IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

Garden City United Methodist Church

Created by the merger of Luana Methodist, Monona Methodist, Pilgrim Evangelical United Brethren and Volney Methodist churches.

Monona, Clayton co. Iowa

Note: there are many churches mentioned on this page, other than the 4 shown above, as various mergers occurred over many years, culminating in the final merger that created the Garden City United Methodist.

Unless otherwise credited, the transcriptions are by S. Ferrall

Church Combines Several Parishes Into One
Garden City United Methodist

The Garden City United Methodist Church, Monona, began in August, 1973, when separate votes taken in the Pilgrim United Methodist Church of Monona, Monona United Methodist Church, Volney United Methodist Church and Luana United Methodist Church resulted in a favorable vote for merger. Each of these brought into the new organization a rich history.

Garden City United Methodist Church started in January, 1974.

The Methodist Church had its beginning in northeast Iowa around 1840 when the Yellow River circuit included Ion, Volney, Monona and McGregor. In these early days services were held in the various communities and were supplied with itinerant pastors and services were held in the language of the area. Many were in the German language.

The first Methodist services were held in the town of Monona around 1851 and by 1854 the English speaking church was organized and a building erected for services in 1867. By 1913 and 1914 the congregation outgrew its building and the brick church was erected at the corner of East Iowa and South Egbert Streets. Since that time improvements have been made. Sunday school, youth work and Women's Aid and Missionary Society have been a part of the program through the years.

The pastors who served this congregation from 1854 were: William Newton, Burchard, Stout, Cobb, William Putman, Falkner, J.R. Cameron, William Cobb,Cooksey,, Hazelton, J.R. Cameron, Nathaniel Pye, Young, Gould,, Hager, Gramley, Alden, Miller, J.J. Littler, H.F. Wyatt, W.F. Albright, O.W. Weeks, S.S. Smith, F.J. Stevens and P.N. Dwello.

Around 1870 the Luana Circuit was formed that included Hardin, Luana, Ion and Monona. The pastors who served this charge were: J.O. Hazelton, G.L. Garrison (1873), C.E. Hager, J.W. McCord, E.R. Lemon, W.N. Brown, H. Williams and A.B. Fickle.

The brick Methodist church was build in 1913-14 when James B. Bird was pastor, followed by Self, J.B. Ackerman, H.E. Morrow, L.H. Joslin, G.W. Turner, R.C. Jerrell, Morrow, Donald Corrick, Wayne Hilmer, Paul V. Clements and Raymond Pacholke.

The Congregational Church of Monona was organized in 1855, with services held prior to that time. The first Congregational Church was built in 1866 and remodeled 38 years later. It was a frame building on the corner of south Egbert and Depue Street.

In 1920 the Congregational Church merged with the Evangelical denomination and became known as Pilgrim Evangelical Church. The pastors who served were: J.H. Upton, J.M. Smith, P. Litts, W.S. Potwin, Franklin Elliott, A.A. Young, W.G. Klose, S.T. Beatty, J.E. Grinnell, B. Cheney, W.E. King, G.W. Meek, C.H. Linn, H.B. Hall, L.W. Wiltbeergeer and H. Banks.

The Evangelical Church began work in the area in 1868. It was supplied from the Prairie du Chien, Wis., church, Salem, also called Prairie Evangelical Church, near Froelich, was started in 1868 and in 1942 united with Pilgrim Evangelical Church. [see also: Salem's Evangelical church]

Robert Creek, "Gooding" in Wagner Township was organized in 1871 and in 1930 was disbanded.

Watson Evangelical Church, east of Watson, was begun around 1870 and the building was moved about 25 years later to Watson. It was discontinued in 1933.

These three Evangelical churches were supplied by one pastor. Those who served this German speaking circuit were: F.W. Kaufman, A. Finger, J.P. Viel, H.G. Uphoff, F. Ausman, F.T. Eilert, A. Piepenburg, G. Winkowich, C. Schneider, F. Illian, H.E. Erffmeyer, H. Best, J.C. Hoffman, H. Best, W. Pfefferkom, H.M. Schueman, H. Haag, H. Rabe, E.G. Glaeser and P.F. Walter.

In 1921 when the Pilgrim Evangelical Church of Monona was organized these four churches were served by one pastor and were known collectively as the Monona charge in the Wisconsin Conference.

As the various congregations disbanded they became a part of the Pilgrim Evangelical Church of Monona. The pastors who served this charge from 1921-1946 were: O.A. Hillman, R.W. Berg, E.W. Reichart, G.T. Vieth, W.L. Zeller and H.W. Raduege.

The Evangelical and United Brethren denominations merged in 1946 and the church became known as Pilgrim Evangelical United Brethren Church. Until 1957 Monona was the only Iowa congregation that was a member of the Wisconsin conference so by official action it became a part of the Iowa Conference.

The Evangelical United Brethren and Methodist denominations merged in 1969 and in 1970 it was called Pilgrim United Methodist Church. The pastors were served from 1947 to 1970 were: A.W. Ebert, C.W. Ellerbeck, D. Jones and J.W. Peterson. By vote of the people it became the Garden City United Methodist Church in 1974.

The Luana Methodist Society was organized in 1867 and the church was built in 1871. It was associated with the Hardin Methodist church and part of the time was an independent organization. In 1920 it became part of the Monona charge along with Volney. In 1974 it became Garden City United Methodist Church. By vote of the people the building and contents were sold.

Around 1865 the first Methodist church was built in Volney and a new one dedicated in 1860. The pastors from Monona served this congregation for many years. It became Garden City United Methodist Church in 1974. the congregation voted to keep the church building as a community center chapel.

The Old Stone Church, Pioneer Church, north of Watson in Allamakee County, was built in 1859 and until 1920 was served by the same pastor as the Giard Methodist Church. It was a German congregation and during World War I when the German language was in disfavor, the congregation dwindled and the members came to the Monona Methodist Church. In 1920 the building became the property of the Upper Iowa Conference. In 1927 it was dededicated and a homecoming service was held. The annual homecoming ecumenical service is held the third Sunday of August, keeping alove the rich hertiage of the Methodist Church in the area.

The present pastor of the Garden City United Methodist Church is Raymond Pacholke.

With the uniting of these churches the women's organizations united to become the Garden City United Methodist Women. the young people, Sunday School and Bible School had been united even before the merger.

The use of the buildings is alternated for the worship services and shared for other activities.

With the rich heritage of the denomination in the area, progress through the years cannot be written in one short account, but in the effect the work of the church has had in the community.
~Monona Billboard, Bicentennial issue, 1976 (article & the photos)


Robert's Creek / Gooding Church

During the storm, Monday night, lightning struck the Gooding church in Wagner township and it was completely burned to the ground.
~Monona Leader, Thursday, July 21, 1898

The new Evangelical Robert's Creek church in Town of Wagner is handsomely papered; sidewalk is laid; a large number of hitching posts planted and dedication will take place Sunday, Dec. 18th.
~Monona Leader, Thursday, December 8, 1898


Quarterly meeting at the German Evangelical church near Froelich Sta. next Sunday. This meeting will be held at the above place instead of at the Roberts Creek church on account of the contagious disease that has broken out at the latter place.
~Monona Leader, Thursday, October 9, 1902


The Pilgrim Evangelical Ladies' Aid Society held their annual meeting Wednesday afternoon at the home of Mrs. F. H. Haward. The following officers were elected for the coming year:
Pres. - Miss G. Helen Fonda
Vice Pres. - Mrs. R. W. Berg
Sec. - Mrs. H. H. Smith
Treas. - Miss Angeline Davis
~Clayton County Register, Thur., 11 Apr. 1929. Monona column ~transcribed by Reid R. Johnson


The trustees of the Gooding church south of town, consisting of Gott. Zurcher, Harry Moon and Albert Henkes sold the Gooding church to the St. John's Cemetery Association on Tudsday of this week. Wm. Moon of Farmersburg is president of the association and hereafter the church will bein charge of this organization.

The cemetery is in the church yard and is known as the Gooding cemetery. Hereafter anyone desiring information about the church will call upon Wm. Moon the president of the association.

The Gooding church was one of the early churches of the community and it has filled an important part in community life. Only one member remains of the membership so it was felt advisable to sell the property.
~Monona Leader, Thursday, December 4, 1930

Note: aka Robert's Creek church


The bell which formerly hung in the belfry of the Watson Evangelical Church now hangs in the belfry of Pilgrim Evangelical Church. Last year the Watson church building was taken down and services had not been held there for the last six or seven years although since 1874 it had served that community. This summer the bell was installed in the belfry of Pilgrim Church and the installation is being observed this sunday, July 9, with a service conducted by Rev. F.A. Trautmann and a communion service unitinng in fellowship those who worshiped in the Watson Church and the people of Pilgrim Church.

The membership of the Watson Church was transferred to this Church when services were discontinued in Watson. The bell served the Watson congregation for nearly fifty years. It was purchased in 1889 and rung for the first service as it stood on a wagon behing the church -- that service for which it was run was the funeral of John Schmeiser, Sr.
~Monona Leader, Thursday, July 6, 1939
See also Old Stone Church / Watson Church


Rededication of Pilgrim Evangelical United Brethren Church, 1949

Services for the rededication of Pilgrim Evangelical United Brethren Church will be held sunday, April 17, beginning at 10 o'clock in the morning with Bishop E.W. Praetorius of the Northwest Area of the Evangelical United Brethren denomination speaking at the morning service and also giving the rededication service address which will begin at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon.

The Rev. F.E. Schlueter, district superintendent, will also assist at these services and deliver the sermon at the Communion service to be held in the evening beginning at 7:45 o'clock. Music for these services is under the direction of Mrs. Art Moon.

The Pilgrim Evangelical United Brethren Church has been engaged in an extensive improvement program during the last year which has included a new asbestos roof, asphalt tile flooring, chancel carpeting, chancel and sanctuary furniture including altar, reredos, pulpit, lectern, parapet railing, communion rail, frontal screens and choir and sanctuary pews, and a new vestibule.

A new heating system had been previously installed and a new Hammond electric organ was also purchased and dedicated in April, 1948. Besides the above mentioned improvements, varous architectural changes in the church interior have contributed greatly to the worshipful atmosphere which now prevails.

The activities of the Evangelical missionaries began in this community about the year 1868 when the Rev. F.W. Kaufman, serving the Prairie du Chien church, visited the vicinity of the former Salem church near Froelich and started the work of what later became the Monona circuit.

The Salem "Prairie" church, the first of the Monona circuit, was built on the property donated by the Chris Luckerman family and was dedicated in October 1868. In 1942 the congregation voted to disband and transferred their memberships to the Monona church. Rev. H.W. Raduege was serving the church as pastor, at that time. [see also: Salem's Evangelical church]

The Watson church was started about the year of 1870 and became part of the Monona circuit when the Rev. J.P. Viel traveled on horsback to this community and conducted services in the homes. As the congregation grew steps were taken to erect a church building. Land east of Watson was donated by John Sawvell and the church was built under the pastorate of the Rev. G. Uphoff in 1872. The church was later moved to Watson. The Rev. V.T. Vieth was pastor of the Monona circuit when this congregation disbanded and transferred their memberships to the Monona church in 1933.

As the Evangelical association grew and expanded a mission was also organized in Wagner township. Peter Pillenworth donated land to the Evangelical association in March of 1871 and it was upon this land the Robert's Creek church was built. This church disbanded in December, 1930, during the pastorate of the Rev. R.W. Berg.

The present church, at the time of its erection in 1866 was under the system of the Congregational denomination. It was purchased by the Wisconsin conference of the Evangelical church during the pastorate of the Rev. O.A. Hillman nin 1924, and became known as Pilgrim Evangelical church. Bishop E.W. Praetorius was also guest speaker at the special servicees conducted at the time of ths transfer. Since the merger of the Evangelical denomination with the United Brethren denomination in 1946 this church has become known as the Pilgrim Evangelical United Brethren church. The church is being served at the present time by the Rev. Alvin W. Ebert.
~Monona Leader, Thursday, April 14, 1949


On January 6, 1974 Luana Methodist, Monona Methodist, Pilgrim Evangelical United Brethren and Volney Methodist all merged to become the Garden City United Methodist church. Combined services were held on January 6, 1974 at the brick church in Monona. Services were conducted by Rev. Raymond W. Pacholke.

Services continued to be held in the old churches until 1985 when one church was built in Monona, finishing construction in June, 1986. The congregation is known as the Garden City United Methodist Church.
~Monona Billboard, Wednesday, July 6, 2016 and Postville Herald, October 10, 1990 (excerpts from a longer articles)


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