History of Lacelle

Methodist Episcopal

Source: A photocopy of a handwritten article signed "Written in 1935 and copied in 1940 by Sarah E. Twombley, If I live until April will be 75 years old."

While we remember many things, many more we have forgotten. And much more we never knew.

About the year 1865, the people of Lacelle and vicinity realized they need to band themselves together to worship the God who had given them this beautiful country, that they might realize their dreams they had of the wonderful possibilities for Lacelle and community.

The first religious services were held in the school house that stood on the block north of the one where the church now stands. In 1868 they bought the ground where the church is now located.

So the records say from William E. Henderson and wife to the trustees of Lacelle M.E. church. For ten dollars paid by J.L. Harless, William Ford, Joseph Watkins, John W. Thurlow and William Shepard and to their 'trustee successors' until there be no trustees. And then it shall go to the conference of the United States. J.M. Linder, Justice of Peace. It was deeded in 1868 and recorded by H.H. Hess in 1869.

Then they began the foundation for the new church. After much hard work and sacrifice by the people, the new brick church was finished in 1869.

For many years it was a place of many joys and sorrows. Until in 1899 when the trustees Thomas Denley, Abe C. Rarick, and Grant Twombley met to see what repairs the old church needed. It was agreed it was too old for a shelter from Iowa's cold and stormy winters. And it was torn down and the present frame building erected on the old foundation and dedicated June 16, 1900. Many hands that built it had ceased from their labors and only a few left to help with the new church. They had not only laid the foundation for the new church building, but a foundation on which we may build for eternity.

But they have gone on, they have finished their work and left it for their children to carry on. But they too have many of them gone to their long home and others have moved away until there are only three of the charter members' children's names in the church book - William Thurlow, Lillie (Thurlow) Lewis, and Sarah (Watkins) Twombley.

But many have been the names of the good people that have been added from the beginning that have helped to carry the burdens and so the church and Sabbath school has been carried on for more than sixty years. And many good people are still trying to carry it on. May we ever be true to the trust that is left to us.

Our fathers and mothers may not have been perfect in their neighbors' judgement but they have gone where we will go to be judged by a perfect and loving Father who doth all things well.

Oh how sweet it will be

In that beautiful land

So free from all sorrows and pain

With songs on our lips

And with harps in our hands

To meet one another again.

The names of the earliest members were:

Mr. & Mrs. William Ford, Mr. & Mrs. Richard Herron, Mr. & Mrs. Ambros Sharrow, Mr. & Mrs. John Thurlow, Mr. & Mrs. James Low, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Watkins, Grandmother Watkins mother of Joseph Watkins and Mrs. Low (Sarah Elisabeth Watkins), Mary Stiverson, Mr. & Mrs. John Otice, Mr. & Mrs. William Shepard, Mr. & Mrs. Jacob Harless, Mr. & Mrs. Abner Crew, Mr. & Mrs. John Chenoweth, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Dutton, Mr. & Mrs. Hugh Crawford, Mr. James Jewett, and Mr. & Mrs. Abe C. Rarick.

Others who stood shoulder to shoulder with them but had their membership in the Presbyterian Church in Osceola were Mr. & Mrs. Hutsinpiller, Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Morrow, Mr. & Mrs. James Joy, and Mrs. Jewett and Mrs. Jacob Chenoweth whose membership was with the Christian Church in Osceola.

The names of the ministers who came to help in early days:Rev. Sherwood, Sampson, Blair and McIntire. Those filling pastorates: Rev. Reed, Dashler, Osten, Stewart, Bott, Ranbo, Jackson, Talley, Knickle, Sigler, Nichols, Mitchel, Tenant, Gleson, McCracken, Kirk, Knoll, Meeker, Leed, Zumsteg and Murtle Wolf.

Rev. Heton dedicated the frame church June 16, 1900.

Superintendents have been: Rev. Conrad Todd, T. Mc.K. Stewart, Thompson, A.A. Thompson, Shaw, Lewis and Morgan. Walace Danner, son of Rev. and Mrs. Danner was ordained to preach soon after the brick church was built. M.J. Rarick, son of Mr. and Mrs. Abe C. Rarick, is an ordaied minister and pastor at Anita, Iowa. Jennie (Denly) Rarick, his wife, is the daughter of Thomas Denley and wife. Helen Siefkas Adams is the daughter of Burt Siefkas and wife of Harold Adams, a minister in the M.P. church. Is now in training school in Chicago.

(Editor's note: I also have what appears to be a photocopy of an undated newspaper article containing this history. A few additions or clarifications are found in the newspaper article. It states that the history was compiled by Mrs. James Denley and Mrs. Grant Twombley and was read at a home coming in Lacelle. It mentions that at the time the article was printed one charter member survived- Mrs. Hester Dutton of Osceola, who was 93 years old. It adds Mr. Hutsinpillar's initials are "W.B.". The name Danner is also added to the list of ministers and has "Oleson" instead of "Gleson". The handwriting is open to various interpretations. In the list of pastors it was difficult to tell the given names from the surnames because of the lack of punctuation.
My appreciation to Glenda McNeal who gave me this information)

Graphics courtesy of: Christian Media

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