This is the full text of the info I received from Ina Raney. She credits the source of the diary to the generosity of Paul Riedesel who, in turn, credits the women of St. Paul's who had the diary translated and printed as part of their anniversary celebration.
John Conrad Klar was the first pastor of St. Paul’s Church. He
was 37 years old when he and his wife Kate came to Wheatland from the Tarlton Charge, Walnut Township, Pickaway County, Ohio.
In 1978 Frances Riedesel discovered a 4” X 6” leather book in a drawer of old items from her great grandfather, L. Henry Riedesel, who with his brother, George, had walked to this area from Ohio in 850. The book contains the handwritten records of J. C. Klar’s ministry.
The discovery of such a priceless historical document is as a blessing reserved by God for us. The book at first seems to be a diary, but The obituaries are so complete that the book is certainly meant to be St. Paul’s first book of congregational records. When Rev. Klar returned to Ohio in 1865 he probably left the book with L. Henry Riedesel for safe-keeping. His intentions have been fulfilled. The book has joined other Historical records in a fireproof repository. We now have a complete set of historical records dating back from the present to the years before the formal organization of the church.
Later this 125th anniversary year we will publish Harold Koenig’s History of St. Paul’s Church. Familiarity with it and Esther Copp’s
Centennial book (1961) will help put Klar’s daily record of activities In perspective.
Comments and explanation in this text appear in parentheses
Italics. Em Lohmann made the transcription from Klar’s handwriting. Occasionally and inexplainbly Klar lapsed into German. It almost Appears that he may not have been aware of changing languages. Gunda Wiedenhoff translated these sections. Kathleen Patterson typed and printed the final work.
Donavon and Karen Fox
Wendell and Emma Lohmann
Of the 125th Anniversary Committee
Other Members of the Anniversary Committee
Merle and Eva Bouschilcher
Glen and Delora Casad
Melvin and Hilda Dicke
Elmer and Amber Kelting
Ralph and Milly Martens
Roger and Edna Riedesel
Lawrence and Evelyn Riedesel
Carol and Virginia Rothbart
Robert and Dolores Stankee
We would like to thank Ina Ramey for providing this information for us to put online.