"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"
Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others.
Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill.
787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three
counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.
Chapter 16: RHINELANDER, THE COUNTY SEAT
Part 2 of 3
St. Mary's Hospital, one of the most important institutions in Oneida County, may be said to have had its origin over 30 years ago when Doctors Daniels and McIndoe started a hospital in Rhinelander, which they conducted for several years in the house now owned and occupied by Adam F. Schliesman at No. 103 King Street, west of St. Mary's Church. They then sold their interests in it to the Sisters of the Dolorous Mother, who came to Rhinelander and in 1895 erected what is now the south part of the building, and the latter have since remained in charge of the institution.
Several years ago it was realized that the hospital was no longer adequate to existing needs, it being too small to well serve the city or to be self-supporting. A movement was therefore started to secure funds for an extensive addition. A committee of prominent citizens was formed, including people of various religious denominations-among them one or more Protestant ministers-and a campaign of personal solicitation was inaugurated, the Sisters agreeing to put into the fund a sum equal to that which should be collected. The amount raised by the campaign was $13,000, in addition to which the Red Cross Society donated $2,000. The county of Oneida also voted $20,000 on a contract with the hospital, operative for a certain period of time, to take care of such county poor as should need hospital care. Work on the addition was started in October, 1922, it being necessary to buy additional land for the site, and the addition was finished April 1, 1923, it being built on to the original hospital so that the two should form one building with full interior communication. The cost of the addition amounted approximately to $115,000, or some $40,000 more than had been originally intended, but the institution is now one of the most modern and best equipped in the state. Professional service is furnished by the local physicians and surgeons.
The Rhinelander Free Public Library.-The first attempt to establish a public library in Rhinelander was made in 1897 by the Rev. Joseph H. Chandler. It soon evolved into a subscription library, but on December 20, 1897, a library board was organized consisting of G. H. Kemp, S. S. Miller, F. S. Hyer, C. F. Barnes, J. Klumb, Mrs. W. E. Brown, Mrs. E. O. Brown, Mrs. J. C. Wixson and Mrs. John Barnes. For about two years previous to this, a reading-room with a few books had been maintained by private enterprise. These books were donated to the public library in January, 1898, and formed the nucleus of the present collection. As the result of the board meeting above mentioned, the free public library was opened March 1, that year, in charge of Miss Inez Van Tassel, in Room 10, Merchants State Bank Building. Miss Van Tassel remained librarian until March, 1900, when she was succeeded by Erna Kueht, who served as such until April 15, 1902. Miss Kueht's successor was Mary A. Smith, who took charge on April 24, that year. In July and August 1900, the library had been reorganized under the Dewey system, with card catalogs, by Miss Julia K. Gregory, Mrs. A. W. Shelton and Miss Mary A. Smith. There was no endowment, but the tax appropriations up to June 1904, amounted to $5,400; fines and loan desk receipts, $137.37; gifts, $34.23. From the day it had opened it had proved a popular institution, the records showing that between 400 and 500 books were drawn the first month. For the first year's work the council placed $300 to the library's credit and for the second $500. As these funds allowed books were added and the work increased. Meanwhile libraries all over the state were forsaking the ways of the past. Even small libraries were found to be most profitably and most economically managed when conducted in accordance with the best up to date library science. So August, 1900, saw the library undergoing reorganization under the direction of Julia K. Gregory. From this it emerged classified and catalogued in modern fashion under Miss Erna Kueht as librarian. Again the public showed their approval, so that in one month of the next 18 the circulation reached 976, with an average of 669. For nearly seven months during the winter of 1901-02 the library was closed on account of infectious diseases. In April 1902, several changes were made; Miss Mary A. Smith was elected librarian and the library was opened daily instead of three days a week as before. The city council in October, 1902, increased the appropriation to $800 and in October, 1902, to $1,000. This increase enabled the work to be enlarged, but the rooms in the Merchants State Bank building were too small to accommodate the books and the people wished to have a reading-room. Several citizens had asked Mr. Andrew Carnegie to remember Rhinelander, as he had various Wisconsin cities, with a gift for a library building. On July 2, 1902, Mrs. Carnegie wrote Mrs. A. W. Shelton, secretary of the library board, that he would give Rhinelander $12,500 for a library building on the usual conditions he made with his gifts. On January 6, 1903, the Brown Bros.' Lumber Co. offered the site, the Woman's Club pledged $1,500 for furnishing, the council passed an ordinance making an annual appropriation of $1,500, and the library board accepted Mr. Carnegie's gift. On January 7, Mrs. Shelton wrote Mr. Carnegie of the action taken on receipt of his letter and expressed the hope that he might increase his gift to $15,000. In reply Mr. Carnegie said that he did not see his way clear to make the increase. January 30, 1903, Van Ryn & De Gelleke of Milwaukee were selected as architects of the building. On July 2 bids were opened and the general contract let to C. F. Ballman of Antigo. As the total cost promised to go beyond the amount at hand, Mr. Carnegie was again asked to increase his gift, letters being sent by S. S. Miller, president of the library board, and by Congressman W. E. Brown. In reply to Mr. Brown Mr. Carnegie offered to make his gift $15,000. This was a very welcome addition, as it enabled the board to complete the building and grounds satisfactorily. On August 7, the first trees were felled in the grove covering the lots given. At the time of the laying of the comer stone the library board was composed of S. S. Miller, president; Mrs. E. O. Brown, vice president; Mrs. A. W. Shelton, secretary; Mr. W. H. Gilligan, F. A. Lowell, Mrs. John Barnes and Mrs. F. L. Hinman. In designing the building the architects had followed the renaissance style. Its ground dimensions are 68 by 53 feet and it contains 11 rooms. In September 1903, 1,072 people were registered at the library out of a population of 6,000 and the library contained 2,500 books and pamphlets. Miss Mary A. Smith's term as librarian ended in September 1905 and Miss Mary Bevans succeeded her, serving from October, that year, to May 1907. Miss Ada McCarthy, the next librarian, served from May 1907, to December 1909, and was immediately succeeded by Miss Harriet L. Alien, who remained in charge until May 1914. Miss Allen's successor was the present librarian, Miss Jessie W. Bingham, who commenced her duties as such on August 1, 1914. Since September 15, 1922, she has been assisted by Miss Margaret Gleason. The library not being an endowed institution, the city council annually makes an appropriation for its support, the minimum amount being $1,500, or ten percent of the amount of the Carnegie fund, but sometimes a larger sum is appropriated, according to necessities. The number of books and bound periodicals now in the library (April 1923) is 8,500; pamphlets 650. There are about 3,500 borrowers, adults and children.
The early establishment of a weekly newspaper in Rhinelander-the New North -by Charles F. Barnes, the first issue of which appeared on Thursday, Dec. 7, 1882, has been already mentioned. After conducting the paper for a few years Mr. Barnes in March, 1886, sold it to George W. Bishop and Walter W. Pollock, who were publishing it in 1888 and for a year or two longer as a Republican weekly. Then W. C. Ogden succeeded Mr. Pollock as Mr. Bishop's partner. In 1894 Mr. Bishop became the sole owner of the paper and it was published by him under the name of the Rhinelander Printing Company until his death in May, 1904. During Mr. Bishop's ownership, after he had purchased his partner Ogden's interest, the paper began to be recognized in a political way by the then Stalwart wing of the Republican Party in the state. Bishop was a strong supporter of Major Scofield, governor of Wisconsin, who created the Wisconsin State Board of Immigration and appointed Bishop its first secretary, with offices in Rhinelander. Prior to this the Governor wished to appoint Mr. Bishop his private secretary, but the latter's friends disapproved his acceptance of the position. The New North brought out the candidacy of W. H. Mylrae, of Wausau, Wis., for attorney general of the state and he was elected to that office. An auxiliary membership in the Wisconsin State Board of Control was created at Madison and George W. Bishop was appointed by the Governor to fill the new office, which he accepted. He became the active member of the board, well liked by all, and after a few months was elected to the vice-presidency of that body. He resigned his membership after the advent of Governor LaFollette. The New North was then purchased of the Bishop estate by Park & Co., with F. A. Lowell as the principal member of the concern. For some years Harry E. Slossen has been acting editor but Mr. Lowell also takes an active part in the management and editorial writing. The New North has retained its original name and for a newspaper in a town the size of Rhinelander has passed through comparatively few hands. It is ably conducted and has a large subscription list.
The Rhinelander Herald, a former newspaper of this city, was started in Merrill, Wis., as the West Merrill Herald, and was removed to Rhinelander in June, 1886, its name being then changed to the Oneida County Herald and its politics from Republican to Democratic. It was published Saturdays by D. S. Johnson till April, 1891; then for one year by Mr. Johnson and George M. Patchen. In April, 1892, it was bought by Arthur W. Shelton. who formed the Herald Publishing Co., of which he was president and his wife. Mary Howe Shelton secretary. In the following year the Herald building was erected and in August (1893) the name of the paper was changed to the Rhinelander Herald. For a year James R. Howe was editor, after which Mr. Shelton assumed the editorial duties as well as the general management. He continued to perform them for some 15 years, or until September, 1908, when his health failed and he died Nov. 1, that year. He had been ably assisted in the management of the paper by his wife, who survived him until recently, dying in April, 1923. In June, 1909 the Herald was sold to Charles F. Barnes and Henry E. Osborne, who published it until August, 1912, when it was discontinued. They continued the job printing business, however, until February 6, 1918, when it was sold to H. L. Bushnell, the present proprietor.
The Rhinelander News is the successor of the Eagle River Vindicator, which was established in December, 1886, by P. F. O'Brien and was issued weekly by him until the fall of 1887. O. B. Moon then became the proprietor, who published it Saturdays as an independent sheet until July, 1890. He then sold it to Samuel Shaw, of Crandon, and bought out Dewar & McIntyre's interest in the Eagle River Review, which had been established by them in the previous month (June 7). Mr. Shaw at once moved the Vindicator to Rhinelander, where till about 1899 or 1890 it was published Wednesdays as a Republican paper by the Shaw Publishing Co. Then W. H. Trumbull became the publisher, who issued it as a Republican weekly (Republican on national issues but independent in local politics) until August 3, 1910. The Rhinelander Publishing Co. was then formed, the publication of the Vindicator dropped and the Rhinelander News issued in its place on Fridays as a Republican paper, the first editor and manager of the new sheet being Edward E. Payne. Three or four years later Mr. Payne was succeeded by Morris H. Barton, and in April 1917, the News was converted into a daily. While Mr. Barton was doing army service in the World War, G. B. Herrider was in temporary charge. On Mr. Barton's return he resumed the management and continued it till January 1, 1921, when the interests in the paper were taken over by William R. Jaeger, the present manager and publisher. The News is Republican in national politics.
First Congregational Church.-It was in the spring of 1883, in all probability, that Jackson Tibbets, lay worker, deacon and pioneer missionary, then of Antigo, preached the first sermon ever preached in Rhinelander. He seems to have continued with the Rhinelander people till the spring of 1885, when Rev. J. F. Guyton of Evanston, Ill., commenced work here as pastor. In the same year the house of worship was erected at a cost of $850, and was occupied for the first time on November 22. It was the first church edifice in town; its site the triangular piece of ground bounded by Alban, No. Anderson and Frederick streets. As yet the church has not been formally organized. It is probably that Mr. Guyton's period of supply closed in autumn and Deacon Tibbets again served the community till the following spring. On June 6, 1886, Dwight C. Stone of Connecticut, a Yale divinity student, began preaching at Rhinelander during his vacation, and in August that year the church was organized with eight members, among whom there was only one male, Arthur W. Shelton. After Mr. Stone had returned to college the church for two or three months was without a regular pastor. Early in the winter of 1886 Rev. Fred McCartney preached for a few Sundays. In January, 1887, Rev. A. A. Andridge began his pastorate and was virtually the first pastor of the church, those who came before him being technically "supplies." Yet their work was important. When the church was organized in 1886, Rhinelander was a village with an estimated population of about 1,200, and the services conducted by Mr. Stone were the only religious services in the town with the exceptional service by a Catholic clergyman from a neighboring village. Mr. Stone's parish, therefore, consisted of a thousand or more people. Mr. Andridge's pastorate probably terminated in January, 1888, and the Rev. William Blackwell began his regular pastorate here on May 1, 1888. The writer of a brief history of the church written in 1908 gave it as his opinion that when Mr. Blackwell came to Rhinelander he found a "loosely organized church, greatly weakened and discouraged." He immediately set about to improve and strengthen the organization. It then formally voted him a call. At a meeting of the members presided over by the pastor May 14, 1888, W. E. Brown, Sam S. Miller, George Jenkinson, J. M. Beals and L. J. Billings were chosen as directors for the ensuing year. G. W. Bishop was elected clerk of the board and Mrs. A. W. Shelton treasurer of the church. The subject of building a parsonage was discussed and it was resolved to circulate a subscription paper for such purpose. Three days later, at the first recorded meeting of the board of trustees, a proposition of Rev. William Blackwell to serve the church as pastor was accepted, the Ladies' Aid Society agreeing to give $100 toward the minister's salary. The parsonage was finished by August. On May 1, 1889, Rev. William Blackwell was re-engaged to act as pastor for another year. On Oct. 1, 1889, it was resolved by the board of trustees to sell the church premises to Clark & Faust for $1,200 and purchase Lot 6, Block 19 at same price. Thus the first house of worship erected in Rhinelander was sold to the above mentioned firm and converted into an electric lighting plant. Later it passed into possession of the Rhinelander Lumber & Coal Co. but still stands on the original site. Through the vigorous efforts of Rev. Mr. Blackwell the congregation had outgrown the original edifice and the site selected for a new church was the present one at the corner of Rives and Stevens streets. An entry dated Jan. 15, 1890, records the incorporation of the society, and at the same meeting a constitution was adopted and 55 persons were voted into membership. In April, 1890, Rev. Mr. Blackwell was invited to remain another year and accepted. Work on the new church was commenced about May, that year, and the building was dedicated Sunday, January 18, 1891, the Rev. William Crawford, D. D., preaching the sermon in the morning and Rev. T. G. Grassie that in the evening. By a strong effort the sum of $600 was raised towards paying the debt. Mr. Blackwell's pastorate terminated, it is believed, at the close of his third year as pastor, May 1, 1891. During that period much progress had been made; the new church had been built, the pastor's salary materially increased, and the congregation grown much larger, but there was a considerable debt which was not raised for six or seven years. Among the most faithful workers during the earlier years were Mrs. Sievwright, and Mrs. S. S. Miller. The next pastor was the Rev. John Humphreys, to whom a call was extended in July, 1891. He resigned in April, 1892, and was succeeded by Rev. William L. Bray, of Kenosha. In the following summer, Mr. Bray declined an invitation to serve for another year and the church had to look for another pastor. At this period there seems to have been an interval of two or three months between pastorates, the time being occupied in hearing candidates. In January, 1894, Rev. Joseph Hayes Chandler of St. Paul, Minn., was called and, having accepted, began his pastorate here in March. On October 16 and. 17, that year, the Rhinelander church entertained the autumn meeting of the Northeastern district convention, and in November there were union evangelistic services under the leadership of Rev. A. E. Burrows of Evanston, Ill. During the early 90's payments were made on the church debt from time to time and in 1895 a strenuous effort was made to lift it. In December, union gospel meetings were held, chiefly in the Congregational church. It is recorded that on March 1, 1896, the church ceased to be a missionary church and "determined to be from that time and henceforth self-supporting and independent." Gratitude was expressed by a resolution to the Home Missionary Society and Rev. T. G. Grassie, its superintendent in this field, for assistance rendered. In January, 1897, the resignation of Rev. Joseph H. Chandler was reluctantly accepted. On Feb. 11, that year, the amended constitution which had been adopted by the" Ecclesiastical Society of the First Congregational Church of Rhinelander" on Jan. 31, 1893, was rescinded and the society united with the church in adopting the Council Mannal as amended, revised and adopted by the church Feb. 4, 1897. The articles of incorporation were revised so that all property should be in the name of the church. On May 13, 1897, Rev. George H. Hemp of Maywood, 111., was installed pastor. During his pastorate 22 members were received into the church. He resigned in the fall of 1899 and was succeeded in December, 1899, by Rev. F. O. Hellier, Ph. D., who served until Sept. 1, 1900. The Rev. Alfred G. Wilson, from Janesville, Wis., was the next pastor, assuming his duties as such Jan. 1, 1901. During the first year of his pastorate a $1500 pipe organ was installed, the parsonage was enlarged and other improvements made. Mr. Wilson's pastorate proved highly satisfactory. He was repeatedly reelected, his salary being twice increased, and served in all six years, or until Feb. 1, 1907. In March a call was extended to Rev. Charles L. Hocking of the Methodist Episcopal church, who accepted and he served until March, 1908. His successor was Rev. Grant V. Clark of Tomahawk, who served from June, 1908 to January, 1915. In the summer of 1908 the church was remodeled and on Nov. 22 rededicated. After Rev. Mr. Clark left the pulpit was supplied for four months by Rev. A. F. Newcomb. Then Rev. Walter C. Heyl was pastor from September, 1915 to May, 1917. He was succeeded by the present pastor, Rev. Charles W. Hicks, June 1, 1917. The church membership now numbers 260, with an attendance of 135 to 150; the Sunday school enrollment is 175. The active societies are the Ladies' Aid, the Priscilla Society, the Women's Missionary Society, the Men's Club, organized four years ago, and the Christian Endeavor Society.
The Methodist Episcopal Society of Rhinelander, Wis., was organized in May, 1887, Rev. Geo. W. Verity having been put on the ground by Rev. J D. Cole, presiding elder of the Appleton District of the Wisconsin Conference. The society worshiped in Good Templar hall on Brown Street. A Sunday school was organized and the Rev. Verity was elected superintendent. In the spring of 1888 the society desired to erect a house of worship. The presiding elder looked the ground over and decided to enter into permanent work. The lot where the church now stands was purchased of Brown' Bros. for $300, the Ladies of the Aid Society agreeing to pay $150 of this amount. Bros. C. A. Walker, C. J Davis, A. McRae, J W. McCormick and E. C. Vessey were elected trustees. Plans and specifications were obtained from Mr. Price, architect of the Church Extension Society of the M. E. Church. Class A of No. 28 Extension plans was adopted. The board proceeded to work and allotted the contract to Raber Bros. of Waupaca, Wis., the sum of $1,850 being the amount agreed upon for the material and work of erection. After the work was commenced it was found advisable to make some changes in the original plans, increasing the cost from $1,850 to $2,105. The work was completed and accepted by the board. The building was dedicated Oct. 15, 1888, Rev. C. B. Wilcox of the First M. E. Church of Oshkosh, Wis., preaching the dedicatory sermon at 11 o'clock A. M. At three o'clock P. M. services were again held and the sermon was preached by Walter D. Cole, son of the presiding elder. In the evening services were conducted by Rev. J. D. Cole, and a sermon preached by Rev. C. B. Wilcox. At the morning and evening services the sum of $350 was raised on the subscription, one-half of same to be paid in six months and one-half in 12 months. Conference convened at Racine, Wis., Sept. 22, 1888, and Brother Verity was sent to Simpson Chapel, Milwaukee, Wis., and Rev. Geo. Merrifield was sent to Rhinelander. However, through a mistake of the Bishop, Brother Merrifield was not transferred to the Wisconsin Conference, but to the West Wisconsin Conference. This left Rhinelander without a pastor. After some time Brother Cole secured J. D. Kenestrich, of Indiana, as a supply. Dr. Kenestrich came on the ground in November, under considerable embarrassment, as he was a young and inexperienced man and the society was heavily in debt. Work was recommenced and pushed as fast as possible during the year. At the annual session of the conference in Beaver Dam, Wis., Dr. Kenestrich was returned to the work and with this commenced a more prosperous year. Dr. Kenestrich remained until the fall of 1890. In the latter year and also in 1891 and 1895, the name of Thomas Walker appears on the records as officiating in pastoral offices. He seems to have been an occasional supply, for those years seems to have been covered, for the most part at least, by regular pastors. The Rev. D. C. Savage succeeded the Rev. Mr. Kenestrich in the fall of 1890, apparently without an interregnum, for according to an item in the "New North," issue of Dec. 14, 1892, Mr. Savage was then "serving in his third year." The paper further said that he was" doing good work, the membership having increased under his charge from 22 to 70 and a debt of $700 having been raised." With respect to the successors of Mr. Savage, as the month and day when each began and ended his pastorage has not been ascertained, except in one or two cases, the respective periods are given by figures indicating the years only. His immediate successor was Rev. S. A. Sheard, who assumed his duties as pastor here in December, 1895. The next pastor, Rev. Robert S. Ingraham, took charge in November, 1897. In the order of succession, Rev. Morley S. Pettit served one year, 1899-1900; Rev. Edward O. Bullock one year, 1900-1901; Rev. Herbert T. Wiltse five years, 1902-1906; Rev. Richard Evans two years, 1906-1907; Rev. S. J. Tink two years, 1908-1909; Rev. Carl F. M. Ludwig one year, 1909-1910; Rev. B. C. Clemens five years, 1911-1915; Rev. C. J. Messenger one year, 1916; Rev. William Wilson four years, 1917-1921; Rev. Hugh A. Misdall, September, 1921 to the present time. About 15 years ago the building was remodeled, enlarged and greatly improved, the memorial windows being put in and an organ installed. The church now has a membership of 300 or more, the Sunday school enrollment being 260; that of the Ladies' Aid Society is 90, the Epworth Leage 35, Cradle Roll 40, Woman's Foreign Missionary Society 40, Girls' Club 20. The boys have an Athletic Club and in 1923 the basket ball team won the challenge cup at the inter-state tournament.
St. Mary's Catholic Church, Rhinelander, was organized in 1883 by Father N. Buschle of Antigo, who preached the first Catholic sermon in the village. The early meetings of the society were held in the house of Thomas McDennott, in a room over Joslyn & Chafee's livery stable and in other places. For several years, in addition to Father Buschle, St. Mary's was occasionally visited by Fathers John Seubert and P. Lochman of Clintonville, and W. Takken (Dean) of Antigo, the last mentioned coming here in 1886 and being in practical charge of the church until 1888, when he was succeeded by Rev. N. July, who was the first resident priest. Under his administration a church edifice was completed in 1888. It was of frame construction, 60 by 48 feet in ground dimensions and had a spacious sacristy, which served for some time as a parsonage. At that time the congregation of St. Mary's numbered about 50 families, between whom and the missions at Tomahawk, Parrish, Harrison, Monico, Eagle River and Minocqua Father July divided his time. In 1889 a new parish was formed, of which Tomahawk became the headquarters. Of this parish the Rev. Charles Hoogstoel was appointed rector, with Parrish, Harrison and Minocqua as missions. Eagle River and Monico remained as before and were attended from Rhinelander. In 1892 Father July built a commodious parsonage at a cost of $3,000 and furnished it throughout with the most desirable and modern improvements, the old parsonage being used as a sacristy and winter chapel. On account of ill health Father July resigned in February, 1894, and was succeeded by the Rev. A. A. Gagnon, a Canadian priest, who remained, however, but a short time, being transferred to Rosiere on July 26 of the following year. He was succeeded as pastor of St. Mary's by the Rev. Father Van Roosmalen, who built an addition of 30 feet to the church, added a tower, and also renovated the building throughout at a cost of $3,400. On June 30, 1896, Father Van Roosmalen went to Sturgeon Bay, being succeeded at Rhinelander by the Rev. B. Hugenroth, who came here from Clintonville, having been appointed to St. Mary's in July, 1897. At that time the congregation, which had grown considerably, numbered some 200 families of various nationalities, and there were several societies more or less closely connected with the church, including the Catholic Knights of Wisconsin, the Catholic Order of Foresters, the Sacred Heart Society and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Three years later, on Sunday, July 29, 1900, the congregation suffered a disaster, St. Mary's church being reduced to ashes. It was early in the morning, before 4:00 o'clock, that the rear of the church was discovered to be in flames. The fire department turned its attention to saving the parsonage and adjacent property. Father P. Schmitz had then been in charge for nearly nine months, having come to the parish Nov. 2, 1899. He had succeeded in obliterating an indebtedness of $3,800 on the church edifice, and new pews had been placed in the church the day before the fire. The edifice had cost the congregation about $13,000. It contained a handsome altar, which cost $1,000, also beautiful statues. The foundation walls were all that was saved. The insurance was only $4,000. In March that year (1900) it had been rumored that St. Mary's congregation would soon build a parochial school, an addition to the parish for which Father Schmitz was working hard, and in spite of the fire the work on the school went on and it was dedicated on Nov. 18, 1900. It is a large and commodious building, situated in the rear of the church to the north, and having ground dimensions of 82 feet front by 94 feet in depth, with a basement under the entire building. It is under charge of the Franciscan Sisters with headquarters at Manitowoc, Wis. After the fire Father Schmitz took energetic steps to erect a new edifice, with the result that the present large and handsome building was completed and was dedicated in December of the same year. On July 23, 1905, Father Schmitz was succeeded by the Rev. Francis Luettschwager, who was in charge of the parish until April 10, 1907, being transferred to Neenah-Menasha, where he died in November, 1914. Father Luettschwager was succeeded in Rhinelander by Rev. Joseph Hoeflinger, who was pastor of St. Mary's from April, 1907, to June 30, of the same year. The next pastor was the Rev. Dr. Stephen Leinfelder, who served the Rhinelander parish from July, 1907 to November, 1914. During his pastorate, in the summer of 1910, a cyclone swept over a considerable part of the city, doing much damage to the church building, and in the summer of 1911 lightning struck the church, causing much damage. The Rev. Dr. Leinfelder was incapacitated for his work for a considerable time due to a long and severe illness, and died Nov. 10, 1914. While pastor he organized the Daughters of Faith to help the church financially, a society that is still flourishing. After his death the Rev. Edmund Savageau was administrator of the congregation until a successor was appointed in the person of Rev. Anthony Wuchter, who took charge in the latter part of January, 1915. Father Wuchter's successor was the Rev. Walter Beaudette, who assumed charge in October the same year. Father Beaudette having resigned his charge in September, 1917, to become chaplain during the World War, was succeeded by Rev. Basil Didier, C. PP. S., who assumed charge October 28,1917, and remained until the present pastor, the Rev. Francis Bertram (formerly secretary to the Rt. Rev. Bishop Koudelka of Superior, Wis.,) took charge in July, 1918. During Father Didier's administration St. Mary's League was organized, an active and energetic society whose purpose is to help the parochial school financially. Under the administration of Father Bertram, the present pastor, the church building has been thoroughly renovated, a spacious and modern residence for the School Sisters has been purchased, and, in September, 1919, a local council of Knights of Columbus organized, which now has about 200 members. The parish now contains 400 families or 1,500 souls. No missions are now connected with it.
St. Joseph's Catholic Church (Polish), Rhinelander, was organized Feb. 21, 1909, with 65 families, and with Rev. Paul Raczoszek as the first pastor, who remained here three and a half years. The church edifice, on Stevens near Rives Street, was purchased from the Free Methodists and has since been improved. Father Raczoszek was succeeded by Rev. Cost Frydrychowacz, who served for seven months only, as he was old and sick and soon had to go to a hospital, where he died. His successor was the present pastor, Rev. Walter Kalandyk, who assumed the duties of the pastorate Jan. 6, 1914. The congregation now (April, 1923) includes about 50 families, some of the former members having died or moved away. The present pastor also cares for several missions, being assisted in this work by the Reverend Chaplain of St. Mary's Hospital. These are: St. Cunegunda's at Robbins; St. Theresa's at Three Lakes; and St. Mary's at Jennings. At Rhinelander services are held every Sunday, while at Robbins and Three Lakes they are held twice a month, and at Jennings once a month. The societies connected with St. Joseph's at Rhinelander are St. Joseph's and the Holy Rosary.
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Synodical Conference of North America. The first services of this congregation of Rhinelander were held in the home of a member by Rev. John Koehler (now president of the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Wauwatosa, Wis.) in the year 1885. Rhinelander was made the center of the Milwaukee, Lake Shore & Western mission field, which now comprises 19 congregations, 20 mission stations and ten pastors. The Rhinelander congregation built and dedicated their first church edifice in 1888 on what is now Mason Street. This church was burned down in the big fire, which occurred Oct. 4, 1905, but in the same year the congregation built the present frame church building at No. 27 North Stevens Street, at a cost of about $4,000. Though the congregation was organized as a church in 1888, it was not incorporated until Sept. 22, 1890. Among the signers of the act of incorporated were Rev. John DeJung, Andreas Mohr, Fred Weber and Carl Peter, the last mentioned of whom was the first secretary. In 1892 the congregation numbered 16 families. The first pastor of the church was Rev. K. F. Rutzen who served in 1887. His successors have been: Rev. John DeJung, 1889-1897 (now living at Rice Lake, Wis., and 85 years old); who, however, was assistant only from 1896 to 1897; Rev. John DeJung, Jr., 1896-1921, who was forced to resign after 25 years of service on account of ill health; and Rev. H. W. Schmitt, who assumed the charge in November, 1921, and is still pastor (May, 1923). The parsonage at No. 19 Frederick Street, comer of Brown, and near the church, was bought March 23, 1923. The church has now about 500 souls or 140 voting members, and there is a Sunday school enrollment of 112 with eight teachers. The present board of trustees consists of Dr. Louis Dorpat, president; William Kupper, secretary; Paul Abendroth, financial secretary; Henry Roepcke, treasurer; Herman Greunke and Charles Guenther. August Zehms was an early member and' served as treasurer many years. Robert Luethy was secretary of the congregation from 1902, to 1923. There are two active societies connected with the church; the Ladies' Aid Society of 46 members, the Walther League Senior, of over 40 members and the Junior Society of over 20 members. There is also a choir of 20 voices, of which Dr. L. Dorpat is the director.
Immanuel Lutheran Church, formerly known as the Swedish Immanuel. or Swedish Lutheran. Church, originated in a Scandinavian church society formed in June 1890, by Rev. T. H. Wahl from Menominee, Mich. The society was composed of Swedes, Norwegians and Danes and erected a small frame church at the comer of Mason and Alban streets. But linguistic differences were an obstacle to the permanence of the society and in a year or two a separation was found advisable. The Danes and Norwegians, who could understand each other's language better than either could understand Swedish, accordingly withdrew in July, 1891. And built a church of their own now known as Trinity Evangelical Lutheran, the Swedes retaining the original building. The separate Swedish organization was effected Sept. 7, 1891, and by December, 1892, the congregation numbered 20 families and there were 25 children in the Sunday school. A theological student, Carl A. Rosender, for a while served the infant church as pastor, which he also did later at intervals after being graduated from Augustana College and Theological Seminary at Rock Island, Ill. For several years while he was away the church had to depend on theological students to fill the pulpit. The Rev. J. W. Johnson, who came in 1901 and remained until 1904, may be called the first resident pastor, and for several years after he left the church had to depend again on supplies. In 1908 the Rev. O. A. Landell became pastor and remained one year. Then the pulpit was supplied by visiting ministers until 1914, when the congregation secured the services of Rev. C. A. Silversten, who served until the fall of 1920. He was succeeded by Rev. Walter Lindberg, who remained 13 months. On Aug. 1, 1922 the Rev. E.J.Alstatt came here as pastor and is still serving; he also serves a church at Conover. Immanuel Lutheran Church now has 135 communicants and the Sunday school has an enrollment of 40. The active societies are the Ladies' Aid and the Luther League. Plans are now being considered for the erection of a new brick church building at the corner of North Brown and Edgar streets.
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rhinelander, was organized July 15, 1891, as the Norwegian-Danish Lutheran Church. A Scandinavian church had been organized in Rhinelander on June 4, 1890, by Rev. T. H. Wahl from Menominee, Mich., and soon after steps were taken to erect a building, which was completed in the following year at a cost of $1100, and is the same which now stands at the corner of Mason and Alban streets. The first services were held by Rev. Mr. Wahl in 1890 and for a while the Swedes, Danes and Norwegians worshipped together. But the difference in the languages made union services somewhat difficult and inconvenient and a separation was deemed advisable. This was made July 15, 1891, a new congregation composed of Danes and Norwegians being organized by the Rev. M. Mickelson and Rev. J. Ellestad, and with Edw. Johnson, S. Hansley, Chas. Lokken, S. N. Thompson, H. A. Knudson, John Nysted, Hans Anderson, C. R. Hansen, Christ Hansley, John Swanson and Carl Follstad as charter members. Until the following year the new congregation, which had taken the name of the Norwegian-Danish Lutheran Church, worshipped in Zion Lutheran Church (German), the Swedes having retained the original building, but in 1892 the new congregation erected a frame building of their own at the corner of Eagle and Pearl streets. Soon also, as a body, they became a member of the United Norwegian Lutheran Church of America. In a great fire, which occurred Oct. 4, 1905, the church edifice was destroyed, but steps were immediately taken to replace it and by the fall of 1906 the present frame building was completed. Since the beginning the church has had in all six regular pastors: Rev. M. Mickelson, 1891-1893; Rev. J. A. Lofthus, 1894-1896; Rev. J. B. Reinertson, 1896-1901; Rev. W. G. Knudson, 1901-1909; Rev. J. A. Snartemo, 1910 to November, 1922, and Rev. A. Lavaas, the present pastor, who assumed charge here in January, 1923. The congregation has increased in membership from 45 in 1891 to about 300 in 1922. Since the organization of the church the English language has been used to about the same extent as the Norwegian, and in the present year (1923) the plan is followed of alternating the two languages, on one Sunday holding the morning service in English and the evening in Norwegian, while on the following Sunday the morning service is in Norwegian and the evening in English. The Sunday school is conducted in English and the present enrollment is about 75. There are several active societies connected with the church, including the Ladies' Aid, Young Peoples' Luther League, Trinity Junior League and the Sunbeams, the last mentioned being for little girls. A Men's Club and a Boy's Club are soon to be organized and in the winter of 1923-24, it is intended to hold parochial school on Saturdays and in the following summer to have a Vacational Bible School. The Rev. Mr. Lavaas has also organized a choir of 35 voices. The name of the congregation was changed to Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church on January 9, 1923.
St: Augustine's Church of Rhinelander (Episcopal) was organized in 1892, being named in honor of St. Augustine, one of the most noted of the early Christian fathers, who in the fourth century was bishop of Hippo in northern Africa. For the first six years the church was served by visiting pastors and for ten years meetings were held in halls. Paul Browne, Marshall H. Greenly and Clyde C. Bronson were the first wardens and vestrymen. The first resident pastor was Rev. Carlton M. Hitchcock, who came in 1898. He was succeeded in 1901 by Rev. George M. Babcock, during whose pastorate the present church edifice was completed and occupied, it being consecrated in August, 1902 by Bishop Reginald H. Weller, D. D., of Fond du Lac (then Coadjutor Bishop). In 1906 the Rev. James Madison Johnson took charge, and he was succeeded by Rev. Campbell Gray, who was pastor from 1914 to 1922. Mr. Gray's successor was the present vicar the Rev. Roy Wallace Mason, who came in March, 1922. The church has now 225 members, or 350 including all baptized persons. The Sunday school, including the Home Department and Font Roll, has an enrollment of 180 and is presided over by three officers and twelve teachers. The regular Sunday services include Holy Communion at 7 :30 and 11 a.m.; Sunday school at 10 a. m. on weekdays Holy Communion is held daily at 7:15 a.m. the church is still a mission. The societies connected with it are: St. Augustine's Guild for women, St. Ann's Guild for girls; the Altar Guild; the Acolytes' Guild; the Senior Brotherhood of St. Andrew; the Junior Brotherhood of St. Andrew; the Guild of the Nazarene (holding meetings Friday) and the Boy Scouts. The value of the church property is as follows: Church buildings, $9,000; vicarage, exclusive of land, $7,500; guild hall, exclusive of land, $4,500; appraised value of all land excluding buildings, $2,500; church furniture including organ, $1,800; total value of all property, $25,300. St. Augustine's Guild has collected about $6,000 towards a building fund and extensive repairs and improvements are under consideration.
The First Baptist Church was organized April 27, 1894, as a Swedish congregation by the Rev. G. P. Sundstrom, general missionary for the state. It started with eight members, namely: Mr. and Mrs. Carl Norden, Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Gust Peterson and Mr. and Mrs. Emil Nelson. The Rev. Fred Linden, a visiting pastor, served the congregation for a year or more, and for some time subsequently the pulpit was supplied at intervals by theological students, services being held for a short time in a schoolhouse on Thayer Street, and after that for three years in a hall on the same street. Then a small frame church on Mason Street was built, which was occupied in 1904, if not earlier, the congregation then numbering about 20 members. Student pastors still conducted the services and continued to do so for some years thereafter. Gust Peterson filled the pulpit at times when a minister could not be obtained. He also acted as Sunday school superintendent, in which office he continued up to a year ago. The records of the church show that from May to July, 1904, the Rev. O. J. Nelson was pastor, and in January, 1905, the pastor was the Rev. C. A. Anderson. On May 19, 1919, the congregation took over the large church edifice of the English Baptists on Brown Street, in which it has since worshipped-a large frame building in fine condition-and at the same. time the English language was adopted in place of the Swedish, as some of the English Baptist society remained with their old church. The old building of the Swedish congregation was sold to pay outstanding debts. The pastors during the last few years have been: Rev. Herbert Peterson, who came in June, 1919; Rev. A. B. Colbin, from October, 1920 to October, 1921; and Rev.. C. J. Bergstrom, who came in January, 1922 and is still the pastor. The united congregation now numbers 83 members and there is a Sunday school roll of 80. The societies helping in the church work are the Ladies' Aid, the Senior Baptist Young Peoples Union, the Junior Baptist Young Peoples Union, the Dorcas Club for girls and the Count On Me Club for younger girls.
The English Baptist Church in Rhinelander was organized by Dr. D. E. Halterman on Sunday, Dec. 14, 1889. At first services were held in Naylor's store opposite the Fuller House, and afterwards in Brown Bros.' store on Brown Street. The membership gradually grew and in April, 1891, the Rev. H. A. Buzzell became pastor. Seeing the need of a church building, he took steps to raise funds and the fine church building on Brown Street was begun in August, 1891, and completed and dedicated in April, 1892. A parsonage was built close by the church. In 1892 the church had 41 members and the Sunday school enrollment was 170. But the early promise of future growth was not fulfilled; deaths and removals reduced the number of members without corresponding accessions, and at last in May, 1919, the church building was sold to the Swedish Baptist society, which decided at that time to use the English language for their services henceforth, and a number of the members of the former English Baptist society have remained with their church, becoming members of the united society.
For a number of years there was a Free Methodist Church in Rhinelander, which was flourishing in the early 90's, when a Rev. Mr. Wolfe was the pastor. The society finally dissolved and the church building, a good frame structure, was sold in or about the year 1909 to the Polish Catholics and is now known as St. Joseph's Church.
The Christian Science Society in Rhinelander was organized in 1915, the chief promoters being E. A. Loveton, who was the first president, and Mrs. D. Hanford, who was clerk. The society started with about eight members, services being first held at the residence of Mr. Loveton and later in the 1. 0. O. F. hall. In December, 1921, the society purchased the old Squier residence at the corner of Stevens and Frederick streets, where the. meetings are now held. The present officers are: E. A. Loveton, president; Mrs. Delia Boyce, vice president; E. R. Barager, first reader, and Miss Rachel White, second reader.
Chapter 16 Part 3 of 3
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