Manuscript was found by Earl Vincell, son of Laura Louise Dreckshage Vincell and George Floyd Vincell, in the smokehouse on their farm. A special thanks goes to Edith Vincell for sharing this very special historical document with the Vincell family. We will always be grateful.
Copied by Rosemary Vincell Titus and reprinted for the enjoyment and preservation of the Vincell / Dreckshage family history. January, 2001
German Methodist Episcopal Church
1848 - 1918
Tillie Kespohl Crane
The German M. E. church of Pittsfield was organized for the special purpose of giving the German speaking people of Pittsfield and vicinity a place to worship God in the language of the Fatherland. It has accomplished a great work and been the means of grace for many wayfarers on life’s pilgrimage. We can all look with pride upon its achievements, and hold in loving remembrance our fathers and mothers whose religious life centered around its alter. It is therefore with a feeling of keen regret, that after a period of nearly 70 years of usefulness and activity we must see its career come to a close.
Although it is true that this world is change and forever changing, nevertheless, it is not true that the hand of time defaces all.
The most enduring monument erected t o the fame of man will sooner or later be crushed by the touch of time; but those sublime and nobler deeds put forth for the elevation and good of man are indestructible and immortal. The deeds of the loyal patriot who sacrifices self for the love and preservation of his country; the deeds of the dying martyr who regards the dictates of his faith in God beyond the behests of man; and especially those of the pious missionary, who esteems the word of God and its practical application as his guide and inspiration in all the vicissitudes of life; the preaching of its undying truths to a dying world, in the face of all rebuffs an persecution. All these are indelibly inscribed upon “Gods book of remembrance: and cannot be defaced.
The Methodist church founded by Wesley and his followers, has been a “revival church in spirit, and a missionary church in organization”, growing into great proportions like a mighty tree,
extending its huge branches into all the civilized world. Of all these branches it may be justly said, none has brought forth a greater fruitage to the Glory of God and the uplifting of man than German Methodism. In reading its early history, we find a description of its great struggles and manifold hardships; which a self denying membership, by its undying faith nobly conquered; expounding the word of God to their countymen, and transmitting to them a legacy of German songs, melodies and literature.
Although we cannot at this time record her many struggles and glorious achievements, nevertheless, we desire to give a brief historic outline as a farewell tribute to the German M. E. church of Pittsfield, Ill. The especial purpose of this little volume.
The German M. E. church of Pittsfield was organized in 1852, but before this time and as early as 1849 the German speaking families of Pittsfield and vicinity met on Sundays for religious service at the home of Bro. William Mantz, (the present Graham home) on North Monroe St., and also at the home of the Bro. John Kaeser, Sr., who at that time lived on the west side of the public square.
They had no regular preacher at this time but were supplies by the circuit riders, 1849-50 by Rev. John Schmidt, 1850-1851 by Rev. Peter Hinners. But as they had a number of other places to preach they could come to Pittsfield only once a month; but on the interveneing Sundays these good people, imbued with the Spirit of God, met at the above named places,
and held their prayermeeting, class meeting and Sunday School service. Only four of the earlier members of our church who attended these meetings are still with us: Sister Louisa Stuckman, Sister Hannah Heck, Sister Caroline Sittler and Brother Henry Holkamp, who resides at Dallas, Texas. Since their organization in 1852 meetings were held in different places, part of the time in the small frame Lutheran church which stood north of the Judge Higbee residence, also in the old school house opposite the present church building, and in the old M. E. church on North Monroe St., where the First M. E. stands today. The first quarterly conference was held in this church, June 9, 1855. The quarterly conference at a meeting held at Pittsfield on Nov. 11, 1865 passed a resolution to build a church; the pastor Rev. A. F. Korphage, and Frederick Kespohl were authorized to collect funds for this purpose. The following committees were appointed: a building committee, consisting of Rev. A. F. Korphage, George Weinand, Frederick Kespohl, Joseph Heck; also a lot committee to secure a suitable location for the erection of a church, William Howing, Ludwig Klemme, George Weinand, Frederick Kespohl and Joseph Heck.
The records show that on Dec. 27, 1865, lots 5 and 6, block 22, Pittsfield, Ill., were bought from Abby Jane Campbell, consideration $550.
Although the records are silent as to when the building of the church began, it was completed, and dedicated on July 28, 1867. Rev. Phillip Kuhl (familiarly known as Father Kuhl undoubtedly on account of his relation with the Orphanage of the German M. E. church at Warrenton, Mo. ) delivered the opening sermon and officiated at its dedication. It must have been indeed a happy day for the congregation when they entered their new church home, and no doubt appreciated the fact that “it is the end that crowns the labor.” In 1870 during the administration of Rev. George Enzeroth a parsonage was erected on the west church lot; the entire cost of the church including the parsonage amounted to $5,065.67.
Many grand and glorious victories were celebrated in this church; under the preaching and pastoral services of Rev.
Charles Stuckemann in 1873-1876 the church enjoyed seasons of marked prosperity; many conversions took place, prayer and class meetings as well as the regular services were well attended.
Brother Stuckemann was returned to this charge in 1882; but soon after arriving here his health began to fail, his condition gradually grew worse, and on Dec. 11, 1882 God called his faithful servant from his labor below to his reward on high. We laid him to rest in our Oakwood cemetery; when Sister Stuckemann passed away on Nov. 6, 1913 at her home in Warrenton, Mo., her remains were brought here and laid to rest by the side of her husband. They also have one son Maurice, who died in infancy, buried here.
During the pastorate of Rev. Peter Martin the church was thoroughly renovated and remodeled, the old windows were replaced by more modern windows, an alcove was built back of the pulpit, also a room was constructed for the sue of the primary department of the Sunday School. Prayer meeting and Epworth League meetings. The Ladies’ Aid also met in this room for work. It was so arranged that this room could be thrown with the auditorium, thus affording a seating capacity of about three hundred.
It is deserving of mention that the Ladies’ Aid donated $200, Epworth League $21.00, and the Sunday School $5 for this work. Rev. Wm. Schutz (Presiding Elder at that time) delivered the sermon at the reopening.
For a number of years Pittsfield and Perry were united in one circuit and our pastor could preach for us only every other Sunday. In his absence the pulpit was supplied for many years by our local preacher, Bro. Joseph Heck, (familiarly known as Uncle Joe) he served us well, and his faithful services will long be remembered by many; and that they were appreciated was testified by the large congregation who came out to hear him.
During Rev. Frank Brinkmeyer’s pastorate Father Brinkmeyer who for many years was a successful minister in the German M. E. Conference, but at this time superannuated and was
making his home with Rev. Frank Brinkmeyer, also preached for us. His services were much appreciated.
The bequeathing of $100 by the will of Sister Elizabeth Hoos, made it possible to have with us the past year, Rev. Charles Stuckemann of Warrenton, Mo., and the following former pastors; Rev. Peter Martin, Rev. J. M. Rhode, Rev. H. W. Brandt and Rev. C. J. Lotz. It was inspiring to hear them again, especially to the older members of our church. We must nor forget to drop a pearl in memory’s casket for the splendid choir we had during the pastorate of Revs. Stuckemann, Wehrman, Skaer, Martin, Brinkmeyer and others, and especially do we remember Sister Wehrman and Sister Mary Heck. It sometimes seems as if we can still hear the sound of their sweet voices. They with others have joined the angelic choir, and who shall say they are not singing still where Sabbaths never wane and congregations never break up. It is also deserving of mention that the German M. E. church of Pittsfield during the stormy days of the rebellion of 1861-1865, sent forth from their ranks, noble youths to defend the honor of the nation. And in this great world war a number of noble young men, who in this church first received the inspiration for the things that are higher and nobler in life, are today in the service of their country. And the members have also proven that they are loyal and patriotic in answering all financial and other calls the government has made.
As we review the past, we recall the many good old time revival meetings, watch meetings, quarterly meetings, prayer and class meetings; and the many blessings received in those meetings, and although it many not be our privilege in the future to meet and worship in the church that was so dear to us, as we met and worshipped in the days and years that have gone by, the pleasant memories and the many dear associations of the past will remain with us all through life. And we will also remember the pastors who worked so faithfully in the earlier days, and all through the years down to the last days of our church. May God’s blessing rest abundantly on their work.
Our Sunday School had is beginning in the year 1855, when the young men who had recently immigrated from Germany were formed into classes for the study of the word of God and the catechism. They were brought together Sundays from time to time by the circuit riders of that day, and taught at the homes of Bro. Wm. Mantz (now the Graham home), and Bro. John Kaeser, Sr., who lived on the west side of the public square.
A little later in the year 1857 an organization was effected by the election of Bro. George Weinand as superintendent. The Sunday School sessions were held at various places, part of the time in what was known as the Public Hall, opposite the present church building, also in the small frame Lutheran church, which stood north of the Judge Higbee residence, and in the old church building of the First M. E. on the North Monroe St., all of these buildings are now torn away. Upon completion of our present building in 1867, our Sunday School has been held there, a period of 51 years.
The records show that in June, 1859 a constitution was adopted, signed by about fifty names. All have passed to the great beyond except Bro. Henry Holkamp, who now resides at Dallas, Texas. They met on June 31, 1859 and elected Wm. Ahrenz superintendent, George Weinand, Librarian, and Wm. Schemel Treasurer. Since that time the following have served as Superintendents: George Winand, Wm. Drolte, Henry Holkamp, August Sittler, Conrad Weinand, Wm. Kinkel, Henry Weiderman, Wm. Kespohl, Joseph Heck, August Dreckshage, Fred Koch, Anna Kaeser, Rev. Brandt, F. W. Niebur. Most of the above named superintendents also served as teachers.
We recall some of the teachers of the early days who taught the great truths of the Bible, to the boys and girls who are now men and women of 50 and 60 years of age. Frederick Kespohl, Ludwig Klemmee, George Goll, Leopold Niebur, Magnus Heck,
August Linderman, Henrietta Dreckshage, Hannah Reineke, Margaret Stuckemann, Anna Herling, Rosa Heck, Christina Kaeser.
Not only for the spiritual truths learned are we indebted to these Christian souls, but also to many of us the use of the German language at that time a secondary mission of our school.
Some of the above named superintendents and teachers are still with us, while most of them have been called to their reward on high. Their work is done on earth, and they rest from their labors. We cherish them in fondest remembrance, while their names will be found upon the list of those members of the society who have passed from death unto life.
The most prosperous days of our Sunday School were during the years from 1870 to 1880, when the attendance often went over the 100 mark, and we found more boys present than girls, and the men teachers were in the majority. A strong spiritual wave prevailed, oftentimes teachers united in secret prayer at their homes on Sunday from 7 to 8 o'clock A. M., praying for the success of the school and the conversion of the young people.
In conclusion let us mention some of the interesting things that come to our minds not to be forgotten, the splendid library for its day, made use of by many families; the little red and blue tickets for regular attendance, useful for the many beautiful bible verses they caused us to memorize. Our school laid great stress on memorizing bible verses. The first musical instrument, the old organ of 1872, the many summer picnics, the Christmas tree exercises, the first one held at the First M. E. church in 1862; the children's day exercises and the many other programs rendered by the school.
Our Sunday school has had a mission to fulfill. That mission was a most worthy one, and our honored predecessors have labored most earnestly and persistently to fulfill that mission. The work has been well done. We who are yet alive and abide unto this hour, which has its pathos for us all, are each and every one beneficiaries of the gracious heritage bequeather unto us
through the labors of love and sacrifice on the part of those who have served through the years to maintain our Sunday school and cause it to contribute its own peculiar and legitimate advantage to the good of our community, thus serving the church, the state, and the nation. Let us ever cherish with most grateful hearts, the profound good that we have received and now possess as a result of the work of our Sunday School. May the good that has thus come to fill us fill our hearts with holy ambitions and ever remind us that we still have a work to do and may we strive to do it and thus fulfill our christian mission in life. May God bless the memory of our Sunday School and all who have had a part in the fulfilling of its mission.
Before our Epworth League was organized Sister Stuckemann organized a class of young people who met every Sunday afternoon; a short literary program was carried out, and the remainder of the hour was spent in the study of the bible. These meetings were always well attended, very interesting, and a great help to the young people of our church. Our Epworth League was organized on Jan. 7, 1890, during the pastorate of Rev. Frank Grunewald. It was the seventh Epworth League organization in the Quincy District of the St. Louis Conference. A committee was appointed to draw up a constitution and bylaws, and the following officers were elected: Rev. Grunewald - president, Charles Klemme vice president, F. W. Niebur secretary, and Lizzie Kaeser treasurer. We had two literary meetings each month, and we also met on Sunday evenings for a short devotional meeting, after which we took for our study the subjects outlined for each Sunday in the Epworth League topics. Rev. Martin, during his pastorate organized a class who took up the study of the “Life of Jesus”. This class met twice a month was very interesting and a great help to us.
The splendid Easter programs rendered, the interesting debates, the spelling contests and the lectures given by Bro. Conrad Weinand on his experience in army life, will be remembered by many. Outside of the regular meetings we had social gatherings which were always very pleasant and much enjoyed.
The Epworth League since its organization and all through the years was an inspiration, a great help and did much good forth young people of our church.
Ladies Aid Society.
It is a matter of history that the ladies of the German M. E. church, long before their organization, were active and helped in every possible way to bear the burdens of the church, and did their part in every good cause, helping to pay for the church buildings, and contributing to the Missionary Societies, Old People’s Home, Orphan’s Home, and various other noble causes. In the year 1888, Sister Wehrman, the able wife of our presiding minister organized and became the first President of the Ladies’ Aid Society, which has lived through all the years since, has met regularly and done much valuable work for the church. Sister Stuckemann succeeded Sister Wehrman as President, and remained in that office for many years. To her belongs much credit for the able manner in which she led the ladies in their work and encouraged and guided them. Sister Stuckemann was especially interested in the young people of the church, and did much to keep the interested and enthusiastic. Since that time, other members of the society have held the office of President at various times, and each one has done their work well. The meetings were often of a social nature, and the “all day quiltings” in the church parlors will long be remembered by many.
The ladies have enjoyed their work and the church has profited in many ways through their efforts, ad as long as the influence of the little German M. E. church lives, so long will the efforts of the Ladies’ Aid Society be felt.
Today as we stand on the threshold of time and although it is with a feeling of keen regret that we must say farewell to our beloved church, we can look back and with hearts filled with gratitude, review the many blessings and glorious achievements of the past. And we will ever cherish in loving remembrance our fathers and mothers who by the help of Divine Providence, organize the society of the German M. E. church of Pittsfield, Ill.
Letters From Former Pastors
In 1849 near Perry, Ill., a small company of Germans, including the following men: Geo. Zimmerman, Sr., John Wagner, Sr., Frederick Lipcamon, Sr., Martin Schaflnit, Sr., and Leonard Lutz, all brothers-in-law, were one day in the timber, engaged in making fence rails. A stranger made his appearance and began to converse with them in their mother tongue; which at once awakened special interest in their visitor, and the question immediately arose, who could this man be, from whence did he come, and what could his mission be here in the forest. In a way his mission was like unto that of Jon the Baptist, and as John prepared the way of the Lord, so this stranger prepared the way of the Lord into the hearts and homes of these noble men, as also into the community, and among the German speaking people; as well as of the Germans in and near Pittsfield.
After a short conversation with their visitor, they offered him a drink of whiskey which they had in a jug near by. This he politely refused to accept, and then remarked that we was a
Methodist Episcopal minister, laboring among the Germans, and that he would be very glad to preach to them, if they could arrange for a service in one of their homes. This offer was gladly accepted, and the evening of that day in 1849 was the beginning of a work of God among the Germans near Perry, which later extended to Pittsfield, by which great good was accomplished. If any one of those present at that first meeting could have had the gift of a prophet, and could have looked into the future fifty years and seen the results of that first meeting and report these to that little company, it seems quite creditable, that very few if any would have believed his report. The grain of mustard seed which was sown in that first meeting grew and flourished and many have found shelter beneath its branches.
But who was this stranger? It was Dr. Schmidt who some time after this located in Quincy, Il., where he became a leading and very successful physician and also a faithful member and worker in the church.
Fifty years after that first meeting a few of that first little company were still living, and they with their children, grand-children and a number of others who had come into the community were worshiping God in that beautiful little church on the hill and were also doing their part in advancing the kingdom of God in many ways.
The work which was begun near Perry was 1852 extended to Pittsfield, by Rev. H. Ellerbeck. The charter members were William Mantz, Katherine Mantz, John Kaeser, Christine Kaeser. The following names were added soon afterwards: Frederick Kespohl, Wilhemina Kespohl, William Hillerbranner, Katrina Hillerbranner, Simon Reineke, Hannah Reineke, Simon Dreckshage, Henrietta Dreckshage, Louisa Dreckshage, Hannah Dreckshage, Deidrich Pruesner, Carl Holkamp, who later became a very successful minister. This church also did excellent work. It comprised some of the best element of the German population and was a credit to the community.
It was the writer’s privilege to be pastor of these congregations from 1892-1897, and he can truly and without hesitation
say the five years of his ministry among these people were in many respects very agreeable and pleasant. It was one of his most agreeable charges which he served in the 38 years of his ministry, and he will never forget the kind treatment he received, and the pleasant association with these kind christian people, many of whom have gone to their reward in that country where there shall be no night. Nearly 70 years have come and gone since that first meeting 1849, but who is able to fully estimate the good that has been done among these people in that time; and that the writer could have some share in this, is a happy thought.
There is always a sadness that comes to us when we approach the end of things; the end of things of which ewe were the builders, and for which we lived and labored; when we must see the house torn down that we built, and in which we lived in all the beautiful relationship of a family life. But this does not close its career; no the real, the spiritual side of it all lives on, and will find other forms of expression, in a many fold and broader manner and in a higher order.
Things have gone out from the abandoned and now lonely place, this little church, to live and bless forever, and to make history forever. It is, therefore, not the outward structure, the building of earthly material; it is the spirits, the souls that breathed and prayed in it, and that have gone out from it, to live a Godly life, that make the true history and career of this little church, which is written and shall continue to be written in Heaven - “Therefore, my beloved brethren be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
San Francisco, Cal.
The great and loving God who has blessed his church in all the world, certainly revealed his marvelous providence in the nearly seventy years record of German Methodism in Pittsfield,
Illinois. Now since that immortal record after having accomplished its mission, is drawing to a happy and successful termination, the Souvenir Committee merits the heartiest congratulations on presenting this beautiful Souvenir commemorating the pleasing and the blessed recollections of the past.
J. M. ROHDE
Ellis Grove, Ill.
Rev. Rohde died Dec. 20, 1918
It was in the year 1911 when the writer was appointed pastor of the Pittsfield German M. E. church. We were received in the most Christian-like way and manner by the members of the congregation, and in general by the pastors and christian people of Pittsfield and community in a union meeting held at the Christian church. The German M. E. church of Pittsfield has stood like a lighthouse, for true religion, temperance and virtue.
Some of Pittsfield’s best citizens told the writer without any solicitation, that the members of the German M. E. congregation, as a rule, were some of the best citizens of Pittsfield. During the present world war, the members of the German M. E. church and also the Pittsfield German Methodists have proven, that they are not in favor of German Militarism; but are loyal citizens to the U. S. Government.
This congregation, after so many of its old members have gone to glory, and many of its younger members have moved away, sees fit to discontinue its existence. We bid the present members and friends God speed and our best wishes go with al the Pittsfield people.
C. J. LOTZ
At the close of my five years pastorate of the Pittsfield church not only has the time come for me to say good-bye to the membership but also to the building in which the German society has worshiped for over fifty years, and with me about seventy members say farewell to their beloved church.
Nearly four hundred names have been entered on the church record in the course of its activity. For many years a live Sunday School has pointed Jesus Christ to hundreds of children. Thirty years ago it was my privilege to visit this church as their Presiding Elder for six years. I still remember the live quarterly meetings, and especially the spiritual love feasts we had in those years. In the providence of God I became a supply pastor five years ago. Since coming here we have lost quite a number by death who were enthusiastic members and the loss was keenly felt, helping to bring about the wavering spirit as to the advisability of continuing our work. I am glad that a number are finding a church home in the First M. E. church of Pittsfield.
What service I have been able to give to this charge, has been a blessing to me and I am more than thankful to the members who so faithfully held out to the last.
HENRY SCHUTZ, Late Pastor
I did not like to give up Pittsfield. You still had a good number of members in the best of years, who could have kept the work going for some years, and a nice little (inside) attractive church, fine location, where I always liked to go. I must say that we have very few churches of the size in this district that are as homelike. The same is true in regard to the people that worshipped there. I remember with great pleasure the time when one Sunday we lunched together at the church in the Sunday School room, the contented crowd we had. There I saw the possibility invested in the members.
I know you sometimes met with discouragements, but these we meet everywhere, especially at the present time. I hope the members will all be faithful to the true church of our Lord Jesus Christ, and worship Him with a true heart, wherever they may meet.
J. GISLER, Dist. Supt.
Extracts From Letters of Former Members
There is a pathos to me in the opening statement of your letter where you say: “The career of the little German M. E. church of this city is fast drawing to a close.” Here I paused and in thought reviewed what I knew of that little church, and then I felt almost as though I had been summoned to the bedside of a dear relative whose life was ebbing away; but then I read on and saw the words, “It has an interesting history of nearly seventy years of usefulness.” That relieved the pathos of the situation for me, and I said to myself, a career, yes, thank God, a career which many, many recall and bless God for what it meant to them personally.
Careers begin and end. All careers do. It is neither the beginning nor the end that really counts but what lies between. Dear, sacred little German M. E. church, how nobly you served your day and generation, many lips now closed in death could tell, have told, and will tell through all eternity. You may cease to exist as a church in the community where your light shone out for so many years but your career is not only made, but is forever embalmed in the grateful hearts and memories of the many whose lives you touched with blessing and whose careers you directed toward the Glory of God and the good of men.
CHARLES J. STUCKEMANN
I certainly want one of those Souvenirs for it was in the S. S. in the services, and the associations with the good people of that little German church that I first received the inspiration for the things that are higher and nobler in life; and after an absence of over 32 years I still have some very pleasant recollections of what had been done in and through the influence of that society. I shall prize it very highly to have one of those Souvenirs. It will be of more than passing interest to read over the list of names of those who have been identified with that church, and am sorry that its career is coming to a close.
GEO. W. FIESER
County Treasurer, Kingman County, Kansas
I would like a copy of the souvenir. It certainly will be very interesting to me. I received many blessings in that good old church. In my room in the parsonage I found my Saviour in the forgiveness of my sins. This Dear Savior is still all the world to me. I find great joy in His service, it is such a comfort to me that I can put my trust in him at all times, and in this time of war when we feel so helpless we know he will take care of our loved ones who were called to service.
MRS. SOPHIA DEMAND
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
I shall value a souvenir book on the German M. E. church of Pittsfield very highly, for the main reason that it will contain much of history connected with our family.
Many items of interest even of a family nature have dropped in the rush of the past days, and I am anxious to refresh my memory on so many things pertaining to our life in Pittsfield. I should have made a visit to your city long ago. However, in the whirl of a very busy life, where every day has twice as much to perform as I ever get done, it is well nigh impossible to take those relaxations so necessary to keep in touch with ones past and former friends, who are never out of mind. Perhaps some day the weary grind of duties will be shifted a little so I can gratify my desire to visit Pittsfield to gaze on the old church and other places of interest.
A. D. STUCKEMAN
Sioux Falls, S. Dakota
We are very anxious to get one of the souvenir books. Sorry to hear that the career of the German M. E. church of Pittsfield is drawing to a close. Father is so deeply interested in the Pittsfield church and all his Pittsfield friends, if he was not so old and feeble he would be tempted to make another trip to Pittsfield to visit his dear old friends, but I am quite sure he could hardly stand the trip.
Send me one of your souvenir books. We often think with pleasure of all the old friends at Pittsfield. Sorry to hear that the church is going to be closed. Mother joins me in sending love and greetings to all of our friends.
MRS. ELIZABETH KOCH,
Was sorry to hear that our church is about to close, and only wish that I could be there to go to Sunday School, for I certainly miss it. Be sure and send me one of the souvenirs. We miss our home in Pittsfield, and I think of our S. S. every Sunday morning when I hear the bells ring, and wish I could be with you.
MRS. LETA WEINAND HOUGH
Rock Island, Illinois.
Send me one of the souvenirs. I so often think of the dear church in Pittsfield and the many blessings we received in it.
MRS. SOPHIA MEHL MEYER
By all means put me down on the list for a copy of the souvenir book which you are preparing, as I am quite interested in the town where I was born.
ARTHUR P. SKAER,
Buffalo, N. Y.
Send me two of your souvenir books as I want to send one to sister Katie. Very sorry to hear that your church is going to be closed.
MRS. ANNA BETZ FRANK,
I certainly will be very glad to get one of the souvenir booklets.
MRS. KATIE LINDERMAN NELSCH,
I will appreciate one of your souvenirs very much. I so often think of the good old times we had when we lived in Pittsfield.
MRS. LIZZIE FIESER HEZEL
I certainly will be glad to get one of your souvenir books; Brother Guss also wants one. Both of our boys are in the service, one somewhere in England, and the other one (my baby boy) is on his way to France or Italy, we do not know where; all that we can do is to commend them to the Lord’s care; and hope that all will be well.
MRS. CHARLES EIMECKE,
Send me one of your Souvenir Books. I was only eight years old when we came to Pittsfield and eleven years old when we left to go to Nokomis, Ill. I remember we had a good S. S., good Epworth League, and a large crowd of young people. Sorry you have to give up your church.
My daughter sent me the letter you sent in regard to the Souvenir Book. You may send me one copy. I am at Colorado Springs visiting my sister, who is at the Cragmor Sanitarium. Hope you will be successful with your book.
MRS. LOUIS HENSCHEN,
Names of District Superintendents
L. L. Jacoby ____________1848 - 1849
Henry Koneke __________1849 - 1854
Philip Kuhl _____________1854 - 1857
John Walther ___________1857 - 1861
Henry Ellerbeck ________1861 - 1862
H. F. Koneke ___________1862 - 1864
Henry Lahrman _________1864 - 1868
Rudolph Havighorst ______1868 - 1872
Fred Stoffragen _________1872 - 1876
Philip Naumann _________1876 - 1878
Henry Naumann _________1878 - 1882
John Schlagenhauf _______1882 - 1885
Henry Schutz ____________1885 - 1891
William Schutz __________1891 - 1897
E. E. Hertzler ____________1897 - 1903
Frank Piehler ____________1903 - 1909
J. C. Rapp ______________1909 - 1915
J. Gisler _______________1915 - 1918
Names of Pastors in Charge
John Schmidt__________1849 - 1850
Peter Hinners__________1850 - 1851
Henry Ellerbeck________1851 - 1852
Christoph Bonn________1852 - 1853
David Huene__________1853 - 1855
Wm. Niedermeyer______1855 - 1856
Carl Herveg___________1856 - 1858
Henry Ellerbeck________1858 - 1860
John Zaiser____________1860 - 1861
George Buhner_________1861 - 1863
Wm. Zuppan__________1863 - 1865
A. F. Korphage________1865 - 1867
George Enzeroth_______1867 - 1870
Wm. Kleinschmidt_____1870 - 1872
John G. Kost__________1872 - 1873
Charles Stuckemann____1873 - 1876
Wm. Fiegenbaum . . . . 1876 – 1879
Charles Thalenhorst . .1879 - 1882
Charles Stuckemann . . 1882 - 1883
Louis Kroeck . . . . . 1883 - 1884
Philip Skaer . . . . . 1884 - 1887
Charles Wehrmann . . . 1887 - 1889
Frank Grunewald . . . .1889 - 1892
Peter Martin . . . . . 1892 – 1897
Frank Brinkmeyer . . . 1897 - 1899
F. H. Luecke . . . . . 1899 - 1901
J. M. Rhode . . . . . .1901 - 1905
H. W. Brandt . . . . . 1905 - 1911
C. J. Lotz . . . . . . 1911 - 1913
Henry Schutz . . . . . 1913 - 1918
Members of the Church Who Entered the Ministry.
Carl Holkamp, William Simon, C. J. Stuckemann,
A. D. Stuckemann, J. J. Sandmeyer
Of the earliest days of the German M. E. Church.
John Kaeser, Sr.
Church Officers of 1918.
Stewards: F. W. Niebur, W. A. Schemel, Alfred Shemel, Tillie Crane, Lizzie Kaeser.
Trustees: Fred Kern, George Schemel, George Hoos, Ed. Kern, Louis Weinand, Charles Klemme, August Huseman, August Linderman.
Baptisms: From Sept. 18, 1853 to Sept. 1st, 1918 - 297
Marriages: From Feb. 5, 1854, to Sept. 24, 1915 - 79
Deaths: From 1852 to May 17, 1917 - 178
Sunday School Officers: F. W. Niebur, Superintendent; Amelia Reineke, Vice-Supt.; Helen Heck, Secretary; Minnie Bauch, Organist; Margaret Niebur, Asst. Organist; Marion Crane, Treasurer; Kenneth Weinand, Librarian.
Officers of Ladies Aid Society: Mrs. Caroline Niebur, President; Miss Emma Hillerbranner, Vice-President; Miss Lizzie Linderman, Treasurer; Mrs. Nora Collver, Secretary.
Souvenir Committee: Amela Reineke, Mary Stuckman, Mrs. Tillie Kespohl Crane
Earliest Membership. Prior to 1860.
John Kaeser, Sr.
George Hoos, Sr.
Entire Membership Roll From Feb. 29, 1852 till Sept. 1st, 1918.
Deceased marked *
Ahrenz, William *
Ahrenz, Dorathea *
Altmiller, Henry *
Altmiller, Elizabeth *
Bauch, Henry *
Bauch, Hannah *
Bauch, Henry Jr.
Bauman, Magdalena *
Berry, Hannah Niebur
Bringman, John Sr. *
Bringman, Elizabeth *
Brinkmeyer, Henry *
Brinkmeyer, Clara *
Brinkmeyer, Mary Weinand
Brooks, Rose Heck
Blume, Bertha Fiegenbaum
Betz, John Sr. *
Betz, Elizabeth *
Broderick, Laura Herling
Bartlett, Ella Hoos
Bemis, Lena Nass
Crubendick, Casper *
Collver, Nora Sittler
Carrell, Emma Hoos
Crane, Tillie Kespohl
Crow, Cartharine Betz
Dude, Sophia Kaeser
Demand, Sophia Steuckmann
Diedrich, Henry *
Diedrich, Johanna *
Diedrich, Catherine *
Diedrich, John *
Diedrich, Mary *
Diedrich, August *
Diedrich, John Jr.
Diedrich, Ida Hoos
Dannenbrink, Minnie *
Dreckshage, Simon *
Dreckshage, Henrietta *
Dreckshage, Mary Dunhouse
Dunham, Lizzie Yackley
Drolte, William *
Drolte, Dorthea *
Eimecke, Minnie Dreckshage
Egbert, Dena Dunhouse *
Fieser, George Sr. *
Fieser, Elizabeth Anna
Fieser, Amelia Dunhouse
Fink, Catherine *
Frye, Mary Klemmee
Frank, Anna Betz
Fudge, Ethel Hoos
Fiegenbaum, Sophia *
Fiegenbaum, Dr. Julius
Fisher, Eda Stuckmann *
Gicker, J. R.
Gicker, Anna Heck
Griefe, William Sr. *
Gousenville, Gottlieb *
Goertz, Jacob *
Goertz, Anna *
Goll, George *
Gelsendorfer, Henrietta *
Herling, Louis *
Howing, Conrad *
Howing, Louise *
Howing, William *
Howing, Amelia *
Hanscom, Susie Niebur
Heck, William Jr.
Heck, Lizzie Mart
Heck, Mary *
Heck, Ada Sittler
Heck, Magnus *
Hoos, Elizabeth *
Hoos, George Sr. *
Hoos, Katherine *
Holkamp, Henry *
Holkamp, Caroline *
Holkamp, Ludwig *
Holkamp, Anna *
Holkamp, Carl *
Hazel, John *
Heightman, Anna Dunhouse
Howing, Lena Stocklaufer
Hillerbraner, William Sr. *
Hillerbranner, Katrina *
Hilerbrannner, Frederick *
Hillerbranner, Wilhemina *
Heck, Rosa *
Heck, Henry *
Hesley, Mary Hillerbrenner *
Hesley, Elizabeth *
Hoos, John Sr *
Hoos, Elizabeth *
Hoos, Lena *
Hoos, Charles *
Hoos, Henry *
Hale, Lizzie Dannenbrink
Husemann, Wilhemina *
Hooker, Diedrich *
Hooker, Hannah *
Hooker, Ludwig *
Hunter, Anna Hoos
Hazel, Lizzie Fieser
Hassett, Leta Sittler
Hough, Leta Weinand
Jones, Anna Husemann
Klemmee, Ludwig *
Klemmee, Frederica *
Klemmee, Pauline *
Kaufman, Fred *
Kaufman, Edward *
Kaufman, Nora *
Koch, Fred *
Kneiper, Amelia *
Kalschnee, Curt *
Kespohl, Frederick Sr. *
Kespohl, Wilhemina *
Kespohl, Ella Weinand
Knehaus, Minnie *
Kinkle, William *
Kinkle, Elizabeth *
Kaeser, John Sr. *
Kaeser, Christina *
Kaeser, Mary *
Kaeser, John *
Kaeser, Emma Heck
Kaeser, Nettie Heck
Kriege, Amelia Kaeser
Kern, Geo. F. *
Kern, Henrietta *
Kern, Elizabeth Sittler
Lentz, Anna *
Linderman, Katherine *
Lutz, Sarah *
Lipcamon, Cartherine Hoos
Liehr, Laura Hoos
Liehr, Lydia Hoos
Lowe, Lulu Hoos
Miller, Ludwig *
Mehl, Andreas *
Meyer, Sophia Mehl
Meserve, Mildred Sittler
Martin, Amelia *
Mart, Franz *
Meyer, Lydia Herling
Morse, Leta Stuckmann
Mantz, William *
Mantz, Catherine *
Maison, Maria *
Nelsch, Katie Linderman
Nass, Valentine *
Niedfelt, Anna Griefe *
Niedfelt, Amelia Griefe *
Nagel, George *
Niebur, Leopold *
Niebur, Hannah *
Niebur, F. W.
Niebur, Caroline Heck
Otto, Emma Thalenhorst
Pruesner, Diederich *
Pruesner, Caroline *
Peters, John Sr. *
Quintmeier, Conrath *
Rapp, Anna *
Reineke, Simon *
Reineke, Hannah *
Rose, William *
Rohde, Carrie *
Ruskamp, Henry *
Stuckmann, William Sr. *
Stuckmann, August *
Stuckmann, Fred *
Stuckmann, Carrie Dunhouse
Stocklaufer, John *
Stocklaufer, Margaret *
Schlemmer, Henry *
Schlemmer, Elizabeth *
Schlemmer, Valentine *
Stuckman, Emma Schemel
Stuckman, Edward *
Stuckman, Mary Kramer
Schemel, William Sr. *
Schemel, Mary *
Schneider, Henry *
Schneider, Katherine *
Schemel, Emma Stuckmann
Schemel. Dora Kaeser
Spilker, Henrietta *
Sittler, August *
Strohecker, Mary *
Senn, Charles *
Schug, Lizzie Hoos
Schennhoff, Mary Dannenbrink
Schable, Casper *
Sandmeyer, John *
Simon, Elizabeth Heck
Stuckeman, Margaret *
Stuckeman, Chas. J.
Stuckeman, A. D.
Skaer, Bertha Weinand
Weinand, George Sr. *
Weinand, Nellie Sittler
Weinand, Conrad *
Winters, E. E.
Witt, John *
Witt, Charles *
Willsey, Nettie Stuckmann
Weber, Louise *
Wehage, John *
Weidemann, Henry *
Weidemann, Justina *
Yauch, Jacob *
Yackley, Martin *
Yackley, Mary *
Yackley, John Sr. *
Those who held their membership here at the time of their death.
Simon Dreckshage - Jan. 5, 1869
George Hoos, Sr. - Jan. 4, 1870
Juntine Weideman - 1874
John Stocklaufer - Feb. 15, 1880
Hannah Niebur - Dec. 27, 1885
Henry Schneider - Jan 28, 1886
Henrietta Dreckshage - Aug. 14, 1887
Margaret Stocklaufer - June 7, 1888
Pauline Klemme - Dec. 14, 1890
Rosa Heck - Jan. 15, 1891
Hannah Reineke - June 26, 1893
Nora Kaufman - Sept. 18, 1894
Edward Kaufman - Nov. 26, 1894
Joseph Heck - Sept. 15, 1895
Frederick Kespohl - Nov. 30, 1895
August Stuckman - Oct. 12, 1896
Simon Reineke - Oct. 15, 1896
Katherine Schneider - Nov. 19, 1896
Andreas Mehl - Nov. 7, 1898
Regina Heck - Mar. 6, 1900
Henrietta Geisendorfer - Feb. 23, 1900
Katherine Hoos - Mar 22, 1901
Frederica Klemme - June 9, 1901
Conrad Weinand - Oct. 22, 1901
Elizabeth Betz - May 28, 1903
Edward Stuckman - March 5, 1904
John Betz, Sr. - Oct. 29, 1905
Magnus Heck - Feb. 3, 1908
Christine Kaeser - Nov. 11, 1909
Leopold Niebur - Jan. 8, 1910
August Sittler - March 7, 1910
Ludwig Klemme - Feb. 11, 1911
Katherine Linderman - March 19, 1912
Lena Hoos - Feb. 16, 1913
Mary Schemel - April 11, 1913
Henrietta Kern - July 19, 1913
John Kaeser, Jr. - April 14, 1914
William Stuckman Sr. - July 12, 1914
Mary Heck - Aug. 14, 1914
Fred Stuckman - Sept. 6, 1914
William Schemel - March 17, 1915
Elizabeth Hoos - May 17, 1917
Niebur, F. W.
The following preamble and resolution was adopted, Sunday, July 7, 1918:
For seventy years the German Methodist Episcopal church has occupied an important place in the religious life of Pittsfield and vicinity as we look back over the record of those years we are proud of its accomplishments.
Organized at a period when many were leaving the Fatherland to build for themselves and their children, homes in this new and happy land, this church gave them a home, it directed their minds in adjusting themselves to their new environment and exerted an influence that cannot be measured in words in helping them to be good citizens and loyal Americans.
It met a condition and served a purpose in the great period of our American history when Europe was pouring the thousands of its hardiest and best men and women into this land, out of which has been builded a great nation of free people.
Time, and the awful war that is now devastating Europe and involving the peace of the rest of the world has wrought changes that are affecting everything, event he religious and social life of all. Time has taken from us the majority of those brave and noble souls who left home and friends to build their hearth-stones in America, who toiled and saved, not only for themselves, but also to keep in order this house of worship which has been the religious home of many of us from infancy.
Their children and grand-children have grown up under American influences and many of them have found homes in English speaking churches. The war will probably put an end to German emigration to this country. In view of these facts be it
Resolved, by the Quarterly Conference and the membership of the German Methodist Episcopal church of Pittsfield, Illinois, now in session, that we believe it is for the best that this church be left without pastoral supervision and that this work be discontinued at the close of this conference year.