updated August 26, 2013
Methodist Episcopal Church
Note: This church merged with the Postville Congregational church in 1923 to form the Community Presbyterian church.
The First M. E. Church Of Postville
This new church edifice, which has recently been completed, and stands an ornament to the town and a credit to the builders, is certainly deserving of a passing notice in this the first issue of the Review.
This building is a frame covered with sheeting and overlayed with brick. The size of this church is 32 X 64, semi gothic in style, with stained glass windows, the vestibule being located in the corner tower; the partition that seperates (sic) the vestibule from the audience room, is continued across the building, forming a class-room 10 X 22 feet, which can be thrown into the main room by opening the three folding doors in the partition. The gallery is directly over the class-room and vestibule, affording sittings for seventy-five persons. The speakers platform is an octagon, one half of which is a recess from the main wall and forms the orchestra. The heating is by furnace in the basement.
Much credit is due the present Pastor, Rev. G. L. Garrison, for the determination with which he agitated the church building project, from the very commencement of his labors on this charge. Early in the spring of 1871, he succeeded in raising a favorable subscription, formed an association, and organized a board of Trustees. however, it seems that but little was done until February 1872, when the whole church, together with some of the outside friends became interested and all agreed that a church must be built. April 6th, the association incorporated and the following named persons were appointed Trustees: G. W. Stafford, J. S. Mott, S. B. Finney, A. Chase, W. R. Allen, J. Moir Jr., and S. W. Courson. S. S. Steelle, Agent of the Church Extension Society was employed to furnish plans and specifications, and the entire job of building was finally let to him, and we take pleasure in referring the public to him, as he most meritoriously bears the reputation of being a mechanic of more than ordinary skill.
The ground was broken in the latter part of June, preparatory to laying the Corner Stone on July 4th.
The Ladies Society that had been laboring and saving for years, prepared to furnish a dinner for the occasion, and all interested in the enterprise were anticipating a happy Fourth, but on the evening of the 3d, one of the most earnest of their number, the wife of S. B. Finney, was suddenly called to the Church Triumphant, to rest from her labors. This mysterious providence cast a gloom over the occasion, and caused a vacuum that will long be felt in the Methodist society of Postville.
The hour arrived and the Corner Stone was laid, Presiding Elder Smith performing the ceremony. The Ladies Society put $176, into their Treasury, to the credit of this society may be known the fact, that they have paid to the Trustees the handsome sum of $800, beside paying for the carpets and other fixtures.
Under the management of our young friend, M. O. Taylor the work moved steadily on, without interruption, to completion.
February 16th was the day for dedication, and Rev. J. M. Clinton of Mt. Vernon, Iowa, engaged to conduct the services. The day was warm and beautiful and nearly five hundred persons assembled to participate in the services of the day.
An interesting and appropriate discourse was delivered by Bro. Clinton, after which he stated that the total cost of building and furniture was $4,515. The unprovided for indebtadness (sic) $1041 [possibly $1,941] This last named amount was asked for, and the people responded to the amount of $2,100, of which $322 was cash.
In the evening the house was again filled and another able sermon preached, at the close of which the dedication ceremony was preformed. An interesting incident of the evening, was the presentation by Bro. Clinton in behalf of the trustees, of a purse of $15 for the purchase of "Rural Church Architecture," to M. O. Taylor, the young man who had charge of the entire building from sill to spire. In consideration of their appreciation of his service and the interest by him manifested in all the work. Thus the day was spent to which the members of the M. E. Church of Postville had been looking forward with much interest and great anxiety for years, and all hearts were happy in seeing so neat and commodious a temple dedicated free of debt, to the services of a kind Father. To Him be given all the praise for the success that has attended the efforts of His people in this enterprise.
~source of article -Postville Review, March 19, 1873
~transcribed by Mary Durr
~source of photo -Sharyl Ferrall
Rev. J. Dolph In Trouble
Rev. J. Dolph, a former pastor of the Postville M. E. church seems to have gotten into trouble down at Brighton, this state, where he is postmaster, the charges against him being that of taking a peep at other people's mail. Following is the dispatch from Eldora in Wednesday's dailies regarding the affair:
Eldora, IA., March 8 - Special: Eldora people are very much suprised at the sensational arrest of John Dolph of Brighton, Iowa, upon the serious charge of tampering with the United States mails, it being alleged that Dolph, who was the postmaster at Brighton, had been caught opening letters addressed to other parties. Rev. John Dolph was well and favorably known in Eldora, where he resided about ten years ago. He came here first as pastor of the M. E. church and was one of the most prominent and well known members of the Upper Iowa Conference. He served as pastor of the Eldora church for five years, was then sent to the state legislature for two terms as Hardin county's representative and when he returned he purchased and edited and published the Eldora Ledger for a number of years. Leaving Eldora he went to Brighton, where he was engaged in the publishing of the Brighton News. Dolph was a cousin of former United States Senator Dolph of Oregon and was a man of good education and well liked and esteemed by all who knew him. His arrest has caused much talk and comment here and many are led to believe that Mr. Dolph has gotten into some kind of political trouble and can hardly be guilty of the serious crime of which he is now under charge. He has been liberated on bonds and will have his trial at the next session of the United States court at Keokuk. He has a fine family of grown children. He has held pastorates in the Methodist church at Ackley, Albion, Postville and Eldora, as well as at various points in New York.
~Postville Review, Friday, Mar. 11, 1904
~transcribed by Reid R. Johnson
Rev. Hadwin Williams, 1917
Dr. Hadwin Williams, a native Iowan, for eight years a practicing physician and for many years a Methodist minister. He served congregations in many Iowa communities over the years - Lo Mar, Fayette, Sumner, Plymouth, Lime Springs & Jessup to name a few. He came to Postville in 1917 and was the last resident pastor of that church. He died at his home in Mt. Vernon, Iowa on October 5, 1926, aged 72 years. He had been a member of the Upper Iowa Conference of the Methodist Church for thirty years.
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