302 West Reeder 432-6236
St. Mary’s Catholic Church (reprinted from Rip Van Winkle Centennial Book)
From the history of
to 1872 quarterly services were held in the home of Pat Burke by Father Lowry
In 1872 Father Downy formulated the plans for first Church which was built in 1873.
was the first Resident Priest in Mechanicsville from 1876 to 1878. Following him were Father Daly,
In 1921 a new Rectory was built and the Church was remodeled and decorated. This church was dedicated in May 1922.
The St. Mary’s Guild, an organization from the women of the church, was organized in July 1949. The Men’s Council was organized in 1957 and the Catholic Youth organization was started in 1954.
was found to be too small so the cornerstone for the new St. Mary’s church was
The church has a full basement which can be converted to classrooms by folding doors. Quentin Robinson was chairman of the building committee.
Ralph L. Hayes officiated at the Dedication of the new St. Mary’s Church on
Rectory was built between
The statue of Our Lady of Grace on the church lawn is an attractive addition to the church and rectory.
Celebration was held
church was built in 1884 on the present site.
During the construction the belfry and tower were damaged by a small
tornado. Three other disasters befell
this building. The first was in 1894 or
1895. On the evening of Children’s Day,
the kerosene burning chandelier crashed to the floor and much of the church’s
interior was damaged. The second fire
occurred in the night of
In spite of
these setbacks, the faith of the congregation has continued to grow. The construction of the present church began
from the Mae Hatcher estate and accepted by the official board became the seed
money for the educational wing of the church.
Ground breaking ceremonies for the new wing were observed
several active organizations of the church of long standing. The present United Methodist Women were
In 1869 Women’s Foreign Missionary Society was organized and in 1880 the Women’s Home Missionary Society came into being. Then these two groups along with the Ladies’ Aid were reorganized in 1939 into the Women’s Society of Christian Service. Then in 1968 this group became known as the Women’s Society of Christian Service.
of the church have always been active in supporting the church’s various needs
by serving dinners and smorgasbords. The
“Turkey Dinners” were annual affairs served in the evening of the second
Thursday of the month of November. It
was well attended by people from our community and neighboring
communities. Over the years the women
have always generously supported World and National missions of the
The Pollyanna Sunday School Class was organized in May 1920 under the leadership of Mrs. Jennie Taylor and Mrs. L.L. Lockard. It has been a working, as well as a social class. Some of the activities have included Market Days, making and selling aprons, napkins, salad cutters, quilt tops, holding public dinners, selling magazines, serving lunches at farm sales. In 1939 they served 870 men at threshers meals charging 40 cents a meal. Recent projects have been serving Lions and Commercial Club dinners and holding bazaars.
The Methodist Men received their first charter as an organization of the church in 1955. They have been a very active group meeting monthly and cooking their own meals. They have annually sponsored the Lord’s Portion Sales held in the sale barn until 1970 when they started holding the auctions in the church basement. Wilbur Colby has donated his services as auctioneer and has been the promoter of this annual event.
The youth of the church have been active through the Epworth League organized in 1892 and later reorganized in 1939 to the Methodist Youth Fellowship which is still active.
Some of our Methodist people who have gone from our church into Christian work include: Mrs. Luella Rigby Jones, a missionary for many years in Burma; Mrs. Edith Helmer spent many years in Y.W.C.A. work; Ralph Rigby was Dean of Music in Berea, Kentucky; Mrs. Earl Hodgkin, the former Grace Ferguson, whose husband was a minister; and Merle Griffith, who serves as a supply pastor.
Others who have served beyond our church and community are: Mrs. Emma Miller, who began in 1912 serving 25 years as Conference Treasurer of the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society; Mrs. Howard Rhoads served as Cedar Rapids District Status of Women in 1957; Mrs. Robert Beck, Cedar Rapids District Treasurer of United Methodist Women from 1971 to 1975 and Mrs. Edward Kleppe who is presently serving a three year term as secretary of the Cedar Rapids District United Methodist Women.
records of pastorates in the
Resident ministers were: G.M. Waterbury 1865; J.M. Rankin 1866; F.S. Church 1867; F.H. Burris 1869; C.A. Hawn 1870; Samual Howe 1871; J.M. Rankin 1872; S.C. Freer 1875; J.H. Hayward 1882; W.M.Chaffee 1885; W.F. Skinner 1888; J.T. Spry 1891; S.S. Smith 1896; R.W. Coates 1901; S.D. Bartle 1903; W.J. Pyle 1980; A.M. Ewert 1908; James Baliz 1909; Baker 1915; I.A. Bartholomew part of 1918; L.L. Lockard 1918; Dorr Whitmore 1920; J.W. Atkins 1926; R.S. Scott 1927; H.R. Schmidt 1930; A.J. Kindred 1931; M.W. McKinley 1935; R.H. Supplle 1936; B.G. Kemper 1943; Charles Arnold 1945; M.C. Melcher 1948; C.F. Little 1954; Eugene L. Miller 1955; Tom Mikelson assistant pastor 1957; Beaty McDonald 1964; James Nelson 1965; Aldreth Weigel 1973 and Donald Wooge 1974.
The Presbyterian Church (reprinted from Rip Van Winkle Centennial Book)
scattered Presbyterians of this area began to meet in 1853, in the school house
which stood at the west end of town, at the location which is now
In 1856 a
frame building 20’x 24’ was built on the lot which now is
In 1865 Joseph Jackson deeded the lot where the present church stands to the trustees, and in 1865-66 a new frame building was erected. Some time later, a bell was installed in the belfry.
building served until 1906 when it was sold to Harvey Thomas for $250. On April 30, 1906, he began tearing it down
to make room for the building we have today at a cost of approximately
$10,000. The building committee was Rev.
Cooper, chairman; S.T. Buel, Howard Elliott and Alexander Moffit. The building was completed and dedicated
material of the walls is Anamosa stone for the foundations and the upper walls
of manufactured stone, from the Iowa Granite Brick Company of
Cooper’s sermon was entitled “
On Christmas morning 1917, it was gutted by fire but the walls and roof were not harmed. Insurance covered the cost of repairs. Due to the loss of the piano, the present pipe organ was installed at the cost of $2,500. The present cost of such a pipe organ is estimated at $50,00 to $75,000.
Many changes have been made over the years. Under the guidance of Rev. Charles Tyrell in 1942, the chancel was remodeled and the Little Chapel was built, which was the scene of many weddings. The kitchen has been modernized and two Sunday School rooms have been finished on the second floor. Since then the Little Chapel has been torn out and the East Parlor has been made into the present Gold Room. The chancel has been remodeled again and new carpeting laid in the entire church. New modern rest rooms have been built in the basement.
In 1888 the
first church-owned manse was built.
Fifty eight years later the building which is at
In 1911 while Rev. Gray Cardy was the pastor, union evangelistic services were held. During that time 67 people were received into the church. In 1951 when Rev. Keith Tabor was the pastor the membership grew from 176 to 210. During Rev. George Gallaher’s pastorate, which was 12 years in length, the longest period served by any minister, 114 people became members.
The Sunday School has been active over the years with the following people serving as superintendents: Charles Stoffel, Walter Hammer, Don Davidson, Robert Hentrich, Larry Albaugh, Mrs. Cecil Smay and Mrs. Everett Russel.
organizations have helped the church grow including the Missionary Society,
Gracia Guild, Ways and Means, the Men’s Sunday School Class, United
Presbyterian Women, Couple’s Club and the Priscilla Class which is the oldest
existing group and meets monthly. Daisy
Mrs. Elmer Littig has been the organist and part time choir director since 1935. The present choir has 18 members.
At present there are 232 members. Roy Parks has belonged to the church since 1909 making him the longest member belonging.
In 1974 the members voted to share a pastorate with the Methodist church. Don Wooge is the present pastor.
The following have served as pastors of the Presbyterian Church: G.D. Porter 1855; A.C. Thorne 1857; Robert Boag 1858; J.W. Knott 1868; E.R. Brown 1872; W.A. Ward 1875; E.P. Wells 1878; Henry McMeekin 1882; Nathan Downing 1883; F.S. Moffit 1886; J.H. Cooper 1887; J.W. Hubbard 1889; W.A.Sears 1897; C.J.W. Triem 1901; A.P. Cooper 1905; Gray Cardy 1911; W.T. McCandless 1914; George Albright 1916; E.W. Brown 1919; I.R. Prugh 1928; A.R. Osborne 1933; P.H. Van Drooge 1936; C.W.Tyrell 1939; Robert Allen 1944; Robert Von Oeyen 1947; Keith Taber 1949; William Tjaden 1952; George L. Gallaher 1956; William Wills 1968; Norman Lawton 1971; James Adyelotte 1973 and Donald E. Wooge 1974.