|SECTION 1: The Early Days||SECTION 2: More Early Days|
|SECTION 3: Omaha in 1870||SECTION 4: Present Day (1882)|
|SECTION 5: Crimes||SECTION 6: Fires and Public Works|
|SECTION 7: Health, Parks, Mail||SECTION 8: The Press in Omaha|
|SECTION 9: Press Continued|
|SECTION 11: Religious (cont.)||SECTION 12: Cemetery and Schools|
|SECTION 13: Legal and Medical||SECTION 14: Opera House-Hotels-Business|
|SECTION 15: Societies||SECTION 16: Societies Continued|
|SECTION 17: Business||SECTION 18: Manufacturing|
|SECTION 19: Manufacturing (cont.)|
20 - 46:
** Omaha Biographical Sketches **|
| ABLE~BARRIGER | BARTLETT~BOYD | BOYER~BURNHAM |
| BURR~CONKLING | COFFMAN~CREIGHTON |
| CRITTENTON~DIETZ | DINSMOOR~FAWCETT |
| FEARON~GAYLORD | GELATTE~GROSSMANN |
| GROSS~HAVENS | HAWES~HOILE |
| HOLDREDGE~JORGENSEN | JOSLYN~LEISENRING |
| LEHMAN~LOWE | LUDINGTON~MARHOFF |
| MANNING~MILLER | MILLSPAUGH~NINDEL |
| O'CONNOR~PEABODY | PAUL~READ | REDICK~ROGERS |
| ROSENBERY~SCOTT | SEAMAN~SIMPSON | SINCERE~STONE |
| STORZ~UMPHRESON | URLAU~WILBUR | WILDE~WOOD |
| WOODARD~ZEHRUNG | West Omaha Precinct | Douglas Precinct |
List of Illustrations in Douglas County Chapter
Trinity Cathedral.--It is said that the first clergyman of the Episcopal faith who visited the spot where Omaha now stands, was the late Dr. Gregory of Syracuse, N. Y., a divine of the Episcopal Church, who was then a chaplain of a regiment at Fort Leavenworth, and on his way from that post to Fort Calhoun. This was in 1835, but there is no record of any service of the church being performed here, at that time, or at a later date, until in 1855. The Rev. Dr. Peet of Des Moines visited Omaha and preached one Sunday in the old Territorial Capitol. In the summer of 1856 Bishop Kemper, then in charge of missions in the Northwest, came to Omaha, accompanied by the Rev. W. N. Irish of Missouri, and Bishop Lee of Iowa. They held services; Bishop Lee preaching in the morning and Bishop Kemper in the afternoon, and succeeded at this time, in organizing a parish. The exact date was July 13, 1856, and the first vestry consisted of Samuel Moffat, senior warden; C. W. Hamilton, junior warden; Gov. T. B. Cuming, A. J. Hanscom, A. F. Salisbury, and Jonas Seeley, vestrymen.
It is related, by those who were outside the church, that the parish regarded themselves as the aristocratic element of the religious community, and appealed to the wealthy only for contributions. However this may be, the new church prospered, and securing the services of the Rev. George W. Watson, then missionary at Council Bluffs, they purchased, during the next summer, a lot on the northwest corner of Davenport and Fourteenth streets, where the corner stone of a new edifice was laid on August 1, 1857, by Bishop Lee, assisted by the Rector and the Rev. Eli Adams. This enterprise was subsequently abandoned for causes unknown, and a lot leased for ten years on the southwest corner of Farnam and Ninth streets, whereon a small brick church was erected. By the conditions of the lease, the building at the expiration of the term, was to revert to the owner of the lot.
The Rev. M. Watson continued to officiate as Rector until July, 1860, when he was succeeded by the Rev. John West, who held the position for about one year, the next incumbent being the principal of Brownell Hall, the Rev. O. C. Dake, who continued in charge from June, 1862, until January, 1864. Rev. W. A. Van Antwerp succeeded him, retaining the rectorship until the early part of 1868.
In 1866 the lots corner of Eighteenth street and Capitol avenue were purchased, in anticipation of the reversion of the lease, which would leave them without a place of worship. A new church was erected at a cost of $15,000, being completed in the autumn of 1867.
The present Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Robert Clarkson, L. L. D., was consecrated in Chicago November 15, 1866, and immediately left for Omaha, delivering his first sermon on Advent Sunday. Mr. Van Antwerp's resignation being received in the spring of 1868, the vestry of the parish offered the church to the new Bishop as his cathedral, and a provisional arrangement being made for that purpose, it continued until the fall of 1872, when the cathedral system was established by the Diocesan Council, and the church became canonically, what it had been provisionally, the Cathedral of Nebraska. Succeeding Van Antwerp in the rector ship, the Rev. George C. Betts remained with his charge a year, giving place to the Rev. John G. Gassman, who officiated until Easter, 1872.
It was during his rectorship that the new church was destroyed by fire, after less than two years' occupancy. The exact date was November 10, 1869. Immediately upon its destruction, a movement was inaugurated looking toward the erection of a new building, resulting in the building of a frame edifice that has twice been enlarged and was till recently occupied by the congregation.
Upon Mr. Gassman's withdrawal, the Rev. Alexander C. Garrett was called to the rectorship, and upon the passage of the Cathedral Canon in September, 1872, became Dean of the Cathedral, retaining the position until December 20, 1874. He became Missionary Bishop of Northern Texas, in April, 1875, and the Rev. John D. Easter of Maryland was appointed and remained about a year, resigning when the Rev. Francis R. Millspaugh assumed charge, being duly installed October 5, 1876. He still remains. The present canons of the cathedral are Revs. James Paterson and Robert Doherty; deaconess, Sister Mary Haydon; wardens, James M. Woolworth and George E. Thrall.
The Cathedral maintains in addition to its own services the old Trinity Mission (colored) with the Rev. W. A. Green, assistant minister, Cathedral mission, and the Grace mission, also an industrial school. In the various Sunday schools there are nearly 500 scholars, there being 250 communicants in the parish. The new cathedral, the corner stone of which was laid May 25, 1880, is rapidly approaching completion, and was partly occupied in the early part of 1882. The plans were furnished by H. G. Harrison, A. T. Large, Jr., being the supervising architect. It is being built of limestone from Gladstone, Ill., and is to be finished in light woods. The nave is forty-one feet, and the principal steeple 142 feet in height. There are to be fifty-seven memorial windows, which it is estimated will cost about $10,000, the three Cherestory windows each being twelve by twenty-eight feet. The entire cost of the Cathedral will be about $50,000.
St. Mark's Church.--This parish is an outgrowth of Trinity Mission, instituted by the Rev. W. A. Van Antwerp in 1867; and organized April, 1868, under the pastorate of the Rev. Thomas O. Tongue, with a vestry as follows: senior warden, J. N. Rippey; junior warden, William Clebourne; vestrymen, Samuel E. Rogers, C. P. Birkett, A. G. Goff, W. T. Clark and T. S. Clarkson. The first services and Sunday school meetings were held at the residence of Mr. C. P. Birkett, the society subsequently adjourning to more commodious quarters, occupied by the mission. In May, 1868, Mr. S. E. Rogers donated a lot in fee for the erection of a church edifice, and to help carry on the work, the parish of St. Mark's Church, Philadelphia, contributed through Bishop Clarkson, the sum of $1,000. In recognition of this gift, the new parish was named "St. Marks." The remainder of the funds requisite, being raised among the members and local residents, the new church, located at 725 Pierce street, was built in 1868, and dedicated on February 15, 1869. The Rev. J. N. Rippey succeeded Mr. Tongue about this time, and under his management the church prospered exceedingly. He continued to officiate until September, 1871, when the present Rector, Rev. James Paterson accepted the position. H. G. Clark is the present senior warden, and W. Clebourne, junior warden, Samuel Robinson, Edward Roddis, E. C. Cooper, S. W. Spafford, Sr., and James Sherlock, constitute the vestry.
The Sunday school of St. Marks was organized in 1867, with a membership of about twenty. Mr. J. W. Van Nostrand being the first superintendent. It is now in a flourishing condition. There is also an industrial school connected with the parish, which, under the charge of Mrs. James Sherlock, is doing efficient service.
St. Barnabas Church.--This organization was formed May 3, 1869, as a free church, with twenty-six constituent members. Its first officers were Robert C. Jordan, senior warden; James W. Van Nostrand, junior warden; George D. Ruggles, George F. Labagh, George I. Mayor, H. L. Seward, Frederic G. Mason, vestrymen. Their services at this time were held in a small mission church, in the eastern part of the city, which had been built some time previous to the organization of the church. July 12, 1869, this building was moved to the corner of Fourteenth and Cass streets. The church was dedicated to divine worship August 1, of the same year. July 9, 1870, the present church lots were purchased for $3,300, and the church building moved thereon. The church building had hardly rested upon its new foundation, when, on the 13th of the same month, a severe wind storm blew it down, injuring it beyond repair. Just three days afterwards, the ground was broken for a new structure, which was nearly completed, and dedicated to the worship of God on the 11th day of August following. The dedication sermon was preached by Bishop Clarkson. In 1874-75, a rectory and chapel was built in connection with the church, and in 1878, the chapel was enlarged, and converted into a school-room, and a parish school established. In 1881, a new rectory was built, at a cost of $7,000. The church building is in size 25x36, with a transept 20x40 and a chancel 10x20, the total cost being $6,500, including the furniture. The chapel cost $700, and the rectory $2,500. The first Rector of this church was Rev. George C. Betts, who remained in charge until January 15, 1872, when he resigned and made a journey to the Eastern States. He became Rector of the Parish again in March of the same year, this time remaining in charge until June following, when he again resigned. August 11 of the same year, Rev. James C. Hammond was tendered a call to the rector ship, which he accepted and entered upon his duties the following November, remaining in charge of the parish until September 3, 1875, when he tendered his resignation, which was accepted. The parish was then without a Rector, until July, 1876, when the present pastor, Rev. John Williams, was tendered a call, which he accepted in November following, and entered upon his duties June 27, 1877, remaining in charge since. The present number of members of this church is 120, and the total valuation of all church property is $20,000. The church building is situated at 519 and 521 North Nineteenth street.
First Methodist Episcopal Church.-- In the year 1854, Peter Cooper, and Englishman, from Council Bluffs, came to the village of Omaha, which then contained less than 100 inhabitants, and opened the stone quarry near the present site of Boyd's packing house, getting out all the stone used in Omaha during that fall. While at this work, it being discovered, not only that he was a good Methodist, but that he sometimes preached, he was easily persuaded to address the people of the village, and accordingly delivered the first sermon ever preached in Omaha, in the front room of the residence of Alexander Davis, situated near the present juncture of Jones and Seventeenth streets. The exact date is unknown. This room, the best adapted to the purpose of any to be found in the village, was about sixteen feet square, and through excavations then being made, was impossible to approach from the front, the worshipers consequently having to enter through a shed kitchen. The congregation numbered about fifteen or twenty, there being present, among others, Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Davis, Mr. A. J. Poppleton, and Mr. Alfred D. Jones. In the spring of 1855, Mr. Isaac F. Collins, a regularly appointed missionary, came to Omaha for the purpose of organizing a society, and at once commenced preaching in the old Territorial Capitol. A church was organized, the membership, in September of that year, consisting of six. The first communion service was held at the residence of the pastor, on Thirteenth, between Farnam and Douglas streets, on July 12, 1856. There being present, Elder Goode, of Indianapolis, Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Collins, Mr. and Mrs. Ambsberry, Mrs. Crowell, Mrs. George A. McCoy, and Mrs. Harris. Of whom it is related that she reached Omaha from Iowa City, alternately walking and riding upon a cow, the only beast of burden which she possessed. The town company gave the church two lots on thirteenth street, 132x88 feet on the corner of Dodge, being immediately sold by the society for $1,500, to raise funds to assist in erecting a church edifice. In this work they were successful, the dedicatory services being held in December, 1856, Elder Moses F. Shinn officiating. The amount owing by the society, about $700, was all subscribed on the day the new church was taken possession of by the society. Mr. Collins remained with the church but a short time after this, being succeeded by the Rev. John Chivington, of whom it is said that in a thanksgiving sermon, he remarked "that he could not see what in the least, any of those present had to be thankful for." About April, 1859, the First Methodist Conference that was ever held in Omaha, known then as the Kansas and Nebraska Conference, convened, leaving, as the only original record which we can discover the following paper, containing the signatures of nearly all of those in attendance, together with various terms of interest as to their personal history.TABLE (showing most of those who attended the First Methodist conference that was held in Omaha. To return to this point, use your "BACK" button.)
Rev. W. M. Smith was the next minister to the church, being appointed by the Conference in March, 1862. He remained but nine months, having to leave, it is related, in consequence of a political sermon, in which he said that he would "rejoice to see our people wading through rivers of blood, and climbing over mountains of flesh, rather than that the North should fail and the freedom of the slaves be unaccomplished." During his incumbency, the church which the people had built in 1856, was sold, and a business block shortly after erected on the site. The society borrowed $30,000 from New York Capitalists, with a portion of which sum they erected a brick church on Seventeenth, between Dodge street and Capitol avenue, the remainder being invested in business property. Mr. Smith's successor was Rev. Thomas V. Lemon, who retained the pastorate for two years, when he was made Presiding Elder of the Omaha District. In 1865 the Rev. W. M. Smith resumed charge, this time remaining for the full term, and giving way in 1866 to the late Rev. W. B. Slaughter, who officiated until 1868. The succeeding ministers were: The Revs. H. C. Westwood, 1868 to 1870; G. De La Matyr, 1870 to 1872; G. W. Gue, 1872 to 1873; Clark Wright, 1873 to 1875; L. F. Britt, 1875 to 1877, H. D. Fisher, 1877 to 1879.
Of Mr. Fisher, who was a Chaplain in the army for four years, it is said that he had all the honesty of a Quaker, the zeal of a Methodist, and the faith of a Universalist. In 1877, the church, was forced to turn over its property to its bondholders, immediately erecting a large and pleasant frame edifice at 1711 Davenport street, which was dedicated by Mrs. Van Cott, the evangelist, on June 9, 1878. This building they still occupy. Mr. Fisher's successor was the Rev. J. B. Maxfield, at present Presiding Elder of the district, who remained until 1881, when the Conference appointed in his place, the Rev. J. W. Stewart, the present incumbent.
The membership of the church now numbers about 250.
The Sunday-school of the society was organized Jul 13, 1856, in the house known as the "Byer's property" on the southwest corner of Farnam and Tenth streets, then occupied by Mr. George A. McCoy, whose wife instituted the school, with fifteen scholars in attendance. The first Sunday-school speech made in Omaha, was delivered by Governor Izard on this occasion, and it is likewise quaintly recorded that "There was no member to lead in prayer, and a man by the name of Virtue, without religion, was urged to undertake it; he accordingly repeated the Lord's prayer." In December, 1856, the school removed to the new church, Mr. William R. Demarest being at this time superintendent, and Mr. Ripley, Mrs. McCoy, Mrs. Bryant and Mrs. George W. Homan, teachers. In 1867 the school occupied the German Methodist Episcopal Church on Davenport street, and in 1868, again moved, this time to the Academy of Music, which building it occupied until February, 1869, when it adjourned to Seventeenth street and Capitol Avenue, and in 1878 to the present church building.
The first library was presented by Elder Shinn in 1857. Its present library contains 1,500 volumes, and the school has an average attendance of 350.
Eighteenth Street Methodist Episcopal Church.-- In 1868 Elder M. F. Shinn originated a mission in the northern part of the city, the Conference of that year making an appropriation of $100 towards its support. Mr. Shinn, at his own expense, erected a building on Izard and Twenty-third streets, and continued in charge of the new church until 1872, when the Rev. C. McKelvey was appointed. The succeeding ministers were as follows: The Revs. J. H. Presson, 1873 to 1874; T. B. Lemon, 1874 to 1875; J. M. Pardee, 1875 to 1877; P. C. Johnson, 1877 to 1878; W. K. Beans, 1878 to 1881, when the present incumbent, Rev.. J. W. Shank, assumed the pastorate. A few years since the church purchased the building which they have been occupying and removed it to its present location on Eighteenth street. The membership is now about 125.
South Tenth Street Methodist Episcopal Church.--This society grew out of a mission established in 1873 by the Rev. J. M. Adair, who retained the pastorate of the new church for about two years. Its original membership was eight. The Rev. T. H. Tibbles was appointed by the Conference in 1872, remaining something over a year, the supplies being irregular from 1875 to 1878, when the Rev. P. C. Johnson, who had been officiating in the Eighteenth Street Church, took charge. In 1879 Rev. D. Marquett was appointed, and is the minister at this time. The present church building was erected in the spring of 1881, being dedicated July 1st, by Bishop Hurst, of Des Moines. Its seating capacity is 500, and the number of communicants now in the church is about 110.
African Methodist Episcopal Church.--This church was organized in the fall of 1865, with five members, the first meetings being held at a private residence on Capitol avenue and Ninth street. The trustees elected were: Mr. W. W. Porter, Mr. Daniel Williams, Jeremia Thompson and Gospel Larry. The first pastor of the church, sent by the conference, was Mr. J. H. Hubbard, who remained two years. In 1866 the society worshipped for a short time on Harney street, where the membership was increased to nine; subsequently adjoining to Douglas and Fifteenth, where it remained until the summer of 1867. During this year a lot on the corner of Webster and Eighteenth streets was purchased for $450, a church structure being immediately erected thereon at a cost of $1,000. The pastors of the church have been as follows: Rev. J. H. Hubbard, 1866 to 1868; W. B. Ousley, 1868 to 1869; W. L. Harrod, 1869 to 1870; William Sexton, 1870 to 1871; G. W. Gaines, 1871 to 1873; J. W. Braxton, 1873 to 1875; B. F. Watson, 1875 to 1876; J. A. Fouche, 1876 to 1878, the present incumbent taking charge upon Mr. Fouche's departure in 1878.
The trustees now in office are: Mr. W. W. Porter, Mr. A. Kirchafole, Mr. E. S. Cleveland, Mr. Thomas Campbell and Mr. Peter Williams. The membership is about seventy, and the present value of property owned by the church $4,000. The society contemplate erecting a new brick structure on the present site at an early date.
First Congregational Church.--In December, 1855, the Rev. Reuben Gaylord, who had been located in Iowa since 1838, came to Omaha, and on May 4, 1856, organized the First Congregational Church of Nebraska. Of this church the Hon. O. D. Richardson, R. G. Goodwill, C. C. Woolworth, John H. Kellom, and one or two others, were trustees, the entire membership being nine.
The society was organized and held meetings in the old State House on Douglas street, from which it subsequently adjourned to the dining room of the Douglas House, prior to entering its new house of worship, erected on the corner of Sixteenth and Farnam streets, at a cost of $4,500, dedicated on the 9th of August, 1857, the membership at this time having been increased to fifteen.
Of Mr. Gaylord something more than mere mention is due. He was born April 28, 1812, at Norfolk, Conn., entered Yale College at the age of eighteen, took the full course and graduated in 1834. In his college work, and more especially in Greek, Latin and mathematics, he stood among the first in a class of seventy, and was chosen to represent it at graduation. In the spring of 1835 he accepted a tutorship in Illinois College, located at Jacksonville. This position he retained for about two years, pursuing theological studies in the meantime under Dr. Edward Beecher. In the fall of 1837 he entered Yale Theological Seminary, graduating therefrom the succeeding year. He then came West, to Iowa, and at the age of twenty-six entered upon the work in which he lived and died. He was one of the founders of Iowa College, and for many years one of its trustees. Organizing the First Congregational Church of Omaha in 1856, he retained pastoral charge of the same until 1864, when he was induced to enter upon the duties of home missionary agent, a position which he retained until 1870, when he resigned, after having established very many of the churches in Nebraska.
He died at Omaha January 10, 1880.
Upon Mr. Gaylord's retirement, the Rev. W. W. Rose accepted the call, the Rev. A. D. Stowell preaching a few weeks during the interim. Mr. Rose continued in the pastorate for about two years, when the Rev. E. L. Palmer took charge, remaining until the early part of 1869. After being ministered to by irregular supplies for some months, the society secured the services of the Rev. Alvin F. Sherrill, the present incumbent, who found the church in a precarious condition financially and with a nominal membership of about sixty. Since then its growth has been rapid, and so far as can be seen, of a permanent character--its actual membership at the present time being about 250.
In 1869, immediately upon Mr. Sherrill assuming spiritual charge, the Congregationalists sold to Mr. John M. Redick the little chapel in which they had worshiped for so many years, for $16,000--this was subsequently made a part of the present City Hall, and can be yet seen projecting from the rear of that edifice. They immediately purchased a lot on Chicago avenue, between Eighteenth and Nineteenth streets, erecting thereon a very commodious brick church at a cost of $20,000, which was dedicated in 1870.
In the summer of 1856 a Congregational and Baptist Sabbath school, an offshoot or division of the Union School which had been holding sessions in the State House, convened for a few Sundays in the dining room of the old Douglas House, on Harney street, then used as a place of worship by the former society. Subsequently the parlor of the residence of Mr. Gaylord was occupied by the school, and from twenty to twenty-five scholars were there gathered together under the charge of Mrs. Sarah A. Gaylord. This was the origin of the first Congregational Sunday school of Omaha. In the fall of 1856 they were able to use the basement of the new church, the only portion then complete; properly organizing in October of that year, with twenty-six scholars, under the superintendency of Mr. J. H. Kellom. This position Mr. Kellom retained until some time in 1860, when he severed his connection with the school, and was succeeded by the pastor, Mr. Gaylord, who acted as superintendent until the fall of 1864, when, as stated, he was appointed home missionary agent for Nebraska, giving place to Prof. F. L. Beals, who officiated until the summer of 1867. From that time until June 1868, the position was filled by J. P. Alexander, when William L. Peabody was chosen superintendent, continuing in office for about a year, when he was succeeded by Mr. George W. Hall, who held the position until June, 1874, when he was obliged to resign on account of failing health. Col. R. H. Wilbur was then elected and continued to serve until December, 1876, when Mr. Hall resumed the position and remained in charge of the school until March, 1879. The next superintendent was W. O. Taylor, succeeded in the winter of 1880 by W. W. Peet, who resigned his position upon leaving for Constantinople in July, 1881. M. M. Marshall was elected to the office, which he still retains.
The school has never been in a more prosperous condition than at present, having an enrollment of something over 200, and an average attendance of 150.
First Baptist Church. In the summer of 1855, the Rev. William Leech came to Omaha as a missionary. The village at that time contained a population of about 500 persons, only a few, however, being of the Baptist faith, and Mr. Leach, with some slight pretensions to skill, endeavored to increase his insufficient income by the practice of dentistry. While here, which was until the fall of 1857, he resided in a small cottonwood house on Dodge street, keeping bachelor's hall. There is no record as to his ability, beyond the fact that his congregations were small and that he was considered too speculative for the high calling to which he proposed devoting his life. He held religious services in the old Territorial Capitol on Ninth street, between Farnam and Douglas, for some months, but finally left without effecting any permanent organization.
From the time of Mr. Leach's removal until 1859, the field remained unoccupied, when the Rev. A. S. Barnes, originally of New York State, but who had been stopping at Florence for a year, with insufficient success to warrant his remaining, came to Omaha, on a salary of $400, from the Board of Missions, and succeeded in organizing the First Baptist Church, his coadjutors being Roswell Smith and wife, Mrs. Galey, Mrs. Barnes, Mrs. C. R. Turner, Mrs. David O. Richardson and Mrs. T. H. Robertson. The new society leased a lot of Capt. Downs, situated on Douglas between Fifteenth and Sixteenth streets, and Mr. Barnes on his own responsibility, borrowed the sum of $200 at 5 per cent a month, for the purchase of lumber necessary to the erection of a church edifice, the result, as may be imagined, being a very unassuming structure of one story, barely sufficient for the needs of the small congregation. The original membership was nine or ten, and up to 1862 the society had only increased to about thirty in number when, overwhelmed with debt and thoroughly discouraged, in April of that year, it rented and subsequently sold its church building to Mr. Beals, afterward the Superintendent of the Omaha schools, who occupied it with a private school until 1867.
Mr. Barnes, who had been struggling for three years against difficulties sufficient to have conquered a man of less determination and force, upon the dissolution of the church, withdrew to other fields of labor. From this time until the early part of 1866, the Baptists of Omaha were without a church organization, when another attempt was made, the prime movers being Mr. Henry Hickman, Mr. Darius Pierce, Mr. Dort, and Mr. Peckham. The first of these canvassed the city thoroughly, endeavoring to ascertain who had been members of the original church and who of them remained. Of these he found eighteen. Organization was effected in March, 1866, the Rev. W. J. Kermott, who had been laboring in New Mexico, was chosen pastor, and preached in the court house hall from June to December, 1866, when the congregation adjourned to the new frame building they had erected on Davenport and Fifteenth streets, a movement being instituted almost immediately toward the erection of the present church structure on the same site.
In this work, the chairman of the building committee was Henry Hickman, who, acting in accordance with the wishes of his associates, obtained a plan and specifications from a Chicago architect, and superintended the laying of a foundation at a cost of about $1,100, the frame building being removed to the opposite corner. For reasons best known to those who were leading members of the church at that time, the original plan was subsequently abandoned, the foundation being altered and enlarged to suit the architecture of the building, since erected. After remaining in an unfinished condition for some time, in consequence of lack of funds, the church was only completed for occupancy, in 1869, and not altogether finished until 1880.
It is a very fine brick structure, with a seating capacity of 1,200 and cost, altogether, about $36,000.
The Rev. Mr. Kermott remained with the church until October 14, 1870, being succeeded by the Rev. J. W. Daniels, who left for new fields, after a year's labor; the Rev. E. C. M. Burnham had charge of the church from November 19, 1871, until March 21, 1872, after which it was content with irregular supplies, until September 13, 1873, when the Rev. John Donnelly accepted the pastorate, retaining it until the 1st of October, 1874, and being succeeded by the Rev. O. T. Conger, who officiated from November 22, 1874, to March 1, 1875. The next incumbent was the Rev. Lloyd Morgan, who left after a service of four weeks. After a short interval the Rev. E. H. E. Jameson assumed spiritual charge of the congregation, his term of office extending from August 15, 1876, to August 29, 1880, the Rev. W. J. Harris, on December 5 of the same year, assuming the duties of the office which he still retains.
The church, since its organization has, upon a number of occasions, been very near bankruptcy, an incubus of debt having been hanging over it for fifteen years. It is now in a very fair condition. The present membership is about 250.
The German Baptist Church.--In 1879, the Rev. A. F. Gennis came as a missionary to the German Baptist element, and endeavored for more than a year to effect some sort of an organization among them. While in the field he preached regularly in the First Baptist building, and only abandoned the attempt when it was conclusively shown to be futile.
The Welsh Baptists now hold a meeting every Sunday afternoon in the parlors of the church, the services being conducted in their own language.
The Sunday School of the First Baptist Church was organized Tuesday, August 21, 1866, the first meeting being held the succeeding Sunday, with an attendance of fifty scholars, under the superintendency of Mr. Kermott. The present superintendent is Mr. W. T. Seaman, and the condition of the school very satisfactory.