Charter Oak, Iowa, 1895 - 1935
The Presbyterian Church of Charter Oak began organizing in January, 1895. On invitation of Mr. F. L. Shoemaker, Mr. L. W. Steele, a lay evangelist, visited the field and reported that prospects were good. On January 15, 1895, a petition was circulated asking for the organization of the church and organization of the church was granted.
Rev. H. Hostettler, Rev. A. H. Campbell, Rev. N. Clark, and Elder Samuel Luney of Denison, were appointed by the Presbytery in September, 1895, as a committee to organize the new church. They visited Charter Oak, October 8, 1895, holding the first meeting in the Odd Fellows Hall.
The church was organized with the following charter members: Mrs. Priscilla Snyder, Mrs. Alice Cooper, L. R. McGee, W. H. Bates and wife, Alice Bates, Frank Bates, Stella Adams, Jessie Adams, Mrs. Routzoug, W. F. Miller and wife, C. F. Garret, J. J. McWilliams, Ada McWilliams, D. H. McWilliams and Mary McWilliams. Mr. J.J. McWilliams was elected the first ruling elder.
The first pastor was Rev. Steele and services were held in various halls and homes until 1898 when a church building was erected at a cost $3,200.00. This church was dedicated by Rev. Dr. Bailey, December 11, 1898.
The list of pastors included: Reverends Steele, McEwen, Lind, Thom, Hienk, Turner, Baker, A. E. Lehmann, Werner, Hazzard, Bacon and Leach.
The Rev. Wendt from Manilla, the Iowa Synod Lutheran minister used the Presbyterian Church for confirmation instructions and the following were confirmed in 1911: Willie Clausen, Otto Neddermeyer, Julius Suhr, Fred Clausen, Henry Waderich, Franz Reese, Mollie Diersein, Vernon Clausen, Anna Clausen Hollrah, Paul Neddermeyer, and Rosie Pithan Rodewald.
Some names linked with the last era of the Presbyterian Church before disbanding are the following families: Robb, John Kortman, Bornholdt, Hill, Dr. S. A. Huber, R. R. Weed, Arthur Dietz, Hershberger, A. F. Barber, Stark, A. J. Nigg, Marshall, Gus Peters, John Jacobson, and Mrs. Emil Timm.
Charlie Stark was, at one time, Sunday School Superintendent with about 60 children enrolled in Sunday School. Their women's society was called the Industrial Club and their officers: President, Mrs. Rolland Weed; Vice President, Mrs. Haakinson; and Miss Jessie Marshall was Secretary for a number of years.
In 1935 the church was disbanded, the church building was torn down, but the old bell was installed in the Methodist Church.
Source: The 1991 Charter Oak centennial book.