The beginning of the Lutheran faith in the Guilford and Thompson townships area is hard to pinpoint because of the record keeping of the time. What is known, is that in the 1830's the lead mines, the lead-hauling trails and the countryside that resembled that of their homeland in German was what brought a lot of Lutheran's to this area. They came with hopes and dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. As time passed those German Lutherans had a void in their lives. A desire to gather with others like themselves and give thanks for all that their Almighty God had given them as they had done in the old country of German.
Their prayers were answered when Reverend John Klindworth came to
congregation grew and decided to purchase land. On
< Upper Church in Guilford
< Lower Church in Schapville
The congregation purchased land
from Anton Schap in Schapville on
In 1881, the first schoolhouse was
built onto the parsonage. The school term was four days a week during the five
months before Easter. Tuition was 50 cents a month per student.
In 1885, the Annual Meeting had a
discussion on building a second church but it was tabled to a later meeting. In
December of 1885, a meeting was held to discuss why the congregation needed a
second church. The minister got up and gave his reasons. The elders took a vote
and it was passed that a second church would be built in the Schapville area.
Land was purchased from Philip Parkin on
The founder's son, Reverend G.F.
Klindworth, was installed as pastor on
Keep the church clean.
Keep it warm (Have the temperature at 70 degrees at church time)
Light the altar candles.
To put up the numbers for the hymns.
Towing the bell. The bell should be rung on Saturday evening, on Sundays at
, and at funerals.
Take care of the baptismal water.
Get drinking water in the summer.
Be able to be on call at any time of the day.
Get somebody to take his place when he is
not able to be there.
The congregation of
* Each member (this was males only) has a right to express his opinion at
any time but
only will be permitted to talking after the talking has finished.
* If you have something to say, you
should stand up and say “I want the word”.
It was approved to appoint a secretary to take minutes and read them at each
meeting held at the church. It was decided to build a new barn. It was to become
the property of
FIRE AT SCHAPVILLE
Rev. G.F. Klindworth, son of Rev. John Klindworth, of
this city and pastor of the
The Lutheran parsonage at
* * * * * * * * * *
On April 17, 1900, both congregations met at St. Paul's (St. John’s) Church in Guilford to consider the building of a parsonage and other items. The meeting went from friendly to all out war. Some believed the building committee were wanting to build a chicken house for the pastor to live in. Others members wanted all members of the congregation to be able to receive Holy Communion. Many speeches were given that morning. The outcome of this meeting ended with the congregation asking Reverend Klindworth to find a new church.
During the time that Reverend H.F. Meyer's served this congregations a Mission Festival was started. The first Mission Festival offering raised $77.15. Rev. Meyer was involved with the purchase of the ornate copper ceiling for Zion. It was purchased in Chicago. Pastor Meyer and Henry Boldt made the trip to Chicago to personally select the material. The cost of the ceiling was $800.00 and the two men surprised the congregation with a large crown in the center of the chancel at an additional cost of $10.00. George Kuhn and others from the church helped bring the ceiling from Scales Mound to the church. To this day the ceiling has been a topic of interest and curiosity. The exact composition of the material on the ceiling is still a bit of a mystery! The altar at Zion was handcrafted in Germany. It was shipped to America by boat to the harbor in Milwaukee, Wis. and then sent by railroad to Apple River, IL. Louis Schultz and Henry Schlichting brought the altar to the Zion church by a team and wagon. The altar cost $800.00.
< The crown in the center of the chancel ceiling.
< Altar at Zion Lutheran Church that came from Germany
The Chancel area before the altar was added.
1902, it was decided that parents who send their children to
confirmation instructions (who do not belong to the church) should pay $5.00
into the treasury.
On December 9, 1907, Reverend Meyer contracted tuberculosis and his health caused him to resign and retire from the ministry. On February 26, 1908, Reverend H. Hofhenke became the new pastor served both congregations as their pastor for 13 years.
In 1908, a cement sidewalk was pour in front of the
parsonage, a new woven wire fence (with cedar posts and two iron gates) replaced
the picket fence around the parsonage, build an outdoor toilet,
paint the parsonage and the barn,
paint the parsonage and the barn,
In 1909, the Ohio Hymnals were purchased, a new chicken house was built, a new fence around the garden at the parsonage was built, the school house was repaired, a new organ (the best they could afford) was purchased, and the old organ was put into the school house.
In 1911, Zion Lutheran Church in Schapville celebrated its 25th anniversary.
In 1912, a summer kitchen was built onto the parsonage. It would be 16 x 20 or 18 x 20, which ever way it would fit best.
In 1914, new carpeting was purchased, the doors were changed to open to the outside, and a woodshed was built at Zion. A new black pulpit and altar was added at St. John's site.
In 1916, any member of the two congregations would pay cement foundation for the outside toilets were poured,
any member of the two congregations would pay$25.00 into the treasury to be buried in the cemeteries, the church roof was painted, the gold plated cross was placed on the steeple,
cement foundation for the outside toilets were poured,
In 1917, The Zion Lutheran Church install
a new heating system.
In 1920, each student attending Confirmation classes would pay for their own books, new collection plates were purchased for Zion, and the parsonage and Zion Lutheran Church were hooked up to electricity. That same year, Reverend Hofhenke received a call from another congregation and accepted the call. He resigned in 1921.
Reverend H. Holzhausen was
installed on the 3rd
day of April, 1921, by Rev. Kubitz of
In 1922, the parsonage was painted white and the roof was repaired. A special meeting with both
congregations was held on Friday, September 15th at 2 o'clock to deal with the
considerable dissatisfaction in the congregation in regards to their pastor. Rev.
Pagels (from Galena) was present to hold and do the investigating in the matter of removing
Reverend H.F. Leschensky was installed on July 8, 1923. St. John's and Zion became holding 50% English speaking services and 50% German speaking services. The parsonage was remodeled and made into a more modern home. In 1925, the school house (that we now know) was built separate from the parsonage. Both were dedicated on December 13th 1923.
< school house in Schapville
< the modern parsonage in Schapville
(I'M STILL UPDATING THE HISTORY OF ST. JOHN'S AND ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH.) (PLEASE BE PATIENT -- THANK YOU)
Four members of Shepherd of the Hills congregation became Ministers of the Lutheran Faith.
Rev. John Schlichting -- He was born Johann George Ludwig Schlichting on February 13, 1870. The son of Ludwig and Sofia (Wich) Schlichting. He was baptized on May 22, 1870 at St. John's Lutheran Church and was confirmed in 1885.
Rev. Louis Brandt -- He was born Ludwig Wilhelm Friedrith Brandt on November 3, 1886 in the village of Woodbine, IL. The son of Friedrick and Dorattea Buhse Brandt. He was baptized on November 28, 1886 at St. John's and confirmed in 1902. According to the 1910 Census, he was a boarder while living in St. Paul's, Minnesota. His WWI register card (that was dated June 1917) stated that he lived in Hill County, Montana. He was a farmer / clergyman and was married and had four children. Rev. Brandt passed away on February 10, 1936 in Montana.
Rev. John Bonhoff
Rev. John Bonhoff, 72, former Schapville area resident and pastor for forty-seven years of the Valley City, N. D. Lutheran church, died Sept. 4th, according to word received by his relatives. Funeral service and burial took place Sept. 8th in Valley City. Born in Germany, Rev. Bonhoff came to America with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Bonhoff, when he was a child. He grew to manhood in the Schapville area and received theological training in Afton and St. Paul, Minn. He went to Valley City as a candidate for the Lutheran church shortly after his ordination into ministry. Although he told the congregation that he did not desire to remain as pastor of the church, he was persuaded to do so-members of the church having prevailed upon him to become their minister between trains. In addition to serving as pastor in the North Dakota city, wher4 he arrived in 1895, Rev. Bonhoff also was mayor of the community for several terms and served as a member of the Valley City school board until he resigned recently because of illness. During his frequent visits to Jo Daviess county, Rev. Bonhoff conducted services several times in Schapville. Surviving in addition to the widow, are two sons, Lawrence of Fargo, N. D., and Edward of Grand Forks, N. D.; a daughter, Miss Effie Bonhoff at home; three brothers, William of Stockton, Louis of Galena and Fred of Springfield, Neb., and three sisters, Mrs. Henry Wulff of Elizabeth, Mrs. Evelyn Martin of McLloyd, N. D. and Mrs. Dora Steinborn of Valley City. [Sept. 16, 1943]
Rev. Christina (Grebner) Stienstra -- She was baptized and confirmed in the congregations of St. John's/Zion Lutheran Churches. She is the daughter of LaVerne and Laura (Krug) Grebner. She is married to Darryl Stienstra and has two adult daughters.