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The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States

Chapter XI,   pp. 665-697 PDF (18.3 MB)

Page 683

the Pastor, Prof. Moldehucke, of Watertown, having preached several times
during the interval.
The growth of the congregation was steady and rapid, and an enlargement of
the church soon
became necessary. It was finally resolved, at a meeting held on khe 28th
of April, 1868, that
the Board of Trustees be empowered to purchase from A. C. Olds Lots 6 and
7, and the south-
west half of Lot 8, in Block 16, and to sell the society's other real estate.
On the 6th of July,
1868, it was resolved to remove the church edifice to its present site, and
on that plan the build-
ing should be enlarged. The sale of the other property was made to C. Zarz,
September 30,
1868, and on the following day the deed for the new site was executed. During
this period, the
Rev. A. Liefeldt had resigned and the Rev. C. Oppen had assumed pastoral
relations. On the
3d of May, 1869, the enlargement of the church was decided upon, and Messrs.
John Prien
and Joachim Herman were appointed a committee to procure the plan and engage
an architect
to take charge of the construction. The addition was completed in 1869. In
April, 1876,
Rev. Mr. Oppen resigned. Rev. Aug. F. Ernst, of the Northwestern University
at Watertown,
officiated until the 21st of May, 1876, when Rev. Henry Vogel became the
minister. Again
the congregation increased beyond the limits of the church, and in the first
part of July, 1877,
a new building was ordered. A committee, consisting of Messrs. Julius Vogt,
Chris. Boelte,
Henry Boelte, Fred Messow and E. V. Briesen, was appointed to make plans
and estimates for
another new edifice. The plan proposed a building 70 feet long and 40 feet
wide, with a belfry
125 feet high, and was accepted as to its general features September 2, 1877.
The estimated
cost was $5,000. A few changes were ordered, and E. T. Mix, of Milwaukee,
was directed to
perfect a plan, which he did. In the mean time, the subscription showed $4,800
to be in readi-
ness, and on the 9th of December, 1877, the erection of the new church was
voted, the -plan of
Mr. Mix being adopted. John Prien, Julius Krueger, E. V. Briesen, Christian
Boelte and
Aug. Reddemann were named as the building committee, who, with the Board
of Trustees.,
were empowered to make necessary contracts, and to superintend the work,
E. V. Briesen to be
chairman of the committee, Julius Krueger, secretary, and H. A. Lueders,
treasurer. Con-
tracts were let to Henry Bolte for the stone, brick and plaster work, for
$1,500, and to R. D.
Vanakin for the carpenter and joiner work and the painting, for $3,800. The
organ used in
the old church was bought, in 1873, of the Lutheran congregation of Sheboygan.
On the 2d
day of June, 1878, on the Sunday called Exandi, the corner-stone of the building
was laid with
appropriate ceremonies, and on the 3d of November following the church was
dedicated, the
Rev. Deninger, of Waterloo, preaching the dedicatory sermon in presence of
a large assem-
blage, composed of representatives from  Beaver Dam, Lowell, Waterloo and
Portage. The
1,600-pound bell in this church has something of a history.  The metal from
which it is made
was presented to the society, in 1873, by the Emperor of Germany. On the
4th of July, 1876
(the centennial anniversary of America's independence), there arrived at
New York from Berlin
one six-pounder brass cannon and four pieces of other cannon, consigned to
the Lutheran con-
gregation of Columbus. These strange implements of warfare'were of French
pattern and
were a part of the fruits of-the conquest of Alsace and Lorraine: They reached
Columbus on
the 2d of February, 1877, and in April, 1878, were reshipped to Baltimore,
where they were
recast into a bell bearing.'the following inscription: "1 I call the
living ones, I mourn the dead
ones, I break the lightning." The Lutheran Church is a splendid piece
of architecture, built of
cream brick and trimmed with red brick. The entire structure, including the
bell and organ,
cost $7,000. The present officers of the church are M. Blievernicht, Aug.
Christoph Boelte, Hy. A. Lueders (Secretary), John Topp (Treasurer), Charles
     St. Jerome's Church.-There is no record or remembrance of earlier Christian
effort in
Columbus, according to Romish tenets, than that embracing the ministrations
of that pioneer
apostle, the Rev. Martin Kundig, whose footprints we encounter in the early
church history of
almost every city or village of note in Central and Southeastern Wisconsin.
He bore the cross
into Columbus in the winter of 1856, and planted it in the midst of a small
flock of the faithful,
who hailed it with all the reverence begotten of earnest belief. The rude
homes in which the
members of the primitive par'ish lived were dedicated to the cause of the
church, and their doors

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