PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF SIBLEY
About a quarter
of a century ago Germans from eastern United States began to move
westward and settle in the northwestern portion of Iowa and South
Dakota. Among these early settlers missionaries were very active. Rev.
J. E. Drake, the official missionary, Rev. H. Wortmann and other local
pastors of the German Presbyterian church, through their unabating
activity and the Grace of God, were instrumental in organizing churches
among the German speaking people of the Northwest.
During the year of 1892 missionary work was begun among the Germans of
Sibley and vicinity. At first preaching services were conducted in the
court house; later in the Baptist and the old St. John's Episcopal
church. In 1896 the present church building was purchased from the
Methodists. Two lots, 11 and 12, in block 30, in the town of Sibley,
were secured from the Iowa Land Company on which the present church
building is situated. The congregation also owns a seven-room manse,
situated on lots 5 and 6, in block 9, in Chase's addition to Sibley. The
entire valuation of the church property is eight thousand dollars, free
from debt. Last year the entire church building was equipped with a
spacious basement and a new heating system. The church on the inside has
lately been decorated by the Ladies' Aid Society.
After the organization had been effected in 1895 and incorporated under
the laws of Iowa, it was received under the care of the presbytery of
Sioux City and synod of Iowa, and so remained until it was transferred
to the presbytery of George and the German synod of the Northwest. Names
prominent among the charter members are: Oscar Schmidt, Krine Deuth,
Cornelius Jensen, Min Schouhoven and Claas Huffmann. Ruling elders,
deacons and a board of trustees constitute the official staff. Rev.
Aiken Kruse served as the first local pastor of the newly organized
church. He was succeeded by Rev. L. Figge, Rev. E. B. Grancko and Rev.
J. Schaelde. For a while during the year of 1904 the church was without
a pastor. Missionary E. Boell had charge of the field for a while until
Rev. A. Proett became its regular pastor in the year 1905. About thirty
new members were added to the church during his pastorate of five years.
In the spring of 1910 the present pastor, Rev. Oltman B. Oltmans, was
called and is still serving the church.
The church now has a total membership of forty communicants. About fifty
families are associated with the church, representing about three
hundred individuals. The Ladies' Aid, missionary societies and the
Sunday school are the only organizations connected with the church. The
Ladies' Aid Society has a membership of eighteen and the Sunday school
an enrollment of eighty members.
From the 1914 Past and Present of O'Brien and Osceola