IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.

McGregor German Presbyterian Church


~compiled by S. Ferrall

From the 1882 History of Clayton county, Chapter 35 .........

The German Presbyterian Church was organized May 7, 1862, in the house of Jacob Kramer.

The first members were Jacob Kramer, Nicholas Kriebs, Peter Walter, Charles Opitz, John Walter, John Cawelti, Martin Knecht, Christian Bloedel, Charles Gerndt, Louis Hartwig, Heinrich Gutheil, Heinrich Shuler, and William Troutfetter, with their wives.

The first pastor was Rev. William Buchren, who had held services for two or three months previous to the public school-house. The same year, 1862, the society erected a church at the north corner of Fifth and Ann streets, at a cost of $965. Tower and bell, afterward put up, cost $300. This church is the same which is now used by the society.

After Mr. Buchren, who was with this congregation eight years, Rev. Mr. Weiss came, remaining but a few months. Then Rev. W. H. Bailey officiated two years. In 1873 Rev. G. F. Murray was called to the charge and remained four years. He was succeeded by Rev. Lucas Abel, who preached about eighteen months. Then Rev. John Leyer accepted the pastorate, and he is the present minister.

Jacob Kramer and Charles Opitz were the first Elders; Peter Walter and Martin Knecht were the first Trustees. William Troutfetter and Jacob Kramer are the present Elders, and Frederich Kurz, G. F. Widman and William Troutfetter are the present Trustees.

The church will seat about 120 persons comfortably, and is a frame structure. The present membership is about forty. The church was most prosperous about 1865, when it had a membership of seventy. Many have since moved away, and hence the membership is now smaller, as is that of most other churches in McGregor.

There is a good Sunday-school connected with this church, meeting every Sunday, which has a membership of eighty-four. Wm. Troutfetter is the Superintendent. There are fourteen teachers. The Sunday-school library is in good condition, and contains a number of German publications of merit.


Meetings of the McGregor Episcopal Church, est. 1864, were held in the German Presbyterian church building.


From the 1916 biography of John Kramer (son of Jacob & Katherine) .......

Jacob and Katherine (Kahl) Kramer were prominently concerned in the founding of the German Presbyterian Church of McGregor, and the first meeting of its incipient congregation was held in their home. Honored for his sterling character and worthy achievement, this sturdy pioneer citizen was summoned to eternal rest on the 30th of January, 1912, and his venerable widow still remains at the old home in McGregor, secure in the affectionate regard of all who know her.


From the 1916 obituary of Katherine Becker, wife of Louis Becker ........

Mrs. Becker was a faithful worker in the German Presbyterian Church, her husband helping to build the church in this city some fifty years ago.


Rev. Urbach, 1890's early 1900's, he also served the Lansing German Presbyterian church & Dubuque German Presbyterian church.


McGregor Church Disbanded Sunday

McGregor, Iowa, Aug 13 - The German Presbyterian church was formally disbanded on Sunday. The congregation of late years has become so small due to to deaths and removals from town that there were no longer enough members to support the church. The building will be sold.

The church was organized fifty-two years ago and is one of the oldest German churches in the northwest. Four of the original thirty members are living, three in McGregor: Mrs. Mary Kramer, Mrs. Katherine Walter, Mrs. Barbara Walter and Mrs. Sophia Bloedel of Duluth, Minn.

At the final service on Sunday, Rev. Boell, professor in the Dubuque German college, preached the farewell sermon and the members of the church, many of them visibly affected, took communion together for the last time.

~LaCrosse Tribune, LaCrosse, Wisconsin, August 13, 1914


A 1956 news article in the North Iowa Times stated that the old German Presbyterian church building "...is now owned by the American Legion and is used as a club room."


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