The New Albin Society of Methodists was organized
in January, 1874, by Rev. H.W. Houghton with W.H.
Tuthill being appointed leader. From this time until
1895, Lansing and New Albin were one charge.
Reverend Houghton carried on the pastoral work until
1878 without any salary. He was succeeded by Dr. R.C.
Ambler, who supplied for the year ending October,
1879, his salary being $75.
Rev. A.M. Sanford, the next pastor, remained three
years at a more respectable salary. Rev. L.N. Green
was appointed as his successor, also remaining three
The ensuing year, there was no pastor. The Sunday
School work was kept up by A.P. Petrehn.
The next year, Rev. E.G. Hearty was appointed. He
supplied both New Albin and Lansing from May until
conference time, when H.J. Bowder took up the
pastoral work and carried it for three years. J.B.
Wyatt, the next pastor, remained two years, and his
successor, W.A. Allen, one year.
In 1894, it was decided that the work was too heavy
for one man and Squire Heath was appointed assistant
to the Lansing pastor, E.D. Hall. This arrangement
lasted one year, after which Mr. Heath assumed full
control and New Albin became an independent charge.
Mr. Heath remained two years with an annual salary
Rev. R.L. Finney was appointed his successor and
remained for one year, until the 1897 conference,
when W.G. Crowder became pastor for only one year.
A.A. Hallett succeeded him in 1899. B.C. Barnes
followed and stayed two years, ending with the 1901
conference when H.E. Kester was appointed and
remained through 1904; W. Lease, 1905-1906, C.C.
Casper, 1907-1909; Henry Allshouse, 1910-1911; E.T.
Quarterly conference roll was: W.O. Bock, C.J.
Travis, Ed Bock, R.C. May, H. Riser, Wm. Thompson,
R.G. May, C.M. Steele, Mrs. Wm. Thompson, Mrs. J.E.
Goble, Cora Thomson, and Mrs. O.C. Tartt.
The church sustained a flourishing Sunday School of
which W.O. Bock was superintendent.
In the year 1902, the church built a parsonage at a
cost of $2,500 which remained the parsonage until
1971 when it was sold.
The women of the church have two organizations which
meet monthly--the Ladies Aid and the Women's Foreign
In 1913-1914, W.T. Smith was pastor, followed by C.R.
Disney. During Rev. Disney's time, 1914-1916, the
decision to build a new church was made by the
officers who included: C.M. Steele, R.C. May, Wm.
Schultz and August Hausman. The stewards of the
church were C.M. Steele, C.J. Travis, Ed Bock, Mrs.
John Sires, Mrs. James Goble and Wm. Schultz. The
President of the Aid Society was Mrs. James Goble and
the secretary, Miss Daisy Robinson. The Epworth
League, a young people's organization, had Nina Goble
as president and Eva Bellows as secretary. This
church was dedicated on Sunday, August 27, 1916, and
is the present structure.
Following Rev. Disney was Rev. John Gammons who
remained two years. After that, Rev. Walter Piper was
minister and remained six years. Mrs. Piper passed
away in 1973 at the age of 106.
At this time, the congregation was much larger and at
the Christmas program, we filled all of the seats and
used additional chairs.
Rev. Piper was succeeded by Rev. E.I. Seldon from
1923-1925, then by William H. Smith, 1925-1928.
After that, Rev. Allen Gable came and stayed two
years, 1928-1930. He was followed by Rev. J.H. Barr,
Rev. Elso Sarchett came in 1933. That year, the
French Creek Methodist Church combined with the New
Albin Methodist Church as they had no minister. This
combination lasted several years.
Rev. Howard Palmer came in 1934 and stayed for two
years until 1936. Later, in the 1960's, Rev. Palmer
was District Superintendent for four years.
In 1936, Rev. H.H. Fletcher was minister for one
year, then Rev. Merton McKinnley who also stayed only
Rev. Bernard Kemper was here from 1938-1940. During
this time, the Women's Missionary Society and the
Ladies' Aid were united into one organization known
as the Women's Society of Christian Service. The
charter members were Mrs. Ruth Tufts, Daisy Robinson,
Mrs. Ruth Wilson, Mrs. Frank Easton, Mrs. Herman
Krzbietke, Mrs. Esther Tabatt, Mrs. Carol Kemper,
Annabell Fitchen, Mrs. J.H. Reiser, Mrs. Margretta
Mendenhall, Mrs. Clara Darling, Mrs. Florence Irons,
and Anna Wuennecke. The officers elected were
President - Esther Tabatt, General Vice President -
Mrs. Eric Jordan, who had been Missionary President,
Secretary - Margretta Mendenhall, Treasurer -
Florence Irons, Vice President of Missionary
Education and Services - Mrs. Tufts, Vice President
of Local Work - Myrl Mead, who resigned and Ruth
Wilson was elected. After the first meeting, the
membership grew to 53 in a short time.
Rev. Kemper was followed by Rev. Park Anderson from
September of 1940-1942, and then Rev. Milton
Northdurft from 1942-1944.
In 1944, Rev. DeWitt Clinton came, staying one year.
Following him was Rev. Emmett M. Goettschuis from
1945-1950. He was a great gardener. He was followed
by Rev. EW. Cass from 1950-1954, then Rev. Roy L.
During this time, due to road conditions caused by
construction of a new road from Waukon to Dorchester,
French Creek Church combined with Waukon, and
Dorchester Methodist Church combined with New Albin
until 1971. Mrs. Cawley directed the choir.
Rev. C.E. Isaacson came next and remained four years,
The next minister was Rev. Ernest Neilson from
1963-1967. They had two adopted boys, Walter and
Danny, 8 years and 6 years old. Six-week old twins,
Heidi and Andy, were then adopted from the Dubuque
Hillcrest Home. The Neilsons had a boy of their own
after leaving the church. The summer of 1973, Mrs.
Neilson passed away of a heart attack after an attack
of the flu.
On August 12, 1965, the Women's Society of Christian
Service celebrated its 25th anniversary by having
other churches as its guests. A nice program was
presented, followed by lunch.
The next minister was a Japanese, Rev. H. Tanaka,
from 1967-1970. He was here a year before his wife
and little daughter, Kasume, came from Japan. A year
later, they had a baby boy. Mrs. Tanaka and Kasume
could not speak English when they came to New Albin
but, in time, learned.
Rev. Tanaka was followed by a young man, Rev. Calvin
Tiffany, who stayed one year, 1970-1971. It was
unknown at that point whether we would then have
another minister due to the shortage of ministers and
being located in the comer of the state by ourselves
as Dorchester was going to again have the Waukon
Rev. C.K. Wever, hearing that Grace Methodist did not
have a minister, volunteered to also serve this
church along with two other country churches, St.
John's United Church of Christ and Mt. Hope
Presbyterian Church. This was when the parsonage was
sold, as Rev. Wever lived at St. John's parsonage.
Several years ago, the church had a male quartet that
consisted of C.J. Travis, Ed Bock, Charles Kumpf and
James Sires which was well known and sang for many
churches and community affairs in the county and
surrounding territory, besides singing for church
C.J. Travis was organist for the church for 68 years.
Mrs. John Mendenhall also accompanied him on the
piano and after his retirement, she became pianist
and organist. Then her daughter, Phyliss, played the
organ while Margretta played the piano.
There are many who served the church throughout the
years with their prayers and work that has kept the
church open when times seemed very gray. Besides the
first officers, there are Mrs. Frank Wilson, Cora
Thomson, Gladys Dresselhaus, Annabell Fitchen, Nettie
Sires, Marjorie Bina, Esther Dee, Margretta
Mendenhall, Mattie Lenz, Gladys Danningbring and
Mariam Weymiller, who have been officers in the
W.S.C.S. for over fifteen years.
In the Sunday School, C.J. Travis, James Sires, Mrs.
James Sires, John and Margretta Mendenhall, Mary Lou
Welper, Phyliss Mendenhall and Harris Fink have been
faithful officers or teachers.
John Mendenhall, who came to New Albin in 1927, and
Margretta, a few years later, have been a great help
to the church, John being treasurer for forty years.
Grace Methodist has a nice choir with Rev. Wever and
Gary Thomas in charge.
The church has had a carpet laid upstairs which was
started by a donation of $200 from the Alvin Jordan
family of Chicago about fifteen years ago. The ladies
held bazaars, food sales, candy sales and suppers to
pay the balance. Next, the panelling was done and the
downstairs was carpeted. In the fall of 1973, the big
colored glass windows were re-paned and the storm
windows put on.
The church was also painted twice on the outside with
the congregation doing most of the work, and the
paint being donated by the Alvin Jordans.
In 1975, Pastor Jones served the church; in 1976,
Pastor John Hall, and from 1977 to present, Pastor
Grace Methodist Church, undated
Grace Methodist Church, circa 1916
M.E. Parsonage, undated