MELVIN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
Beginning in September, 1910, with services morning and evening in the
school house, the Methodist Episcopal meetings at Melvin were so well
attended, it soon became evident that a larger room was needed to
accommodate the growing congregation. The German Reform church people
kindly threw open their church doors for the Methodist Episcopal
services until they could erect a building of their own. On the
twentieth day of November, 1910, twenty-one people of Melvin and
vicinity united to form a Methodist Episcopal church and on January 6,
1911, a church meeting was called, when it was decided to organize
immediately a committee to solicit funds for a church building at
Melvin. It soon became evident that it would be safe to proceed with a
building. J. A. Smith, A. Tadd, W. V. Wilcox, G. A. Romey and L. P.
Gontjes were appointed as a building committee. John Olson, of Rock
Rapids, was given the contract for the basement, while W. A. Fairbrother
was assigned the contract for the frame structure.
On June 29, 1911, five men with teams, spades and scrapers began the
excavation for the basement while three others hauled sand. A large
amount of work was donated by friends, thus saving considerable expense.
The building committee did its work so thoroughly that on December 17,
1911, the church was ready for dedication with only about nine hundred
dollars to raise to free it from debt. The cost of the building was
about four thousand five hundred dollars. The following amounts had been
raised: General subscription, $2,320; the Ladies Aid Society, $600; the
Methodist Episcopal church extension fund, $300; cash on hand arid
pledged, $400; total, $3,620. On dedication day the morning service was
conducted by Doctor Craig, president of Morningside College. There was a
musical program in the afternoon at which Rev. F. F. Travis gave a short
address. At this afternoon service a quartette of singers from Sibley,
consisting of Mrs. Harvey, Miss Dinsmore, Mr. Meyers and Mr. Reagan,
gave some fine music. Rev. Dr. J. L. Gillies, district superintendent,
took charge of the evening service, which was given over largely to
raising the balance of the money necessary to free the church from debt.
Dr. Gillies proved to be a good general and the required amount was
pledged. A very interesting feature was reserved for the closing meeting
of the day. Rev. John A. Smith and Louisa E. Coats, in the presence of
the large congregation, in a solemn and impressive manner, were made
husband and wife. Reverend Doctor Gillies officiating.
In the fall of 1912, Rev. J. A. Smith was stationed at Royal, Iowa, and
Rev. Z. V. Arthur was appointed to take his place at Melvin. Owing to
Mrs. Arthur's illness, both pastor and wife left Melvin in May, 1913,
for Ohio. For several months thereafter the church was without a pastor
and' then Rev. A. Dyson was appointed to fill out the year. At the'
conference held at Webster City, Iowa, October, 1913, Rev. J. A. Smith
was appointed to take up the work at Melvin and he is still in active
charge. The organization of the church includes a Sunday school,
numbering seventy scholars; an efficient Ladies Aid Society of
thirty-seven members; senior and junior boys' clubs and a Young People's
Christian Endeavor Society. The membership of the church is constantly
increasing and the outlook of the future is hopeful. A commodious
parsonage is to be erected during this summer of 1914.
From the 1914 Past
and Present of O'Brien and Osceola Counties