HISTORIC STAINED GLASS WINDOWS
By Malee Spencer
The stories told by stained glass windows
in historic building are fascinating. You can read
much of the history of an area through their narratives.
The Sidney Methodist Episcopal Church
is an example. It was built in 1902-03. The designs
for the stained glass windows were made at the factory
in pieces of various sizes, colors and shapes. These
were set in lead frames and each window was put in
a wooden frame stayed by iron bars across on the inside,
to which the lead frames were wired. The windows were
installed at a total cost of $6,000. Today these community
treasures would cost thousands of dollars to replace.
Many of the windows were given in honor or memory
of early pioneers of Sidney and give us insight into
individuals who helped settle Fremont County.
The magnificent Good Shepherd window
at the back of the sanctuary is the largest of the
windows and was given in memory of Dr. Cyrus McCracken.
He came to Sidney in the spring of 1862 and began
practicing medicine. The county was sparsely settled
at the time and he would ride fifty miles in all directions
to attend the sick. His obituary describes him as
possessing a powerful physique backed up by ample
will power. He was able to stand exposure and perform
an amount of work far in excess of the average man.
One of the small windows, about the
size of an average house window, was given in honor
of Elza Armstrong and Susannah Reeves. They settled
in Fremont County in 1853 about four and one half
miles north of Sidney. He served in the 4th Iowa Cavalry,
August 10,1861, and was wounded at the battle of Columbus,
Georgia, on April 16, 1865, where the 4th Iowa suffered
the loss of two killed and nine wounded.
Another small window honors Jeptha D.
and Sarah A. Lacy. They came to Fremont County in
1852 and received a tract of land from the government,
signed by President Franklin Pierce. The farm was
located about four miles northwest of Sidney. He was
a successful farmer, large land owner and also ran
a sawmill on the Missouri bottom for a number of years.
After the war, he had a mercantile business in Sidney.
The window just south of the choir loft
honors William T. Frazer, who for thirty-one years
was superintendent of the church's Sunday School.
He was held in high esteem for his business dealings
and out of this respect, during his funeral, the business
houses in Sidney were closed and the public schools
The north room window, of Christ knocking
at the door, honors Job Throckmorton. He and his wife,
Sarah, came to Sidney in1850 and began business as
a contractor. He was instrumental in building many
of the first buildings erected in Sidney. On October
10,1861, Job enlisted in Company F, 15th Iowa Infantry
and was at Shiloh at that bloody battle on the 6th
and 7th of April 1862. He also took part in the Siege
of Vicksburg. At the close of the war he was with
the Union Troops that marched down Pennsylvania Avenue
at the City of Washington D.C. for inspection by President
Much of the information above is from
obituaries in the Fremont County Herald courtesy of
the Sidney Argus Herald Staff.