website  watertownhistory.org

    ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin

First Congregational Church

 

Former:  504 S Fourth, Now home of First Brigade Band and D/JCGS

New:  120 Kuckkan Lane, First Congregational United Church of Christ

 

PC_125

1845      ESTABLISHED

 

1855

11 01          We learn that this church, last week, renewed the call which they gave a year ago to Rev. W. A. Niles to become their pastor.  We cannot say whether this gentleman has yet returned a favorable answer to this expression of high esteem and regard in which he is held by the members of his congregation, but we believe the wish is so general and earnest that he should do so, that he will not decline an invitation that is not the less complimentary because it was made in his absence, and without his knowledge.   WD

 

1858

07 22       Ladies Festival, effort towards payment of the small remaining debt   WD

 

10 28          Annual renting of pews will take place at the Church on the 1st of November at 2 o'clock p.m.

 

11 25          A donation visit paid to Rev. W. A. Niles at his residence   WD

 

1859

01 12       Children of the Sabbath School held a festival in Cole’s Block    WTranscript

 

04 28       Wooden sidewalk, constructed in front of, Wisconsin St   WD

 

05 26          Mr. Holdrege, music teacher, children   WG

 

12 22          The children belonging to the Congregational Sunday School are to have a Christmas Festival tomorrow evening at the Council Rooms.  We hope the tree around which a hundred smiling faces gather will be loaded with just such presents as they most desire, and as will be sure to encourage them to get their lessons better during the year that will intervene before another festive season shall arrive.   WD

 

1860

05 24          Membership increase, due to Rev. Charles Boynton, successor of Rev. Niles   WG

 

07 19          Rev. Boynton voted pastor   WD

 

08 02          PIC NIC AT PINE LAKE

A Pic Nic excursion to Pine Lake for the benefit of the Congregational Sabbath School took place yesterday.  The day was bright, cool and breezy, the ride through a beautiful and rich country, the place of resort a charming spot, and there is no reason why all should not have a delightful time.  But how all enjoyed themselves, how the children were pleased, how the waters sparkled and the groves were melodious with wild-wood notes, can be better told when all is over, and that will not be until after our paper is printed.   WD

 

08 09          Sabbath School Pic Nic to Pine Lake   WD

 

08 16          Discourse on progress of religious truth in SW states   WD

 

10 12          INSTALLATION

On Monday evening last, Rev. Charles Boynton was installed as pastor of the First Congregational Church of this city.  The exercises were conducted by Revs. D. C. Noyes, of Sauk City, C. D. Helmer, of Milwaukee, H. M. Parmelee, of Oak Grove, J. J. Mitre, of Beaver Dam and N. C. Chapin of La Crosse, and were of an impressive and interesting character.  Mr. Boynton has been laboring for nearly a year past in the church over which he has just been installed, and by his admirable qualities as a man and a Christian, has become justly endeared to his people as a minister of the gospel.   WR

 

11 30          LADIES FESTIVAL

The ladies of the First Congregational Church in this city propose to give a festival at Cole’s Hall on Thursday evening next, for the benefit of that church.  There will be a good supper, of course, for we believe the ladies having the matter in charge have never yet been known to get up any other, in all the enterprises of that character with which they have been connected.  The committee, we believe, have adopted a little different plan from that generally in vogue on such occasions and propose to leave it to the liberality of their guests to make such payment as they may see fit for entertainment provided for them, instead of charging them a fixed price.  It is to be hoped that the attendance will be large, and the contributions liberal.  The public generally are invited to attend.   WR

 

12 06          SOCIAL RE-UNION

The Ladies of the Congregational Church hold their Social Re-Union this evening.  They extended a cordial invitation to the public generally to attend and contribute to an object that must be admitted to be worthy the aid and liberality of all who have been favored with means to spare for the noblest of objects.  One of our strongest safeguards is the Christian religion.  Here it is sustained voluntarily for the blessings it confers on the race.  Let all do what they can to render it a more efficient instrumentality for good in our midst, for it is that which exalts alike individuals and nations, makes them happier and better, even if we narrow our considerations down to its temporal results, and say nothing of those infinitely higher influences which it exerts, when we look at the future, and the destiny that awaits us.   WR

 

1861

01 11       A DOUBLE SURPRISE

A few evenings since a party of ladies took it into their heads to pay the family of Rev. C. Boynton a surprise visit and leave their husbands at home.  A few of the latter got an inkling of what was going on and determined not to be outwitted in that way and thought that they would try their hands at “surprising” also, and accordingly repaired to the reverend gentleman’s residence, arriving at a very opportune moment, for the ladies were just serving their refreshment.  It was difficult deciding who were the most surprised—Mr. and Mrs. Boynton at the unexpected arrival of the ladies, or the latter at that of their husbands.  Taking it all around, the affair was a very pleasant one.  We think the ladies had better get up another.   WR

 

1863

01 08       A PASTORAL VISIT

On the first evening of the New Year the Rev. Charles Boynton, pastor of the Congregational Church of this city, invited all in any way connected with the Sunday School of that denomination, to make him a visit at his residence.  Of course such an intimation was gladly received, and at the appointed hour the reception rooms of the good minister were filled with a throng of bright and smiling faces, made more happy by the cordial welcome given to them and the kindly and unfailing attentions bestowed on all. 

 

The many fine things intended to please and gratify the Sabbath School Scholars were arranged and displayed with a taste and skill well calculated to make the most favorable impression on the minds of the youthful guests, and we venture to say that those present have enjoyed few festive evenings more delightfully than the one they passed at the house of their pastor on this occasion.

 

After a season[?] of social intercourse, then came the tempting and bountiful refreshments, the whole concluding with the distribution of appropriate and gratifying presents, after which the joyous company of teachers and children separated to their respective homes, with words of hope and benediction sounding in their ears – all grateful for the thoughtful hospitality that had enabled them to spend the first evening of the New Year in a manner so likely to inspire renewed interest and activity in the cause of Sunday Schools – than which there is no instrumentality for imparting early religious instruction more deserving the prayers, efforts and study of Christians.    WD

 

07 02       SUNDAY SCHOOL PIC NIC

The Superintendent and teachers are making arrangements to give the children belonging to the Congregational Sunday School a Pic Nic in Richard’s Grove, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon of the 4th of July.  If the day is cloudless and bright on that gala day, as we hope it will be, we shall expect to see many hopeful and sunny faces gathered together in that beautiful grove on this occasion.  The little members of that Sabbath School will be sure to have a fine time, with nothing to do but enjoy themselves in the best way they can, with any quantity of good things amply provided for them.   WD

 

1864

01 21       PEW RENTALS

The pews in the Congregational Church will be rented for the current year, at public auction, at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 22nd, 1864.  The rent to be paid quarterly in advance.   WD

 

09 29       NEW ROOF, REPAINTED AND REMODELED

The Congregational Church in this city has recently been newly roofed and repainted, its interior appearance improved and beautified and made far more pleasant as a place of public worship.  The pews, window casings, and all the wood work have been grained in the finest style – the wood imitations being as nearly perfect as it is possible to make them.  This work was done by Messrs. Straw & Goodrow with their new graining patterns, which they have accomplished with a taste and skill that do them the highest credit.  In that branch of their business known as graining they are certainly unrivaled and unsurpassed and uniformly successful in their efforts, giving the amplest satisfaction to all who secure their services.   WR

 

12 08       A PLEASANT SURPRISE

Last Thursday evening the ladies of the Mite Society of the Congregational church of this city prepared an agreeable and welcome surprise for their pastor, the Rev. C. Boynton.  It being the annual meeting of the society, most of the members were present to witness the ceremony, which made the attendance unusually large.  A little after 9 o’clock Mr. J. T. Moak, on behalf of the Ladies, in a short but appropriate address, presented Mr. Boynton with a copy of “The Life of Jesus,” well filled and richly illustrated with more than two hundred dollars’ worth of the finest and most desirable engravings, which our banks are accustomed to issue and circulate as the representatives of so much gold, but which now command only a corresponding amount in “Greenbacks.”   WR

 

1865

03 23          UNION RELIGIOUS MEETINGS

“ . . . These meetings are not to be denominational in design or character – the sole object being to induce men to become Christians.  We extend to you a respectful and earnest invitation to attend all these meetings and we ask your influence and active efforts to secure the attendance of others.

 

“We especially urge upon all Christians, in view of the spiritual wants of our city, to lay aside, as far as practicable, their secular occupations and sustain these meetings.”

 

C. Boynton, Pastor of the Congregational Church, and I. Searles, Pastor of the Methodist Church.    WD

 

03 30       REVIVAL MEETINGS

During the past week a series of interesting Union meetings have been held at the Congregational church in this city.  They were conducted by Rev. J. D. Potter, whose earnest and faithful labors seem to have been blessed with great success.  His powerful and almost irresistible appeals have brought a large number to a lively sense of their dangerous condition and led them to seriously consider the things which belong to their salvation.  On the awakened minds of many, such deep and lasting impressions have been made that there is every reason to believe numerous additions will soon be made to the church.  Our great business in this world should be a full preparation for the next.  We cannot too highly value or too well improve such providential occasions as the present to calmly resolve henceforth to tread the bright pathway of the Life Eternal.   WD

 

12 07       AN INVASION

It may be remembered that last spring we mentioned a burglary at the residence of Rev. C. Boynton, pastor of the Congregational church of this city, when his house was entered while the family were at church on Sabbath evening and money and jewelry belonging to this wife stolen.  We have now to record that his dwelling was again entered on Monday night, the 28th, by an immense crowd.  

 

In this instance Mr. Boynton was out making calls upon his people and, having occasion to pass within sight of his dwelling, saw indications that somebody was there, and turning his footsteps homeward, caught the whole gang before any had time to escape.  As they had but just commenced depredations, the matter ended without litigation by their handing over two hundred and forty dollars of greenbacks.  The issue was so favorable to their finances that Mr. and Mrs. Boynton express themselves highly pleased with the whole affair and much obliged to those who invaded their house and to their accomplices who were not present. 

 

It does not appear that the most kind feeling between the parties has been at all disturbed by the occurrence.   WD

 

1866

VIEW FROM DISTANCE

  

 

1872

08 08       IMPROVE AND ENLARGE WHOLE EDIFICE

Enlargement - Pretty extensive repairs on the Congregational church having become necessary, and the pews being all occupied, it has been decided to improve and enlarge the whole edifice.  The ladies of the congregation, having earnestly taken hold of this enterprise, and by their efforts insured its accomplishment, it is no more than right to award to them a large share of the credit for what has been and will be hereafter done.  Two of their number, Mrs. J. A. Hall and Mrs. C. H. Prior, have succeeded in procuring a subscription of nearly a thousand dollars for this object, the balance of the estimated amount to be furnished by the Mite Society, which is also conducted by the ladies.  We understand the plan of enlargement drawn by an architect has been accepted, and the work will be commenced immediately.  It is supposed that it will be some five or six weeks before the contemplated addition and repairs will be completed, and the church be again ready for use as a place of worship.  Commendable liberality has been shown in this matter - many not belonging to the congregation having cheerfully contributed towards carrying out the plan.  In this was the structure can be made commodious for some time longer, when it may be possible to replace it with a new and more beautiful one.   WD

 

1883

In 1883 a cozy parsonage was built, which is still the home of the minister attending the charge.  07 16 1909 story  

             It is thought that this parsonage was replaced soon after 1909 when the church was replaced.

 

1894

12 12       CLOVER CLUB:  FAME AS SUPPER-GIVERS

A large degree of success has ever crowned the efforts of the Congregational church Clover Club ladies over their annual suppers and bazaars, but Fortune’s smiles were unusually profuse at their entertainment last Thursday evening.  The lower Turner hall was crowded with patrons all evening and the club reports that it achieved the greatest of its successes on this occasion.  The fame of the ladies as supper-givers has gone abroad and there was a great demand for seats at the tables, where an abundance of good things for the hungry were served.  It is safe to say that no one was disappointed as to the supper’s quality, and no one’s appetite was unappeased.  At the booths fancy articles and pretty wares galore were offered for sale, with a lively disposition of the same.  The proceeds of the evening were about $160.   WR

 

1895

05 22       UNION SERVICE AT REFORMED CHURCH

The German Reformed church, on Cole Street, which has undergone a remodeling, including a new steeple, was formally dedicated last Sunday with appropriate ceremonies.  Three services were held, the first at 10 A.M conducted by Rev. C. H. Nott, of Milwaukee; the second at 2 P.M., were Rev. H. Rusterholz, of Montello, preached, and the third at 7:30 in the evening.  The latter was a union service, in which the Congregational and Moravian churches joined.  Rev. G. C. Weiss, of the former, delivered an English address, while Rev. A. Haupert, of the latter, preached in German.  At all meetings the attendance was large and the dedication awakened considerable interest.  The ceremonies were in charge of the pastor, Rev. E. Hinske.   WR

 

1898

02 02       FREE LECTURE ON "NATURAL METHOD"

The Congregational Church parlors were well filled last evening, when Prof. Otto Cohahn gave his free lecture and test lesson on his "Natural Method" of imparting a conversational knowledge of the French and German languages.  The audience was composed of some of our best people and all seemed enthusiastic over the project.  Prof. Cohahn's illustrations of the method were to many a surprising revelation of the possibilities of acquiring a good acquaintance of these languages, in a comparatively brief time, under the tutorship of an able master of them, such as the professor is known to be.  This afternoon at 4:30 Prof. Cohahn will meet all who want to take either of the two courses, at the Congregational Church parlors, and from all indications he will have large classes.   WR

 

03 30       ADDRESS ON THE GOOD OF A FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY

L. E. Stearns, the librarian of the Wisconsin Free Libraries Commission, will occupy the pulpit of the Congregational Church next Sunday evening and give an address on "The Child and His Books."  This will be in no sense a church or ecclesiastical affair, but an address by a library official, touching on the good of a free public library.  There will be no collection taken, nor will there be anything sectarian in the movement.  Miss Stearns is an interesting speaker and represents a cause worthy of the serious attention of all our citizens.  An invitation is extended to all, regardless of of their creeds or church affiliation, to give Miss Stearns a hearing in this matter, Sunday evening.  The businessmen of the city are especially invited.  WR

 

10 12       AIDING FOREST FIRE VICTIMS

Tonight a large consignment of wearing apparel will be shipped from here to the people of Northern Wisconsin who lost their all by the recent forest fires.  The work of soliciting donations and taking care of the same has been in charge of the committee of the Congregational Church women, with headquarters at 203 Main Street.  Citizens who desire to aid in this noble undertaking can still do so this afternoon.  WR

 

1899      CLOVER CLUB THANKED by Woman's Guild / Old Maids' Convention

03 22       Will the Clover Club please accept the thanks of the Woman's guild for their neat compliment in last week's Republican?  The good reputation earned we shall try to retain.  We are sorry to announce that our spring sale will be held a few days before that august body of old maids assembles here; but if they only knew of the beautiful garments we shall display at this sale, and the wonderful bargains to be made, they would without a doubt appear in advance of their date, while a glance at our menu for a "measuring" supper to be served on the European plan at this time would draw even more fastidious people than the Walkers and the Anthonys.  Their fears must not be aroused by the word "measuring," as a flight of years does not come under our "rule" on this occasion.  However, if Dr. Mary Walker and Susan B. Anthony do not arrive in time for this sale we hope to meet them at the convention.  – SECRETARY WOMAN's GUILD. WR

 

04 05       OLD MAIDS' CONVENTION

The funniest local entertainment for years will be the Old Maids' Convention to be given under the auspices of the Clover Club, at Turner Hall, Tuesday, April 11.  Tickets at 25 cents each are now on sale.  Seats may be reserved without extra charge at Gamm's drug store on and after Wednesday, April 5.  We wish to call special attention to the dainty buffet to be served by the delegates after the entertainment.  A cup of coffee may be had for 5 cents, a dish of ice cream for 10, to which you may add as much or as little as you feel inclined.    WR

 

04 12       OLD MAIDS' CONVENTIONS

What amusement providers are pleased to term "Old Maids' Conventions" has been quite the vogue this season in nearby cities, but it is perhaps a safer venture to say that none of these entertainments has met with such unbounded success as the one given last evening at Turner Opera house under the patronage of the Clover Club of the Congregational church.  The gratifying results that rewarded the efforts of the energetic women comprising this popular society was but another achievement in the line of successes which have come to be anticipated as a certainty in whatever they undertake.  The production, we understand, was under the direction of Mrs. Frank E. Woodard, who has been congratulated on all sides by her careful management.   WR

 

Cross reference to Old Maid’s Societies

02 20 1900:  Our exchanges often speak of the organization of “Old Maid’s Societies” in their respective cities.  A canvass of the city of Fort Atkinson reveals the fact that the number of ancient maidens is not large enough to make it pay to organize such a society.  Fort Atkinson girls are in such demand that old maids are not to be found there.    WR

 

06 20       PINK LUNCHEON GIVEN BY CLOVER CLUB

Though the weather was not very favorable for a long lawn fete on Thursday evening, the pink luncheon given by the Clover Club was well patronized.  The gorgeous lawn in front of the home of J. T. Moak was well fitted up for the occasion and swarms of people tripped lightly over the lawn to the music of Blaesius’ orchestra.  Booths were arranged in which refreshments and various commodities were disposed of by pretty maids, and the dining table, which was under the protection of a liberty bell, was tended by charmingly ladies in the garb of the colonial days and powdered hair.  WR

 

1900

11 30       CLOVER CLUB RECIPE BOOK

The ladies of the Clover Club has now in the press to a book which will prove valuable to every housekeeper.  Watertown has always been famous for its good cooks, and the ladies of Watertown have contributed the very cream of their recipes to the "Clover Club Cook Book," which will be on sale at the annual bazaar and supper to be held at Concordia opera house December 6.  What more useful Christmas present than a first- class up-to-date cook book, reliable in every detail, for

 

We may live without poetry, music and art,

We may live without conscience and live without heart,

We may live without friends, we may live without books,

But, civilized man cannot live without cooks.   WG 

 

1901

07 05       RECITAL, WATERTOWN SCHOOL OF MUSIC

A select audience attended the pupils’ recital last Monday evening at the Congregational Church parlors under the direction of Wm. S. Mullen, and Mrs. Ackerly Townsend, both of whom have been associated with the Watertown School of Music.  The piano selections were rendered by pupils of Mr. Mullen’s classes at Oconomowoc, Juneau, Richwood and this city.  All acquitted themselves most creditably, and reflected much credit on their instructor, who by his zeal and devotion to his chosen profession is fast forging to the front as one of the best musicians in this section of the state.  The vocal selections were by the pupils of Mrs. Townsend, who had been attending our local conservatory, being Miss Genevieve Mullen and Miss Anna Smith, both of whom have most pleasing voices and on this occasion showed the effect of the good training they have been receiving during the past year.    WG 

 

08 16       IN PRAISE OF THE RUMMAGE SALE

What you have long sought for you will find here, when the ladies of the Clover Club open their famous sale on Tuesday, September 10th.  The rummage sale, all hail the festive rummage sale, the greatest paramount issue since the dinner pail.  The fad that clears the attic and likewise clears the cellar.  There is nothing new beneath the sun nor in the modern rummage sale; it looks as if the stock in trade were gathered by a Texas gale and people crowd the bargain room all clamoring to buy.  Variety is the essence of this social endeavor and what you can’t find at the sale you will never find at all.   The list is all embracing, ranging from a looking glass to cooking stoves . . . . every kind of wood and tin and crockery things to puts things in.  All this and more you will find among the rag-tag relics of this latest craze, the rummage sale.  A committee of ladies from the Clover Club will wait upon you.  Lay aside what you don’t want and they will send their wagon round to get it.   WG 

 

1903

               Orlena and Anna Moak funerals

1904

10 10       MEN'S SUNDAY EVENING CLUB

The matter of a Men's Sunday Evening club at the Congregational Church is being broached. These organizations are becoming very popular, and wherever they exist have proved to be conducive to interesting young men especially in church attendance. That there is ample fuel for such movement in our midst is a fact not to be denied and it is hoped something may materialize of this project.  

 

1905

Church minister, Thomas B. Thompson, beneficiary, Fannie Lewis' will.

 

1907      KNIGHTS OF KING ARTHUR return to annex of church

02 22       The Knights of King Arthur have given up their room in the Masonic Temple used as a gymnasium and returned to their rooms in the annex to the Congregational Church and will be under the supervision and instruction of Rev. H. C. Rehm, who will continue the work inaugurated by the Rev. T. B. Thompson, his predecessor as pastor of the church.  The room in the Temple will be occupied by Dr. H. V. Pitschmann, who will fit it up for a gymnasium with all of the latest apparatus and appliances usually found in those in the large cities and make it an ideal place for the young men of our city, who can go there for recreation and exercise that which will be helpful and healthful.

 

1908

10 02           New Woodcraft Indians club met and elected officers

                      1908

 

1909

01 01       Men's Club hosted Schildkret Hungarian orchestra at Turner Opera House   WG

 

01 01       Special Christmas musical program prepared by the choir; sermon   WG

 

01 15          Decision made to build a new church, dimensions; $7500 has been subscribed; Clover Club promises generous donation     WG

 

04 02          Turner opera house dramatic show, given under the auspices of the Clover Club    WG

 

04 02       EDWARD RACEK BUYS OLD CHURCH

Edward Racek purchased the Congregational Church building last week, and has removed it to his lots in Second Street, where he will have it fitted up as a double flat residence building.   WG

 

Structure dates to c.1845 making it one of the oldest homes in the city.

 

06 11       Rev. Henry Rehm’s song set to music    WG

 

1909

07 09       WILL LAY CORNER STONE

The corner stone of the new Congregational Church will be laid next Sunday.  An elaborate program will be prepared, including music and addresses.  Rev. Charles Parker Connolly, pastor of Plymouth Church, Milwaukee, will deliver the chief address.  Mr. Connolly is a new man in the state but comes from Kansas with a fine reputation as an orator.  Superintendent Carter of the Home Missionary Society will lay the corner stone and will also preach at the Masonic Temple in the morning at the regular services.  A platform will be erected at the front of the church and seats provided.  The services will be held at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.   WG

 

CORNER STONE CEREMONY

    July of 1909

 

07 16          CORNER STONE LAID

Last Sunday afternoon the corner stone of the new Congregational Church, corner of Fourth and Wisconsin streets, was laid with impressive ceremonies.  There was a large number of people present to take part in the proceedings, including the various church societies, people of other denominations and quite a number from out of town.  The weather was ideal for the services and everything passed off in a most excellent manner.   

 

The corner stone was laid at the southeast corner of the building, it is of Bedford sandstone and has inscribed on it "1909."  A brief history of the church, copies of the local newspapers and a number of other documents were placed in the stone.  Rev. H. W. Carter, D. D., of Beloit, superintendent of the missionary department, Congregational societies of Wisconsin, laid the stone, and Rev. Charles Parker Connolly, pastor of Plymouth Church, Milwaukee, delivered the principal address.  His remarks were eloquent and interesting, and thoroughly appreciated by all present.  The program in full was as follows:

 

Sentences from Scripture ........Rev. H. C. Rehm

Doxology ........................Congregation and Choir

Invocation ......................Rev. H. C. Rehm

Vocal Quartette .................Mr. and Mrs. Wm Sproesser, Edw. L.

                                    Schempf, Mrs. C. R. Feld,

Reading of report ...............C. A. Skinner

Address .........................Rev. P. C. Connolly, Milwaukee

Song ............................Choir

Reading of contents of stone ....Rev. H. C. Rehm

Laying of corner stone ..........Rev. H. W. Carter, Beloit

Hymn,

   Blest Be the Tie That Binds ..Congregation and Choir

Benediction

 

The initial step in the movement leading to the building of the new Congregational Church was taken in January 1908, at meeting of the Clover Club.  It was voted at that time that the club pledged itself to raise $1000 for a church building fund.  This action and the heroic way in which the members and officers of the club at once went to work encouraged the church to look forward to larger things.  It has long been realized that this church was in need of extensive repairs. It was also felt that this would at least require a complete remodeling of the building.

 

At a meeting of the church and congregation held June 22, 1908, the sentiment seemed to be in favor of a remodeled church, but a committee consisting of Mrs. L. L. Parks, Mr. R. Achtenhagen and Mr. Rehm was appointed to canvass the situation and ascertain whether it would not be expedient to plan for a new church. 

 

This committee was empowered to decide for a remodeled or a new church. After considering the matter all summer this committee decided to submit the question to the trustees, the Sunday school superintendent and the president of the Clover Club, which organized itself as a joint committee with the original committee.  This joint committee decided to recommend building a new church on condition that $7000 including the Clover Club pledge be raised.  It was also voted to build according to plans drawn by Van Ryn & DeGelleke of Milwaukee, for the Two Rivers Congregational church. 

 

The $7000 was soon pledged and at the annual meeting of the church and congregation on January 11, 1909, it was decided to build a new edifice costing about $11,000. In March the old building was sold and contracts let to Ferd. Behlke, carpenter; Mallow & Kaddatz, masons; William Schiebel, plumber; Schmutzler & Heismann, painters.

 

The building committee consists of the Rev. H. C. Rehm, chairman, R. Achtenhagen, E. A. Pratt, A. D. Platz, Mrs. L. L. Parks, and Chas. A. Skinner.   The cost of the building will be about $12,300 which includes price of the memorial windows donated by C. A. Skinner, Mrs. W. C. Stone, Mrs. C. Berrymann, Lee Skinner for the late C. B. Skinner and wife, and also by Mrs. G. B. Lewis for the late G. B. Lewis, by Mrs. H. Donner for a Bennett memorial, by Mrs. Jesse Stone for former Lieut. Gov. Jesse Stone, by Mrs. F. M. Piper for a Piper Memorial. 

 

Mrs. Katherine and Lucy Hall have also contributed $400 each which will be used in payment on the $2,150 Kimball pipe organ purchased for the new church.  This instrument will be a Hall memorial.

 

The First Congregational Church in Watertown was organized by Rev. Stephen Peet, agent of the home missionary society, July 13, 1845, or just sixty-four years ago. The first meeting was held in the only schoolhouse up to that time within the city limits of Watertown.  The society was composed chiefly of Presbyterians, but an organization was effected in accordance with the Congregational faith.  The first communicants were George Breakenridge, Wm. Dunlavey, O. K. Coe, Nancy Breakenridge, Jane A. Dunlavey, Mary J. Scott, Paulina S. Coe, Maria Shears, Harriet Montgomery.  

 

A church edifice was erected in 1850 on the site of the proposed new church at a cost of $1500.   It was enlarged twice since, the first time in 1858 and again in 1872. 

 

The first pastor was the Rev. B. F. Parsons, and during his pastorate services were held in the old Cramer block, 113-115 West Main Street.  The succeeding pastors were: Revs. J. C. Craighead, N. C. Chapin, W. A. Niles, Charles Boynton, W. H. Ryder, Charles C. Craigin, W. A. Hendrickson. R. C. Bedford, James M. Campbell, G. C. Weiss, W. T. Ream, Wm. Fritzemeier, Thos. B. Thompson and the present pastor, H. C. Rehm.

 

In 1883 a cozy parsonage was built, which is still the home of the minister attending the charge.

 

The present church now under construction is being built at a cost of $12,500, and with an organ costing $2,100, will cost the congregation the sum of $14,600.

 

The pastor, Rev. H. C. Rehm, is entitled to the credit of initiating the move for the building of the new church, and he has labored incessantly and hard to bring about the success of the movement, and every member of his congregation gave him encouragement in his good work.

 

10 01          FIRST SERVICES

The first services in the new Congregational Church will be held on October 10.  The afternoon meeting at the Methodist Church will be continued next Sunday.  Arrangements have been made to have the Sunday school room completed so that it can be used both for the school and the regular services which will be held at the usual hour in the morning.  This has been done in order to get the routine of church activities on a working basis before dedication.  It has been practically decided that the date for dedication will be October 24.  At that time it is expected to have the church completed, including the memorial windows and a pipe organ.   WG

 

10 15       DEDICATION OF CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

The building of the new Congregational Church has been an unusually successful enterprise and plans are now being made to dedicate on October 31 with two elaborate services.  Prominent speakers from out of the city will be on the program, while a choir of about thirty voices will contribute the music.  All the details of the occasion will be announced later.  Contrary to the general impression the building will be completed in October, which means that it has taken less than six months to erect this church.  The weather has been exceptionally favorable and there have been no delays in securing material.  The contractors have pushed the work and there was no conflict in the arrangements.

 

Another feature deserving mention is the comparatively low cost at which the building was erected.  The total outlay, including all fixtures, pews, lighting, etc., will not exceed $13,000.

 

It is to be regretted that the new two manual pipe organ which represents an expenditure of over $2000 will not be in place on dedication day and will not arrive until about Christmas time.  However, a fine two manual pipe organ will be installed temporarily by the Kimball Organ Company at once and will be used at the dedication. 

 

All the windows with the possible exception of the largest will be installed next week.  It is hoped that these windows, made of the finest Tiffany or drapery glass, will prove one of the features of the edifice.  The pews are all of oak with quartered sawed ends.  A new pulpit donated by the Wilder family is a beautiful piece of furniture and together with a new American Revised Bible will harmonize with the surroundings.  All who have seen the tinting of the walls and the wood work stain are delighted with the color harmony that has been secured.

 

It is certain that everything has been done to make this new church homelike and restful as well as thoroughly modern in all its equipment.   WG

 

10 29       DEDICATION POSTPONED

The dedication of the new Congregational Church has again been postponed and the plans are now to hold the service incident thereto on November 21st.  A delay in filling the order for the church pews is the cause, as the church is in readiness for occupancy.   WG

 

11 19       DEDICATION OF NEW CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

Beginning with Sunday next the Congregational Church has arranged for a week of celebration and jubilee in the new church.  Two big services on Sunday will be of unusual interest, as marking the opening of an epoch of larger usefulness for the congregation and because of the presence of two speakers of exceptional ability and reputation.  Pres. E. D. Eaton of Beloit College will preach the regular dedication sermon in the morning, while Dr. C. H. Beale of Milwaukee Grand Avenue Church will deliver the address in the evening.  Dr. Homer W. Carter, Home Missionary of the state, will be at both services and take part in the program.

 

The senior and junior choirs have been consolidated for the occasion and will sing two anthems at each meeting.  There are to be three soloists, Edward Schempf, Mr. and Mrs. William Sproesser, and a quartette consisting of Mr. and Mrs. William Sproesser, Mrs. C. R. Feld and John Schempf.

 

Because of the delay in securing the pews it has been possible to perfect all arrangements and to make far better preparation for the occasion.

 

On Monday there will be a homecoming meeting for all those who have in the past been in any way connected with the church, the choir or the Sunday school.  This has been arranged purely for the purpose of giving expression to our interest in and affection for the old church.  Rev. T. B Thompson of Rockford, Ill., and J. T. Moak of Ft. Atkinson will speak on behalf of the home comers, while Mayor Mulberger will give the word of greeting. 

 

Entertainment and refreshments will be provided, but no charge or collection of any kind will be made.  During the week there will be a house-warming for the boys and one for the girls.  An outside speaker will be secured for the mid-week service and there will be a union vesper service with the Methodist Church on Thanksgiving day.   WG

 

11 19       A FINE MUSICAL TREAT  /  First of the Series of Artist Recitals

Music lovers of Watertown and vicinity will be pleased to learn that the first of the series of artist recitals arranged for the coming season will be given at the new Congregational Church, Friday evening, November 26th. 

 

The artists who will appear at this concert are:  Marion Greene, the eminent Basso Cantante, whose rise to the high rank which he has attained among American artists has been phenomenal.  He is constantly filling the most desirable engagements with prominent choral and orchestral organizations throughout the country.  In connection with Mr. Greene, Harry Karl Gillman, an American violinist who has studied abroad with some of the leading masters and who has created a sensation in European as well American cities wherever he has played, will be heard.  In addition, Manson Orsay, the superb lady harpist, will appear in several solo numbers.

 

Those of our musical people who have arranged the recital series for Watertown guarantee that the artists who will appear at the recitals are all artists of the first rank and no lover of music should miss hearing them.  Over 200 tickets for the coarse have already been sold on subscription to leading Watertown people.  The price of course tickets—3 concerts—is only $2.00, and they will be ready within a few days.

 

The second concert will include the well-known Steindel trio (possibly during Christmas week), and at the third concert, Jessie Lynde Hopkins, the well-known Chicago contralto, will be the leading artist.  Further particulars regarding this series of concerts can be obtained at the store of the Schempf Co.   WG

 

11 26       CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH DEDICATED   WG

Last Sunday the new Congregational Church was dedicated, dedication services being held at 11 o'clock in the morning, at which Dr. Edward Dwight Eaton, president of the Beloit College, delivered the dedicatory sermon.  The program carried out at this service was as follows:

 

Organ Prelude

Doxology

Invocation

Chorus—God Hath Appointed a Day      Tours

Reading of the Scriptures

 

Solo—Lord God of Abraham      Mendelssohn

Mr. William Sproesser

 

Prayer of Consecration

Hymn 131

 

Dedicatory Sermon

Dr. Edward Dwight Eaton

 

Quartet—Seek Ye the Lord      Roberts

Edward Schempf, tenor soloist, Mrs. William Sproesser, Mrs. C. R. Feld, William Sproesser, J. W. Schempf

 

Offering

Chorus—The Heavens Are Telling      Haydn

Dedication Services

 

Prayer of Dedication

Rev. O. L. Robinson

 

Dedication Hymn

Benediction

Silent Prayer

Organ Postlude

 

The evening services were held at 7:30 o'clock, the Rev. C. H. Beale, D. D., of Milwaukee delivering an able sermon.  The program was as follows:

 

Organ Prelude

Doxology

Invocation

 

Chorus—God Hath Appointed a Day      Tours

 

Reading of the Scriptures

 

Solo—Arm, Arm Ye Brave      Handel

Mr. William Sproesser

 

Prayer

Hymn

 

Sermon

Rev C. H. Beale, D. D.

 

Solo—With Verture Clad      Haydn

Mrs. William Sproesser

 

Offering

Hymn

Benediction

Silent Prayer

Organ Postlude

 

The organist at both services was Mrs. A. Speer of Milwaukee, a most excellent musician, her playing being one of the pleasing features of the day's program.

 

The attendance at both services was very large, many former members of the church being present from other places.  Rev. O. L. Robinson of Madison, state Sunday school superintendent, delivered the dedication prayer, and Dr. Eaton delivered an eloquent dedicatory sermon, among other things saying:

 

The more perfect and beautiful life may be, the more distressing is its brevity and the more paralyzing is the effect of that brevity upon the life itself.  Here is the crowning triumph of the power of the endless life.  Christ draws the eye beyond the perishable to the indissoluble, beyond the mortal to immortality.

 

As business men regard the longest investments as the best, so the interests of life which have in them the absoluteness of eternity are the worthiest of us.

 

The speaker described at some length an incident of the setting free of a young homing pigeon far out in the open Atlantic, and its flight back to the dove cot which was its home, and compared this instinct to the human soul for the larger life which the church reveals as the gift of its Master.

 

Well may we rejoice then in our life with all its varied, wholesome activities as interpreted and energized by Christian faith.  No shadow of time can eclipse our exultation in it.  The earth is its present sphere, and the here and the now grip it about; but thus it grows strong and faithful.  It bides its tune and is sure of the larger manifestation; for at its heart is the power of the endless life.

 

The homecoming week of jubilee program which began last Monday is as follows:

 

Monday evening—Homecoming meeting—A reunion of all members and friends of the church, the choir and the Sunday school, in the parlors.  Addresses by the Rev. Thomas Barney Thompson and Mr. J. T. Moak on the part of the home-comers.  Mayor Arthur Mulberger will give the word of welcome.  Music and refreshments and no offering is to be taken or charge of any kind made as this gathering is simply to renew old interests under a new roof.  Everyone invited.

 

Tuesday evening, 8 o'clock—Girls housewarming—Gathering of all girls in Sunday school and choir under the auspices of the Junior Clover club.  Different organizations are to be formed.

 

Wednesday afternoon, 2:30 o'clock —Clover club meeting

 

Wednesday evening, 7:30 o'clock—Midweek service—Plans will be made to organize the Beecher club.

 

Thursday evening, 7:30 o'clock—Union Thanksgiving service—The Rev. Robert Barnes of Milwaukee will deliver the sermon.

 

Saturday evening, 8 o'clock—Boys housewarming—This meeting is intended to get the different classes of boys together for the purpose of organization.

 

Mayor Mulberger delivered the address of welcome Monday evening; Rev Thos. B. Thompson, former pastor of the Congregational Church, also delivered an interesting address, followed by a reminiscent address by J. T. Moak of Ft. Atkinson, for over 50 years a resident of Watertown and for many years its postmaster.  His address is of unusual interest, and will be published in full in The Gazette next week, lack of space forbidding it this week.

 

The new Congregational Church is a credit and ornament to our city, and speaks well for the zeal of its communicants.  To Rev. H. C. Rehm, its pastor, special praise should be given.  He has successfully carried out the work of erecting this fine edifice, in the face of obstacles that would prevent many from undertaking the task.

 

12 03       RESOLUTIONS

Whereas, The splendid success of our dedication day program was due to those who so generously offered their services.

Be It Resolved, That the Board of Trustees of the Congregational Church, of Watertown, herewith desire to express their appreciation and gratitude.

To Dr. Edw. Dwight Eaton of Beloit College, for his scholarly and eloquent sermon.

To Dr. O. H. Beale of Milwaukee, for his stirring and effective address.

To Mr. O. L. Robinson for the helpful part he took in the program.

To Mrs. Speer of Milwaukee, for the efficient way in which she presided at the organ, under considerable difficulties, and for her perfect success in giving the music an attractive and beautiful setting.

To Mr. Edw. Schempf, for his tenor solo, which was one of the features of the program, and which was greatly appreciated by all.

To Mr. and Mrs. Sproesser for enriching the services by solo work which was beautiful and finished to an unusual degree.

To Mrs. C. R. Feld for the effective manner in which the whole musical program was prepared and conducted.

To the entire choir, each member of which gave so much time and talent and succeeded so thoroughly in doing justice of the music and the occasion.

And Be It Further Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to each person mentioned above and that they be published in the newspapers.

 

— W. C. Stone, President Board of Trustees.   WG

 

12 03       ADDRESS BY J. T. MOAK / AT THE ABOVE REUNION of former members   WG

 

At the reunion of former members of the Congregational Church of this city last week, or rather at the homecoming exercises, J. T. Moak of Ft. Atkinson, a former resident of this city and who was for many years postmaster here, delivered the following very interesting address.  It will be read with keen interest by The Gazette readers not only in this city, but wherever it circulates:

 

At the suggestion of someone who meant well, but I fear advised him wrongly, Mr. Rehm was induced to invite me to give you this evening a chapter of reminiscences of the Congregational Church.  Having a distrust of my ability to do this satisfactorily, at least to myself, my first impulse was to decline.  The request was couched in such complimentary terms, and evidently with so much sincerity, that I hesitated, for a time; when remembering how loyally Mrs. Moak and I were entertained by this people when we left the city three years ago, I determined to lay aside all delicacy and respond to the call as one that you or your representatives had a right to make. 

 

Therefore I am here to fill the part assigned me in the program to the best of my ability.  If my efforts to entertain you shall prove disappointing, I implore you to deal with Mr. Rehm, for bear in mind that his advent in the city was subsequent to my departure and he could not be expected, from want of personal knowledge, to act with full understanding.  If it turns out that he was the victim of misplaced confidence he should not, in all fairness, be held accountable for results.

 

As already indicated I am to deal with some of the early recollections of the church going back thirty, forty or fifty years, which antedate the birth of many of you and will serve to revive the memories of some of your seniors.  My first associations with the church date back to 1854, the year of my coming to the city.  It had been organized then about nine years and the pastor was Rev. W. A. Niles.  The church edifice was then considerably smaller than in later years, and the usual attendance was in size commensurate with the building.  Mr. Niles remained about six years and was succeeded by Rev. Chas. Boynton, whose successors in the order named were the Revs. W. H. Ryder, C. C. Cragin, W. A. Hendrickson, R. C. Bedford, J. M. Campbell, A. O. Wright, G. C. Weiss, Wm. Fritzemeier and T. B. Thompson.

 

This covers a period of 52 years during which time I sat under the droppings of the sanctuary, and I am compelled to confess, which I do in the deepest humility, that notwithstanding the efforts which these faithful workers in the Lord's vineyard put forth for the regeneration of souls and the salvation of sinners, I never maintained any closer relation to the church than that of a brother-in-law.  However, my good wife was gathered into the fold which may, in a measure, have been taken as part satisfaction.  How often have I wondered that she has not grown round-shouldered under the weight of these doubled responsibilities.

 

As a member of the board of trustees for many years, I was quite familiar with its affairs, internal and financial.  We had often to wrestle with difficult problems.  How to pay the minister and meet other obligations when due was sometimes no easy matter.  The current revenues were not always available or sufficient and it was not unusual for the trustees to put their hands in their pockets and supply the necessary funds.  At other times having credit at a friendly bank, we would join in a note and have it discounted.  Another of our resources was to head a subscription list and then invoke the aid of some of the women in the church to go out and circulate the same, as they were found to be more successful in that work than the men.  Looking back upon this I will admit that it was a most cowardly thing to do, and for one I crave forgiveness for having been a party to any such transaction.

 

There was an organization among the ladies known as the Mite Society, its purposes being similar to the present one known by the more euphonious name of the Clover Club.  And it was very useful in its way, too, besides furnishing amusement and promoting sociability among the church attendants.  I am not certain that it was not in some respects an improvement on the more modern methods.  In those days there were no church parlors in which to meet—we had not attained the dignity—and the gatherings were migratory.  And they were always well attended.  There were readings, recitations and the like, not forgetting music and thereby hangs a tale. 

 

For hilarity and good fellowship there were several who could always be depended upon, but the leading spirits among them and the provokers of the most fun, I think, were good old Deacon Coe and Jonas Sleeper.  Their specialty was singing and they were always ready to display their talents in that line on call.  I do not think that either would have taken first rank in a high-class musical organization nor would they perhaps have been able to hold a position long in your present choir. I am certain that the Mite Society could not have gotten along without them.  The play of Hamlet with Hamlet omitted would [not] have been quite as satisfactory.  Speaking further of their singing, one of their favorite selections was entitled "Nicodemus," and as the song never may have been heard by some of you perhaps I will be pardoned for giving some of the words; though out of regard for your feelings I will confine myself to a single verse and the chorus, which seems infliction enough.  It was as follows . . .

 

1910

                  1910

05 27       Milwaukee district convention of Congregational churches held at church   WG

06 10       Dedicatory organ recital   WG

07 08       Young ladies of Junior Clover Club, left for Lake Mills to enjoy a week's outing   WG

 

1911

02 09       REV. H. C. REHM RESIGNS

On Saturday last Rev. H. C. Rehm, pastor of the Congregational Church for the past four years, handed in his resignation to take effect April 1st next.  In his resignation he says:

 

To the trustees and to the society of the First Congregational Church of Watertown, Wis.:

 

Dear Friends:  Pursuant to an agreement that there be a two months notice for the termination of this pastorate, I herewith submit my resignation as pastor of the First Congregational Church of Watertown, to take effect April 1st.

 

May I be permitted to add that my relationships with this church have been in every way delightful?  These four years in Watertown have been the pleasantest and happiest of my life and I cannot be too grateful to the friends whose good will and generous spirit has helped me over difficulties.  I leave with not the least sense of grievance or disappointment except that it has not been given me to serve you more effectively in the distinctly spiritual life.

 

I have the greatest confidence in the future of this church, equipped and supported as it is.  I am sure you will have little difficulty in finding another pastor who with fresh confidence and fine enthusiasm will lead you far into the Way, the Truth and the Life.

 

Yours very faithfully,

H. C. Rehm

 

Rev. Mr. Rehm intends going to the Pacific slope to practice law and may decide to locate in either Salem or Eugene, Oregon.  Before coming to Watertown four years ago he practiced law for two years.  In leaving Watertown Rev. Rehm will carry with him the best wishes of all our people.  He was not only popular with his own congregation but with the people of Watertown in general, and all will regret the departure of himself and family very much.   WG

 

1912      Rev. N. CARTER DANIELL AT THE CONFIRMATION CLASS   WG 04 04 1912

 

The Congregational Parsonage                Watertown, April 5, 1912

To the Editor of The Times:

 

My Dear Sir:  My attention has been called to a reference to me in the April Fool's Day edition of your paper.  It was therein stated that my address at the confirmation exercises was "in line with" an alleged statement of Miss Perdue, concerning the moral condition of Watertown.  The enclosed manuscript contains the sum and substance of my address on that occasion and of that section which refers to the moral condition of Watertown; much is a verbatim report.

 

This I attest and so also attest several prominent citizens, who were at the service in question and to whom I have read the contents of this manuscript.  Trusting you will extend to me the courtesy of your columns, as have the other editors, so that the interest aroused in your April Fool Day edition may be gratified. I remain

 

Yours obediently,

 

N. Carter Daniell.

 

Mr. Daniell is a writer, traveler and preacher. His special interest is in youth, their moral and spiritual equipment for the battle of life.  His knowledge of boys and girls after extended study and observation in England, India and America, specially fit him for youth's leadership and instruction.  In India over 1200 children attended his schools, and both in England and America he has had daily facilities for the study of the best conditions for the production of successful young men and women.

 

That was his theme at the confirmation class.

 

FIRST: He spoke of the pleasure the class had given him. He had worked unremittingly in the young people's interests; even because no available text book had satisfied him, compiled a concise, adequate and simple profession of faith for them.

 

SECOND: He paid a gratifying compliment to the boyhood and girlhood of Watertown.  He doubted whether it would be possible to find a sturdier, brighter, more intelligent group of young people than could be found right in our own city.

 

THIRD: It is the boyhood and girlhood of the community, he said, which vitally relate us to the nation.  A nation's great asset is not military power not intellectual achievement, nor material wealth.  A nation's greatest asset is good, clean, honest, capable men and women.  Rome had military power and Rome as a nation perished.  Greece . . .

 

I plead that you give our young people a chance, the best chance possible, to lay the foundation necessary for their future success.  I voiced the future interests of these boys and girls when I asked the parents present, won't you help me and others bring about these conditions, of cleanness, order and purity, which make the necessary bases [basis] of their equipment for the battle of life.

 

Rev. Daniell received a letter from Miss Perdue on Thursday denying what The Times stated regarding her in its issue on April 1st.

 

1913

01 09     IF I WERE MAYOR

"If I Were Mayor" was the subject of an interesting address at the Congregational Church last Sunday evening by the pastor, Rev. F. Carter Daniell, before a large audience.  He began his talk by saying that he wished it understood that he intended no personal implications in this sermon, stating it was simply an academic story of an ideal community.  He stated he asked about thirty citizens to write him stating their policy if each were at the head, and that he received only ten answers.

 

The first letter was from a gentleman whose policy would be a "happy medium” in regard to expenditures and enforcing the laws.  He would separate the personality of an individual from his office and would have NO PARTY LINES IN OFFICE and all would have an equal hearing without regard to race, color or condition.  The next gentleman would have the city council consider such questions as enforcing the SALOON CLOSING LAWS, the consideration of the character of applicants for liquor licenses, the consideration of back rooms and gambling in saloons; also the PARADING OF GIRLS ON MAIN STREET AFTER 9 O’CLOCK EVENING, the reduction of taxes and the consideration of contracts about to be let.  Another would enforce the laws of the state and city and would safeguard the young. 

 

A lady in her communication stated that she would urge the ART ASSOCIATION TO GIVE THE STOREKEEPERS HINTS in regard to trimming their show windows.  She would have an 11 o'clock closing law and would have bath houses with instructors in swimming near the river.

 

Another citizen would ask citizens how the city could be improved.  He would be just to all, would enforce the laws judicially, CLOSE SALOONS AT 12 O'CLOCK, or abrogate the law, ALLOW NO NICKEL SHOWS TO RUN DURING CHURCH TIME, and would not allow TEAMS TO BE TIED IN THE STREETS for indefinite lengths of time, and would have funeral directors give hack and hearse drivers the time to return after the church services so that they could allow their horses shelter in the meantime.  He would inspect the saloons, church and schools at least once a year.  He would reduce the number of saloons and raise the license fee, and would prohibit professional beggars.

 

Another lady would CLOSE SALOONS SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS, raise the license fee to $500, have AN EFFICIENT POLICE FORCE, would enforce mashing ordinance, stop the use of profane language in public, have a 9 o'clock curfew law, have A PRISON CELL FOR WOMEN, showing no favors to sex.  He should work with the school board and be conversant with the state laws.

 

If he were mayor he would find out from the department of state WHAT THE POWERS OF THE MAYOR ARE.  He would be as proud of his city as any man of his business and would not be content until it was pushing ahead and was equal to any other city of size in the state.  He would try to make [the] city give stride in advancement to other cities, and be the impetus and inspiration to them.

 

Watertown is proud of her sons who have gone forth into the world.  Her sons should be proud of Watertown.  He would endeavor to procure the greatest conveniences and benefits for the largest number with sane economy.  He would look after the convenience and comfort of the people.  If a bridge was closed for repairs for a long time he would not close it after the bridge was repaired so that the road leading to it could be repaired, but would repair the road at the same time. He would have no moonlight schedule for lighting. THE STREETS WOULD BE SPRINKLED AT OTHER TIMES THAN JUST BEFORE AND DURING A RAINSTORM.  He would not allow builders to mix mortar on the sidewalk.  LARGE GROUPS OF PEOPLE WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED to visit on the sidewalk in Main Street.  He would try to get GREATER CONVENIENCE AND SERVICE IN THE ELECTRIC CAR LINES and would have them have warm cars in winter and more cars in summer, and would try to get the company to use a car so that cars would not raise so much dust.

 

He would see that the laws were obeyed.  A Chicago citizen has said that America could not be called a nation because the people do not obey the laws.  Senator Borah has said, "We are the most lawless of nations,” and President Taft said, "I believe that we do not hold the law as sacred as we should."  The persons who raise the cry of having their personal liberty restrained in that they wish to do as they please are mentally deteriorated.  In community life there must be restrictions.  In regard to vice he said that IF THERE WERE INDICATIONS OF THE EXISTENCE OF A HOUSE OF ILL FAME in the city, then he would see that it was immediately wiped out.  It should cease from the standpoint of economy, of hygiene and respect for sex.  No man comes in contact with such persons but what his respect for persons of the same sex becomes injured.  Therefore in the interest of the women of the city and the young life, such a house should be eliminated from the city immediately.

 

The Reverend Daniell stated that he had no animus against the saloons or any saloon keeper.  The city has given them the right to sell their goods and it is perfectly just that they be allowed to do so, provided they keep within the restrictions.  He said that a gentleman wrote him criticizing his statement that the saloon had a legitimate function, saying that he did not believe there was a good saloon keeper in the sight of God, and that NO MAN WAS BETTER THAN THE BUSINESS HE CONDUCTED.  The Rev. Daniell stated that that man has not thought out the question.  He said that a number of the saloon keepers of the city have as nice families as any he knew, and the man who assails the saloon keeper is barking up the wrong tree.  Saloons should be restricted; the sealing of the weights and measures of the store keepers and the restrictions of banks are examples.  The city gives the saloon keeper a license to sell certain kinds of goods, and it would be unfair not to expect control.  It is only fair that that which can be easily abused should be regulated.  The banks used to abuse their privileges until they are now greatly restricted.

 

Thirty dollars per capita per annum is spent on the saloons in this city and since WE HAVE 57 SALOONS it is reasonable to suppose that we can not support them without injury to us. With this condition two things will result, either bankruptcy of the saloon keeper or illegality.  The overhead charge of the city is too much and there are too many saloons.

 

He told of the uplifting force of the churches and said that other attractions should not be allowed during church services, and we should NOT ALLOW THE TURNER OPERA HOUSE TO HAVE ATTRACTIONS ON SUNDAY EVENINGS.  Other cities of this size in the state do not allow it, and we should not be behind.  He WOULD NOT CLOSE THE SCHOOLS AT ANY TIME and would have entertainments there, such as municipal moving picture shows.  He stated that the teachers have complained that the children go to the shows too often and come to school tired and sleepy and unprepared in their lessons.  All dances should be put under control of a man like we have in the city who would supervise them and they should be given in connection with the schools and there would be NO REPETITION OF THE SATURDAY NIGHT DANCES, and there would be NO PROSPECT OF DEGENERATING DANCES which are a physical stimulus for sinful conceptions.  He would have teachers of elocution who would train the young to give plays.  The young people should have amusement and if they have no good outlet for their energies they will find an outlet in that which is not morally good for themselves and uplifting.    WG

 

1914

10 08       ORGANIZE Y. P. S.

A Young Peoples’ Society was organized at a meeting held at the Congregational church Sunday afternoon.  The society will meet Sunday evenings at 7 o’clock during the winter.  The following officers were elected:

President—Garret Keel.

Vice-President—Gertrude Schatz.

Secretary—Marie Schmutzler.

Treasurer—Richard Thauer.

Organist—Mina Mendenhall.

 

Mrs. N. Carter Daniell will give a series of informal lectures during the winter.  She has several hundred views suitable for the illustration of talks on travel and literature, and they will be thrown on a screen by means of a mirror-scope.  The Rev. Daniell will give a bible character talk once each month.   WG

 

1915

09 30       LECTURE-RECITAL ON KIMBALL PIPE ORGAN

The first Sunday evening in each of the next four months a lecture recital will be given in the Congregational by Prof H. C. Reichert and Rev. N. Carter Daniell.  The organ at the church, a Kimball of sweetness and strength, has recently been improved to the extent of nearly $400.  The chief of these improvements is perhaps the oboe stop which has been voiced with specific regard to certain musical effects.  The recitals are intended to aid lovers of music to hear those compositions which can only be rightly rendered by the organ in its right setting.

 

The first lecture will be “The Pipe Organ; Its Development, Construction and Influence.”  The lecturer is to acquaint his friends to an instrument which all Christians should regard highly.

 

The first recital will be given at 8 o’clock sharp in the Congregational church on Sunday evening, Oct. 3.  These lecture recitals will be free to the public except for a free will offering to defray necessary expenses.   WG

 

1919

   [may be a couple years earlier]

 

1920

Rev. GEORGE C. WEIS

Rev. George C. Weis, formerly pastor of the Congregational Church in this city, died at Firewater, Oregon, on Dec. 6, where he was pastor of the Congregational Church.  He is survived by his wife and two daughters, also by one son by a former marriage.  His many Watertown friends learned of his death with much sorrow.  After leaving Watertown he published a newspaper for a time at Waukesha, and then went to Alaska, where he did well in gold mining, and then located in Washington.   WDT

 

1924

01 28       Rev. N. CARTER DANIELL

Last Saturday afternoon Rev. N. Carter Daniell the esteemed pastor of the First Congregational Church of this city for the past 13 years, passed to his eternal reward at his home, S. Fourth Street.  Rev. Daniell had been in poor health for many months, still the news of his death was received by our people with great surprise, for all had hoped and prayed for his ultimate recovery.    WDT

 

1926      FINAL SERVICE BY REV. FOSTER

   Watertown Daily Times 08 1926, (Picture)

 

Next Sunday, August 22, will mark the last service to be conducted here by the Rev. Earl Ware Foster, pastor of the Congregational Church, before he leaves to assume the pastorate of the Olivet Congregational church at Merriam Park, St. Paul, Minn.

 

Rev. Foster has chosen for his subject “The Last Call”.  There will be special music with Mrs. Inez Mansfield, soprano, and the Buell instrumental trio on the program.  The public is invited.

 

Rev. Foster’s leaving is much regretted, not only by members of his parish, but my many acquaintances and friends in every walk of life in this city. He had his family have made many friends here.  His services to his congregation and to the community has been great and his influence for the best in the community has been a factor in local circles. Rev. Foster and his family have the best wishes of their fellow citizens of Watertown.

 

1945      JUBILEE YEAR

Joseph E. Davies Presents Church with a Painting

Picture is given as Congregational Jubilee Memento

07 10 and 07 14

WHS_006_561.jpgThe religious painting which Joseph E. Davies, former United States ambassador to Russia presented to the First Congregational Church here in connection with the church's centennial now being observed is shown, along with Theodore J. Koerner, centennial chairman, left, and the Rev. C. W. Pinkney, pastor of the church, at the right.  Mr. Davies, who was born in Watertown and who attended the Congregational Church as a youth, purchased the painting in Russia in 1937.  It is by an Italian artist and was commissioned by Potemkin, husband of Catherine the Great.  During his residence in Russia, Mr. Davies acquired a large art collection, most of which he later presented to his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin. The painting was made sometime prior to 1791, the year of Potemkin's death. (Daily Times Photo)

 

Joseph E. Davies of Washington, D.C., has presented a religious painting to the First Congregational Church as a gift on the 100th anniversary of the congregation which is being observed this weekend.

 

Announcement of the gift was made by the Rev. C. W. Pinkney and T. J. Koerner, president of the board of trustees of the church and general chairman of the centennial committee.  The painting arrived by express from Washington.  It has been hung in the church.

 

The painting was purchased by Mr. Davies in 1937 while he was making a tour of the Ukraine during his service as United States ambassador to Russia.  He found it in the city of Dnepropetrovsk. [webmaster’s note:  Dnipropetrovs'k or in Russian Dnepropetrovsk, formerly Yekaterinoslav.]

 

During his years in Russia Mr. Davies, who was born in Watertown, acquired a large collection of Russian art works and has presented a large number of paintings to the University of Wisconsin.

 

The painting is by an Italian artist and was done upon the order of Potemkin, the husband of Catherine the Great of Russia.

 

The inscription across the top of the painting [translated] reads: "St. Martyr Barbara" and the scroll which is held in her hand is apparently the ending of a prayer and the translation of the wording thereon is:  "The pure, Holy Trinity"

 

In a letter accompanying the picture, Mr. Davies wrote Mr. Koerner:  "I am very happy to present this to the church of my early boyhood . . . I am sorry that I cannot attend the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the church.  As you may have noted, the president has asked me to go with him to the conference of Prime Minister Churchill, Marshal Stalin and himself to be held in Germany . . .

 

With warm personal regards, I am, Joseph E. Davies."

 

07 17       MORAVIAN CHURCH GREETINGS sent to Congregational on Centennial

 

The committee in charge of the recent First Congregational Church today made public the greetings sent to the congregation by the Moravian Church of Watertown on the occasion of the observance. It follows:

 

"Greetings and best wishes to our sister congregation from members of the Moravian church. We are glad to recognize this happy event, and with you to praise our heavenly Father for all He has wrought in you and through you these many years in the building I of His kingdom.

 

"Looking back beyond the Union services of today, we recall the benefits dispensed by your Sunday school under the leadership of the sainted C. B. Skinner and his family; the fellowship of our C. E. societies during Rev. Weiss's pastorate and their helping launch the Bible school under Doctor J. R. Pratt and Rev. Buswell, a work that is still yielding fruit; the building of the scout organization under the late Rev. N. C. Daniel and its benefits to the boys and their dads.  We value greatly the moral and spiritual influence your church has exerted here in these past decades; and we would pay tribute to the loyal and self-sacrificing services rendered to the youth of Watertown by your present pastor and his sainted wife.  We give thanks and glory to God for the spirit of fellowship and cooperation that has and does exist between us, and pray that Christ our Head may still lead on, may strengthen, inspire, bless and make you a blessing in the years to come in this our city and beyond its borders, until His glorious return to establish His reign of righteousness and peace.

 

"Signed:  The Joint Boards of the Moravian Church."

 

Church Expresses Its Appreciation

In a statement the pastor, official boards and members of the First Congregational church which observed its centennial over the weekend, said they wish to gratefully acknowledge the fine expressions of Christian courtesy made by friends and sister churches on the occasion of the centennial.  Continuing, the statement said:

 

"For the greetings, flowers, the cooperation and help so graciously extended and given, we thank you all.

 

"We also thank Cl. H. Wetter for his kindly words of appreciation and the Watertown Daily Times for the publicity given our program.

 

"We hope that in the years to come, this church may prove worthy of your confidence and esteem by the continued service rendered in the name of Christ, our Lord.

 

"Sincerely, C. W. Pinkney, pastor."

 

1956

04 05       MERGER:  First Congregational and First Evangelical and Reformed Church

The first of two church mergers affecting four of the city's present Protestant congregations, first announced in the Times in 1955, will take effect on June 1, 1957, when Watertown will have only one Methodist Church.  Announcement of this date was made here today by the Rev. William V. Stevens, minister of First Methodist and Wesley Methodist Churches.    WDT

 

The other merger, which is also scheduled for next year, will involve the First Congregational Church and the First Evangelical and Reformed Church.  Details on the merger are still pending.

 

11 15       UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST FORMED

In June of 1957 Protestantism will take a significant stride toward a reunited Church when the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Churches meet to form the United Church of Christ.  To help people to understand this historic event and its significance for individual churches the Congregational Church of Watertown has planned a meeting for Sunday evening at 7:30 o’clock at which time Dr. Wilford Evans, Congregational pastor, Sheboygan, will discuss this matter.   WDT

 

c.1959

CONFIRMATION CLASS

   Billy Guyer, Bob Jones, Mr. Royal Shephard, Ricky Parish, Mickey Howard, Jim Zimmerman, Tom Brom, Jerry Zimmerman, John Frank, Beverly Hansen, Cheri Curtiss, Kathy Klinger.

 

1963

04 06       Two members of the First Congregational Church, Mrs. Max Rohr and Miss Jane Lord, will be honored at the church’s Palm Sunday service at 10:30 a.m.   The two have the distinction of completing 70 years of full membership in the church and of being the only surviving members of the first organized confirmation class.  Mrs. Rohr and Miss Lord were confirmed and received into the church on April 2, 1893 by the Rev. George C. Weiss, who served as pastor from 1892 to 1899.   WDT

 

1964

01 28       Elected to the consistory of First United Church of Christ at the annual meeting of the congregation held on Sunday were the following:  To the board of elders: Arnold Strege and Gust Wolf for a three year term; to the board of deacons: Mrs. Victor Ulsberger and Mrs. Lila Bocher, deaconesses for a two year term; Donald Drost, deacon for a two year term; James Owen and Steven Feder, junior deacons for a one year term. George Kunert, Sr., was elected financial secretary of the congregation for a three year term.  In other action the congregation went on record authorizing a committee on merger to investigate the possibilities of merging with the First Congregational Church and set aside its own building program for one year pending the outcome of the committee’s report on the possibility of merger.  WDT

 

1966

05 31       BEN H. THAUER CHRISTIAN EDUCATION HALL

A plaque inscribed, “Ben H. Thauer Christian Education Hall, dedicated in recognition of a Lifetime of Faithful and Devoted Service to the Church and its Lord” made its appearance Sunday on the entryway wall of the Church School annex of the First Congregational United Church of Christ at 504 South Fourth Street as the congregation conducted its dedication ceremony following the morning worship service.  The presentation of the plaque and revelation of its honored dedicatee, Mr. Thauer, climaxed a litany service led by Pastor Stephen C. Evans.  Moderator, George Bausch, gave recognition to the several church members whose volunteer services made possible the conversion of the former parsonage to a Christian Education Building, naming Ben Thauer, George Wolff and Ralph Ebert as designers and planners of the remodeling job to meet requirements of the Wisconsin Industrial Commission; Ray Lewandowski, George Day, Edgar Krebs and Harley Herold as painters and cleaners; and the Mesdames Ruth Funk, Florence Grosenick, Russell Frase, Myrtle Pauli and Walter Niehoff as interior decoration consultants and makers of draperies and other furnishings.   WDT

 

11 23       PASTOR REV. KROMHOLZ

Members of the congregation of the First Congregational Church, UCC, cast a unanimous ballot to extend a call to the Rev. Alan J. Kromholz for the pastorate of the church at a congregational meeting held Sunday morning following the worship service in which the Rev. Kromholz delivered his candidate sermon.  Clark Derleth, chairman of the nominating committee, presented the Rev. Kromholz as the committee nominee.  George Bausch, moderator, presided at the meeting.  Presently the Rev. Kromholz is serving the United Church of Christ at Evansville.  The Rev. Kromholz, 28, was born in Merrill.  He received his B. A. degree from Elmhurst College in 1960 and in 1964 received his B. D. degree from Eden Theological Seminary.  He also attended Drew University and the University of Wisconsin, where he presently has graduate standing.

 

1991

03 03       VOTE TO BUILD A NEW BUILDING, VACATE CURRENT

Members of the First Congregational United Church of Christ have voted to build a new building and vacate the current location at 504 S. Fourth St.  The church has been located in three buildings in Watertown over the last 146 years, according to the Rev. Robert Tully.  The congregation was founded in 1845 in a log school that stood on South Third Street, across from Veterans Memorial Park.

 

In 1951, members dedicated a New England style meeting house at Fourth and Wisconsin streets, struggling mightily to pay the $1,500 cost of the building.  Over the years, the building was updated with several remodeling and expansion projects.  Finally, in 1909, the congregation decided the building no longer served the needs of members.  The building was moved off the site to the northwest comer of Second and Milwaukee streets, and the present building was built in its place.

 

2000

10 30       DEDICATION OF CHURCH ADDITION

The First Congregational United Church of Christ will hold an open house for its new education wing on Sunday, Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The new 6,800-square-foot addition to its existing building was dedicated by the congregation last weekend.  The new education wing added to the south side of the building includes a youth room and six classrooms to be used by the Sunday school program.  The wing was added to accommodate the growing number of youth programs and activities, according to Rev. Steve Savides, pastor for the past six years.  “In the last five years, our Sunday school classes have doubled.  Over the past six years, our membership has increased 30 percent.  The congregation now has 525 members and 115 students in youth and Sunday school programs,” he said.  WDT

 

2011 and 2012

EXTERIOR PAINTING PROJECT OF FORMER CHURCH BLDG

 

Today      Home of the First Brigade Band and Dodge/Jefferson Counties Genealogical Society

 

2014

06 05       RUTH CHRISTENSEN MEMORIAL PATIO/GARDEN

A service of dedication for the Ruth Christensen Memorial Patio/Garden will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 120 Kuckkan Lane.  After a short service of Scripture, music and messages from the Rev. John Kennedy and members of the Christensen family, participants will proceed to the patio area on the west side of the narthex for the unveiling of a memorial plaque in honor of longtime church member Ruth Stewart Christensen. The service will include a guest appearance by the Immanuel Lutheran Church’s Men’s Choir, directed by Becky Whelpley.  The patio/garden was a vision of Christensen’s husband, Don, after her passing in September 2009.  The purpose is to honor her extensive involvement in the musical life of the church through her 19 years as children’s choir director, cofounder of the church musicals and a longtime member of the adult choir.  The Christensens joined First Congregational Church in 1976.

 

The unique design by landscape architect Ann Hasselkuss of Oconomowoc features a large brick grand piano, including a keyboard, as a reminder of Christensen’s musical influence.  She was instrumental in incorporating Orff instruments into the children’s choir program, providing an exciting opportunity for the singers to accompany themselves with a unique sound.

 

As a member of the Choristers Guild for many years, Christensen attended numerous workshops and conventions, bringing back to the choir new ideas for performance literature. As Steve Savides, former pastor, said, “I well remember my own children rushing off eagerly to choir practice with ‘Mrs. C.’” In 1989, Christensen and Vi Tully, wife of Pastor Emeritus Robert Tully, produced the first church musical as an outreach program through the children’s choir.   WDT

 

2015

09 17       WILDLIFE AWARD FOR GARDEN

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) celebrates the efforts of First Congregational UCC to create a garden space that improves habitat for birds, butterflies, frogs and other wildlife by providing essential elements needed by all wildlife, such as natural food sources, clean water, cover and places to raise young. 

 

First Congregational Church sits on a grassy knoll on the Highway 16 bypass.  It has been at this location since 1993. In the last 20 years, the church has improved the land by adding a large wildflower garden that incorporates the use of native plants and grasses.  Bluebird houses have been placed in the garden.  The church also has many plants throughout the gardens to provide berries, nectar, sap, twigs and pollen. It has been a continuous effort to plant multiple deciduous trees and evergreens around the property.  Many of these have been donated as memorials or honoraria for members of the church.

 

 

     < PORTFOLIO OF PICS

 

 

 

Table of Contents 

History of Watertown, Wisconsin

Index