by Arlene Hollenbeck
Marcus Historical SocietyI
was shown some old articles saved by Lowell and Ruth Nelson (Nelson
Funeral Home and Furniture Store). The articles are about a fund
raising project of the old Methodist Church in 1939. It was
called “God’s Acre”.
In the Spring of 1939, John Sand, Marcus
Seed Corn Dealer, offered free seed to any church in the community
whose farmers would plant one acre of corn and donate the crop from
that acre to help improve church property. About 45 Methodist
farmers accepted the seed and from that seed produced over 3000 bushels
of corn which were sealed at 57 cent‘s a bushel. This being the
first loan on sealed corn in the United States in 1939. The
sealed corn plan was for a farmer to set aside a set amount of corn in
storage and receive money for it. He could either buy back the
corn at a later date or reseal it again the following year.
Decisions were made on the price of the corn from year to year or the
need of corn by the farmer. The Methodist’s chose to reseal the
corn a second year.
The article tells only of the Methodist’s use of
the money from the “God’s Acres” program but it states Maryhill
Catholic church also took advantage of the free seed.
new foundation under the entire Methodist church was made possible by
this corn project along with an enlarged and rearranged basement.
The walls were glazed brick, a tile floor and a reconstructed kitchen
equipped in the most modern fashion were the result of this
project. A forced air heating system was also installed, making
every inch of the building comfortable. All these improvements
cost $6000.00 and were completed in 1940 with rededication services
held January 4, 1941. $3,200.00 was raised at this service,
resulting in the debt being paid in full. Members residing in
town had contributed to the fund by donating money equivalent to one
acre of corn.
Committee members in charge of this project were,
Fred Mossman, Louis M.Miller and Pastor George A Osborn.
Other names mentioned were, Fred L. Dorr, Stanley Addy, Roger Leavitt,
Mrs. Gertrude Loomis, Mrs Charles French, Mrs. Oscar Heline, Carroll
Kuehn, Mrs. Lovell Simons, Homer Hush, John Holmes and LeRoy Mossman.
What a wonderful example of Marcus people pulling together for a good cause.
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