January, 1925.
In the spring of 1925 Pilgrim entertained and was entertained by some interesting guests when, at our invitation, Pastor Jason Kappanadze and the chorus of St. Theodosius Church rendered a complete sacred service in Russian. These people are our neighbors. Pilgrim church seventy years ago outside the city limits, is now on the hub of the most densely populated section of the city. There are 6,000 people in the district from Railway Ave. to Jefferson Ave., from West 5th to West 10th, 20 percent native born, 2800 native born of foreign parentage. From West 10 to West 14, from Kenilworth Ave. to the river there are 6,100 people, 46 percent foreign, 20 percent naturalized.
Page 35 - Fifty years ago Pilgrim Church celebrated its Twentieth Anniversary. This was so important an even tin the community that the Cleveland Herald of November 21, 1879 devoted almost two columns to the account of the celebration.
Page 38 - And so we come to the close of seventy years of active life at Pilgrim. An article in the History of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County by Coates says that at the time of the dedication of our new church "many prominent men who took part in the exercises, seeing the magnitude of the new undertaking expressed the opinion privately that the church had taken on a white elephant." These gentlemen evidently did not know the church. As we have looked back over these seventy years and call to mind those who by their sturdy character and effort have made possible this great work, may we not hope that in the years to come when Pilgrim celebrates its 100th anniversary, the joyous Pilgrims of that day may look back and give thanks that we too kept the faith and carried on the work so prayerfully and heroically begun by that little band of pioneers seventy years ago.
NECROLOGY OF MEMBERS WHO HAVE PASSED THAT WERE INPORTANT TO THE CHURCH:
October 22, 1912 - Reverend Thomas Kimball Noble, Pastor of the church from 1869 to 1872, at the age of 81. Forty-five years have passed since, as a young chaplain in the United States Army he came to be the second pastor of our young and struggling church. He continued in the pastorate for only four years, yet the impress of his personality, the strength of his character and the charm of his friendliness have remained here as a lasting asset.
December 3, 1913 - Reverend William H. Warren, Pastor from 1872 to 1875. Mr. Warren was a man of high character and sincere piety, and devoted to his church.
August 25, 1920 - Deacon John Hadlow at the advanced age of 81. Mr. Hadlow had been a faithful Pilgrim during all the years of the church's history, and his parents were among the founders of the church. For twenty years he had been a Deacon and at the time of his death was Deacon Emeritus.
October 9, 1921 - Julian Monson Sturtevant, the fifth Pastor of Pilgrim Church. Dr. Sturtevant had reached the advanced age of 87. He ministered in the old church on Howard Avenue from January 27, 1885 to September 17, 1890. During his administration the church made substantial growth.
August 28, 1927 - Mrs. Hannah Raines Hadlow, for 57 years a faithful and active member of Pilgrim Church. The Hadlow family is one of the oldest in the church.
It is fitting that we should pay special honor at this time to the memory of the father of Pilgrim Church, Mr. H.R. Hadlow. He was an Englishman, a successful market gardener, of limited education. (He then goes on to say the same thing above from the history section). Continuing on with new stuff: They continued their membership in the Wesleyan Methodist Church for several years, but ultimately Mr. and Mrs. Hadlow, their twin daughters and their two sons took letters to this church and were devoted members as long as they lived. An amusing illustration of the early trend of the church was given on one occasion when Father Hadlow presided at a business meeting of the Church Society. An important matter was under consideration. Finally, Father Hadlow said, "Brethering, I've consulted Deacon Jennings on this subject, and he's unanimous; and I've consulted Squire Pelton and he's unanimous. I think we're all unanimous!" So he did not put the question.
Churches in the immediate section:
St. Michaels (Catholic), Scranton and Clark Avenues
A Baptist Mission, Clark and Scranton
Emmanuel (Evangelical Lutheran), Scranton and Seymour
All Saints Protestant Episcopal Church, Scranton and Mentor.
Martin Luther (Evangelical Lutheran), Slovak, 2139 W. 14th
St. Vladimir's (Greek Orthodox), Ukrainian, 2280 W. 14th
Sacred Heart of Jesus (Polish National Catholic), 2134 West 14th
Church of the Annunciation (Greek Orthodox), West 14th at the corner of Fairfield
St. Augustine (Catholic), West 14th at the corner of Howard
Emmanuel (Evangelical Association), West 14th corner Starkweather
St. Georges (Greek Orthodox-Syrian), West 14th corner Starkweather
Zion (Evangelical), West 14th corner Branch
Seventh Day Adventist (First German), 3151 W. 14
Holy Ghost (Catholic-Russian), 1413 Kenilworth
Our Lady of Mercy (Catholic-Slovak), 2423 W. 11
Saints Peter and Paul (Catholic-Ukrainian), College St. corner West 7th
St. John Cantius (Catholic-Polish), Professor corner College
St. Theodosius (Greek Orthodox-Russian), 733 Starkweather
1859-1868 - University Heights Congregational - Seymour &
Jennings, Rev. William Brewster
1869-1872 University Heights Congregational Seymour & Jennings, Rev. T.K. Noble
1872 - 1875 University Heights Congregational Seymour and Jennings, Rev. W.H. Warren
1876 - 1884 Heights Congregational Jennings & Howard, Rev. N.M. Calhoun
1885 - 1890 Jennings Avenue Church Jennings & Howard, Rev. Julian M. Sturtevant
1891 - 1902 Pilgrim Church Jennings and Howard, Rev. Charles S. Mills
1905 - 1937 Pilgrim Church Jennings and Starkweather, Rev. Dan F. Bradley
1937 - 1943 - Pilgrim Church - Rev. Walter Stark
1943 - 1949 - Pilgrim Church - Rev. Milton Grant
1943 - ???? - Pilgrim Church - Rev. Ludwig Emigholz
1990 - present - Pilgrim Church - Rev. Laurinda Hafner
1894 Hough Avenue Church Hough at Crawford,
Rev. I.W. Metcalf
1898 - 1906 Hough Avenue Church Hough at Crawford, Rev. Charles W. Carroll
1908 Hough Avenue Church Hough at E. 82nd, Rev. Ira Houston
1913 - 1918 Hough Avenue Church Hough at E. 82nd, Rev. E.H. Tippet
1921 - 1928 Hough Avenue Church Hough at E. 82nd, Rev. Samuel Fritsch
1908 Immanuel Church (BOHEMIAN) 2373 E.
82nd, Rev. Adolf Yukl
1913 Immanuel Church 2373 E. 82nd, Rev. John Prucha
1924 Immanuel Church 2371 E. 82nd, Rev. Fred Bastel
1891 Irving Street Church Irving at Orange,
Rev. Robert Quaife
1894 Irving Street Church Irving at Orange, Rev. George Hill
1898 Irving Street Church Irving at Orange, Rev. J.A. Davidson
1902 Italian Church Mayfield at Fairview, Rev. Joseph Zottarelli
1908 - 1913 Jones Road Church (WELSH) Jones
Rd. near Broadway, Rev. William Jones
1921 Jones Road Church Jones near Broadway, Rev. Isaac Williams
1924 Jones Road Church Jones near Broadway, Rev. John Roberts
1902 Kinsman Street Church 73 Kinsman, Rev.
1906 Kinsman Street Church Kinsman at Venning, Rev. John Stapleton
1913 Kinsman Street Church Kinsman at Venning, Rev. George Extence
1894 Lake View Chapel Euclid opposite Lake
View Cemetery, Rev. James Thome
1898 Lake View Church Euclid opposite Lake View Cemetery, Rev. Albert Cristy
1902 Lake View Church 2889 Euclid, Rev. Alexander Ingraham
1906 Lake View Church 2889 Euclid, Rev. L.J. Luthi
1908 Lake View Church Euclid near Lake View, Rev. L.J. Luethl
1898 Lakewood Church Detroit at Highland,
Rev. Howard Richards
1902 Lakewood Church Detroit at Highland, Rev. Frederick Holbrook
1898 Lorain Street Church Lorain at Richard, Rev. Charles H. Powell
1879 - 1883 Madison Avenue Church Madison
and Quincy, Rev. O.D. Fisher
1887 - 1891 Madison Avenue Church Madison and Quincy, Rev. Herbert Tenney
1894 - 1902 Madison Avenue Church Madison and Quincy, Rev. D.T. Thomas
1906 Madison Avenue Church Madison and Quincy, Rev. F.E. Carter
1894 - 1898 Mizpah Chapel (POLISH) Ackley
near Fleet, J.J. Dessup
1902 Mizpah Chapel Ackley near Fleet, Rev. Paul Fox
1906 Mizpah Chapel Ackley near Fleet, Rev. Paul Kozielek
1908 - 1921 Mizpah Chapel E. 59th near Fleet Rev. Philip Reitinger
1924 Mizpah Chapel E. 59th near Fleet, Rev. V.P. Backora
1869 1872 Mount Zion Congregational (COLORED),
on Erie St. opp. Webster, Rev. T.J. Jean
1874 1877 Mount Zion Church 10 Maple, Rev. C.E. Ruddick
1879 1883 Mount Zion Maple near Garden, Rev. Andrew J. DeHart
1887 Mount Zion Maple near Garden, Rev. S.N. Brown
1891 - 1894 Mount Zion Maple near Garden, Rev. Daniel W. Shaw
1898 Mount Zion - Maple near Central, Rev. J.E. Moorland
1902 - 1906 Mount Zion Mayflower near Central, Rev. Joseph S. Jackson
1908 Mount Zion 2315 E. 31st, Rev. Joseph Jackson
1913 - 1918 Mount Zion 2315 E. 31st, Rev. G.V. Clark
1921 Mount Zion 2315 E. 31st, Rev. I.K. Merchant
1924 Mount Zion E. 55th and Central, Rev. Harold Kingsley
1928 Mount Zion E. 55th and Central, Rev. Russell Brown
1906 North Church St. Clair at Gordon Park,
Rev. Charles Lemmon
1908 - 1913 North Church St. Clair at E. 72nd, Rev. Charles Lemmon
1918 - 1921 North Church St. Clair at E. 72nd, Rev. D.R. Williams
1928 North Church E. 72nd at St. Clair, Rev. Leonard Hague
1894 Park Church Crawford at Cullison, Rev.
1898 Park Church Crawford at Cullison, Rev. Edgar Rothrock
1902 Park Church Crawford at Cullison, Rev. Elwell O. Mead
1906 Park Church Crawford at Cullison, Rev. J.C. Treat
1908 - 1913 Park Church Ashbury at E. 112th, Rev. Leland Edwards
1918 Park Church Ashbury at E. 112th, Rev. Howard Torbet
1906 Peoples Church Eddy Rd. near St. Clair,
Rev. Ira Houston
1908 Peoples Church Eddy near St. Clair, Rev. Albert Eby
From: "History of Cuyahoga County" by Crisfield Johnson (1879):
This church was organized March 25, 1850. The place of worship occupied by the church for 3 years from its organization, was the building on Wood Street, known as the Tabernacle, or Round Church. During the summer of 1853 the church moved into the edifice erected on the corner of Erie and Euclid Streets. For two years thereafter the Wesleyan Chapel, on Euclid Street near the Park, was occupied. In January 1857, the society purchased the building on Prospect Street, known as the Prospect Street Church, which was enlarged and remodeled and in November, 1857, dedicated. Here the society worshiped for 15 years. Its last meeting in this church was July 28, 1872, after which the Prospect Street Church having been sold to the Homeopathic Medical College, the society repaired, and until the erection of Plymouth Chapel occupied, the school house, corner of Prospect and Perry Streets. The first service took place April 26, 1874.
1850 1854 Plymouth Church - Rev. Edwin Nevin
1854 1861 Plymouth Church - Rev. James White
1862 - 1874 Plymouth Church Prospect St. near Erie, Rev. Samuel Wolcott
1877 - 1883 Plymouth Congregational Perry bet. Euclid and Prospect, Rev. Charles T. Collins
1887 - 1894 Plymouth Congregational Perry and Prospect, Rev. George Leavitt
1898 Plymouth Church Perry and Prospect, Rev. Livingston Taylor
1902 Plymouth Church Perry and Prospect, Rev. Morgan Wood
1906 Plymouth Church Perry and Prospect, Rev. H.G. Temple
1908 - 1913 Plymouth Church Prospect at E. 22nd, Rev. Nathaniel Pratt
1913 Puritan Church Franklin at W. 58th, Rev. John Berry
1908 Swedish Church 5803 Lexington, Rev.
1913 Swedish Church Addison at Decker, Rev. Oscar G. Larson
1924 - 1928 Swedish Church Addison at Decker, Rev. A. Swenson
1898 - 1906 Trinity Church Cedar opposite
Bertram, Rev. R.A. George
1908 Trinity Church Cedar opp. E. 84th, Rev. Robert George
1913 Trinity Church Cedar opp. E. 84th, Rev. Ross Greene
1921 Trinity Church Cedar opp. E. 84th, Rev. J.A. Schmluk
1924 Trinity Church 8407 Cedar, Rev. J.S. Haffner
1891 - 1894 Union Church Union near Woodland
Hills, Rev. E.E. Scoville
1898 - 1902 Union Church Union near Woodland Hills, Rev. Charles H. Lemmon
1906 Union Church Union near Woodland Hills, Rev. Frederick Holbrook
1908 Union Church Union near E. 93rd, Rev. Frederick Holbrook
1913 Union Church Union near E. 93rd, Rev. A.E. Woodruff
1874 Welsh Congregational Bethel Building,
Rev. J.M. Evans
1877 - 1879 Welsh Congregational Temperance Hall Superior, Rev. J. M. Evans
1883 Welsh Church 296 Pearl, Rev. J.M. Evans
1887 - 1898 Welsh Church 435 Pearl, Rev. J.M. Evans
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