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"History of Northern Wisconsin, 1881"


(-as transcribed from pages 308 - 309)

The people of the city of Eau Claire are above the average in church going inclination. The pulpit is an able one, and there is little disposition on the part of pastor or people to sever their relations for slight causes. Some of the ministers still here were among the early pioneers, and are firmly established in the confidence of their respective congregations.

First Baptist Church - Rev. Dr. John Y. Aitchison, pastor. Organized in 1861. Rev. A. B. Green was the first pastor. It began with seven members; now has 137. It has a good church, located on Fourth avenue, opposite the park.

German Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart - Rev. Joseph Boehm, pastor. The corner-stone of the present structure was laid in June, 1880, and completed in June, 1881. It is a fine building, with a pleasing interior finish. It is 105x47 feet, has twin spires 105 feet high.

St. Patrick Catholic Church - Rev. Father John G. Collins, rector. This church has a school connected with it. There are 300 families in regular attendance. The cornerstone of a new church for this society was laid with appropriate ceremonies on the 26th of June, 1881. It is located on the west side, and has a large congregation.

First Congregational Church. - This was started as a mission church in 1856. In a few years it became self-supporting. Rev. Mr. Kidder was the first minister. The church is located opposite the West Side Park, on Third avenue, and has a seating capacity of about 500. It was dedicated in i859, and enlarged in 1875. Rev. J. F. Dudley is pastor, having come here twelve years ago. Up to that time, the total membership was 143. During the present pastorate 200 names have been added, making a total of 343. Deaths and removals leave the present number of members 250.

Joint Convention of the St. Croix and Chippewa Congregational Association. - This is an institution of interest in Eau Claire. The first session was held in Hammond, in 1879; in Menomonie in 1880, and in Eau Claire on June 21, 1881. Eighteen societies make up the convention. J. F. Dudley is clerk of the Chippewa branch, and W. C. Hicks of the St. Croix.

Christ Episcopal Church. - The church edifice is on Farewell street, near Jones street, a gothic structure, still incomplete on the outside; Rev. Dr. Joel Clark, rector. There is a present membership of twenty-nine, with a regular attendance of 250. The church seems to be entering upon a season of prosperity.

Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran, north side, and the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran, west side. This was dedicated on the 15th of June, 1873. These churches are under the pastocal care of Rev. G. Hoyne, and are in a flourishing condition. In 1876, there was a joint membership of 373. There are now 580 members.

St. John's German Lutheran. - Located on the corner of Barstow and Galloway streets. Rev. John G. Rocknagel, pastor for the past four years. The congregation is made up of the families of seventy-three members.

Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Church. - Norwegian Synod on the west side. Rev. H. Hakonsen, pastor.

Barstow Street Methodist Episcopal Church. - This church came into existence in 1858. William Donnell was the first minister. The present church was built in 1872, through the efforts of Rev. E. E. Clough. It is of brick, 91 x 42. The corner-stone was laid April 19, 1870. It was dedicated on the 18th of September, 1872, by Bishop Haven. The pastor was A. J. Davis, and there was a membership of about 130. Rev. C. R. Kellerman is the present pastor.

The Lake Street Methodist Church was organized in 1860. Early in 1870, the efforts to raise funds were so far successful, that on September 19, the corner-stone was laid, Gen. Fallows officiating. It was constructed of wood, and veneered with brick. The building is transept with corner tower, standing on Fourth avenue and Lake street. It cost $14,000, and was dedicated September 15, 1872, Bishop Haven conducting the services. Rev. John Tresidder is the present pastor. It has a membership of 140.

The Ladies' Mite Society. - Conducted with the Barstow street Methodist Episcopal Church. It has been a valuable auxiliary in the work of the church, especially in building operations. The officers of the Mite Society are: Mrs. F. R. Skinner, president; Mrs. B. C. Dunn, vice-president; Mrs. 0. Walker, treasurer; Mrs. N. S. Buck, secretary. The church membership is about 100.

First Presbyterian Church, Barstow street, Rev. W. H. Lockwood, pastor. This was an early church, having been instituted in the Spring of 1857. Rev. W. W. McNair was the first pastor. Mr. Lockwood has been here as pastor since 1864. The membership is 170, and the seating capacity of the church 400.

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