1879 History of Menard & Mason Counties
Published by: O.L. Baskin & Co., Historical Publishers
186 Dearborn Street

Mason County

Churches, Lodges, Etc.
Page 610

The Methodist Episcopal Church was built about 1862 or 1863, at a cost of $2,000. Rev. W. M. B. Colt, from Delavan, labored for the society before their house of worship was erected. The first meetings of the organization were held at Simon Goodales's Schoolhouse, about one mile north of the village. Under the administration of Rev. Colt, the subscription for the present house in the town was started. Isaac C. Brown, wife and daughter, Dr. Voke, Zenas B. Kidder and wife, R. B. Summers and wife, Edward Lyons and wife, Nicholas Lehey and others, to the number of fourteen, comprised the original organization. Rev. George W. Wolfe was the first regular Pastor. Rev. Hamill at present officiates. Services are held regularly, and a Sunday school, with an average attendance of 100 pupils, is presided over by Miss Hamill, daughter of the Pastor.

The German M. E. Church was built in 1870, at a cost of $4,000. A parsonage, erected at a cost of $2,000, is also the property of the Church. The house was dedicated January 22, 1871, Rev. Dr. Leibhardt, of Cincinnati, officiating. The society was organized in 1866, and held its first services at a schoolhouse some distance in the country. After the building of the M. E. Church, they leased it for a portion of the time for a term of five years, but only occupied it between two and three years. Rev. Christian Bruegger was the first Pastor. In 1868, Rev. C. F. Schlinger became Pastor in charge, and remained till 1871. Under his labors the house was built. Rev. Wilhelm Winter succeeded him, remaining two years. Rev. David Hume next became minister in charge for three years, and was succeeded by Rev. Frederick Stoffregan, the present Pastor. The society numbers at present about 167. A Sunday school was organized at the same time the Church was organized. It has an average attendance of thirty officers and teachers, and from 125 to 150 pupils. The first Superintendent was George Suits; the position is now held by Rev. C. F. Schlinger. In 1876, forty-six members withdrew from the congregation, and were added to the organizations at Emden and Hartsburg. Among the early communicants of the Church, we find the names of Fred Smith and family, John Rapp and family, Mrs. Wiemer, Henry Schweizer and family, John Neef, and others. Regular services are held each Sunday.

The Society of Regular Baptist was organized in 1868 by members from the Church at Delavan. They have as yet no church building. Rev. William H. Briggs was the first Pastor, and labored for the congregation four or five years. The early meetings of the society were held in the hall over the store-room now occupied by Newman & Knapp. In October, 1877, the Church fitted up a hall in the hotel, which is its present place of meeting. The Church has enjoyed the services of Rev. J. A. Brown one year, Rev. S. S. Martin three years. Rev. J. M. Horney is now Pastor, and holds services twice per month. The Sunday school meets every Lord's Day, and has an attendance of seventy-five pupils. T. S. Knapp is Superintendent.

San Jose Lodge, No. 645, A., F. & A. M., was organized under charter from the Grand Lodge, bearing date October 4, A. L. 5870, A. D. 1870. H. G. Reynolds was Grand Master, and Orlin H. Miner Grand Secretary. Edmund Rodgers, William J. Cunningham, Willis Crabb, Andrew T. Linbarger, R. B. Williams, William D. Oswald, Daniel W. Dillon, Rufus B. Summers, Edward Lyons, Timothy Sullivan, H. C. McDowell, Samuel Dement, Edwin Cutler, James J. Kern, Charles Forsythe and Watkin Watkins were charter members. The first officers of the Lodge were: Edmund Rodgers, W. M.; William J. Cunningham, S. W.; Willis Crabb, J. W. Regular communications are held the first and third Thursdays of each month, in their hall over Chestnut & Thomas' store. Membership, thirty-three. Present officers: D. G. Cunningham, W. M.; H. C. McDowell, S. W.; Willis Crabb, J. W.; R. B. Williams, Treasurer; J. J. Newman, Secretary. Messrs, Crabb and Williams have held their respective offices ever since the organization of the Lodge.

San Jose Lodge, No. 380, I. O. O. F., was instituted under dispensation December 23, 1868. A charter was issued from the Grand Lodge October 12, 1869, bearing the signatures of J. Ward Ellis, G. M., and Samuel Willard, G. S. The charter members were: Jonathan Cory, P. G.; John S. Buck, P. G.; William M. Duffy, Charles N. Hull, John W. Morrison, Samuel Biggs and William Kent. First officers: Jonathan Cory, N. G.; J. W. Morrison, V. G.; Samuel Biggs, Treasurer, and J. S. Buck, Secretary. Valley Encampment, No. 120, was organized under dispensation in May, 1871. A charter was granted October 10, 1871, over the signatures of D. W. Jacoby, Grand Patriarch, and N. C. Nason, Grand Scribe. The following persons were names in the charter: John S. Buck, John W. Morrison, Jonathan Cory, Robert M. Buck, Fred W. Paas, J. W. Hight, A. M. Summers, William Kent, J. Alefs, L. Nieukirk, T. S. Knapp, A. R. Chestnut, C. B. Vanhorn and A. Jacobs. These two societies meet in their well-furnished and well-appointed hall in the second story of the hotel building. The first officers of the Encampment were: J. S. Buck, C. P.; R. M. Buck, H. P.; J. W. Morrison, S. W.; A. R. Chestnut, J. W.; John Alefs, Treasurer; C. B. Vanhorn, Scribe.

Santa Maria Chapter, Order Eastern Star, No. 70, was organized March 22, 1872. Charter members: E. Rodgers, E. Cutler, C. Forsythe, R. B. Williams, H. C. McDowell, W. J. Cunningham, E. Lyons, Willis Crabb and H. Thorne. Its meetings were held in the hall of San Jose Lodge, No. 645, and the Chapter prospered indifferently well till July, 1876, when it surrendered its charter.

In May, 1873, W. H. Postlewait opened the San Jose Job Printing Office, which, after a brief term of existence, succumbed to financial embarrassment. October 18, 1878, the San Jose Gazette was established by J. J. Smith, and closed a brilliant career at the end of six months, leaving an aching void in the pockets of some of the citizens who had contributed to the starting of the enterprise.

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