Surface and Natural Products | Early Settlement | Events and Items|
War Record | County Organization | County Roster|
Court House and Jail | Railroads | Ferry and Transfer Companies|
Otoe County Fair Association | Otoe County Medical Society
The Old Settlers' Association | Assessments for Taxation
Nebraska City: Early Settlement | Selling Town Lots | A Judicial Joke|
An Incident of the Panic | An Era of Speculation
Nebraska City (cont.): Transportation and Telegraphs | Incorporation|
Official Roster | Criminal | Education
Nebraska City (cont.): Religion|
Nebraska City (cont.): The Press | Government Offices|
Fire Department | Fires | Societies | Wyuka Cemetery
Nebraska City (cont.): Public Buildings | Hotels | Banks|
Board of Trade | Elevators | Nebraska City Gaslight Company
9 - 14:
** Nebraska City Biographical Sketches **|
| ADLE~DILLON | DRAKE~KEES | KINNEY | KOHN~NEILSON |
| NORTHCUTT~SCHMITZ | SEYMOUR~ZIMMERS |
Syracuse: Education | Religion | Societies | Railroad Interests|
The Press | Biographical Sketches
Syracuse (cont.): Biographical Sketches (cont.)|
Palmyra: Education | Societies | Religion | Business|
Dunbar: Events and Items | Education | Religion | Societies|
Railroad Interests | Delaware Precinct (biographical sketches)
Unadilla: Religion | Societies | The Press | Events and Items|
Wyoming | Camp Creek | Other Towns|
Biographical Sketches: North Branch Precinct | Hendricks Precinct
Osage Precinct | McWilliams Precinct | Berlin Precinct | Minersville
List of Illustrations in Otoe County Chapter
In all probability, the garrison, stationed at Fort Kearney, was favored with occasional religious services; if so, all record thereof has been irrecoverably lost. The first regular preaching in Nebraska City, was by William D. Gage, a Methodist missionary, as early as the spring of 1854. The first church building erected, was that of the Baptists, a rude frame building. at the foot of Kearney Heights, in the immediate vicinity of the old trading post, of this attempt to organize a permanent society, particulars will be found in the history of the church itself.
The First Baptist Church in Nebraska City, was organized August 18, 1855, at the old " frame meeting house." The record of this important step in the new village is found in an old register, already yellow with age, lying in the archives of the church, and reads as follows:
Of the seven constitutional members only one, Lucinda Nuckolls, is now a communicant, the others having died or separated from the church for various reasons.
On February 12, 1856, the society decided to abandon the old house of worship, and, in conjunction with the Presbyterians, take possession of a hall in Excelsior Block, then just completed. This was done on March 1 of the same year, and the societies worshiped there on alternate Sabbaths for several years. At the same time it was resolved to hold regular communion services on the first of each month. At this time the church was under the wing of the Home Missionary Society, and the records show that remittances were asked from time to time to aid in the support of their pastor. On July 3 of this year a committee, consisting of A. Brown, A. A. Bradford and B. B. Belcher, was appointed as a board of trustees to secure a lot in a central part of the city for a church building, which was done shortly afterward.
A simple record in the registry of the church, dated November, 1859, shows with a clearness that could hardly be excelled the constant struggle which the mere handful of members maintained to support public services. The record reads: "Voted that the contract for lighting and wood be awarded to E. Henry at $90, or $100 if the subscriptions will admit of that expense." But better times were in store for the church, and in the following year a series of revival meetings added about forty to its membership. On November 6, 1861, it was resolved to erect a church edifice of their own, and a committee was appointed to raise the amount necessary for this purpose. May 3, 1862, the committee reported that they had secured a lot and contracted for the material for the building, and had a balance of $800 in the treasury.
On September 6 of this year it was decided to ask the Home Missionary Society for $600, to assist in completing the church building. This application was favorably answered, and the building was completed shortly afterward. Up to this time the society had worked harmoniously, but the following year found it deeply in debt to the parent society, and suffering from internal differences to such an extent, that in March of the following year the pastor recommended the dissolution of the society and the transfer of its real estate to the Home Missionary Society. This motion, however, met with little approval from the great majority of the church, and was almost unanimously voted down.
In 1865 the new building was ready for occupation, and was formally dedicated.
In 1867 the Congregational society applied for permission to use the Baptist building for their services, and it was decided to grant them this privilege until they should be able to erect a house of their own.
The Rev. I. T. Williams had tendered his resignation in 1866, but it was not until March 8, 1868, that the society called his successor, Mr. W. B. Bingham. In April of the same year the Rev. George Davis was sent out from New York to the society. On September 9, 1870, Rev. H. A. Guild became pastor of the church, and remained with them until March 10, 1872. He was succeeded by the Rev. J. Y. Westover, who died suddenly in August, 1879. while on a visit to Waukesha, Wis. In November following the Rev. Mr. Ried, of Muscatine, Iowa, was invited to assume the pastoral office, but declined, and on the following spring the Rev. O. A. Williams was installed. Mr. Williams was succeeded, October 1, 1881, by Rev. J. C. Read, the present pastor.
There is a colored Baptist congregation near Table Creek, under charge of Rev. Isaac Martin, and another, without a regular pastor, at the foot of the bluff where the creek joins the Missouri. Neither of these have regular organizations.
First Methodist Episcopal Church (North).--The Methodist Episcopal Church of Nebraska City, was organized in 1855, by the Rev. W. D. Gage, a missionary for the Territory. There were seven constituent members: Rev. W. D. Gage and wife, Mattie Gage, William Walker and wife, M. Riden and Mrs. Rowena Craig. In the latter part of the same year, the society commenced the erection of a building for church purposes, and had the walls raised before winter set in. That winter, during a severe storm, the partially finished structure was blown down and no effort was made to rebuild until the following year, when John Hamlin was awarded the contract for the work. This second attempt was successful, and in 1856 the work was completed and the society took possession. This was the first church built in the Territory. During the same year a Sabbath school was organized with John Hamlin as superintendent and Miss Bowen as assistant. There were five annual conferences held in the building, under the charge of Bishops Ames, Morris, Scott, James and Scott. The following pastors have had charge of the society: Rev. Messrs. Taylor, Burch, May, Chivington, Lemon, Smith, Davis, Alexander, Lemon, Presson, Radebaugh. Wilson and W. K. Beans, the present incumbent.
In 1864, a parsonage was secured at a cost of $1,200. In 1866, the records show that another building had been taken at a valuation of $2,000. Still later a fine brick was erected in the same enclosure as the building proper, at a cost of about $3,000.
During the year 1874, the old church building was torn down and anew one, 40x80 feet, erected on the corner of Eleventh and Laramie streets, at a cost of $10,000. The corner stone was laid August 13, 1874, with appropriate ceremonies, Rev. P. F. Broyer, of the Des Moines conference officiating. The church was completed the same fall and formally dedicated by Bishop Andrews on the 27th day of January, 1875. Rev. J. H. Presson was appointed pastor. The Rev. T. B. Lemon was present during the summer of 1875 and acted as assistant. During this year the county was devastated by grasshoppers, and the consequent removals and losses from various sources reduced the membership from 200 to 160. At the conference at the end of this year, Rev. J. H. Presson was returned as pastor.
Of the constituent members of this church but one, Mrs. Rowena Craig. is still living in this city.
In 1881, the church numbered something over 200 members and was steadily gaining. At that time the Sabbath school numbered 158 and was supplied with twenty teachers, exclusive of the regular officers.
The church has always been substantial financially, and has an unblemished record.
Methodist Episcopal (South).--The first work of the Southern Methodist Episcopal Church in Nebraska City, was performed by Elder Hedgepeth, who belonged to the Missouri Circuit, there being: no recognized field West of the river at that time.
In 1866. the scattered members of this faith were gathered together by J. S. Catlin, in the Baptist Church and an organization effected, with a membership of twenty-seven. Mr. Catlin, however, did not become the pastor of the church, and it was not until the following year that a minister was regularly appointed. This minister was Rev. Thompson Penn, who came to the city in the fall of 1867 and remained one year. In 1868, the church, which had previously worshiped in a hall on Main street opposite the court house, and later on the corner of Main and Tenth streets, raised money to build a church of their own, and erected the present building, on the corner of Eighth and Laramie, the same year, at a cost of $4,500. Mr. Penn was followed by Rev. J. F. Shores, who remained one year.
The pastors of this church up to the present time have been Rev. Messrs. J. S. Smith, B. Margeson, Jessie Bird, George Warren. James McEwen, W. A. Hanna, who remained three years; James Payne, C. A. Sherman, J. T. Smith and W. P. Caples. the present pastor. The church has a Sabbath school, under the superintendence of D. Thompson, in a flourishing condition.
The German Methodist Episcopal Church, of Nebraska City. was organized February 26, 1882. This church is, properly speaking, a mission of the old church established some twenty years since at a point in the country about fifteen miles northwest of this city. The old church had no regular pastor and there was no town or post office near it. A few years since the present pastor, Rev. F. Schumaker, was appointed to the pastorate. Under his charge the old church has increased in membership, and the new church on Tenth and Kansas streets, built at a cost of $1,200. Adjoining the new church is a parsonage valued at $900. At present Rev. Mr. Schumaker supplies both churches, but an assistant will shortly be engaged, when services will be held every Sabbath in each place. The present membership is about eighty; the present board of trustees is William Kropp, L. Kumm, J. Bischof, F. Stuckenholz, F. Ganzel. The Nebraska City chapel has no Sabbath school organization, but the old church has a school, under the superintendence of L. Paap, with a membership of thirty. The prospects of the church are good.
A small church building belonging to the colored Methodists is situated on the corner of Sioux and Fifth streets. It has an irregular organization with about fifteen members and a large number of constant attendants. It is expected that a regular organization will be effected shortly, and that the conference of 1882 will assign a pastor to the society.
Protestant Methodist.--On March 31, 1860, Rev. J. M. Young started a branch of the Protestant Methodist Church at Nebraska City, a society being organized and regular meetings held in the store room of Owen & Newton. The same year the society proposed to build a church edifice, but not succeeding, became disorganized, and at present has no existence.
The First Presbyterian Church.--On August 10, 1855, Rev. H. M. Giltner began his labors as a missionary of the Presbyterian Church in Nebraska City. In the fall of this year, a sufficient number of people had signified their willingness to join an organization, and accordingly a church known as the "First Presbyterian Church of Nebraska City" was established. Mr. Giltner was assisted in the opening exercises on November 1, by Rev. L. G. Bell, of Sidney. Iowa. The constituent members of the church were D. F. Jackson and wife, W. B. Hail and wife; Mrs. Harriet Anderson, Mrs. Mary Cowles, Mrs. Catherine Cowles, Miss Maggie J. Martin, Solomon Martin, David Martin, W. S. Van Doren, Dr. J. C. Campbell, Miss Emily Lorton, Miss Nancy Pearman, Mrs. S. E. Giltner.
The first accession to the church recorded is found under date of May 22, 1856. and was followed at frequent intervals by others, principally by letters from eastern churches.
At the first election of ruling elders, June 23 of the same year, W. B. Hail and William Buchanan were chosen, their names appearing interwoven with the church history for several years thereafter.
The church edifice, which is still in use, was erected in 1857, and was rated the finest structure of the class then in the Territory.
On the resignation of H. M. Giltner, in April, 1864, the society engaged Rev. James W. Clark as a stated supply for one year. He was succeeded by J. Calvin Elliott, who after supplying the church a year became its pastor June 10, 1867, continuing in the office up to September 19, 1869. He was followed by Rev. J. D. Kerr. who assumed the pastorate in October, 1870, and held that position until 1877. From December, 1877, J. W. Dullas supplied the pulpit six months, yielding to C. M. Cate, who officiated from September, 1878, till September, 1879, when the present pastor, Robert W. Cleland, of Kentucky, was installed. The present ruling elders are W. Buchanan. O. W. Parker, George M. Brinker, L. F. Cornutt, W. W. Smith and N. S. Harding.
The church has always been very strongly total abstinence in its beliefs and numerous instances are found in its register of action taken to induce members who had been too free with the spirituous and in consequence too careless of the spiritual. During March, 1878, the first large revival commenced and resulted in the addition of twenty members to the church in a brief time afterward. The influence of this movement was apparently very strong, for even after its first strength had passed away there are frequent records of the admission of converts. The church is in a flourishing condition and bids fair to continue, in the future its honorable record of the past decade.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church was organized on July 16, 1865, by Rev. C. B. Hodges. Shortly after the organization of the society five elders, J. A. Lobb, W. W. Owen, Alexander Magers, W. L. Boydston and J. J. Barwick were elected. Of this number, none are now residents of this city, three having died and two removed to other fields of labor. In August of the same year Rev. C. M. Love became the pastor of the church for a short time but was soon followed by Rev. C. B. Hodges, who was very efficient in building up the church during his six months charge. In the spring of 1866, Rev. R. S. Reed of Salem, Ill., accepted a call from the church, and became its pastor October 28, of the same year. Under his management the church throve greatly, both in spiritual and financial matters and their present house of worship, at the corner of Tenth and Laramie streets, was erected. This work was commenced in the first year of his pastorate and dedicated with appropriate ceremonies in December, 1867. After three years of service, Mr. Reed resigned his position to become corresponding secretary of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. This occurred in the fall of 1869, and Mr. Reed died the following year, to the great sorrow of his many warm friends in this city. He was succeeded; in November, 1869, by Rev. J. B. Green of Kentucky, who is the present pastor.
During Mr. Green's pastorate the work so well begun by his predecessor has gone steadily on. For a number of years the society has been on a sound financial basis and out of debt. The church building is finely furnished and has an abundant supply of books and other necessary properties. The membership is now over 200 and embraces a large share of the wealthiest business men of the place.
The Sabbath school of this church was established in July, 1865, and has been from the first a very successful one. Its superintendents have been Martin Hughes, W. L. Boydston, W. T. Sloan and A. R. Newcomb, who now holds the position. The present membership of the school is over one hundred and forty-five.
United Presbyterian Church.--In 1860, the United Presbyterians effected the organization of a society, holding services in a building just east of the Baptist Church edifice, under the ministerial charge of Rev. Mr. Donfit. This building is still in the name of the society, but the majority of the members of the church have long since united themselves with other religious bodies.
Latter Day Saints.--The Josephites or Latter Day Saints are the descendants of the faith which has been perverted into Mormonism. As long ago as 1853, there was a small society holding these tenets in Wisconsin, but there was no real leader of the faith until the advent of Joseph Smith, in 1860. In 1862, Hannah Fuller, whose son-in-law, J. W. Waldsmith, is now an ordained elder in Nebraska City, was made a member of the church and was the first in this county to take such action. In the following year an organization was effected. This was the first branch south of the Platte and was known as the Weeping Water branch, many of the members living between Weeping Water and this city. April 8, 1866, the Nebraska City Church of this creed was organized with a membership of twenty-one. The presiding elder was R. C. Elvin, who has held the office up to the present time, except a short period when, in his absence the duties of the office were performed by Elder J. W. Waldsmith.
This church while following implicitly the revelations of Joseph Smith, repudiates Mormonism, as popularly understood, and abhors the doctrine of polygamy. In the possession of the elders is a transcript from a public letter of Joseph Smith to his followers, written in 1844, and warning them that the practice of polygamy would be a certain cause of expulsion from the church. This letter was published in the Union Vidette, March 31, 1866, and states in emphatic language the outcome of ''that false and corrupt doctrine."
The society purchased in 1881, the brick church on Sixth, between Main and Laramie streets and hold it free of debt. The church property is valued at about $2.000. There is a Sabbath school connected with the church, J. W. Waldsmith, superintendent, and it is well supplied with books and all necessary appliances.
Up to the present time about 250 have been added to the church. Its present membership is about one hundred. The society is now in a flourishing condition and its members are among the best and wealthiest citizens.
The Catholic Churches.--All trans-Missouri ground east of the Rockies, was, until 1859, in the charge of the Vicarate Apostolic of Kansas, under Rt. Rev. Bishop S. B. Meigs, of Leavenworth Kansas. This Territory was not divided in any way, but was supplied by regular visits to various points, both north and south of the Platte, under the supervision of the Benedictine fathers of Kansas. The first regular visitant was Rev. Augustine Wirth, O. S. B., who also visited Omaha and other points. He was succeeded by Rev. Francis Cannon, O. S. B., who took charge in 1858. During the first part of his charge, he resided in Omaha, and built a church there, but later, returned to Nebraska City. He was succeeded the following year by Rev. Casimer Seitz, O. S. B., who resided at Atchison., Kan., and acted as a regular priest for Nebraska City, and surrounding points. This was continued but part of that year. and in the fall, Rev. Philip Vogg took charge of this part of the diocese. In the spring of 1860, the church at Nebraska City had grown to such size as to demand a regular minister, and Father Vogg was permanently assigned to the work. During the first year of his residence, the corner stone of the church on Kearney Heights was laid, by Rt. Rev. Bishop O'Gorman, of Omaha, and considerable progress made with the work. The following year Rev. Emanuel Hartig, O. S. B., succeeded to the charge. In his pastorate, the church was completed, and the society put upon a firm basis. In 1865, an academy of the Benedictine sisters was founded here, and in co-operation with the people of the city, a school for ladies was founded, and maintained in a thorough and systematic course of instruction.
In 1869, the duties of the office had so increased, through the increasing settlement of the county, that an assistant was necessary, and Rev. Pirmin Koumley. O. S. B., was stationed in the city to care for the church on Kearney Heights, while his superior was absent on church affairs. At this time the Rev. Mr. Voss established churches at Tecumseh, Lincoln and many other points. Father Koumley remained a year, and was followed by Rev. Suitbert Demarteau, who in turn, was succeeded by Rev. Michael Hoffmater, O. S. B. In 1870, the church here was also aided from time to time by Rev. Anthony Kapser, who traveled from Nebraska City to Kansas. Up to this time, the church had gathered together all of their faith, who came to this western point, but now increasing numbers decided them to separate. This was accordingly done, and the English-speaking portion withdrew to the present town, and formed a new church, with Rev. John McGouldich as their pastor. At this time the Kearney Heights Church was left without an assistant, and Rev. Dennis Stolz was appointed to the vacant position, which he filled until 1875. In this year, Rev. Emanuel Hartig, who had so long held the pastorate, was transferred to Kansas, and the German Church on the Heights was assigned to Rev. Thomas Bartl, O. S. B. In 1876, Father John A. Haas took charge of St. Mary's Parish, (English) and remained with the church for a year. He was succeeded by Father B. Mackin, who also remained but one year, and was followed by Father Hugh Cumminsky, who remained up to February, 1879, when Father Eugene Cusson came, who now has charge of the Catholic interests here. At the time of Father Cusson's entrance upon his labors, the church was in rather a discouraging condition. The church property consisted of a single frame building, located on the corner of Otoe and Tenth streets, and is still used as a school by the Benedictine sisters. During this time (1879 to the present) the church, formerly owned and built by the Christian Church, on Sixth and Laramie streets, was purchased by the parish. This is a substantial brick structure, ninety by forty feet. A neat and commodious house has been purchased for the use of the Father, and all the church property is free of debt. The membership is 315.
Since 1875, St. Benedict (German) Church, on Kearney Heights, has remained under the charge of Father Thomas Bartl, up to the last of 1881, when Father Emanuel Hartig, who had been laboring in Kansas was returned to this city, with which his long labors had so thoroughly identified him.
Occupying two of the most prominent and sightly edifices in the city, and supported by a substantial body of parishoners, these churches have a proud position among those of the State.
The Academy of the Annunciation was opened by the Benedictine Sisters, under charge of St. Benedict Church, in 1871. The school occupies a building adjoining the church, and furnishes a full course of instruction to the students, who are all young ladies.
St. Mary's School is located on the corner of Ninth and Otoe, and is under the charge of Mother Emmerana and twenty-one sisters of the order. It is connected with St. Mary's Church, and has a thorough system of teaching in all branches of knowledge.
St. Mary's Episcopal Church was founded in 1857 by Rev. Eli Adams, who spent the fall of that year in preaching at various points near where Nebraska City now stands. At that time the town was located on the bluff at the east of the present city, and was known as Kearney Heights, from its proximity to the old Fort Kearney, established there as a Government post some years previously. In the winter Mr. Adams went East, after accepting a call to become rector of the parish. On his return the parish was incorporated and a church building erected. In 1867 the church was moved from Kearney Heights to its present location and thoroughly renovated. The building is built of wood and is cruciform in shape, with stained glass windows. The present membership is sixty, and the seating capacity of the house 250. In the twenty-four years of its existence the church has had but eight rectors: Eli Adams, Mr. Hagar, C. H. Rice, H. R. Pyne, W. H. O'Connell, Dr. McNamara, of Nebraska College; Prof. Remick, of the same institution; T. O'Connell, now in charge of a portion of the diocese, and David Barr, who became rector in February, 1882. In the time following the rectorship of Dr. McNamara, and preceding that of Prof. Remick, services were maintained by lay members Phillip Potter and J. Metcalf.
The church has always been on a comfortable financial basis, and subscriptions have been regularly kept up and collected without difficulty. The society is now free of debt and has money in the treasury, besides a special fund of $800 to be used as the last payment on the rectory. Phillip Potter, senior warden, has been treasurer of the parish for ten years, and states that in that time no bill could be presented and fail of being immediately paid. The church is a free one, and all funds are raised by subscription, yet it has never been found necessary to go outside of its own people for any contributions.
The church contains a prayer-book and Bible presented to it by the poetess Mrs. L. H. Sigourney, and containing her autograph, and a font donated by the Sunday school of Trinity Church, Washington, D. C. The present vestry is: Phillip Potter, senior warden; R. M. Rolfe, junior warden; J. Metcalf, E. Waddington, S. S. Morehouse, H. W. R. Wodehouse, H. S. Cady, C. W. Seymour and J. Sterling Morton, vestrymen.
S. S. Morehouse is secretary of the body and superintendent of the Sunday school.
St. Augustine Chapel is an offshoot of St. Mary's Episcopal Church to a certain extent. The building was erected as a neuclus for the divinity department of Nebraska College, and is under the charge of R. W. Oliver, the present dean, who has held this office from the time the chair was first endowed, about ten years ago. Phillip Potter is superintendent of the Sunday school. The chapel has a memorial window to Bishop Alonzo Potter, of Pennsylvania, and memorial tablets to Maria De Peyster and J. Watts De Peyster. of New York.
The Congregational.--On the last day of December, 1862, a meeting of persons favorable to the organization of a Congregational Church in Nebraska City was held at Miss Bowen's schoolhouse, in Kearney Ward. Those present were: George F. Lee and wife, Royal Buck and wife, Miss Lucy Bowen, Joel Draper, James Sweet and S. P. Sibley. After a discussion of the objects of the meeting a temporary organization was effected with James Sweet, chairman and Royal Buck, secretary. A resolution was offered "that it is expedient and proper to take preliminary steps to organize a Congregational Church in this city, and that a council be called for that purpose." James Sweet, S. P. Sibley, Royal Buck and George F. Lee were appointed a committee to invite a council for the 7th and 8th of February, 1863.
In accordance with these instructions the committee issued invitations to the churches at Omaha, Council Bluffs, Glenwood, Tabor and Civil Bend to be represented by the pastor and a delegate from each.
January 31, 1863, a meeting was held at the brick schoolhouse for the purpose of preparing articles of association and a confession of faith, those present being George F. Lee and wife, Joel Draper and wife, Joshua Garside and wife, H. K. Raymond, H. O. Tibbetts and wife, S. P. Sibley, Royal Buck and wife, Miss Lucy Bowen, James Sweet and Mrs. M. J. Aldrich. The articles of association and the confession of faith were then adopted and signed by all present.
On the 7th of February, 1863, the council of churches convened in Union hall. Rev. Reuben Gaylord, of Omaha, acting as moderator and Rev. J. Todd, of Tabor, Iowa, as scribe. The following delegates presented their credentials: Rev. Reuben Gaylord, Omaha; J. Todd and Deacon Kellogg, Tabor; A. M. House, Glenwood, Dr. A. D. Bottsford, Civil Bend. The meeting was opened by prayer by the moderator and the communication from the proposed church called for. In response to this call Royal Buck stated in brief the reasons which led to their desire to organize a church and presented the articles of association, the confession of faith and the covenant with the names appended, for the consideration of the council. After a review of the matter submitted to them the council decided to proceed to the organization of a church. This was followed by the presentation of letters of dismissal from various churches by the various members of the new church and a brief recital of the experience of each. An informal ballot was then taken on officers of the new church when fully organized, and resulted in choice of George T. Lee and Royal Buck as deacons; S. P. Sibley, as clerk and James Sweet as treasurer. On Sunday, February 9, after an able sermon by the Rev. R. Gaylord, the members came forward and after publicly entering into a covenant were pronounced a church by the moderator. From this time until May 11, there was no effort to secure a pastor, but then it was resolved to invite the Rev. T. Lyman to the vacant seat. Mr. Lyman, however, declined, in order to devote himself more particularly to missionary work, and the church finally accepted the offer of the Rev. E. M. Lewis, of Hudson, Mich., who arrived in the city December 25, of the same year and was formally installed two days later. Mr. Reed proved himself a very efficient pastor and in February, 1864, at a meeting of the society the words limiting his call to six months, were ordered stricken out. As a natural outgrowth of the church, a Sabbath school was determined upon and its organization completed May 29, with H. K. Raymond, superintendent, S. P. Sibley, assistant, and Royal Buck as secretary and treasurer.
In the fall of 1864, the project of purchasing a lot upon which to build a church was agitated and a committee appointed to look into the matter. At the second annual meeting, December 24, 1864, they had, however, been unable to secure a lot and asked further time, which was granted them.
September 24, 1865, Mr. Lewis resigned the pastorate of the church, after two years of efficient service, and much against the wishes of the church. He was succeeded December 24, by Rev. James B. Finch, of Orient, Long Island, who remained with the church till forced to make a change of climate on account of the serious illness of his wife. He tendered his resignation May 15, 1867. On October 13, 1867, after wasting some time in correspondence with various candidates, the church extended a call to Rev. Roswell Foster, of Missouri Valley, Iowa. This call was accepted and Mr. Foster entered upon his duties the following Sabbath. He was succeeded by Rev. W. C. Foster, who only remained a short time.
Shortly after the resignation of Mr. Foster, the society failed to secure a place for holding meetings, and services were temporarily discontinued.
On December 12, 1872, the church was again in good state, and that date J. G. Taylor was ordained its pastor and continued in that position until August 11, 1876.
May 22, 1876. it was decided that the church should be incorporated as "The Congregational Church of Nebraska City," to take the place of the Congregational society, organized March 25, 1865, to act in conjunction with the Congregational Church. July 31, 1876, it was decided to call Rev. Thomas Gordon, of Sugar Grove, Pa., and on the expiration of the services of Rev. Mr. Taylor, he became pastor of the church, and remained till September 24, 1877. Rev. J. L. Collier succeeded to the ministry in October of the same year, and held the office until obliged by ill health to retire. This occurred March 12, 1879, and the Rev. J. C. Thompson followed him; and after acting as pastor for nearly a year, was formally installed April 17, 1880, and performed his duties with marked success until called to rejoin his former church in Ohio, in April of the following year. After a vacancy of six months, the present pastor, Rev. George Hindley, was called to the pastoral charge.
At the annual meeting of the church and Sabbath school, April 17, 1881, a statement of the financial condition of the society was submitted, showing that the outstanding indebtedness of the church was very slight, and that the Sabbath school had a small surplus in the treasury.
The present officers of the church are: Deacons, S. M. Field, H. R. Raymond, Garrett Tharp and L. Ellis; trustees, J. B. Parmalee, William Hammond. O. D. Waterman ; secretary, Dewit C. Mosier; treasurer, C. A. Simon.
Music Committee.--William Hammond, J. J. Mutton.; organist, Miss Lettie Chadsey. The Sabbath school officers are : Superintendent, Dewit C. Mosier; assistant, William Hammond.
Christian Church.--The Christian Church had a society in Nebraska City as early as 1866. The founder of this society was Rev. J. B. Johnson, who held the office for several years, being succeeded by Rev. J. B. Cake. During Mr. Johnson's pastorate, the church purchased a lot on the corner of Sixth and Laramie streets, and erected thereon a substantial brick building costing about $12,000.
This expense of $14,000, in round numbers, was a greater load than the society could bear, and they were forced to borrow $4,000 from the school fund. This was done in 1869. For several years thereafter the church seemed to be prospering and in a better financial status than many of its sister churches. Up to 1874 there had been 235 additions to the membership. At this date, however, the failure of a trustee of the church threw them into serious difficulties and finally caused the total loss of their property. It will be remembered that the church owed $4,000 and that to save their edifice, regular payments of interest were required. The task of collections and payment had been intrusted to B. M. Davenport, who left the town without discharging his obligations or accounting for the funds. This brought matters to a crisis and the State took the property on behalf of the school fund. The State donated the property to the city schools, and they in turn gave it to the city, which sold it for $1,100 to the English branch of the Catholic society. At the time of this sale, the society professed a desire to repurchase the building, but for some reason it was not awarded to them. In 1876, the church having been a long time without a pastor, was partly reorganized, and had a membership of forty-seven. It was still unable to support a regular minister and depended upon the occasional preachers who made this circuit. The pastors of the church have been J. B. Johnson, J. B. Cake, William Kirk, James Rector and P. K. Dibble. Rev. Mr. Dibble, who closed his labors in 1879, had no successor and the society, as such, no longer holds meetings, although many of its members are yet residents of the city.
Evangelical Lutheran.--The First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Nebraska City was established in 1867. Its first pastor was Rev. E. Huber, who did much to build up the organization and remained with it up to February, 1876. The first election of officers of which a record now exists, took place in 1872 and resulted in the choice of M. Miller, trustee; H. Larsen, elder; W. Rodenbrock, deacon. During its existence the church has had the following pastors: E. Huber, F. W. E. Peschau, J. F. Kuhlmann and W. Rosenstinger. The first election of Sabbath school officers took place January 27, 1875, and resulted in the choice of C. F. S. Templin, superintendent, and J. F. Wilhelmy, assistant. The present officers are J. F. Wilhelmy superintendent; F. W. Petring, assistant, and the membership 165. This is the second Sabbath school, in point of size, of all now in existence in the city. Up to 1880 all the services of the church had been conducted in German but on February 6 of that year it was resolved to try and add an English service for the benefit of Lutherans of that nationality. This was done shortly afterward and services at different hours were held in both languages until the latter part of that year when the English asked for a dismission in order to form a society of their own. This project does not seem to have prospered, for before the close of the year the English element was again united to the parent society. At the present time services are held in German for two Sabbaths and in English on the third. The preaching in the evening is always in English. The church now occupies a building on the corner of Ninth and Nebraska streets, erected at a cost of $3,300, which has a seating capacity of 500. The present membership is between 150 and 200, and embraces several prominent merchants of the city. The present council is, H. H. Bartling, F. W. Rottman, P. Hermann, P. Bradhoft, J. F. Wilhelmy.