Historical Sketches of Iowa Baptists, 1886
S. H. Mitchell
by Burdette Co., Burlington, Iowa
Dubuque Association Continued…
The Anniversary was at Delhi June 10. Sermon by Rev. James Hill of
Cascade, Moderator, and Wm. Aitchison Jr. clerk. Baptisms 84, other
additions 56, whole number of members 794. A year of some spiritual
quickening, in which Cascade, Dubuque, and Maquoketa have shared
most fully, reporting 14, 26, and 13 baptisms respectively. Epworth
have let contract for building without help. A movement was
inaugurated to combine the aid of the Churches in the Association to
help one, where most needed, each year in building, and by this
unity of effort, in a few years, almost every Church in the Dubuque
Association was provided with a house of worship. Rev. A. Whitman
has succeeded Brother Chapin as pastor at Dubuque. Rev. Wm. Tilley
has followed H. L. Field at Maquoketa, and Rev. Asa Prescott has
settled at Delaware Centre and Delhi, succeeding J. Z. Zimmerman
after a short pastorate at Delaware Centre, and J. C. Johnson after
an interval at Delhi and Delaware Centre. The history of the LaMotte
Church is given this year. It was organized first at Andrew, January
4, 1845, “By the assistance of Rev. Horace Eaton of New Hampshire.”
He was called to the pastorate, but declined the call and seems to
have remained in the state only about a year. Horace Eaton seems to
have been under appointment of the Home Mission Society in Davis
county 20 weeks in 1844 and 26 weeks in 1845. The church was removed
from Andrew to LaMotte, and in 1848 Rev. Joshua Currier became
pastor. During his pastorate of nine and one-half years the
membership increased to 62, and a comfortable house of worship was
built. Since that time the Church has declined in membership and
influence, and when the history was written in 1870 there were only
1871. Met at Epworth, sermon by Elder John
Brown, James Hill Moderator, Wm. Aitchison clerk. Brother C. W.
Skemp of Dubuque has been very acceptably supplying the Church at
Epworth and Farley for two or three years past. They have completed
a house of worship at Epworth, at a cost of $2,125, and are
rejoicing. There are now 15 Churches, 8 pastors, and 15 meeting
houses, including those under way; members 753. Only 14 baptisms are
reported for the year, and a net loss of 41 members. A series of
“Regulations” were adopted at this meeting for a “Church Building
Fund.” The name and wise councils of Rev. A. Chapin are missed from
the deliberations of the body. The stay of his successor at Dubuque
has been short, and they are without a pastor. Maquoketa have
expended $1,500 in repairs on Church edifice, and have now the best
1872. Maquoketa enjoys the anniversary.
Rev. Asa Prescott preached the sermon and was elected Moderator.
Rev. Wm. Aitchison still clerk. Baptisms 63, of which number 46 are
at Dubuque, where Rev. L. F. Raymond has become pastor and has been
assisted by his father, the veteran Lewis Raymond, of Chicago, in a
remarkable revival. Whole number of members in the Association, 775.
Cascade have had some trouble, but the Church is nevertheless
prospering. Manchester have no pastor, by building a meeting house,
and Monmouth have recently dedicated.
In 1873 the Association met at
Manchester. L. F. Raymond, preacher; Asa Prescott, Moderator; L. M.
Newell, clerk. For a number of years there have been no new
organization, nor any change of boundary of the Association. This
year the Monmouth Church s dismissed to the Davenport Association,
and the Forestville Church is received from the Turkey River. Rev.
T. F. Thickstun is present as State Superintendent of Missions, and
J. E. Rockwood as State Sunday School Missionary. Of the 14
Churches comprising the body, six are without pastors. Baptisms 55,
members 775. Rev. L. M. Newell has become pastor at Manchester.
Maquoketa reports 14 baptisms, but Brother Tilley has resigned. Rev.
James Hill is pastor at Cascade, and they report 18 baptisms.
1874. The Twentieth Anniversary was held
at Dubuque. Rev. Wm. Aitchison, Jr., preached the introductory
sermon, and was Moderator; T. H. Bowen, clerk. The churches all send
letters except Spring Brook. Fourteen churches, 57 baptisms, 41
other additions; loss 83. Present membership 776. Of the baptisms,
Delaware Centre reports 19, Manchester 11, Maquoketa 10 and Cascade
7. These annual figures are interesting in as much as they indicate,
at least in part, the process of spiritual growth. Sympathetic
mention is made of the loss by death of the beloved wife of Rev.
James Hill, of Cascade, who was called up higher, March 12th,
1874. North Bend Church asked dismission to unite with the Davenport
Association. The request was deferred for one year, and the Church
seem not to have renewed it, nor to have made any further report to
this body. The name stands upon the record for a few years and then
disappears. Rev. J. M. Ferris is pastor at Dubuque, N. F. Hoyt at
Maquoketa and W. H. Irwin at Manchester. The LaMotte Church are
reduced to 10 members, and ask advice of the Association. They are
advised to sell their meeting house in order to pay a debt of three
hundred dollars, and to retain the balance, if anything remains, in
the Association. Rev. M. T. Lamb was present as Sunday School
Missionary, having succeeded Brother Rockwood in that office.
Met May 28th 1875 at Delaware
Centre. Rev. N. F. Hoyt, of Maquoketa, preached the annual sermon.
Rev. James Hill was again elected Moderator, and J. W. Beatty is
clerk. It appears that a committee had been appointed to consider
and report upon the propriety of disbanding the Association and
uniting with the Linn. This committee reported, and after some
discussion, it was resolved that “as a Association we discard all
idea of disbanding the body and uniting with any other.” At this
meeting a constitution was adopted organizing an “Iowa Baptist
Church Building Society.” Resolutions were passed in tender memorial
of Rev. John Bates, long a member of this body, who had recently
deceased in Canada. Maquoketa mourns the death of the loved wife of
their pastor, Rev. N. F. Hoyt. Rev. W.H. Irwin has resigned at
Manchester. It is evidently a time of great spiritual dearth. Only
six baptisms are reported in the entire Association. Whole number of
1876. Cascade is the entertaining Church.
Rev. J. Hill was Moderator protem, but at his earnest request to be
released from the duties he had discharged so long and well, Rev. N.
F. Hoyt was elected permanent Moderator for the year. Rev. J. W.
Beatty, of Cascade , clerk. Allen Curr of Dubuque, preached the
annual sermon. Rev. James Hill has now been preaching at Cascade
since 1873. The letters from the Churches are hopeful but report no
great revival. Only 8 churches report this year. Baptisms 17; whole
number of members 738. Spring Brook has become extinct, and the name
is dropped. Rev. J. M. Ferris, pastor of Dubuque for the last two
years, has withdrawn from the denomination and united with the
Methodists. He is succeeded by Allen Curr, and they are much
encouraged and are engaged in building a house of worship. Rev. L.
M. Whiting has become pastor at Manchester and Epworth. Rev. C. W.
Skemp, of Dubuque, who has been supplying the Church at Epworth
eight years, surrendering, with much honors, the trust, for a time
at least, to others.
1877. Met at Maquoketa. The veteran
Moderator, Brother Hill again at his post, and J. W. Beatty again
clerk. Brother Hill also preached the sermon. The returned
missionary, Rev. T. J. Keith has become pastor at Maquoketa and
welcomes the Association handsomely. Brother Hoyt after four years
of honorable service here has removed to Minnesota. The hopeful
spirit of last year is on the increase and some fruit has appeared.
Forty have been baptized, 15 of them at Maquoketa. LaMotte, Delaware
and South Fork Churches have not reported for three years, and
committees are appointed to inquire into their state. Rev. H. D.
Weaver is pastor…
1878. …assembling at Delhi on the 18th.
The annual sermon was preached by Allen Curr. H. D. Weaver was
Moderator and J. G. Johnson, clerk. There 9 Churches, 42 baptisms
reported, of which 28 are at Manchester where L. M. Whiting is still
pastor. Total membership 682. The Convention Minutes this year
report ten Churches and 700 members. Rev. James Hill has closed a
five years’ pastorate at Cascade, and Rev. J. Bodenham is his
successor. Dubuque has made progress. The value of Church property
is now estimated at $21,000. The pastor having been absent about
three-fourths of the year, the pulpit has been acceptably supplied
by Brethren Millard and Skemp. Pastor Keith has resigned at
Maquoketa to accept a call at Waverly. The Church at Maquoketa has
paid a debt of $500.
1879. Met at Epworth September 12. Sermon
by Rev. L. M. Whiting, Rev. T. S. Crandall Moderator, Prof C. S.
Chapman clerk. Churches 8, baptisms 29, members 680. Of the baptisms
16 were at Dubuque, where Allen Curr has been succeeded in the
pastorate by Rev. C. H. Kimball. Rev. T. S. Crandall has settled at
Maquoketa. Dubuque is greatly embarrassed by debt and her property
endangered. A memorial to the State Convention, to meet at Dubuque
in October, pleads earnestly for some method of deliverance to be
devised for this Church. It may not be too much to say that, to all
human appearance, the interposition of the State Convention and Home
Mission Society in the fall of 1879 saved the Dubuque Church from
ruin. As we now write, 1886, the Church is out of debt,
self-sustaining and prosperous. Probably no Church in Iowa of its
relative strength has made a better record, raised more money, nor
by greater devotion and personal sacrifice, and at the same time
been more blessed in its spiritual work than the Dubuque Church
during the last six years.
In 1880 the Association met at Manchester.
Rev. H. D. Weaver was the preacher, Rev. James Hill Moderator, C. S.
Chapman clerk. Very little spiritual growth is reported, but there
is a hopeful spirit. Some progress has been made in removing debts
and financial burdens. Rev. J. B. Thomas has begun the work in
Dubuque, and starts the imperrilled interest there upon the noble
effort the success of which is anticipated in a previous paragraph.
The financial record of the Association is a decided improvement
upon the past. There were reported for current expenses $3,053,
against $1,941.52 last year. Grand total for all purposes $5,851.94,
against $2,967.30 last year. In 1881 Dubuque entertains the Annual
gathering. Rev. T. L. Crandall of Maquoketa delivered the annual
sermon. Rev. A. D. Abbott Moderator, C. S. Chapman clerk. Churches
8, baptisms 42, members 619. Five of the 8 Churches share in
baptisms. Dubuque with 14 and Manchester with 18 are the most
fortunate. The financial record is still improving. Pastors Weaver
and Bodenham have resigned and leave the Association, the former to
take charge at the Church at Ames, Iowa. Rev. A. D. Abbott is pastor
at Delhi and Delaware Centre. D. Howard Hall of Dubuque is preaching
both this year and last at Epworth.
1882. Met at Delaware Centre. Rev. F.
Bower, of Jessup, was the annual preacher. Rev. Wm. Aitchison was
elected Moderator, and Mrs. S. E. Harger, of Delhi clerk. The
Independence and Jessup Churches, from the Cedar Valley Association,
and the Winterset Church, from the Linn, were received into this
body, with an agment of strength that must greatly encourage the
members of the Association. There are now 11 churches with, 829
members, of whom 38 have been baptized within the year. The pastors
of the three added churches are, Rev. C. F. Hahn, Independence, Rev.
F. Bower, Jessup and Rev. John Couch, Winthrop. Rev. L. M. Whiting
has closed at Manchester, seven years of devoted and
self-sacrificing toil in this Association, that will not be easily
replaced. Rev. W. E. Walker is his successor. Brother Wm. Aitchison
has again been called to the pastorate at Cascade. Pastor Thomas, at
Dubuque, reports encouragement. They are grappling manfully with
almost insurmountable difficulties.
1883. Independence entertains her newly
adopted sister churches in Association this year. Rev. Wm. Aitchison
preached the annual sermon, and was again called to preside. Rev. C.
E. Higgins, the new pastor at Independence, is clerk. The Dubuque
Baptist Association, after a long and heroic struggle to hold the
fort, and to lay permanent foundations, seems now to see the day of
prosperity set over against the day of adversity. Over 100 additions
are reported, 64 of them by baptism. The financial record is far in
advance; $12,078.26 are reported for all purposes. Cascade are
building a new meeting house, and have expended over $4000.00. They
are also building the spiritual house; 18 have been added by
baptism. Dubuque reports 39 baptism. Epworth and Maquoketa are
without pastors. Brother Hall having ceased his labors at Epworth
the 1st of July, and Brother Crandall having closed a
four years’ useful pastorate at Maquoketa. Brother Hahn has given
place to C. E. Higgins, at Independence, and J. W. Allen has
succeeded Brother Couch at Winthrup.
1884. Met at Cascade. Sermon by J. W.
Allen, J. B. Thomas Moderator and C. E. Higgins, clerk. Churches 11;
pastors 8; baptisms 79; membership890. The largest membership since
the organization of the Turkey River Association, 25 years ago. The
Churches all, or nearly all, seem to be in a healthy condition, and
give promise of continued usefulness and prosperity. In 1885 the
Association met for it’s Thirty-first Anniversary at Maquoketa. The
annual sermon was preached by Rev. C. E. Higgins; Moderator and
clerk the same as last year. Eleven Churches, 24 baptisms and 889
members. Rev. George Houghton has become pastor at Delaware Centre
and Epworth. Rev. J. W. Hough, at Maquoketa, and Rev. J. Y.
Aitchison, D. D., at Manchester.
In 1886 – baptisms 74; members 910.
Foreign missions $288.39; state missions $240.13; total local
expenses $8,090.16; denominational benevolence $810.38; grand total
for all purposes $8.900.64. On July 4th the Dubuque
Church celebrated their own independence from debt with the National
Independence, by publicly burning the notes, mortgages, etc. which
had constituted the evidences of indebtedness against them. Rev. R.
J. Langridge has become pastor at Maquoketa. Rev. James Hill, of
Cascade, who has been preaching at the Little Church at Worthington
nearly or quite ever since its organization in 1861, has baptized
five there this year, and they report ten members. This is a
remarkable instance of fidelity and vitality.
Rev. J. W. Beatty is pastor at Cascade, O.
W. Catlin at Jessup, Wm. Swinden at Manchester, succeeding Rev. J.
Y. Aitchison, D. D., who resigned on account of poor health. Rev.
C. E. Higgins resigned at Independence to accept the appointment of
General Missionary. At this writing, Rev. D. N. Mason is supplying
the pulpit with great acceptance and hope of his returning to the
work to which he is so well adapted in the pulpit. He has been for a
few years engaged in teaching, for which work he has also special
There is perhaps, no part of Iowa that has
required greater fortitude and courageous faith to maintain the
cause of the Master during the whole 30 years of it’s history, than
that occupied by the Dubuque Association, and in none have these
qualities been more fully evinced. The largest number of churches
reported any one year has been 25, and the smallest number 8. There
were 25 churches in 1860, before the Organization of the Turkey
River Association, and in 1878 and 1879 only 8, which number has
been increased to 11. The number of members since 1860 has ranged
from 550, in 1864, to 910 in 1886. Only twice has the membership
reached 1,000, and that in 1859 and 1860, and only two years the
number of baptisms has reached 100, and that was in 1858 and 1850.