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German Methodist Episcopal Church
a/k/a Dallner German Methodist,
became Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church

German Methodist Episcopal Church

Brighton Enterprise
Saturday, February 23, 1895
Page 4, Column 5

The people of Germanville and Sloughville have bought a new organ for the German M.E. church. They have preaching every two weeks by Rev. BAUMGARDEN of Mt. Pleasant.


Brighton Enterprise
September 26, 1896
Page 1, Column 2

GERMANVILLE. Rev. BAUMGARTEN preached his farewell sermon at the Methodist church last Sunday eve. It is not known who his successor will be.


"The Fairfield Ledger"
Saturday, April 23, 1955
Page 5, Column 2

..... At one time a church stood near the old German Methodist cemetery, but it has been gone for many years."

(Note: We understand the church was served by German student pastors from Iowa Wesleyan College at Mt. Pleasant.)


Mrs. Ila (BURGER) ESHELMAN wrote Miss Iva SCHEFFEL, Fairfield, Iowa, in the spring of 1967: "Yes, I remember the old Methodist Church. My brother James BURGER has taken care of the cemetery for a number of years now, that is, he mows it. When I was 8 to 11 years old our neighborhood girls would walk up there on Sunday afternoons to what they called a Singing School. What a gala time that was! That took in the Jake KOCH family, the PFEIFFERs, FITCHNERs, Homer KOCH family, and SHAFFERs, probably more that I can't recall just now. Mrs. Velma (KOCH) EGLI played for the singing. Her father was a great singer, also John PFEIFFER and one of his daughters that sang is Mrs. Andy (Edna) CRILE; also Mrs. Edna (SHAFFER) CRILE at Brighton. She is John and Amelia SHAFFER's daughter. I think the Singing School as they called it was quite an achievement for that church. My mother who now would be 104 years old, always told me that when she was a little girl she and her brothers and sisters went up there to Singing School as they called it, and I have her song book that they used then. I was offered $20 for it once and I wouldn't part with it.... When Roll HYDE got his arm shot at the shoulder, they amputated it and buried it over by his folks' grave. He passed away a couple of years ago...."


"The Fairfield Ledger"
Monday, October 25, 1976
Page 3

Records Are Incomplete--
History of Germanville Church

An article this past spring in the Brighton Enterprise, written by Janet Fritz, has generated a great deal of interest in the extinct Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church of Germanville, organized in 1850. A small graveyard is all that remains today.

The charter membership at this time is not known, according to Ms. Fritz, since there was no resident pastor. Some records have been found in the Catholic parishes of East Pleasant Plain, Fairfield and Washington.

Priests who served the parish rode the train from either Fairfield or Washington and boarded in nearby homes. Transportation from the depot was also provided by the parishioners (sic). Times were hard and money was scarce. One ledger lists $5 as the amount paid to the priest for one year. Rural parishes, Ms. Fritz writes, at this time, held services when a priest could come which might be only once or twice a month.

The first recorded death was of a 3-year-old girl in 1863, but the oldest grave marker still standing, is an iron cross with the words, "Elizabeth, wife of John N. KURTZ 1795-1865." [Note: The cross actually reads "Elisabeth, wife of John N. KURZ, Born Nov 6 1795, Died Janry 10 1865" - photo here.]

The earliest baptism in the record book of the parish was in 1869. It was of Peter LAMANSKI, 3-month-old son of Peter and Anna SERGET LAMANSKI (sic - LAMANSKY). The entry, written in Latin, was made by Fr. Simon WEICZOREK in beautiful script. On the same day, seven others, from 4 months to 2 years of age were baptized. Among the familiar names are Adam PICK (PECK) and Martin KURTZ.

Sermons in Polish

In 1882, the Polishville parish built the new St. Mary's Church and a house for a resident pastor. The Mass Book from Germanville, was sent there to be used. Many German families attended Mass in Polishville on Sundays when a priest did not come to Germanville. Since, at that time, the Mass was said universally in Latin, they could follow the Mass prayers. Those who didn't understand the Polish language, had to practice self-control during the long sermons in Polish.

Many marriages of the local people took place in either Fairfield or Washington. Only two marriages are registered as having taken place in the Germanville Catholic Church although there were probably others. They were of Barbara FRITZ and Simon SHIPPERT in Auguast (sic) of 1870; and Elizabeth BUREKER and John IHMS in October 1893.

The parish grew and an addition was built in 1883 to house her members.

Ms. Fritz determined that Rev. J.J. MORAN served the rural parish for over six years beginning in 1887.

Many names were entered during this period. One first communion class of 1887 included Mary GLANZMANN, Mary ZIHLMANN (who became Mrs. Ed ANGSTEAD of Fairfield) Joseph BARNET, William FRIESE, Andrew KESSEL, John POHREN, John KASKA, John BARNET, Joseph KURTZ, Leo BUREKER and Lucas ZIHLMANN, the latter the father of Lloyd ZIHLMAN of Mount Pleasant.


Among those baptized in later years at Sts. Peter and Paul Church were Bertha and Agnes PACHA, Albert FRANZEN, Hubert, Elizabeth and Anthony ARNDT, Emma BERG, Anthony SOBASKI, Frank KASKA, Leo MELINSKI and Leo KURTZ.

During the summer of 1890, the church was remodeled and new church furniture installed.

In August of 1898, a large memorial bell was put into place to ring out to the people of the community. It bore the names of Andrew and Caroline ZIHLMAN.

Around the turn of the century, Rev. Bernard JACOBSMEIER, served the Catholics of the area while residing in Washington. In 1902, the new Catholic parish was organized in East Pleasant Plain, a more populous settlement near the railroad.

Sts. Peter and Paul Church was dismantled. Lumber salvaged was used in the building of the Joe PACHA and Vince MINEART homes.

Ms. FRITZ recorded other family names in the Germanville congregation: WIERSBICKE, CHIMELEWSKA, KAUSOWSKA, KRYGOWSKI, KAUFMAN, MAYNHARDT, KURKA, ZUPALLA, GIELSKI, DRYS', JOYCE and BENDA. The spelling of many of these names has changed over the years, she noted.

Although the building was gone and the people now attended church at either Polishville or East Pleasant Plain, many were still buried in the old cemetery.

On January 29, 1910, the Brighton Enterprise published a sale notice of the church property, exclusive of the burial plots. Trustees at this time were Frank PACHA, Adam KASOWSKY, and John FRITZ.

In November of that year, C.S. WOODFORD, an undertaker, and several men moved many of the bodies from the old cemetery at Germanville and reinterred them at the new Catholic Churchyard at East Pleasant Plain.

The historical committee of the church is searching for a picture of the church. If such a picture is located, please telephone 694-3645 or 694-4703.

Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church

"The Fairfield Ledger"
Wednesday, September 26, 1883
Page 3, Column 4

(This item is part of a column titled "Local Miscellany")

The Brighton News says the Catholics are building an addition to their church at Germanville.


The Brighton Enterprise
Saturday, June 21, 1890
Page 4, Column 1

The KURTZ's were in town Monday and hauled out two loads of church furniture for the Germanville Catholic church, which is being refitted and refurnished this summer.


"The Fairfield Ledger"
Wednesday, June 25, 1890
Page 3, Columns 2 and 3

(This item is part of a column titled "Local Miscellany", under the "Neighborhood News" heading.)

The Brighton Enterprise says that the Catholic church at Germanville is to be throughly refitted and refurnished this summer.


Brighton Enterprise
Saturday, August 27, 1898
Page 4, Column 2

Am immense 750 pound church bell for the Catholic Church at Germanville arrived this week and will soon be in place and ring out sweet chimes to the people of that community. We understand the bell is a memorial gift. It bears the names of Andrew and Caroline ZIHLMAN, the place Germanville, and the year, 1898, all cast in bold letters on the frame of the bell. It surely ought to last many generations to come and be a reminder of the liberality of the donors.


Brighton Enterprise
Saturday, January 29, 1910
Page 1, Column 2

LAND SALE. We the undersigned will sell at public sale at the Germanville Catholic Church, at Germanville, Iowa, on Sat., Feb. 12, 1910, at 1 o'clock p.m. of said day, the following tract of land: Commencing at the NW corner of W of the SW of Sec. 22, Township 73 R8W, thence running east 25 rods 8 links, thence south 62 rods, thence west 25 rods and 8 links, thence north to the point of beginning, said tract contains 10 acres, but the cemetery will not be included in this sale. This is known as the Germanville Catholic church property.

Terms: 15 per cent must be paid on the day of sale to secure the purchase. Balance on delivery of the deed. Other conditions made on day of sale.
 Frank PACHA
 John FRITZ, Trustees.

[Note: A 'rod' is a linear unit of measure equal to 16.5 feet; a 'link' is 7.92". This refers to old surveyor's tools which consisted of a 100-link chain 66 feet in length, and a wooden rod (sometimes called a Pole or Perch) 16.5 feet in length.]


Brighton Enterprise
Saturday, November 12, 1910
Page 4, Column 3

C. S. WOODFORD is busy this week with a large force of men, moving a grave yard. The bodies are being removed from the old cemetery at Germanville and reinterred at the new Catholic churchyard at East Pleasant Plain.

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