from Indiana: A New Historical Guide by Robert M. Taylor,
Jr., Errol Wayne Stevens, Mary Ann Ponder, and Paul
Brockman. Published in 1989 by the Indiana Historical
Society, 315 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202.
A series of tributes to hometown people and events that
have shaped our history.
- This is a
mirror of the site at http://web.indstate.edu/community/vchs/wvp/stephens.htm
- St. Stephen's
- Even before
Bishop Jackson Kemper's fateful visits to Terre Haute in
the late 1830s, several notable citizens were committed
to Episcopalian teachings. A few founders of St.
Stephen's Church were instrumental in establishing other
local Protestant parishes.
(Clark) Danaldson, Franceska (Goverman) Blake and Jane
(McCutcheon) Krumbhaar are credited with convincing
Bishop Kemper to dispatch a minister to the thriving
community. The congregation officially organized April
15, 1840. Colonel Thomas Holdsworth Blake and William
Frege Krumbhaar were elected wardens. Dr. Ebenezer
Daniels, Levi Warren, Jacob Bourne and John Rutledge were
initial vestrymen. Rev. Charles Prindle was Kemper's
choice as pastor and arrived in May.
- Services were
first conducted in the old Vigo County Court House.
Prindle died a few months later and was succeeded by Rev.
Robert E. Croes. Under his direction, the congregation
leased a building at the southeast corner of Third and
Ohio streets. During the day, Croes conducted a
subscription school there. The congregation's first
church - among the first local structures to boast Gothic
Revival architecture - was dedicated June 9, 1845, on the
west side of Fifth Street, a few doors north of Wabash
Ave. Croes remained as pastor until May
- As the parish
flourished under the guidance of Revs. William G.
Spencer, Thomas Mills Martin and Chauncey Fitch, a larger
structure was demanded. The cornerstone for St. Stephen's
Episcopal Church at 215 N. Seventh Street was laid May 4,
1862. The lot and improvements cost $17,000. A $7,000
rectory was completed soon thereafter. Services were
first conducted there in 1863.
- In 1871 the
parish acquired a $2,500 organ. The imposing bell tower
was mounted in 1874. The great hall and cloister room
were annexed in 1891. The congregation has completed the
church by adding a new chapel, educational building,
cloister porch and formal garden.
- After its
desertion by the parish, the 1845 Episcopal church on N.
Fifth Street was converted into a theater. For a few
years it was the Academy of Music, operated by Luke
Schoolcraft and Jake Kern. Schoolcraft moved to New York
in 1871 and became a noted musician, actor, and
songwriter. The theater was renamed the Adelphi Theater
before the building was moved to the back of the lot. It
was later demolished.
- I attended
the church on North Seventh Street as a child, was baptized there and sang in the choir. I was also an
acolyte. The minister I recall most fondly is Thomas