York Center United Methodist Church, Clark Co., Wisconsin


In 1958 the county decided the road needed to be widened and black topped. This made it necessary to narrow the porch and set the entrance steps to the west side of the church entrance.

1961: Celebration of the 80th anniversary. Rev. Paul Doering as pastor.

1976: Shingled the roof and steeple for $794.00. 20 year guarantee on the shingles- 10 years on the labor.

1978: Wainscoating and interior redone. First of the colored glass windows installed.

1979: Flag pole installed. Speaker system purchased. Another colored window. Started work on the centennial book.

1980: Celebration of 100 years. July 24, pie and ice cream social- July 25', Old time hymn sing and special music- July 26' banquet and style show- July 27', Sunday morning special service. Last of the colored glass windows.

1982: New storm windows.

1983: First pig roast 1984: Discussed the possibility of new ramp and building. New rail fence put around the parking lot by cemetery. 2' pig roast.

1985: First Soup and Salad dinner by Sunday School Students. New siding and insulation- new entry and ramp. 3' pig roast.

1986: New burgundy runners installed, new lights and carpeting on ramp,

1989: New hymnals

1990: New gas furnace installed on wall and new shingles on bell tower.

1991: New Bibles

1992: The beginning of plans for the remodeling. Certificate of award to the church for members contribution to UMCOR.



We had many money making projects during our time of building and remodeling. We sold bricks at $5.00 each to be put in the basement on the wall with names on ( for memorial or for your own family), several garage sales, brat fries, soup and salad dinners, pancake dinners. One project was to put a certain amount of money away for the month (each month a different idea, such as 5 cents every time you drove your car anyplace, or 10 cents for every magazine you got in the mail in a month, 10 cents for every blanket in your home) Every 2 months this money was to be turned in to the treasurer. We also had a church pat luck dinner. Instead of donating food or money toward a meal, we went pot luck and each family threw in $20.00 and then we had an auction of baked good, canned goods, crafts, dry mixes, squash and watermelons. You'd be surprised how much you can make on all these things.


The women of York Center United Methodist Church began meeting in the homes. The hostess served a meal at noon without meat as it was too expensive for what they charged for the meal. They held business meetings with the ladies taking turn as president. After the meeting they would help the hostess with whatever sewing she had from tying quilts to sewing rags for rugs. The name "Ladies Aid" was given to the organization.

The Women's Society of Christian Service or WSCS was organized with the help of Rev. Lee Holmes in 1946. They later became affiliated with the Conference as the United Methodist Women. The York Center Women are known for the meals they serve. They serve dinners in April and November for election day or have a fall harvest dinner. Sometimes this meal will be accompanied by a harvest sale of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and even handy work. This money goes to the UMW. They have provided many items in the church as well as providing financial support. In early times the cost of the meals started at 50 cents to $1.00. This included mashed potatoes, meat, gravy, salads, baked beans, rolls, pickles, cheese, and pies. This was served family style and all you could eat. As everything else increased in cost so did the cost of the meals. Now the meals are served buffet style with more meat, (ham, chicken) potatoes, gravy, many kinds of salads, pickles, cheese, several different kinds of vegetables, rolls, and any kind of pie you could think of. Cost $5.00 to $6.00. Residents of the Town of York, Neillsville, Granton, Loyal and many of the other surrounding towns have been great supporters of these dinners. The UMW today is very active in missions. They've sent food and school supplies overseas, given to several state and local projects, given money to help flood victims, collected mittens, scarves and caps for the local mitten tree and collected toys and clothing for children whose names are on the Angel tree. They make and serve meals for weddings and funerals. They are always ready and willing to help whenever asked. Presidents from the records that exist and memories, Flossie Schmidtke, Jane Bartsch, Irene Rowe, Violet Mechelke, Darlene Bixby, and Lori Rowe.



Sadie Rowe

 In the early years only vocal music was used. Part singing was taught with a pitch pipe by Mrs. Sidney Davis (Orinda Johnson). Some people didn't want an organ but me was bought later. A pump organ cost $10.00 to $25.00. In 1946 a piano was purchased.  Belle Mortimer, Edna Lee, Irene Rowe were regular pianists and Eileen Korth, Ida Voight, and Georgia Benedict played for short periods. Today we have Marcia Crothers and Lori Rowe, granddaughter of Irene Rowe. Sadie Rowe Singing was no problems as there were many good singers in church. Special music groups could be heard during any holiday. In 1970 a regular choir was formed and another group was formed call the "Sunshine Girls." This group would perform whenever asked and entertained at the Neillsville Memorial Home.

Irene Rowe

Another group were men and they were called the "Moonshine Boys.  York Center has had a choir for many years but during the summer months there is no choir.  On occasion there will be someone who will do some special music or maybe the Sunday School children  will perform. Many larger groups have come to the church to perform, June Thompson singers, Clark County Male Chorus, Clark County Choraliers and Bless the Maker.

Lori Rowe


The youth group was very active in the early days. This group was called the Epworth League. In 1940 the name was changed to the Methodist Youth Fellowship (MYF). At this time the group met at members homes each taking turns as host. They met on a regular basis, learning about Christianity and fellowship under the guidance of the pastor and adult leaders. Each member took a turn at presenting the topic for the meeting and roll call was answered with a memorized Bible verse. The NIYF also contributed to the York Center Church by giving the United States Flag and the Christian Flag, which are still used in the church today. Under the leadership of the pastor and young couples, like the Korth family it made for an enjoyable and memorable Christian experience. Approximately eight to ten area Methodist groups met twice a year at sub-district rallies. The UMYF is still active today with about 22 members. They meet once a month at the Loyal Education Unit. They do special things at church such as Easter Sunday "Sonrise" service, go caroling at Christmas and give out cookies, have a spaghetti dinner and desert auction to raise money. They plan several activities through out the year, such as roller skating parties, lock-ins, skiing parties and community service and road side clean-up. In 1972 the MYF became the UNIYF (United Methodist Youth Fellowship).


We can't leave out the children and Sunday School. From the earliest days there was Sunday School and the attendance was great. The classes vary now but they still have their part in church. It would be a very solemn church if it weren't for the children. They have dramatized "Jesus riding through Jerusalem" on Palm Sunday, made posters for Mothers Day, "What Mother Means to Me", neck ties for Father's Day and the biggest highlight is the Christmas Program. The children attend Summer Bible School every summer. When a child reaches third grade he/she receives their own Bible. To earn money for their projects, they started having every one put a penny in a bank for as many years old they were. They also have a soup and salad dinner on St. Patrick's Day. Some of this Christmas Program money has gone to the building fund. This money along with the help of the congregation, they purchased a colored glass window. They help on Sunday with scripture reading, take up the offering and light the altar candies.


 I have many happy memories of things that happened through out my 90 years being a part of the York Center United Methodist Church at York Center. I still have my certificate of when I was transferred from the cradle roll to the beginners department. It is dated January 25, 1916. Mrs. Ida Pease was Superintendent and W. P. Powell was the Pastor. In those days the Sunday School children sat on a bench on the south wall behind the organ which faced the congregation. The first organist I can remember was Sadie Rowe. I was still quite young when I recall going to Camp Revival meetings with my folks in a tent south of the church. These meeting were well attended. Church and Sunday School services were held m Sunday afternoon. Not many activities took place in the evenings as all we had were kerosene lamps. There was a pole hanging from the ceiling to which was attached a circle tube which held the kerosene for the 8 to 12 lamps, They had no janitor but I remember that George Mortimer came early on Sunday morning to start the wood stove. It was near the entry way with the black pipe running near the ceiling to the chimney which was on the south wall. Horse sheds were west of the church. On the north end was the wood shed and on the south end was the two holer. summer walked to Bible school. They had no caretaker for the cemetery so every spring folks gathered to clean up the cemetery and afterwards enjoyed a picnic.


 As a youngster, I remember going to Jim & Zettie Young's home near Willard for an all church picnic. They were members who had lived in our neighborhood. Jim took rare of the fire tower at Willard, so was great fan climbing the big tower. During my MYF days I remember sledding parties on a clear moon-lite night on a snow packed icy road, what is now called Tree Road. Traffic was almost nonexistent on winter evenings then compared to now. It was handy for us to go to their house to warm up and have our meeting and lunch. As teenagers we went to Richfield Park which is 10 miles south of Marshfield for our meeting and picnic. I remember riding with Don Benedict who was a few years older than 1. Our group was large enough for 2 car loads as I recall. Our monthly meetings were held at each others homes. Each host was responsible for entertainment after worship and business meeting.

A dedicated member who did his part to keep the church Functioning was George Mortimer. He was an older bachelor who lived about 1/2 mile from church. He started fire in the wood stove and later years the oil burner on Saturday to wann the church for Sunday Many Sundays when it was cold out, the church was still pretty chilly because of no insulation and leaky windows. He was also treasurer for many years.

There are many descendants still going to church here at York Center United Methodist Church. The Vandebergs, Lawrences, and Rowes still live on here at church. Many of these people have been laid to rest in the church cemetery. George Mortimer has been mentioned and he was a very active person in church-not only as starting the fire in the wood stove but also an usher. Warren Davis has been a member since 1947 and has served as usher and greeter all these years. Shirley Davis was a member of the UMW for many years as was her mother Myrtie. Marcia Crothers is a very active member. She was the church pianist and choir director for many years. She's always around ready to help in anyway, Others members in church today are the Mechelkes, Bixbys, Zvolenas, Plonians, Dahls, Ruggles, Cooks, Jane Bartsch, and Della Chase.. All these people have put lots of time and work into keeping our church operating. They've all served on Ad Council or committees of some kind. Thanks to each and everyone of you.


 Baptismal Bowl in memory of Sadie Rowe by UMW Pitchers in memory of Mabel Voight

Clock in memory of George Mortimer by relatives and friends

Guest Book 'm memory of George Mortimer by Mr. & Mrs. Ray Mortimer and Mr. & Mrs Gilbert Lawrence

Speakers- Roy & Delia Chase, Chase Family, Glen & Elizabeth Lavey, Nyle & Aura Benedict, Rollie & Alice Benedict, & William Eibergen Donations for new siding- Harriet Triska & Mabel Schoenfeldt in memory of Grandmother Sarah A. Lindsley

New shades- Mrs. George Collinson by her family- Floy Huntley by
Falconer family
Altar carpet- Irene Rowe by her family, carpet runner- Mildred Crothers by
her family
Out side sign - Jerry Johnson family
Posts for sign - Joe & Leona Zvolena
Communion Service and Communion Table - In memory of Violet Bender
1999- Glen & Ruth Ploman
Piano lamp- in memory of W. H. Crothers by his family
Light fixtures - Verla Hales by her family
Organist Hymn Book - Dr. Victor & Marilyn Tharp
Pew Bibles in memory of Jack Crothers by his family
Membership Book - Ruth & Arnie Wirtz & Don & Fem Rowe
Donation for ramp - Loved ones by Don Rowe Family
Brass Candle sticks - Rev & Mrs. Paul Doering
Carpet in vestibule - Warren and Violet Mechelke
Piano Song Book - Id Voight by her family
Indoor flags by Youth Fellowship 1953
Altar plates in memory of Otto Schmidtke by his wife, Flossie 1963
Out door cross in memory of Mrs. Ella Eibergen by her family 1972
In memory of Horace Lawrence & Roy Lawrence
Bibles in memory of Myrtie Davis
Outside doors 'm memory of Harold Bender by his wife Violet & Kenneth
Grabe by his wife Arnelia
Christ on the cross worship center and the padded pews by George &
Darlene Bixby and family 1977
Vestibule remodeling by Robert & Phillipa Dangremond 1979
Church organ by the Revs. Charles & Laurinda Sandord 1978
Large Pulpit Bible by Young People's Sunday School Class
Children Bible Books by Donna Chase
Picture "Christ & Little Children" memory of Ed and Lyle Voigt
Picture "Christ & Little Children" memory of Ida Voigt by Great-
Picture "Jesus Knocking on the Door" in memory of Edith Collinson by her
Picture "The Good Shepherd" in memory of John Zvolena by family
Picture "'Me Head of Christ" in memory of Mrs. Bert Walker by Youth
Picture "The Good Shepherd" in memory of Luke Miller by Grandpa Duke
and Grandma Violet - Jack, Barb, Jason, Amy & Jodi Mechelke, Jim & JoAnn Mecheike- Jerry, Bonnie, Doug, Karen, & Kim Becker - Son of Marvin & Arlene- Brother of Corey & Shawn

Advent & Baptismal Stands - by Rev. Evan and Judy Butterbrodt " In memory of those members who passed to eternal reward during my watch" July 1, 1997 - June 30, 2002

Stained glass windows:

West side - Duke & Violet Mecheike

Center- Lawrence families by relatives

Side- Jesse E. Rowe by his family

Southwest- Our children on Palm Sunday ( now lighted and over the new door into the hall)

Southeast- Loving memory by the family of Walter & Sadie Rowe

East side- In loving memory of George & Mary Hales by their family

Center- In loving memory of Billy Rowe, 5 year old son of Don & Fem by his family and friends

Side- In loving memory of his wife Ella by William Eibergen

North side- Julia Vandeberg by her four sons, Ion, Chester, Clifford & Howard

Center- The Glen Lavey family and Al Dahl Family

Side- Joe & Leona Zvolena and famfly

Lighted picture of the Last Supper by James and Zettie Young- in memory of her parents Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Eyesnogle


In memory of Arnold Eppers by his wife Maud & son Glen & family

In memory of Herbert Free by his wife Inger

In memory of Irvin and Hilda Vandeberg by Jesse & Virginia Richmond - Donald & Joyce Richmond

In memory of Thomas & Lepha Peaslee by Myrtie Davis

In memory of Walter & Sadie Rowe by Alvin & Alice Dahl

In memory of Gordon & Viola Davis by Otto Flossie Schmidtke

In memory Mrs. Walter Rowe

In memory of Roy & Sadie Lawrence by Roy Delia Chase


In memory of Emil Korth In memory of Milford Rowe

In memory of Glyde Steinck In memory of Inger Free

In memory of Mrs. Snipe (Marilyn Tharp's Mother) In honor of Elizabeth &. Glen Lavey's anniversary



Nyle Benedict
Rena Hoinbach
Rollie Benedict
Otto Holnbach
Milford Rowe
(Bud) George HavU
Leo Kronberger
Irene Rowe
Glen Lavey
Robert Guy Smith

Roy Chase


Maud Eppers


Flossie Schmidtke

Myrtie Davis


Elizabeth Lavey


Alice Benedict

Luke Miller
Helen Sisson
Freda Frieshman
Fredrick Finck
John Zvolena
Violet Bender
Earl Falconer
Charles Kinnick

Wilma Finck

Aura Benedict

-Next Page-




© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel