IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.
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Church Index

German Lutheran Church
St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church

courtesty State Library of Iowa, Iowa Heritage Digital Collection
St. Paul Lutheran, 1880
Photo is courtesy Garnavillo Historical Photographs, Iowa Heritage Digital Collection, State Library of Iowa, per their published usage rights.


Note: unless otherwise credited the information on this page was contributed by S. Ferrall


1878 - Fire at Garnavillo - 1878

Special Dispatch to the Dubuque Times, Garnavillo via Clayton, Nov. 4 - At half past one o'clock this morning Mrs. J.H. Tangeman awoke and discovered that the German Lutheran church of this place was on fire. The flames spread very rapidly and before the people could be rallied they had gained too much headway to be resisted, and the structure, together with all its contenct, was burned to the ground. The loss is places at from $3,000 to $3,500, with insurance at $1,000.

There was a barn 100 feet distant belonging to John Reimer that was also burned, no insurance. The German school-house, about the same distance away too fire, but was saved.
J. Harberg, Jr.
~Dubuque Daily Times, Dubuque, Iowa, Tuesday morning, November 5, 1878


From the History of Clayton County, Iowa, 1882 ..........
The German Lutheran Church was organized Sept. 1, 1853, with fifty-eight members. Among the most prominent of these were Henry Kregel, John D. Kregel, John C. Mohrman, John H. Mohrman, John H. Moellering, B.F. Schroeder and William Oelke.

The first Trustees were: John G. Heye, Christian Haukoemer, Louis Eidamas and John C. Mohrman.

The first elders were: John G. Kregel and Caspar Bakhaus.

The first Vorstehers were John H. Mohrman, William Schmalfeld, John G. Schulte, John H. Kuenzel and Jacob Splies.

The first pastor was Rev. Mr. Miller,who remained about two years. The present pastor is Rev. Frank Sommerlad, who came in January, 1882. The members now number about eighty-four. In 1853, soon after the society was organized, they built a frame church 30 x 40, at a cost of about $2,500. This was used until November, 1878, when it was burned down from some unknown cause. A new church was at once put up 40 x 65, at a cost of about $4,000. This is situated on the southwest side of Garnavillo park.

The society has always been prosperous, and has done much missionary work in the vicinity. The President of the Society is William Meyer; Secretary and Treasurer, Fredrich Schulleman; Vorstehers: HenrySchulte, Claus Meyer, H.H. Brandt, John Dittman, Fritz Ihde, Gerhard Koester, Christian Meyer, John Reiner, John Stiel and Caspar Werges.



The following are the names of the class members who were confirmed in St. Paul's Lutheran church Easter Sunday:
Viola Meyer
Carrie Wirkler
Amanda Suckow
Mabel Tangeman
Amalda Rohwedder
Louisa Dickman
Martha Seidel
Martha Milewsky
Henry Tuecke
Harry Tangeman
Herman Schlake
Arthur Schlake
Reuben Ihde
Eddie Schmidt
Glendor Fritz
Walter Dettman
Charley Stiehl
~Elkader Register, Thur., 27 Apr. 1905. Garnavillo column ~contributed by Reid R. Johnson



The Frauen Verein of St. Paul's church elected the following officers for the coming year:
Pres. - Mrs. Anna Roggman
Vice Pres. - Mrs. Carrie Wirkler
Sec. - Mrs. Margaret Harberg
Asst. Sec. - Mrs. Martha Schumacher
Treas. - Mrs. Amelia Limbach
~Elkader Register
, Thur., 31 Jan. 1907. Garnavillo column ~contributed by Reid R. Johnson

The following members were confirmed by Rev. Braun in St. Paul's Lutheran church last Sunday:
Augusta Obermueller
Leona Tangeman
Jessie Fritz
Hilda Tangeman
Roselyn Thoma
Carrie Schaub
Emma Rodenberg
Adele Meyer
Alma Brandenb_rg
Marvin Hedeman
Ellis Brandt
Roland Moellering
Herman Seidel
William Fascher
Lester Havill
Erwin Dickman
~Elkader Register, Thur., 28 Mar. 1907. Garnavillo column ~contributed by Reid R. Johnson


1913 - Historic Organ is Rededicated - 1913

McGregor, Iowa, Sept 25 - The rededication of the $4,000 pipe organ in the German Lutheran church at Garnavillo was attended with interesting exercises and a fine musical program given by the choir; Miss Lucy Roggman, teacher of music at Epworth seminary, organist; Weber Kuensel, violinist; and Mrs. Maude Marshall-Kingland of Lake Mills, soloist.

The organ is one of the best in this part of the state and undoubtedly the best by far of any in any other town in Iowa the size of Garnavillo. An interesting story is connected with it. the tale as told by Judge Crosby of Garnavillo is this:

Some forty years ago, Martin Keller, organ maker, came from Germany to Guttenberg, Iowa. He opened up a shop there and built the pipe organ which is still in the Catholic church at Guttenberg. After completing it he contracted to build an organ for $2,400 for a church in a neighboring town. To buy material for it and support his family while building the organ, Keller mortgaged his home and later his tools. When the work was little better than half done he died.

The son, Martin, undertook to complete his father's task, but, although he worked strenuously, failed to finish it in time. The mortage was foreclosed and the organ which had cost the Keller family their home and many months of labor and mental anguish was sold to the German Lutheran church at Garnavillo for $550.

While the son was setting it up he one day asked Mr. Crosby if he knew of a school where a young man without money could learn to be a civil engineer. The judge told him of Cooper Institute, New York. The young man went there and for five years worked in an organ factory by day and attended the institute at night. He was eminently successful and now holds a prominent position in the city engineering department of New York.

Meantime the old organ after thirty-three years service refused last spring to longer give forth sweet music. A skillful organ maker was hired by the church. After working at it for several months the five hundred fifty dollar organ is now so well repaired and rebuilt that in place of being worth $2,400, an expert has said that its equal could not be purchased nowadays for $4,000.
~Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, Friday, September 26, 1913


1922 - Confirmation Class - 1922

The following class was confirmed at St. Paul's Lutheran Church last Sunday:
Gretchen Bierbaum
Louis Kaiser
Viola Taackman
Iona Jahnke
Milton Reimer
Bernice Frye
Oliver Schultz
Verni Fehlhafer
Albert Koehn
~Elkader Register, Thur., 20 Apr. 1922. Garnavillo column. ~contributed by Reid R. Johnson


1926 - Confirmation Class - 1926

Sunday morning at 10:30 at St. Paul's church occurred the public examination of this year's confirmation class. The members responded readily. They will be confirmed next Sunday and received into church membership. The class numbers the following:
Laura Bahls
Emma Bahls
Marie Bahls
Pearl Tackman
Dorothy Fry
Valmath Mueller
Vernie Koehn
Orville Putzier
Lloyd Putzier
Elmer Tackman
~Elkader Register, Thur., 25 Mar. 1928. Garnavillo column ~contributed by Reid R. Johnson

1926 - Movie Based on Hymn - 1926

A six reel moving picture production, base on the hymn, "Abide With Me," written by William K. Brawn*, for the past 24 years pastor of the German Lutheran church at Garnavillo, Ia., will be presented at the United Brethren church [in Muscatine] Thursday and Friday evenings. The picture was filmed in the hills of Iowa.
~Muscatine Journal, Muscatine, Iowa, November 16, 1926
*William K. Braun. Other sources name him as Karl William Braun


1927 - Confirmation Class - 1927

Last Sunday at the St. Paul's church the examination of the confirmation class of 1927 took place. The confirmation will take place next Sunday. The members of the class are:
Marie Bierbaum
Margaret Backhaus
Marie Hanake
Irene Hanak
Opal Harberg
Marjorie Schumacher
Inez Hessel
Phyllis Meyer
Mildred Russon
Gerald Meyer
Otto Rodas
Valmah Siebrecht
Waldemar Wiess
~Clayton County Register, Thur., 07 April 1927. Garnavillo column ~contributed by Reid R. Johnson


1930 - Rev. Braun Accepts Call to Golden, Ill

Rev. K.W. Braun received a call from the Trinity Lutheran church at Golden, Ill. He has accepted the call and tendered his resignation as pastor of St. Paul's church last Sunday. Rev. Braun informs us they have set no definate date for their departure but that it would probably be in six to eight weeks.
~Garnavillo Tribune, Thursday, August 21, 1930

Biography of Rev. & Mrs. Cornelia (Mueller) Braun


1932 - St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Garnavillo - 1932

New and re-elected officers are, for the church council:
President - H. A Wirkler
Vice President - W. E. Kaiser
Secretary - Chas. Roggman
Treasurer - Chas. Fehlhafer
Elder - J. H. H. Stiehl
Directors - Homer Wilke, G. H. Wals, Edwin Milewsky
Other officers are: H. C. Henning, Theo. L. Meyer, Aug. H. Kraus, Clifford Sutton

Luther League Officers:
President - Herbert Kaiser
Vice President - Fern Steihl
Secretary - Burnette Backhaus
Corresponding Secretary - Marion Kregel
Treasurer - Roland Moellering
Women's Missionary Society Officers:
President - Mrs. Howard D. Hessel
Vice President - Mrs. H. J. Wirkler
Secretary - Mrs. Homer Wilke
Treasurer - Mrs. W. C. Dickman

Ladies Aid officers:
President - Mrs. Amelia Schmidt
Vice President - Mrs. L. F. Ihde
Secretary - Laura Milewsky
Financial Secretary - Grace Backhaus
Treasurer - Mrs. J. C. Bierbaum

~Clayton County Register, Thur., 21 Jan. 1932
~contributed by Reid R. Johnson


1934 - Missionary Society - 1934

Garnavillo: The Missionary Society of St. Paul's Evan. Lutheran church elected the following officers:
President -Mrs. M. J. Harder
Vice President - Mrs. Arthur Kregel
Secretary - Mrs. Robert Hedeman
Treasurer - Mrs. Louis Rowedder
~Clayton County Register, Thur., 25 Jan. 1934 ~contributed by Reid R. Johnson


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