submitted by Charlene Nichols Hixon, Aug. 26, 2007

Mar. 25 1888 (hand written)

Rev. Wilson is now filling his second year with the church in Muscatine and will undoubtedly fill his full limit of three years. He is an earnest and impressive speaker. He has lived in Iowa since infancy, was educated at the Iowa Wesleyan university at Mt. Plesant and at the Boston Theological Seminary, graduating in the same class with Rev. Anna K. Shaw, who soon lectures in Muscatine. He entered in Army at 19 and served four years and retired with the rank of captain. Ten days after he left the army he entered college. He has been a member of the Iowa Conference since 1870.

The organization of this church dates from July, 1839, when a class of seven members was formed, consisting of George and Sarah Bumgardner, Thos. and Sarah Morford, John A. and Hannah D. Parvin and Miss Mary Williams. All these have joined the church triumphant except Mrs. Bumgardner and Mrs. Morford (now Mrs. Hawley). The first building used by this society was a one-story frame which stood where the JOURNAL office now stands. The society removed in 1851 to its new brick church now used as the City Hall, and from thence in 1869 to the more stately structure now in use.

The membership of the church now numbers 450 in full connection and 90 probationers in addition. The seating capacity outside of the gallery, which seats 100, is 600. The pews are rented with the exception of a few reserved for visitors. A. Davidson, J. B. Hawley, F. C. Demorest and M. Y. Howe are local preachers. John Beard is an exhorter. The trustees are A. Davison, Benj. Neidig, J. S. Patten, P. Jackson, S. Shammo, John Mahin, P. M. Musser, Jos. Morrison, Peter Musser. The stewards are J. H. Lukens, M. S. Batterson, E. J. Brent, W. S. Richie, M. Y. Howe, C. S. Barnard, J. E. Howe, C. O. Hurd, P.W. Francis, A. G. McColm. The class leaders are P. Jackson, C. S. Barnard, A. Kemble, Jessie Brogan and Miss Lizzie O’Callahan. Connected with the church are several societies as follows: The Ladies and Pastor’s Aid society; the Ladies Aid society, Ms. J. E. Howe, president; the Woman’s Foreign Missionary society, Mrs. Wilson, president; and the Woman’s Home Missionary society, Mrs. Stafford, president. The Sunday School has a membership of 425 scholars and 40 officers and teachers. J. S. Patten is superintendent and J. M. Kemble, assistant.

The church during the past year built a new parsonage raising therefore $3,644. Besides this the church contributed $1,400, $225 and $30 for the pastor’s, presiding elder’s and bishops’ claims respectively. The expenses of the Sunday school, sustained by itself were $111. The church besides gave $500 for missionary purposes and for other benovelent collections in addition nearly $500 more. The Ladies Aid society put $400 into the new parsonage, the W. F. M. S. contributed $185 for missionary purposes and the W. H. M. S., $87.

Since Rev. Wilson has had charge of the church 35 persons have been received by letter and 37 dismissed. Nine have died, 86 have been received from probation and 87 have been baptized.

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