Iowa Churches --- Volga Presbyterian
Only One in Clayton County, It Was Begun in About 1884
by Zita Humbert
The First Presbyterian church in Volga, the only one in Clayton county, was started about 1884.
The exact date of the church's organization is not known, since fire destroyed the congregation's original records a few years after it was started.
Volga's Presbyterian church was formed from a union of two other early churches in this vicinity. One of them was established by a number of Scotchmen who came to Highland township in 1850's from Pittsburgh. They started what was known as the United Presbyterian church.
A few years later another church was founded at Volga, known as the American branch of the Presbyterian church. This congregation held services in the old Union church, later occupied by the Perkins blacksmith shop.
During the ministry of the Rev. Mr. Campbell, the United and American churches formed the first church, which became part of the Dubuque Presbytery.
The present church building was erected in 1900 during the pastorate of the Rev. Mr. McClusky. It was host church to the Dubuque presbytery at a meeting in 1912.
The Rev. Richard Roberts followed Mr. McClusky as pastor of the then new church. Under his pastorate the church thrived, adding many new members to the congregation.
Church elders during Mr. Roberts' leadership were William Probert, Thomas Duff, William P. White, Fred Kneeling and Morris Blake. Deacons were John Probert, William Smith, Albert Duff and Elmer Sorg.
Under this leadership the church had 128 children in Sunday school, probably the largest number at one single time in the church's history. Mrs. Morris Blake was Sunday school superintendent.
The First church also had lively Christian Endeavor and Ladies aid societies.
Volga Presbyterian's present pastor is Gerald Wilson, a student at the University of Dubuque. He also serves as pastor of the Presbyterian church at Wadena, a village seven miles northwest of Volga. Mr. Wilson lives in the parsonage at Wadena. There is also a parsonage at Volga, but it was rented to a local family because the church has been without a resident minister for the last several years.
Although the Volga congregation's membership has been cut by death and members moving away, the remaining group still takes an active interest in the church. This point is emphasized by the fact that only recently new cement steps and a landing were installed at the church's front door. Other improvements made include a shingling job on the roof and repair of the church's windows.
~Cedar Rapids Gazette, July 30, 1949; from the series Iowa Churches. The article included the photo that appears at the top of this page.
~Transcribed by S. Ferrall
From the 1882 History of Clayton County, Chapter XXXIX, Sperry Township, Volga City, pg 1089: "At what is known as the Union Church, Rev. John Brown, of the Baptist church, and Rev. David Jewell, of the Free-Will Baptist church alternately officiate. There are two flourishing Sunday-schools; W .W. Goodwin is Superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal school, and Henry White of the Union school."
VOLGA City: The Presbyterian Ladies Aid met at the home of Mrs. Edward Fikse Thursday afternoon. The officers elected for the coming year are:
President - Mrs. H. F. Baars
Vice President - Mrs. L. A. Blake
Vice President - Mrs. A. J. Duff
Secretary - Mrs. R. W. Duff
Asst. Secretary - Mrs. Jessie Page
Treasurer - Mrs. V. F. Blake
Chairman of flower funds - Mrs. W. E. Ewing
Place Committee - Mrs. D. W. Duff, Mrs. V. F. Blake
~Clayton County Register, Thur., February 25, 1932 ~transcribed by Reid R. Johnson
The Presbyterian Ladies Aid met with Mrs. Edward Fikse Thursday afternoon. Following the regular business meeting officers were elected for the new year as follows:
President - Mrs. Bertie Baars
1st Vice-President - Mrs. Martha Duff
2nd Vice-President - Mrs. Hallie Blake
Treasurer - Mrs. Gusta Duff
Assistant - Mrs. Jessie Page
Secretary - Miss Eva Probert
~Clayton County Register, Thur., 23 Feb. 1933. Volga column ~transcribed by Reid R. Johnson
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