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First Presbyterian Church, Neenah, Wisconsin, 1848-1998; 150 years of mission and ministry

[History of the First Presbyterian Church, Neenah, Wisconsin],   pp. 8-73

Page 8

The Old Council Tree was a "giant elm" near today's Kimberly 
Point Park. 
"We have it from Mr. [0. P.] Clinton that Gov. Doty often said 
that the tree was a general rendezvous and treaty ground for the 
tribes and bands of Indians up and down the [Fox] river..."* 
The first Protestant services in Winnebago Rapids, which later 
became Neenah, were held in 1845 at the Harrison Reed 
residence located near the Council Tree. That first congrega- 
tion included some who, a short time later, would help form the 
Presbyterian Church. 
The Old Council Tree 
In August, 1848, the Rev. H. M. Robertson gathered a few Presby- 
terian families together and began conducting regular services at 
the home of Loyal H. Jones on West Wisconsin Ave. near where 
the Bergstrom Paper Mill (now a division of P. H. Glatfelter Co.) 
stands. Later that year, the congregation began meeting in a large 
room over the general store owned and operated by Mr. Jones 
and his partner, Perrine Yale. It was here that the First Presbyte- 
rian Church of Winnebago Rapids was formally organized on 
December 15, 1848 with 17 members. 
Loyal Jones and Mr. Clinton had become acquainted before Mr. 
Clinton visited the region. Mr. Jones requested that Mr. Clinton 
"...note any favorable opportunities for investing in new lands, 
and informed him that, should he find any good location, with 
water-power and other requisites for building up a town, he 
should like to know it. .." 
*History of Neenah by G. A. Cunningham, originally published in 1878 and
in 1948 and 1997 by the Neenah Historical Society. 
Harrison Reed's Homestead 
1800: U.S. Federal offices moved fror 
     Philadelphia to Washington, 
     D.C.; Thomas Jefferson is 
     elected president. 
1809: Abraham Lincoln is born. 
1816: Federal government builds Fort 
     Howard at what later becomes 
     Green Bay and Fort Crawford at 
     what later becomes Prairie du 
1818-1836: Wisconsin is part of 
     Territory of Michigan. 
1823: Beethoven finishes Missa 
     Solemnis, Op. 123. 
     Monroe Doctrine is adopted; 
     closes continent to coloniza- 
     tion by European countries. 
     Mexico becomes republic. 
1828: AndrewJackson is elected 
     president, defeats John Quincy 
1836: Davy Crockett is killed in battle 
     at Alamo. 
     American painter Winslow 
     Homer is born. 
     Wisconsin is granted separate 
     territorial status. 
1845: First religious services take place 
     in Winnebago Rapids (Neenah) 
     at homestead of Harrison Reed 
     located near Old Council Tree. 
     An itinerant minister of the 
     ever-alert Methodist church"* 
1846: The Rev. 0. P. Clinton, 
     representing the Congregational 

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