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Delaware County, Iowa  



History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People

History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume I.

Captain John F. Merry Supervising Editor. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914 page 356-363


Chapter XXXV



Page 356

On Sunday, August 29, 1869, Rev. Daniel Russell, assisted by Rev. Mr. Campbell organized the society known as the First Presbyterian Church, with the following charter members: Mrs. Mary A. Russell, Mrs. Gracia Russell, Henry Russell, W. G. Field, John W. Gutherie, Mrs. E. B. Marriott, D. G. Eldridge, Mrs. W. A. Eldridge, Henry F. Hamblin, Sanford R. Grow, Eldridge, Mrs. AV. A. Eldridge. Tienry P. Hamblin,, Sanford R. Grow. Mrs. H. Grow, Mr. and Mrs. George Truby and Mrs. Melsin. The first meetings were held on the third floor of the Burnside Building, now the Globe Hotel. In time, however, this proved inadequate and a house of worship was erected, this being dedicated January 8, 1871. This building served its purpose for ten years but in 1880 was replaced by a more commodious house of worship, which was dedicated free of debt on the last Sunday in December of that year. This building was erected at a cost of $5,000 and is still serving the congregation.


Gifts of funds by the late Rev. Daniel Russell, D. D., and of residence property by his daughter, the late Mrs. Grace R. Spangler, for a manse, have brought to the church not only a beautiful and much needed minister's home in the same block as the church building, but a deep sense of gratitude and love to the givers for these benefactions. The church entered upon the consecrated use of these gifts in May, 1906. Mrs. Spangler also bequeathed an endowment fund of $800, for the upkeep of the minister's residence. The church has efficient auxiliary societies and a membership of 117. The average attendance at Sunday school is eighty


The pastors who have served the church from the time of organization to the present are: Revs. Daniel Russell, August, 1869-June, 1874; David Street, November, 1874-November, 1875; Alvah Day, December, 1875-June 1, 1876: William S. Pryse, January, 1877-April, 1879; James Frothingham, August, 1879-July, 1882; L. H. Mitchell: W. M. Evans. May, 1884-December 26. 1887; T. C. Potter, January, 1888-April, 1888; Owen Jones, April, 1888-November, 1889: John B. Kaye, April 1, 1890-October 3, 1892; Robert Edgar, December 1, 1892-April 2. 1893; S. S. Hilscher, May 6, 1894-May 10, 1896; Charles R. Hamilton, May 17, 1896-October 22, 1899; Charles A. Highfield, March 1, 1900-March 30, 1902; Samuel K. Kirkwood, May 11, 1902-March 31, 1904: William H. Ensign. July 12. 1904-1913; Gray Jones Cardy. November 1. 1913-.



Page 357

To the religious society pinning its faith to the tenets of the Congregational faith must be ascribed the distinction of inaugurating regular religious ministrations in Manchester. To further this end came Rev. A. Graves from Yankee Settlement, in the summer of 1855, who preached the Word on alternate Sundays in the Acers schoolhouse, at Delaware, and on the same days he held services at Burrington (Manchester). There were about fifteen houses in the future county seat at that time, and church was held in an unfinished dwelling owned by S. R. Grow. This building stood on the north side of Fayette Street, between Tama and Bremer. In May, 1856, Rev. L. B. Fifield took up pastoral labors here, and on August 3, 1856, the Congregational Church was regularly organized. The original members were Rev. L. B. Fifield, Emily J. Fifield, Peter Richardson, Lucinda C. Richardson, Sanford R. Grow, Susan Grow, George Hartwell and Julia A. Hartwell. The first sermon was preached by Rev. A. Graves and the services were concluded with prayer by H. N. Gates. For eight years thereafter services were held in private houses, in the old brown schoolhouse, which stood on the site of a brick school building which took its place, and in Hulburt's Hall.

Early in the year 1864 a meeting was held in Burrington Hall and it was there voted to proceed to build a house of worship. A committee for the purpose, consisting of Rev. A. T. Loring, S. R, Grow and S. T. Wheeler, was appointed. On the 7th of September, 1864, the edifice was dedicated by Rev. 0. W. Merrill, assisted by Rev. Hew de Bourek. This structure cost about thirty-five hundred dollars, to which the American Congregational Union contributed $300. In 1873 a bell was installed at an expense of $515 and from time to time improvements followed. The old building answered its purposes well for several years and then became inadequate to the increasing membership and attendance. Consequently, in the year 1900, the present beautiful brick temple of worship was erected and dedicated on the 16th day of September of that year. A pipe organ was also installed at the time, which was replaced by another one in 1904. The church building cost $10,000, and in its spacious auditorium was held, on October 21, 22 and 23, 1906, impressive and interesting services commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the church's establishment at Manchester. The program, among other numbers, called for historical and reminiscent addresses upon the following topics: Our Church, Mrs. P. E. Triem; Pastors I Have Known, Deacon H. A. Granger; Deacons As They Were, Deacon Fred S. Seymour; The Songs of Other Days, Senator George W. Dunham; The Missionary Society, Mrs. A. S. Blair; The Ladies' Aid Society, Mrs. L. C. Brooks; The Young Ladies' Aid Society, Mrs. Horace Atwater; The Ladies' Kensington, Mrs. W. J. Suckow; The Men's League, M. F. LeRoy; Lights and Shadows of the Past, S. L. Doggett.

The names of pastors who have administered to the spiritual welfare of this congregation follow: L. B. Fifield, 1856-60; A. T. Loring, 1860-66; Daniel Russell, 1866-67; A. A. Baker, 1867-69; E. R. Stiles, 1869-77; John P. Barrett, 1877-80; B. T. Stafford, 1880-82; J. G. Miller, 1882-88; H. W. Tuttle, 1889-1905; W. J. Suckow. 1905-07: C. E. Lynde, 1907-08; Prank Moore, 1908-14.



Page 358


The First Baptist Church of Manchester was organized October 26, 1855, in the spring of which year Manchester was laid out as a town. The meeting for the purpose was held in a house that had just recently been erected, on Fayette Street, by Ozias P. Reeves, now owned by Miss Florence Bailey. The charter members were Edson Merrill and wife, Elizabeth; Ozias P. Reeves and wife, Almeda; John L. Baldwin and wife, Almira. Edson Merrill was elected deacon and Ozias P. Reeves, clerk.

After the organization had been perfected, prayer meetings were held at the homes of members but after the school - house was built, which stood on the lot now occupied by the Central school building, religious meetings were held here not only by the Baptists but other denominations, that is, whenever a minister came to town.


The First Baptist Church was incorporated July 11. 1859, and that same year the congregation called its first pastor. Rev. J. Y. Aitchison;  Mr. Aitchison preached here at the schoolhouse once in two weeks. He  also supplied the churches at Delaware and Delhi, taking up his residence at the latter place.

For some years and up to 1872, the Baptists worshiped in Burnside's Hall, Thorpe Hall and Marshall's Hall. In April of the year mentioned a house of worship was begun, which was dedicated on the first Sabbath in June. There was no regular pastor at that time but several clergymen from other churches were present and assisted in the dedicatory services. There was not enough money subscribed to pay for the indebtedness and $1,000 was borrowed from the Home Mission Society, which was refunded after several years. The first members received into the church after baptism were Allen Love, Selden French, William McIntosh, and Jane L. McIntosh, who is still a member.

The church building was remodeled and enlarged by an addition in 1895, during the pastorate of Reverend Lusk. While in course of its construction the use of the city hall for services was kindly granted by the city council. The rededication of the edifice took place September 22, 1895, at which time subscriptions were received amounting to $1,925. The following week the Dubuque Baptist Association convened at Manchester.

A comfortable residence for the parsonage, constructed at a cost of $2,000, and standing on West Main Street, was bequeathed to the church by Edward Sellens.

The church has had eighteen pastors, besides supplies. The names of pastors follow: Revs. J. T. Aitchison, 1859; Ed D. Phillips, 1865; M. Root, 1867; Dean. 1869: L. M. Newel. 1872; W. H. Irwin, 1874; L. M. Whiting. 1876; W. E. Walker, 1882: J. Y. Aitchison, 1885; William Swinden, 1886; Fallis, 1887; R. J. Langridge, 1890; Pritchard, 1892; W. E. Adams, 1893; Lusk, 1894; Archie Caul, 1900: Rumsey and Stevenson. 1905; H. R. McDonald. 1906.



Page 359


This church established a mission in Clayton County in 1871, from whence grew the present organization of the church about 1891. Rev. Ira Chase was the first pastor and among the original members were the following named persons : Ziby Wheelock and wife, Samuel Young and wife, Fred Dury and wife, — Steiger and wife, Samantha Spitler, Louise and Julia Oakley, Ira and Lydia Rowland. The first meetings were held in the schoolhouse close by the present church, which was built about one year after the organization of the society. A few years thereafter a parsonage was erected—a two-story frame building costing about one thousand dollars.

Reverend Chase remained here about two years, when he was succeeded by Reverend Benton, whose term of service covered a period of one year. He resigned to further pursue his ministerial studies at college. As nearly as can be ascertained from the memories of some of the older members. Rev. Adelbert King was the next pastor. He remained four years. His successors were Reverend Stice, a year and a half; Reverend Moffatt. here on two occasions, one year each; O. H. Harnish, two years; Reverend Smith, two years; Reverend Bundy, part of one year; and the present pastor, Rev. Ray Busenbarrick, still a student at Cornell College. It should be here stated, however, that Elder Ward occupied this pulpit about six months and two pastors of the gentler sex also served this charge. One of them was Rev. Miss Donnie Minton who was here two years. The auxiliary societies are the Ladies' Aid and Foreign Mission. The membership of the church is about forty, average attendance at Sabbath school, twenty-five.



page 360

The Universalist Chureli at Manchester sprang from a sermon delivered in 1859, by Reverend Dennis, of Dubuque, in Burrington's Hall. It was an incentive to the few people of that faith living here at the time to make an effort toward the organization of a Universalist society. But they were not successful until the winter of 1864, when arrangements were made with Rev. Joy Bishop to preach every alternate Sunday, the meetings being held in the Congregational Church until the summer of 1865. Not being able, through lack of numbers, to employ a pastor, no regular religious services were held by the society until in the spring of 1868, when Belknap's Hall was secured and Rev. Henry Jewell organized the church on the 20th of June. 1868. Reverend Jewell remained here as pastor until September, 1869. The society was incorporated May 4, 1869, and those signing the articles were Clark Bliss, Sr., Thomas Toogood, H. M. Congar, A. M. Sherwood, E. N. Tomlinson, E. R. Congar, L. S. Bemis and E. Hoag. On May 10, 1869, after H. M. and E. R. Congar, Rev. Henry Jewell, Thomas Toogood, Gilbert Yeoman, A. M. Sherwood, Hiram Babcock, Jacob Hoag, T. Crosby, E. J. Congar, R. G. Clifford., J. Gilbert and R. W. Tirrill had pledged themselves to raise $5,000 for the purpose, the building of a brick church edifice was commenced and completed May 7, 1871, at a cost of a little over $8,000. The dedicatory services were conducted by Rev. J. W. Hanson, of Chicago. E. R. Wood was the first regular pastor and remained here from September, 1871, until September, 1873. He was followed by Rev. J. W. Hicks, of Strawberry Point who preached alternate Sundays for about six months. There was then a period of three years when the church was inactive, but finally E. R. Wood was induced to return in 1877, at which time he reorganized the society. A Sunday school was organized in 1864, with R. W. Tirrill as superintendent, and the ladies society was established in 1867.

The Universalists kept up their organization and regular services for several years and then dissolved. About three years ago the church building, a good brick structure, was leased to the Manchester Grange Society, during the life of the Grange the consideration being that the Grange should keep the building in good repair.

There has been for some time established in Manchester a society of the Church of Christian Scientists, which holds its readings in the lecture room of the public library.



Page 360

The parish of St. Mary's was practically established in 1872. under Father P. J. Clabby's administration. In that year subscriptions for building a church was begin and work on the structure commenced by Father Clabby, and continued under Rev. R. McGrath. The succeeding priest, Rev. J. F. Nugent, who came in 1875, completed the building, which still stands, a brick structure, located on the south side of Butler, about a block west of Franklin. The parish is now quite strong in the number of people of the (Catholic faith, and render valiant assistance to the energetic and eloquent pastor. Father T. Rooney, who has been stationed here the past six years.

Near the church is a brick parsonage and a parochial school, named St. Xavier. The pupils are taught by six Sisters of Mercy. 


~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume I. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Pages 356 -363.   Call Number 977.7385 H1m


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