Have You Heard? October 1966
SMITH, RESSLER, MILLER, SCHWIMLEY, OBRIEN, LACKENDER
Posted By: Misty Christner (email)
Date: 6/13/2018 at 13:42:14
Source: Kalona News October 1966
Have You Heard?
By JOHANNA NELSON BEERS
One of the proudest and happiest persons participating in Sunday's centennial observance of the Sharon Evangelical United Brethren Church at Sharon Center was Mrs. Cora Smith, 89, of 602 Clark Street, whose mother, Fannie Ressler Miller, was prominent in the founding of the church.
Mrs. Smith was baptized and joined the Evangelical Church 76 years ago. She has maintained her membership there continuously since that time - longer than any other member.
Among first generation descendants of the 17 charter members who organized the church in a log school house near the center of Sharon township in 1866, she is the only survivor.
She also heads the list of five generations of descendants of John Jacob and Fannie Miller who have been members or attend the Sharon EUB Church. Included are: Mrs. Smith's nephew, Lee Schwimley, Kalona; his daughter, Mrs. Glenn Miller, Route 3, Iowa City; Mrs. Miller's daughter, Mrs. Ed O'Brien, 1411 Hollywood Boulevard, and Mrs. O'Brien's baby daughter, Sara Jane (Sara isn't a member - yet).
In addition, Mrs. Smith's great-grandchildren attend the church.
Mrs. Smith's memories include attending services in the original Sharon EUB Church, a modest frame building built at a cost of $1,400 on land donated from a farm and dedicated on New Year's Eve, 1870. Records indicate that average attendance at the church 20 years later was 39.
The present building was dedicated in 1959, and as part of the extensive centennial observance last week-end, the mortgage note was burned, marking full payment for the $81,000 structure.
Approximately 500 members and friends of the congregation took part in the various centennial events, and special guests included several former pastors and the Rev. Paul W. Milhouse of Kansas City, presiding bishop of the Southwest Area of the Evangelical United Brethren Church.
Radiating her pride and joy in the occasion Sunday, Mrs. Smith visited with everyone, paying special attention to young mothers and their youngsters.
And surely a highlight of the day for her was presentation of the centennial pageant, in which Joan Lackender portrayed Mrs. Smith's mother.
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