Website for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Organized June 7, 1847
In 1845 Episcopal Priest Melancthon Hoyt began holding services in Watertown. He traveled on foot from Fox Lake.
In 1847 he organized a small group of English and Welsh settlers as the congregation of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
The Episcopal Church is sometimes called The Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.
The first service was held by Rev. Melancthon Hoyt in June, 1845. The parish was organized in 1847, and duly incorporated February 13th, 1849.
06 30 An Episcopal Church, bearing the above name, was organized in this village some two weeks since; and services may hereafter be expected every third Sabbath, in the Methodist Church, by the Rev MELANCTHON HOYT, of the General Domestic Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Mr. H. for the past eighteen months has labored in the interior of this territory: but now preaches, upon each alternate Sabbath, at Watertown, Whitewater and Fox Lake. The society here is as large as is generally to be found in the interior of any new country, though the number of communicants is small.
Three years since there were but three preachers of the Episcopal denominations in Wisconsin - now there are twenty-two. Watertown Chronicle
The Journal of the Proceedings of the First Annual Council of the Diocese of Wisconsin records that St. Paul's church, Watertown, had been organized on June 7 of 1847 and was thus exactly seventeen days old when this council met in St. Paul's church, Milwaukee. Another parish had been organized on the same day, St. John's, Milwaukee, and thus these two churches came to this first Council as newly organized twin parishes. The minister of St. Paul's, Watertown, was the Rev. Melancthon Hoyt, who also had Christ church, Fox Lake and St. Luke's, Whitewater, under his charge. The Watertown parish had only five members at the time, but attendance at services is reported as more than a hundred.
The original church structure stood on 3rd Street between Market and Jefferson Streets. The cornerstone of the present church was laid in 1859 by Bishop Kemper. The tower was added in 1890 by two parishioners during the rectorate of the Rev. Dr. Jewell.
The rectory was built in 1884 while the Rev. David Sanford was rector. Recent remodeling has made it a very comfortable and enjoyable home.
In 1886 the chapel was given by Miss Susan Cady in memory of her parents. About twenty-five years ago it was de-consecrated and was used as a parish hall and the marble altar was presented to St. Barnabas' Mission, Richland Center. In 1931 the present Parish House was erected and is in memory of Mr. George Hawkins, who was largely responsible for its erection. The chapel has since then been reoccupied for services and St. Agatha's Guild has been working toward its restoration.
One of the most courageous moves of the parish was the dropping of the system of pew rents in 1868, a bold move for those days, and the inauguration of the pledge system. At the same time the rector's salary was doubled, truly a venture of faith.
In the same year the rector, the Rev. Dr. Dafter, organized a vested boys choir, not so unusual today, but then distinctly rare, as there were only two other such in the state, one in Janesville, the other at Racine College. The choir became immensely popular and St. Paul's maintained a splendid choir down to about a generation ago. Today, like so many churches, the musical efforts are largely congregational.
For a church of its size St. Paul's has a very unusual pipe organ. It contains seventeen stops, nine of which are from the original organ. Mr. George Hawkins the donor, said: "The soul of the old organ is in the new."
Wagner, Harold Ezra, “The Episcopal Church in Wisconsin, 1847-1947. A History of the Diocese of Milwaukee,” Courier Printing (Waterloo, WI), 1947, pp 262-263.
02 23 Lots 4 and 5, block 15, on Third Street, in the residence of L. R. Cady, Esq., have been selected as the site for the new Episcopal Church. The lots were donated by the Mill Company. The location is central and very pleasant. Watertown Chronicle
The parish was organized in 1847, and duly incorporated February 13th, 1849. The corner stone of the church edifice on Third Street was laid by Bishop Kemper on the 21st of May, 1849. The church was consecrated by Bishop Kemper on the 7th of November, 1849.
10 21 A very desirable improvement is now being made on Third Street in the way of building a sidewalk from Main Street to St. Paul's church. Hereafter in the rainy seasons it will be possible to approach that house of worship without wading through any amount of mud and any depth of water. WD
10 23 Annual Sunday School [Christmas] Festival; the school is free to all, the German, Irish and American child, each interested in learning his duty to his Maker WD
02 17 Rev. L. W. Russ, pastor, paid a Donation Visit at his residence WD
04 28 Officers elected WD
08 25 Builders should not pass by unnoticed the advertisement in this paper calling for proposals for building a new church in this city. The members of St. Paul’s church have long found their house of worship too small to accommodate all who would like to assemble there for Divine service and are making efforts to provide a larger and better one. There is now a fair prospect that they will succeed.
[advertisement] WHO WANTS WORK. Sealed Proposals will be received for ten days by either of the undersigned for BUILDING A CHURCH in this city. Proposals must be made for building and finishing the same entirely ready for occupation. Cash will be paid every three month. Plans and specifications can be examined at the Jefferson County Bank.
—Daniel Jones, R. S. Little, A. L. Pritchard – Building Committee, Watertown, Aug. 20th, 1859 WD
New Church Cornerstone Ceremony
09 22 The corner stone of the new church edifice, to be erected by the members of St. Paul’s Episcopal church in this city, will be laid on this Thursday morning, at half past 9 o’clock. The congregation will assemble at their present edifice at 9 o’clock in the forenoon. The Bishop and Clergy present, followed by the Wardens and Vestry men, members of the congregation and others, will move in procession to the ground on Second Street, where the corner stone will be laid by Bishop Jackson Kemper with the usual services. The address will be delivered by the Rev. L. A. Kemper of the Nashotah faculty.
The stone was prepared by Davidson & Green, of this city, and is fourteen inches square. The cavity is eight inches square by four deep. The stone has this inscription: on side is a Latin Cross resting on the monogram I. H. S. On another side, “St. Paul’s Church, Sept. 22, 1859.”
The deposits in the stone are as follows;
1st. A copy of the Holy Bible.
2d. A copy of the Book of Common Prayer.
3d. A copy of the Journal of the last Convention of this Diocese.
4th. A copy of the Church Journal and of the Gospel Messenger.
5th. A copy of the Watertown Democrat, containing this article, and also copies of the two German papers, vis, The Weltburger and the Volks Zeitung.
The new church will be built of brick, from the yard of D. S. Chadwick of this city. It will be in the modern Gothic style of architecture and when finished will be one of the most chaste and beautiful structures in the state. The whole length of the building, including recess chancel, will be seventy-eight feet; length of the nave sixty feet; width of nave including buttresses, thirty-eight feet. In addition to the main entrance on Second Street, there will be a south entrance through the tower, which projects eight feet from the main wall. The roof will be finished partly open. All the windows, which will be mullioned, will be of stained glass. The choir will be in the chancel. The building will be warmed by a furnace and lighted by gas. It will provide sitting for about four hundred people.
The architect is James Douglas of Milwaukee. The builders are Samuel Vaux and William Honey of this city. The masons are John and James Ford of this city.
It is to be completed by next July and will cost, when finished, including lot, about four thousand dollars.
It may be interesting to add a brief history of the parish.
The first service was held by Rev. Melancthon Hoyt in June, 1845. The parish was organized in 1847, and duly incorporated February 13th, 1849.
The following named persons were the first elected Wardens and Vestrymen:
Wardens—William Grange and Samuel Sutton.
Vestrymen—Laurence J. Fibert, William M. Grange, Hobert Clifford, Daniel Jones, D. J. Pulling, W. H. Besley and James Norris.
The corner stone of the present church edifice on Third Street was laid by Bishop Kemper on the 21st of May, 1849. The church was consecrated by Bishop Kemper on the 7th of November, 1849.
The Rev. Mr. Hoyt continued in charge of the parish until 1854. The church numbered then about thirty communicants.
The Rev. C. C. Edmonds was called to the rectorship of the church on the 13th of August, 1854, and continued in charge one year. Under his ministry nine persons were baptized and four confirmed.
The Rev. L. W. Russ was called to the rectorship of the parish on the 23rd of March, 1856. The parish then for the first time became self-supporting.
During the rectorship of Rev. Mr. Russ he has baptized seventy two persons, adults, eighteen, infants fifty four. Thirty seven persons have been confirmed. The present number of communicants is seventy. During this time the parish has contributed for parochial objects, including the subscriptions for the new church, the amount of $7,204.74. And during the same period, but three years and a half, the parish has contributed for various benevolent objects, extra parochial, the sum total of $527.58. It is believed that few parishes in the country, of the age and size of this, can show a fairer record. To God be the Praise.
The following persons are the present officers of the church:
Rector—Rev. L. W. Russ.
Wardens—Daniel Jones and Abraham Medbury [Medberry], Jr.
Vestryman—Albert L. Pritchard, W. H. Clark, Theodore Prentiss, R. S. Little, Peter V. Brown, H. B. Gallup, and W. B. Folds.
It may be proper to add that the seats in this church will be free to all. Persons selecting seats, however, will be allowed to occupy them as long as they may attend the services of the church.
It should be stated that the new building will be paid for when completed. No debt will be incurred to hereafter embarrass the operations and cripple the energies of the church. No obligations of the past or enterprise of the present will be allowed to cast a shadow over the fair prospects of the promising future.
The church established here fourteen year ago has steadily grown with the growth of the city, within whose limits it has been planted, until it has become necessary to enlarge the dimensions of its consecrated place of worship, so that all who desire can assemble there and engage in acts of devotion. The welcome day which this happy and encouraging state of things imposed on its members has been cheerfully and gladly met and promptly discharged, and under the blessings and smile of God, when the day shall again arrive, as it must, in which it will once more be necessary to build a yet more fit and beautiful Temple of Praise to the Most High, may our successors find something in the example now set before them worthy of remembrance and imitation. May the Savior’s command, “Go and do likewise,” be mingled with soft whisperings of the spirit’s voice, calling all to works of charity, beneficence, gratitude and reverential thankfulness to Him from whom alone flows every good and perfect gift. WD
04 26 Rev. L. W. Russ, rector of St. Paul’s church, this city, has received and accepted a call to the Rectorship of St. John’s church, Lafayette, Indiana. He closes his labors with his people here on Sunday next. WD
05 03 Pastor Rev. L. W. Russ departure WD
08 02 St. Paul's church—The Rev. William Green, late Rector of Christ church, Green Bay, has consented to become the Pastor of St. Paul's church of this city. Mr. Green is a clergyman of such wide experience, high order of talents, and fine social qualities, as would secure him a cordial welcome anywhere. There is no reason to doubt that his services here will be as useful as they will be well directed and zealous. We hazard nothing in saying that he will satisfactorily fill the vacancy created by the departure of Rev. L. W. Russ, and fully meet the expectations that have been based on his unblemished purity of character, learning, devotion and eloquence. We wish him abundant success in his efforts in this community. WD
08 16 The Green Bay Advocate pays the following parting tribute of respect to the clergyman who is about to become Rector of St. Paul’s church of this city: “Rev. William Green, who has for several years held the pastorate of Christ (Episcopal) church in this place, has resigned his trust and preached his farewell sermon on Sunday. He goes to Watertown to take charge of a church there. Our Watertown neighbors are fortunate in their acquisition. Mr. Green took charge of the parish here when it was much divided by dissention and in anything but a prosperous condition. During his administration all these difficulties have been healed and the church was never more flourishing than now. We wish him good fortune wherever he is.”
Mr. Green will enter upon his pastoral duties, in this city, next Sabbath and preach in the new Episcopal Church, on Second Street, that day. WD
08 16 St. Paul’s church of this city, will open [its new edifice] next Sunday for the first time, under the charge of the recently elected Rector, Rev. William Green. This church, now completed, has been built during one of the severest financial reverses ever known in the west, and unlike most western projects, has been carried through without embarrassment and is now free from indebtedness of any kind.
It is both an ornament to the city and a credit to the taste and enterprise of the congregation. It is built of our beautiful cream colored brick, in modern Gothic style of architecture and is capable of commodiously seating some four hundred persons. The windows are of stained glass, finely conceived and skillfully executed, tingling with a soft and mellow radiance the brilliancy of the light within.
The pews are without doors and FREE to all who desire to occupy them. To those who wish to attend regularly and permanently, a portion of the seats will be rented, as will be observed by a notice in this paper. Another feature, which we like, is the setting apart of a pew for each of our principal hotels, where strangers preferring to attend Divine service will always find themselves cordially welcome. This is as it should be, though new in the West.
There is something beautiful and satisfactory in the reflection, that go where you will, among all nations, kindred and tongues, in any part of the habitable globe where the Protestant Episcopal Church is known, and you hear the same liturgy, the same lessons, and the same prayers which have been used over eighteen hundred years. That church knows no North, no South, no East, nor no West, but is everywhere alike. We admire these features of it; and to those educated in and professing this faith, it has peculiar attractions. The church is pleasantly and conveniently located and so accessible that none need stay away. And for those who have no belief or object beyond temporary gratification there is no place more suitable or handy than this church.
The new Rector comes among us with the highest recommendations and under the most flattering prospects.
The church is to be consecrated in a few weeks, when we are desired to say the public are ALL invited to attend. Due notice will be given of the time. WD
08 16 Pews in St. Paul’s church can now be selected and persons and families desiring seats can secure them by calling on the undersigned, who is fully authorized to allot and rent the same. No other rule will be adopted, than “first come first served.” Geo. L. Field, Secretary WD
09 28 CHURCH CONSECRATION
St. Paul's church will be consecrated by the bishop of this diocese, on Thursday, October 4th, at ten and one-half o’clock a.m. The public are respectfully invited to attend. WR
01 25 Ladies Festival. We understand that the ladies connected with St. Paul’s church propose to give a festival some time next week, the proceeds of which are to be applied towards liquidating the indebtedness incurred by the society in the building of their House of Worship and the various improvements connected with it. We fail to remember, it is so long ago, when the ladies of this church have solicited any aid of this kind at the hands of the public and we trust that upon the present occasion they will meet with a hearty and substantial response to their call. They are certainly entitled to a liberal patronage and we shall be greatly mistaken if the same is not freely extended to them. The entertainment will be of such a character that none who attend will have any cause to regret it. The time and place for it have not yet been fixed upon, but it will be announced in due time. WR
06 20 Annual Convention of the Episcopal Church - The Fifteenth Annual Convention of the Episcopal Church of the Diocese of Wisconsin met on Thursday, June 11th, at St. Paul’s church, Watertown, one of the most church-like edifices in the Diocese . . . A sermon was preached by the Rev. J. B. Pradt, from the text: “Go ye into all the nations and preach the gospel to every creature.” It was one of the most earnest and effective missionary sermons we ever heard. At the close of the sermon the Bishop confirmed eighteen persons and addressed the candidates in his usual affectionate and impressive manner. This closed the exercises of the first day . . . WD
08 11 Rev. L. W. Russ, formerly pastor of St. Paul’s church of this city, but now of Lafayette, Ind., arrived in town last week on a visit to his many friends here among all classes. Mr. Russ has received the cordial and hearty welcome which the grateful remembrance of his zeal and earnestness in former years of faithful and successful service so well merited. In the best sense of the word, he is a popular clergyman – everywhere winning and exercising the influence which follows talent, eloquence and devotion to the sacred cause in which it is alike his duty and pleasure to labor. WD
08 25 Rev. William Green, for the past four years pastor of St. Paul’s Episcopal church in this city, has resigned and on the 14th delivered his farewell sermon. It is enough to be able to say of any minister of the Gospel that he has made his sacred mission his only business and by his fidelity and earnestness won the respect and confidence not only of the members of his charge, but of people among whom he has lived, and this can be said of Mr. Green without any more flatter than the utterance of the truth will give. The single object of all his unwearied efforts here has been to promote the prosperity of his congregation and he leaves it more numerous and flourishing than he found it, which is the best evidence that his labors have been well directed and crowned with the blessings of the Divine Master. A gentleman of learning, culture, talents and fine social qualities, with a character not only blameless but without reproach, he is a clergyman whose services it will be good fortune for any church to secure, and we are sure he will carry away with him the best wishes of the congregation and community he is about to leave, after years devoted to the faithful discharge of his duty. WD
08 03 BAPTIST SUNDAY SCHOOL PIC NIC
At two o’clock on the afternoon of Wednesday, the 19th, the children, accompanied by their parents, teachers and friends, assembled at the Baptist church, where they formed into procession and, led by their superintendent, Mrs. Daniel J. Woodard, marched to a beautiful grove near Dr. Stockwell’s residence, where they were met and welcomed by several of the ladies who had preceded them. They entered the grove, keeping step to the music of their own voices. The glad sunshine flooded the earth, the pure blue of the heavens was rivaled only by the glad light of happiness dancing in the children’s eyes . . . . The grove was made musical by the glad voices of the children until approaching twilight warned them to depart. WD
10 26 EPISCOPAL CONVENTION
An Episcopal Convocation of the Bishop and the other clergy of this diocese will meet in St. Paul’s Church in this city at 7 o’clock p.m. on the 7th of November next. WD
07 07 Some evil disposed persons made themselves quite officious in disturbing the services at St. Paul's Episcopal church Sunday evening by firing off firecrackers in front of the windows and doors. Those who engage in such acts of maliciousness are entitled to no more respect or consideration than the worm that crawls the earth. WR
11 24 Thanksgiving service
08 23 The Sunday school scholars, teachers and parishioners of St. Paul's will hold a picnic in Richard's Grove, Wednesday of next week, August 30th. The children and others wishing to attend, will meet at the church at ten o'clock a.m. and proceed to the grove. With a fine day a pleasant time may be expected. WR
10 18 DEATH OF CHARLOTTE A. CLARK, wife of William H. Clark, Cashier of the Bank of Watertown WR
08 18 Ground has been broken for the erection of the new parsonage building of St. Paul’s church on Second Street. The building will be brick veneered, of gothic architecture and to cost $2,050. It will be ready for occupancy December 1. L. Kapet is the contractor. WR
Additional Information: Built in 1885 as St. Paul's Episcopal Church Rectory, this cream brick house exhibits the multiple steep gable roofs, gable ornaments and hood molds over the windows that are associated with the Gothic revival style. Gabled wall dormers and a rectangular south bay window further characterize this simplified Gothic Revival building. Part of the St. Paul's Episcopal church complex nominated to the National Register in 1979, St. Paul's Rectory is significant under Criterion C as one of the very few examples of Gothic Revival residential architecture remaining in the city. Bibliographic References: (A) National Register Nomination, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Files, Preservation Division, State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
12 26 The Rev. Dr. Johnson preached a strong and interesting sermon Sunday evening at St. Paul’s church on "The Destiny of the Jew." He recalled the ancient prophecy of this wonderful nation being scattered to the four corners of the earth and how truly it has been fulfilled and that the signs of the times indicated that the predictions concerning the Jews being again gathered in their original domain, Palestine, would also be realized. WR
04 13 St. Paul's Episcopal church has perhaps never enjoyed more beautiful services than were those of last Sunday. Beginning with early communion at 6 a.m., there were very large congregations present at each service. The edifice was made particularly pretty and attractive with a profusion of potted plants and flowers, the chancel and choir being the chief centers of decoration, and withal the environments and conditions were such that betoken the glads of Easter-tide... WR
12 21 Never before has the Woman's Guild of St. Paul’s church given a more successful bizarre than the one held in conjunction with St. Margaret's guild last Thursday evening in the Concordia Opera House. And perhaps never before has an affair of like nature here been deserving of such liberal patronage . . . The menu, while it lasted, was an excellent one, but many patrons where compelled without having their inner appetites satisfied, as the demand was greater than the supply. The ladies regret that there was such an unpreparedness for the lunch and promise better results in the future. The sales in all departments were very extensive and hardly an article remained over. Nearly $200 was the amount of the gross proceeds. WR
03 15 WOMAN'S GUILD / Old Maids' Convention
The Old Maids' convention is advertised to meet in Watertown after Easter. They must have heard of the spring sale of shirt waists, aprons, dressing sacks and sun — bonnets, to be held by the Woman's Guild of St. Paul's Parish at that time. We know the peculiarities of old maids. They are hard to suit and hard to fit; but at this time these difficulties and all others will be overcome. They will be well repaid for waiting and attending our sale. We extend a cordial invitation to the "Old Maids" of this convention, and also to the young maids and matrons of Watertown. – Woman's Guild. WR
01 05 PIPE ORGAN FREEZES UP
The congregation of St. Paul’s Episcopal church was treated to a rather unseemly spectacle at the morning service Sunday. The cold weather of last week caused the freezing up of the connections to the water motor, which furnishes power for the pipe organ, and this inconvenience had to be obviated by the employment of hand power. Things ran along smoothly for a while, but in the midst of the rendition of the ”Te Deum” the wind supplying apparatus of the organ broke, and there was a most unpleasant sound of rattling parts and shattered connections . The choir was compelled to cease singing and to be seated, and then the rector, nothing daunted, requested that some of the male portion of the congregation to go to the chapel and convey the reed organ from there to the church, which was done with becoming celerity and ceremony. The services were then proceeded with, but it was plain to be seen that the incident, exasperating as it was, had nevertheless provoked no little amusement in an appropriate place. WR
09 19 SCHEMPF-POOLER WEDDING
12 16 CHRISTMAS BAZAAR
The bazaar by the ladies of St. Paul's Episcopal church which opened at the rectory last Tuesday and closes this (Thursday) evening is being well patronized, as it deserves to be. The rooms are nicely arranged and decorated in the rectory for the occasion - one being assigned for the fine luncheon that is served afternoons and evenings, one to the grocery and notions department, and one to fancy work and the candy stand. The ladies have on sale a fine line of articles suitable for Christmas presents, as well as articles that are useful in everyday housekeeping. They have still a number left and the public is cordially invited to call and see them. The bazaar (this Wednesday) evening promises to be especially interesting.
10 23 The Harvest Home Supper held at Masonic Hall. WG
02 19 The choir of St. Paul’s rehearse Stainer's sacred cantata, "The Daughter of Jairus" WG
09 24 50TH ANNIVERSARY
A beautiful and impressive service was held on Sunday, September 19, at St. Paul’s Episcopal church, it being the fiftieth anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone. The Rt. Rev. W. W. Webb, D. D., bishop of the diocese, was present, and delivered the memorial sermon at the morning service; Canon H. B. St. George of Nashotah House gave a historical sermon in the evening.
The church was recently beautified by a number of memorial windows, which add greatly to the appearance of the edifice. On Sunday there was a profusion of flowers in every available spot until the interior was a veritable bower [a shaded, leafy recess]. The customary choir was augmented by the presence of Mr. and Mrs. William Sproesser, Mr. and Mrs. Max Rohr, Mr. Edward L. Schempf, Mr. C. D. Wiggenhorn, Miss Elsa Wiggenhorn and Miss Minna Sproesser, and some excellent music rendered.
There were present at the morning service quite a number of former members of the parish who returned to be present at this service, among them were Mr. and Mrs. George Fields and daughter, Mrs. Barnes of Ripon, Mrs. A. J. Earling, Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Fitch, Mr. J. J. Moulding of Chicago, Mrs. H. S. Howell, Miss Howell, Mr. and Mrs. Smith of Milwaukee, Miss Grace P. Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Baum and daughter of Oconomowoc.
Fifty years in anticipation seems a long, long waiting—in retrospect it is not so endless. There are a few who have seen the parish grow from a very small beginning to its present size, not large now, but greater, more prosperous than when the people worshiped in the modest little brown wooden church on Third Street. When the present structure was completed and ready for occupancy it seemed palatial by contrast.
The cornerstone was laid on September 22, 1859, and it was a year later when the church was completed. It seemed very fitting that Mr. and Mrs. Field should be present at this recent memorial service, as it was an anniversary for them as well, their wedding being the first service held in the church. WG
More on 50th anniversary
St. Paul’s Church Golden Jubilee
Watertown Gazette, 09 24 1909
On Tuesday, Sept. 21, 1909, St. Paul’s Episcopal church of this city was 50 years old and in honor of the event the golden jubilee religious services were held at the church last Sunday, large congregations being present at all the services. Rt. Rev. W. W. Webb, D. D., bishop of the Milwaukee diocese, was present and delivered an eloquent memorial sermon at the 10:30 a.m. service. Rev. H. B. St. George, professor at the Nashotah seminary, delivered the historical address at the evening service at 7:30 o’clock.
The first Episcopal church in Watertown was built in 1847. Prior to that time the Rev. Melancthon Hoyt of Fox Lake used to visit Watertown in the capacity of a missionary, walking the entire distance, almost thirty miles, but in 1847 an organization was effected with Lawrence J. Fribert and William M. Grange as wardens and Daniel Jones, James A. Norris, Robert Clifford, David J. Pulling and H. Besley as vestrymen.
The first services were held by Mr. Hoyt in schoolhouses and later in a building that was formerly a bowling alley and on the present site of John W. Cole’s block in Second Street. The first church was built in 1847 in Third Street at a cost of $600, most of the material and labor being contributed. The present church edifice was built in 1859 at the corner of Second and Spring streets at a cost of about $6000, but many improvements have been made since that period. The cornerstone was laid on September 22, 1859, and the golden jubilee was celebrated Sunday, the Sunday before the anniversary.
The rectors since the establishment of the church are:
Rev. Melancthon Hoyt, 1845 to 1854
Rev. Charles Edward, 1854 to 1855
Rev. Lorin W. Russ, 1856 to 1860
Rev. William Green, 1860 to 1865
Rev. William Dafter, 1865 to 1870
Rev. F. W. Boyd, 1871 to 1879
Rev. Harry Thompson, 1879 to 1881
Rev. Horatio Gates, 1881 to 1883
Rev. David A. Sanford, 1883 to 1885
Rev. J. B. Finn, 1886 to 1889
Rev. Frederick S. Jewell, 1889 to 1894
Rev. Myron A. Johnson, 1894 to 1896
Rev. H. S. Foster, 1896 to 1899
Rev. Thomas C. Eglin, 1899 to 1904
Rev. John Barrett, 1905 to 1907
Rev. R. M. Laurenson, 1908 –
The present wardens are Messrs. H. T. Eberle, Dr. F. C. Moulding
Vestrymen: Messrs. John Robinson, Robert Dent, Gustav Buchheit, George J. Nichols, Edward L. Schempf, Richard E. Krueger, Herman H. Beers, Constance D. Wiggenhorn.
Organist, Mrs. Elizabeth Green.
The program was a most excellent one and included musical selections by the church choirs, Mrs. Elizabeth Green being the organ accompanist. Following is the program at these services:
Holy Communion, 7:30 a.m.
MEMORIAL SERVICE, 10:30 a.m.
Processional Hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers”
Kyrie Eleison Gounod
Gloria Tibi Gounod
Gratias Tibi Gounod
Hymn “For All Thy Saints”
Sermon Bishop Webb
Anthem “O Praise the Lord of Heaven”
Sursum Corda Gounod
Angus Dei Gounod
Gloria in Excelsis Gounod
Hymn “Through the Night of Doubt and Sorrow”
HISTORICAL SERVICE, 7:30 p.m.
Processional Hymn “We Love Thy Place, O God”
Magnificat J. C. Marks
Nunc Dimittis J. C. Marks
Hymn “Christ is Made a Sure Foundation”
Sermon The Rev. H. B. St. George
Anthem “The Lord Reigneth,” Frey
Hymn “Crown Him With Many Crowns”
Among those from out of town at the services were . . .
05 06 MARY E. BOYD, wife of former rector Rev. W. F. Boyd
After a long illness, Mrs. Mary E. Boyd, aged 87 years, and wife of the late Rev. W. F. Boyd, former rector of St. Mathias Episcopal church in Waukesha, died there Thursday evening.
The above notice was clipped from the Milwaukee Sentinel on April 19. Mrs. Boyd had lived in Waukesha thirty-five years. Before going there the family resided in Watertown several years, Dr. Boyd being rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal church [Rev. F. W. Boyd, 1871 to 1879]. Memory carries us back to the winter of 1873-74 which was extremely cold with great quantities of snow. Being a native of Mississippi Mrs. Boyd felt the cold severely, but there was always a warm welcome and cheery smile, with true southern hospitality to all who came to her home. WG
06 10 WOMAN'S GUILD LAWN PARTY AT CHADWICK HOME
The afternoon of Wednesday, June 8, the Woman's Guild of St. Paul's Episcopal church met at the Chadwick home, 519 West Street. It was purely a social gathering, and as Wednesday proved to be a perfect June day, filled with warmth and brightness and beauty—every one preferred to be on the porch or the lawn, rather than in the house where we have been so long imprisoned on account of cold, stormy weather. Croquet was indulged in by some, while others spent the time in conversation.
At five o'clock a delicious luncheon was served upon the lawn on small tables arranged in a semi-circle with one at the opening of the circle, at which was seated the Rev. and Mrs. R. M. Laurenson, Mrs. Gallup and Miss Harger. This meeting was in the nature of a farewell to the president of the guild, Miss Harger, who expects to sail for Europe the eighteenth of June to be away for three months, possibly a longer time. When all were seated Mr. Laurenson, in the name of the guild, wished Miss Harger a safe voyage, a pleasant trip while abroad and then we will certainly give her a glad welcome home. WG
At a meeting of the vestry of St. Paul's Episcopal church held in the rectory Friday evening it was formally decided that a new pipe organ shall be purchased for the church. A committee has been investigating the matter for some time and reported progress but a final decision as to what make of organ shall be selected had not as yet been made. The new organ will be of Tabular-pneumatic action with electric blower and independent two-manual console, so placed that the organist will face the choir. The console will have concave radiating pedals and all the latest and most improved couplers and accessories of the most modern type of organ. It will have seventeen speaking stops arranged as follows: In the great organ (lower keys) open diapason viola d'gamba, dulciana, melodia, octave, fifteenth, twelfth. In the swell organ, bourdon, stopped diapason, vox celeste, salicional, aeoline, rohrfloete, oboe. In the pedal organ, bourdon lieblich, gedeckt, violin cello. There will also be a series of adjustable combination pistons, pedal control, etc. Nothing will be omitted that the science of organ building can produce to make this a perfect instrument.
The old organ will be removed shortly after Easter and it is hoped that the new instrument will be in place in the course of a few months. Funds are now in hand to cover the entire expense of this very valuable improvement to the church.
The vestry also voted to accept a beautiful oak Litany desk, the gift of St. Mary's guild; and extend a vote of thanks to the girls and those who helped them. This guild will in the future be merged with the Girls Friendly, which is to be organized shortly after Easter. WG
02 19 SACRED CANTATA REBEKAH
The choir of St. Paul’s is rehearsing Barnaby’s sacred cantata “Rebekah” to be given at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Tuesday evening, February 24, with organ and orchestra, with the assistance of some of the leading singers in the city. The soloists will be Mrs. William Sproesser, soprano, Mr. William Sproesser, baritone, and Mr. Edward Schempf, tenor. The cantata is very beautiful and a most affective rendition is promised. WG
02 26 A FINE CONCERT
St. Paul’s Episcopal church was crowded to the doors with people last Tuesday evening to enjoy the sacred concert given by local talent. The Cantata “Rebekah” was given in a very creditable manner. Miss Elizabeth Green officiated at the pipe organ in a most artistic manner. This beautiful sacred vocal music was sung in a manner that would do credit to professionals. It was under the able direction of Edward L. Schempf, and the leading parts were taken by William Sproesser as Eliezer, and Mrs. William Sproesser as Rebekah. The chorus parts showed excellent training. Mrs. Carl R. Feld sang “How Long Wilt Thou Forget Me, O Lord,” and Mr. Frank Bramer gave a beautiful violin solo. The entire program was decidedly well given and a better pleased audience was never assembled in Watertown. WG
11 27 CADY MEMORIAL CHAPEL DEDICATION
A service of dedication and blessing was held Sunday afternoon at the Cady Memorial Chapel of St. Paul's Episcopal church. For several years, the work of restoration of the chapel has been underway. However, the project gained impetus this past year when the chapel's original marble altar was returned and installed. Since that time a new communion rail has been installed and the chapel has been carpeted. The installation of the pews makes the chapel a self-contained unit for worship accommodating 56 people. It is used for daily services and the early mass on Sunday as well as for church school.
12 26 CELLINI CHALICE
A 400-year-old chalice, the work of Benvenuto Cellini, was used at St. Paul's Episcopal church at the midnight Christmas mass and at the Christmas Day mass at 9 a.m. The chalice was given in legacy to the rector of the church, the Rev. Fr. William E. Krueger, by the Rt. Rev. Benjamin F. P. Ivins, one-time bishop of Milwaukee. The chalice is of hand wrought silver which forms the base, hammered silver leaf on the outside of the cup with hammered gold leaf forming the interior of the cup. When not in use at the church here it is kept in the vault at the Episcopal Cathedral of All Saints in Milwaukee.
01 09 GROUNDBREAKING FOR ADDITION, classrooms, a boiler room and storage area
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held yesterday at St. Paul's Episcopal church for an addition which will house a church school classroom area of nine class rooms, a boiler room and storage area at a cost of between $30,000 and $35,000. The classroom area will be modern and up to date for the expanding church school of the parish. The present church building is 100 years old. Among those present when the ground was broken were Joseph Wimmer, chairman of the building committee, Gene Chase, senior warden, James Bloor, junior warden and the Rev. Fr. William E. Krueger, rector of St. Paul's. WDT
12 15 ANNUAL “EVERY-MEMBER CANVASS”
Members of St. Paul's Episcopal parish will be called upon Sunday afternoon for the annual “every-member canvass.” Canvass committee chairman is Gene Chase; Joseph Wimmer is chairman for special gifts; while Gordon Scott will serve as initial gifts chairman. Others participating in the canvass will be: Lester Zick, Robert Stupka, Don Gottschalk, Al Maas Jr., James Bloor, Robert Bauch, Robert Miller, Roger Marg, Dr. Paul Clark, Beatty Burke, Robert Steinbach, Harris Grabow, Gordon Humphrey, Harold Schultz, Paul Loeffler, Roland Gibson and Arthur Archie. Frank Adams is serving as recorder. WDT
06 29 Rev. Fr. M. FRED HIMMERICH
St. Paul Episcopal church today announced it has a new rector in residence. He is the Rev. Fr. M. Fred Himmerich, a native of South Dakota, where he grew to manhood. Father Himmerich will conduct services at the church on Sunday and has announced the schedule of services as 7:30, 9:15 and 11 a.m. He holds a B.A. degree from Macalester College, St. Paul, Minn., and the M.A. degree from the University of Minnesota. He studied at the seminary, Nashotah House, and has served as curate of St. Paul’s church, Beloit. WDT
12 29 BREAD AND ROSES
Gift giving and scrumptious dinners have always played a big role during the Christmas holidays, but what happens when people don’t have families or can’t afford gifts? There is a place in Watertown where people in need of food or friends can go for a free dinner once a week, not just during the holidays, but all year long. Bread and Roses, now in its fourth year, serves approximately 80 people every Friday night at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The dinner is free and all are welcome. WDT
07 24 FIRE
Fire Extensively Damages St. Paul’s Episcopal
Firefighters use ladder trucks to spray the roof and attic areas of St. Paul's Episcopal church with thousands of gallons of water in an effort to knock down flames and halt progress of the blaze early Sunday morning (WHS_005_228)
Lightning struck St. Paul's Episcopal church during a severe late afternoon thunderstorm on Saturday, July 23. Fire erupted in the early hours of the next day, Sunday morning. The beautiful church, located at the intersection of Second and Spring streets, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The fire started when the roof was struck by a lightning bolt, smoldering until 10:30 in the evening, when it spread from the roof to the steeple. Neighbors feared that some structure in the area had been hit because of the severity of the lighting strike but police were not able to find any such evidence upon investigating the concerns called in to the department.
08 25 Workers from Jacobson and Coughlin crane service signaled the machine operator as the bell was installed in St. Paul’s Episcopal church bell tower for the second time in 115 years. The bell was removed four weeks earlier so the bell tower could be repaired after a lightning strike started a fire that caused substantial damage to the church. Dedicated to early members of the church, the 1,500 pound bell’s inscription indicates that it was first dedicated in 1985. WDT
Fire Gives Church “New Beginning”
Officials of St. Paul’s Episcopal church in Watertown say a fire that damaged their facility in July 2005 allowed the parish to start over with a clean slate and go forward with plans for the future. A rededication ceremony will be held at the church on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Usually when a fire damages a structure, those who use that facility run into a lot of trouble when it comes to the future. But officials at St. Paul's Episcopal church in Watertown say the blaze that swarmed their facility this past summer has been a blessing in disguise [ WHS_005_236 ]
01 19 A BLESSING IN DISGUISE
Usually when a fire damages a structure, those who use that facility run into a lot of trouble when it comes to the future. But officials at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Watertown say the blaze that swarmed their facility this past summer has been a blessing in disguise. “We view this as truly a new beginning for the whole church family,” said Peter Wright, senior warden at the church. “We are starting with a clean slate.” The fire at St. Paul’s started July 23, 2005, after the steeple was struck by lightning early in the afternoon. The Watertown Fire Department was not notified of the blaze until later that night because it just smoldered inside the structure before it took off inside the church itself. WDT
07 11 Rev. MARK MOORE Appointed Full-Time Deacon
Mark T. Moore has been appointed as full-time deacon in charge at St. Paul's Episcopal church in Watertown.
Moore is returning to Wisconsin after formal pastoral training at Seabury Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., where he received a master of divinity degree in 2005, and is completing a master of theological studies with a focus on preaching. He was ordained deacon in June and will be ordained priest in December at St. Paul's.
Moore served as chaplain of Rush North Shore Medical Center and has been deeply involved in social justice and outreach projects such as Hilda's Place, a food pantry, dining hall and temporary residence for homeless people and St. Leonard’s House, a halfway house.
Moore's strong, focus on outreach and community, based on a lifelong call to service and ministry, make him particularly well suited to guide and coach the St. Paul's family in developing programs to cater to the needy in the Watertown and surrounding communities.
Moore's appointment is the celebrated culmination of a year of commitment and focused work to restore the St. Paul's Episcopal church buildings, and rejuvenate its membership, in the aftermath of the lightning-induced fire that destroyed a major portion of the church building on July 23, 2005.
Joining Moore in the move to Watertown is Mary, his wife of 31 years, and the couple will make their new home in the St. Paul's rectory on South Second Street. WDT
07 24 FIRE SPARKS NEW SPIRIT WDTimes article
St. Paul’s to note 150th Anniversary
The 10 a.m. liturgy will be conducted by the Rev. Mark Moore and the Rt. Rev. Bishop Steven White using the 1789 Episcopal Prayer Book. Many parishioners will dress in the style of the period, and some may even arrive by horse and buggy.
St. Paul’s church dates back to 1847. At that time, the parish constructed a simple wood building located on Market Street, between Second and Third streets. As the parish grew, funds were raised for a new church building. The construction of the building began in 1859.
James Douglas, a prominent Milwaukee architect of the time, designed the church in the neogothic style. It was consecrated in October 1860. Final cost for the church building was a little more than $3,800. The plaster vaulted ceiling, which contributes to outstanding acoustics, is one of a small number in Wisconsin.
There was a major church fire in 2005. The fire was taken by the parish as an opportunity for renewal and growth.
St. Paul’s has since hired a full-time priest, increased participation and membership, and renewed its obligation to serve its community. The fire, started by lightning striking the bell tower, ignited a whole new spirit in the congregation. For 160 years St. Paul’s has strived to be a living presence in Watertown and will continue its ministry for years to come.
02 16 REV. MARK MOORE called to serve at a new parish
The children of St. Paul’s Episcopal church present a thank you gift to the Rev. Mark Moore for over five years of service to St. Paul’s Episcopal church. Moore has been called to serve at a new parish in Greendale. The Rev. John Crosswaite will be serving as the interim minister while St. Paul’s Search Committee begins the process of calling a new priest. WDT
Pictured are Julian Byrne, Moore, Miles Tolonen, Nicholas Tolonen, Abby Wilke, Alex Byrne and Allayah Richards.
07 11 Mary’s Room, the brainchild of St. Paul’s community outreach committee, where local families can receive assistance for items not covered through food stamps or the federal Women, Infants and Children program. WDT
No 1: Daniel Jones was a church organizer
No 2: “ . I am on a pedestrian tour of two hundred and sixty miles (going and returning). I left Nashotah on the business of the Mission on Thursday morning of last week. On that day I walked (November 21, 1849) forty-one miles to the north-west of our Mission, passing through Watertown on Rock River, which is one of our most populous inland towns. On the 7th the Bishop consecrated the church that has just been erected in this place. The Rev. M. Hoyt is the Rector and Missionary. He depends for his support chiefly upon the weekly offerings. There are about forty communicants. Watertown is twenty-one miles west of Nashotah . . .” [ “The Life of the Reverend James Lloyd Breck, D.D.”, Chiefly from Letters Written by Himself, Compiled by Charles Breck, D.D., New York: E. & J. B. Young, 1883]
No 3: DVD available of 1991 amateur VHS recording of history and tour by Rev. M Fred Himmerich, rector, of St. Paul’s church and tower (45 min)
History of Watertown, Wisconsin