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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 681

Revs. Mr. Lewis and Mr. Stevens. About this date, the Columbus society was
separated from
the other points on the circuit. Since then, the following ministers have
filled the pulpit:
Revs. Chester, Palmer, Ford, Drew, Grumley, Sims, Blackburn, Bosworth, Reynolds,
penter, Sewell, Jones, Evans and the incumbent, R. W. Bosworth, who is here
for the
second time. The first church edifice was built in 1858-59, and was dedicated
in February of
the latter year by the Rev. H. C. Tilton. It stood near the present site
of the foundry, and
was purchased in 1872 or 1873, and has since been converted into a hall for
theatrical repre-
sentations. In the Spring of 1872, work was commenced on the new church and
it was
completed that fall under the supervision of J. P. Miller and L. W. Chase.
The dedicatory
sermon was preached by the Rev. C. H. Fowler, that event taking place October
26, 1873.
The cost of the building was $18,906.10. There is now a debt upon it of some
$2,000. The
present Trustees of the church are J. P. Miller, H. Waterhouse, J. W. Leffingwell,
A. Trow-
bridge, J. Whiting, D. D. Kelsey, B. Yule, E. Federly, R. P. Williams. The
membership is
about one hundred.
     The Welsh Methodists.-In 1845, half a dozen Welsh families, just from
Wales, settled
in the town of Elba, in Dodge County. There, on the first Sunday after their
arrival, they
planted the seeds of Calvinism in the then sparsely populated wilderness,
holding religious ser-
vices in a wagon-box.,- Accessions to the little colony were made from time
to time, and the
Rev. Hugh Jones was among those who came in 1845. A log church was erected
during the
following winter, and Mr. Jones presided over the congregation until his
death, in 1854. In
1866, J. J. Roberts, a young divine who had assisted -Mr. Jones since 1846,
and, upon the
latter's death, became his successor, took spiritual charge of a meager congregation
of his Welsh
brethren in Columbus. Meetings were held over the store of Uriah Davies,
on Broadway. In
1868, a frame church edifice was erected, at the corner of Church and Mill
streets, at a cost of
$2,200, including the building lot. The Rev. Mr. Roberts has supplied the
pulpit ever since
the organization. He preaches, also, in Salem Church, town of Calamus, and
Bethel Church,
in the town of Elba, Dodge County. The present officers of the Columbus society
are: Dea-
cons-Benjamin Hughes, John Davies, R. R. Roberts and Uriah Davies; Trustees-R.
Roberts, William E. Williams and William J. Edwards. There are forty-five
members in the
society, which is free from debt and in a prosperous condition. The collections
in the three
folds under Mr. Roberts' charge amount to about $600 per annum, $400 of which
is applied to
the salary of the minister, the remainder being about equally divided for
the support of home
missions and the Bible Society. It is a notable fact the Welsh Methodists
frequently contribute
larger sums, annually, to the support of the Bible Society than all other
denomirnations in the
State together.
     German Methodists.--In 1852, the Rev. Charles Kluckkorn came to Columbus,
then a
missionary point, to preach the Gospel in the German tongue, from a Methodist
He held occasional services for one year, and was succeeded by the Rev. J.
Schaefer, who
remained about the same length of time. In 1855, the Rev. John Westerfield
took charge,
and during his incumbency the Columbus German Methodists were separated from
their Bara-
boo brethren for church purposes, and an independent society was organized.
During that year,
$213 was raised for ministerial support. The first Trustees of the new society
were Louis
Kenzel, John Miller, J. Battels,' J. Fuhrman and Fr. Topp. In 1866, a church
edifice was
erected at a cost of $1,185.96, and in 1874, a new house of worship was erected,
which cost
$5,312.22. Mr. Westerfield's successors have been the Revs. Jacob Haas, Charles
R. Brueck, F. Conrad (who died here), 11. Wegner, H. Eberhardt, J. Rinder,
Christian Wenz,
with George Achenback as assistant, F. Gotschalk, Christian Wenz again, J.
Schaefer, F.
Kluckkorn, brother of Charles, and E. Fitzner, the present incumbent. The
value, of church
property, including parsonage, is given at $8,400. The Trustees are George
Link, Charles
Link, Christian Link, F. Wendt, John Lange, John Miller, William Thiede and
Christian Moll;
Stewards--Charles Colonius, C. Moll, L. Pietzner, F. Fuhrman and E. Meyer.
The member-
ship is 244.

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