Thursday, February 4, 2010

Christian Church (Old) 1901 - Russell

Located at:
Russell, Iowa  

(Disciples of Christ)
(from the History of Lucas County, Iowa 1978 book)

In 1893 a group of believers met together and organized a Christian Church in Russell.  There were 16 charter members, some of whom came from the LaGrange church, which had been established much earlier.  They bought the old Methodist church building from J. H. N. Campbell, who had purchased it from the Methodists when they built their new church building.  This building stood on the lot now occupied by the Ralph Werts (James Werts, now) residence.  In 1901 they built a new building which was their church home until about 1930.

The Pastor in 1900 was Rev. Little Johnson.  No record could be found of other pastors but it is known that many students from the Drake University Bible College served the church on weekends.

Some of the early members of the church were the Steve Beatty’s, John Goltry’s, John Dixon’s, John Long’s, Holeman’s, Joe Youtsey’s, R.C. Dixon’s, John Walker’s, Andy Black’s, George Dixon’s, John Thomas’, Mart Burton’s and Lloyd Hill’s.

In about 1927, during the depression years, the Disciples of Christ Church, as they were called, and the Baptist Church of Russell, were struggling to exist.  The two groups decided to unite into one body and thereafter they met in the Baptist Church building, which was the newer building.  After standing idle for several years the Christian Church building was sold and torn down in the early 1940’s.

The following is from Charles Wright from Facebook November 13, 2011:
The church in this photo stood on the lot in Russell where my Uncle Ralph and Aunt Alice Werts built their home when they retired from the farm.  When I was a child in ght 1940's and early 1950's concrete rubble filled a crater where the church had stood and achool kids would climb and play on it.  I remember snowball fights there.  A new home was built for my parents in the middle of that block by my cousin Clair Sellers in 1967.  It was to be their home when they retired from their grocery store in December 1967, but my father died in November.  Mother moved in alone and lived there until her death in 1979.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bible Holiness Church - Chariton

Located at:
1019 Ashland 
Chariton, Iowa 50049 

Christian Church - Disciples of Christ

Located at:
1100 Ilion Avenue
Chariton, Iowa 50049

From The History of Lucas County 1978 Book

The members of the Christian Church of Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa met in the year 1856 and were organized into a church, taking the Bible as their guide and rule of faith and practice.  During the early years of the church there were only part-time ministers and the people had no permanent place to meet.  It was November 16, 1866 that the church bought a lot just north of the Masonic Temple on South Grand Street from Samuel G. Farmer.  A frame church was erected on the lot, competed and dedicated in1867.  The minister at that time was Brother Linkenfeller.

On April 3, 1891 the new church was completed and dedicated.  It was located at the corner of Roland and Grand.  In late 1893 the church burned but being a courageous group of people they set work to rebuild the damaged church and in the year 1894 the church was done.  Many of the church records were destroyed by fires, which always brings sadness when trying to look into the past and find them gone.

October 24, 1971 the present church was dedicated.  This church is located at 1100 Illion Avenue.  In the new church the sanctuary is meant to speak of worship and fellowship with God with an atmosphere of warmth and simplicity.  The focal point of their worship, true to their tradition, is the communion table, the old rugged cross and the baptistry below the cross.
(Old)- 1894-1971
Christian Church in Chariton, IA 

Christian Union Church - Chariton

Located at:
Hwy 14
Chariton, Iowa 50049

Church of Christ - Chariton

Located at:
15th and Roland Street
Chariton, Iowa 50049

Church of Christ - Chariton

Located at:
300 North 8th Street
Chariton, Iowa  50049

Church of God - Chariton

Located at:
5th and Armory
Chariton, Iowa 50049

Church of the Nazarene - Chariton

Located at:
131 N. 12th 
Chariton, IA 50049

From the History of Lucas County
1978 Book
Church of the Nazarene

In the early part of 1912 (March) a revival meeting was held in the Center School House about two miles northwest of Chariton.  As a result of this meeting it was decided to organize a church.  Nine charter members met and organized the Chariton Church of the Nazarene.  In 1913 they met for the first time in the new church, located at 12th and Braden Streets.  In the 1950's a new parsonage was purchased at 820 North Fifth Street.    The three-story annex was completed in 1972.  The Church of the Nazarene is a biblical holiness church of the Wesleyan tradition.  In 1977 there were 174 members with 450 enrolled in Sunday School.

The Pentecostal Church was established after the March meeting and E.A. Clark was appointed District Superintendent of the new Iowa District and was pastor until E. J. Fleming accepted the position in October of 1913.
Services were held in the Assembly Room of the Lucas County Court House until June 1, 1913 when they met for the first time in the new church located at its present location of 12th and Braden.

Community of Christ Church - Chariton

 Located at:
Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
706 Roland Avenue
Chariton, Iowa  50049

From The History of Lucas County 1978 Book

On November 8, 1914, the members of the Church of Chariton and vicinity met at the Lucas County Court House at 2:30pm for the purpose of organizing a congregation of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Brother John Smith, State President, presided, and J.F. Garver offered prayer.  The Saints didn't meet in the Court House very long.  On January 27, 1915, their meeting place was in the Grand Theatre.  May 15, 1915 a committee investigated the possibility of buying or building a house of worship.  A building fund was set up in the congregation.  They then were holding meetings in the Public Library.

August 21, 1916, it was decided to purchase a lot on 7th and Roland for $500.00, where the church now stands.  The second Sunday of September, 1917, the church was ready for the first meeting of the Saints.  Through the years improvements and additions were made to the church.  Its history honors the past faith and accomplishments of a dedicated people, consecrates its present ministry to the Lord, Jesus Christ and dedicates its future ministries to meeting the needs of people in the community and bringing them to a more vital relationship with the cause of God's Kingdom on earth.


Cornerstone Church - Chariton

Located at:
120 Northwestern Avenue
Chariton, Iowa 50049

Covenant Mission Church (Old)

From The History of Lucas County 1978 Book

About 1878 a church was founded at 1405 Linden Ave., Chariton Iowa.  In 1908 the site of the building was moved to Braden and 13th Street, where services were held regularly until 1954.  The church was originally founded as a Swedish Church.  The congregation consisted of non-English speaking Swedish immigrants and services were conducted in that foreign tongue.  Up until the First World War services were conducted in this manner and when the switch to English was made, it was not the congregation, but the Swedish-born ministers who had difficulty in the adaptation.

Student pastors were supplied from the church supported North Park College for a number of years.  The last permanent pastor was Rev. Oblem who vacated his post in 1951.  The Rev. Ralph Youngman was the last student pastor.  In 1954 the congregation had dwindled down to 10 members.  Only one Swedish-born member remained.  It was also difficult to keep a pastor, as there were not enough pastors to fill the demand.

Mr. Sutherland for 16 years had been chairman and felt it was unfair to ask for a minister for 10 people in a town where there were already about 15 other churches and felt the members would go where ever they felt they would fit in.  In 1954 the remaining members turned over the keys to the church and the parsonage to the parent church, the Evangelical Convenant Church of America, which sold the building to the Christian Union Church for worship services, which group is still using the building for their services in 1977.

Going to Church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile.

First Baptist - Chariton

Located at:
205 South Grand Street
Chariton, Iowa 50049

From the History of Lucas County 1978 book

The First Baptist Church of Chariton, Iowa had its origin on December 23, 1853 at the home of Samuel Martin, in the community of Ragtown, approximately seven miles southeast of Chariton.

The early preachers were barely able to read their texts, but God called them to preach.  God gave them the spirit and wisdom.  They preached from the heart and felt what they preached with tears streaming down their cheeks.  They preached Christ and Him crucified.  They did not tell deathbed stories to excite sympathy.  They rode horseback; wore homespun jean clothes, cowhide boots, flannel shirts, coonskin caps with ear flaps, home knit mittens, blanket leggings and big comforts about their necks.

At its origination the church was called Mt. Pleasant, with the name being changed to Chariton in 1857.  The first church was built in 1866, south of the present Legion Home on South Main Street. 

In 1962 a new church building was begun.  The final stage of the building program was dedicated on Nov. 9, 1969.  The church members have grown from 9 charter members to 547 in 1977.

First Lutheran Church - Chariton

 Located at:
1004 Curtis Ave.
Chariton, Iowa  50049

The First Lutheran Church Will Celebrate 60th Anniversary and 
Gives a Brief Sketch of its History
By Rev. E.J. Earlandson, Pastor

The sixtieth anniversary of the First Lutheran Church of Chariton will be celebrated with special events and services October 4, 5 and 6.  Thus for over a half century this church has sought to serve this community with the preaching of the word of God.

First Lutheran Church was organized November 3, 1869 with the late Rev. M.F. Hokanson, then of Munterville, Iowa, presiding.  There were thirty charter members at the time of whom only one is now living, Mrs, Augusta Johnson, who resides a few miles from town.

There being no resident pastor at first, services were conducted by visiting pastors and lay-preachers.  The first regular pastor was the Late Rev. M. Frykman, a graduate of Augustana Seminary, then located in Paxton, Illinois.  He was ordained to the ministry in June 1875.  It was in this year also that property was secured and the old church was built.  After serving his first charge until 1880, Rev. Frykman resigned and moved.   In 1882 the next pastor, the late Rev. A.J. Ostliu, then of Mayville, New York, accepted the call here with an annual salary of $400 and parsonage, which had just been built, a small building, only 20 by 26 feet.  In 1884 he resigned and left.

A vacancy then occurred until 1886, when Rev. P.A. Edquist accepted a call and filed the pulpit here until his resignation in the summer of 1889.   During the vacancy, which then occurred, various theological students served the church for longer and shorter periods until Rev. G. A. Swanburg received the call and became pastor on his ordination in June 1891.  The young pastor entered upon his work here and to Rev. Swanburg falls the distinction of having served Fist Lutheran Church longer than any other pastor either before or after him.  He served here until his resignation August 8, 1900, and is at present serving Trinity Lutheran Church, Waukegan, Illinois.  Mr. Swanburg’s successor was the late Rev. J.P. Borg, who began his work here with the turn of the century, 1900.  It was during the pastorate of Rev. Borg that the present inviting and serviceable church edifice was built at Eighth street and Roland avenue in the year 1903.  the corner stone was laid on May 4, 1903 by the Rev. Dr. A. Northem, then president of the Iowa conference and at present superintendent of the Iowa Lutheran Hospital, Des Moines, Iowa.  In 1907 Rev. Borg tendered his resignation to the congregation and left.  

On June 5, 1907, Rev. O.A. Elmquist was called and entered on his work here Reformation day, October 31 of the same year.  After an energetic pastorate here of about two years, Rev. Elmquist resigned and left in April 1910.  The next incumbent was Rev. S. C. Franzen, who served from May 1910 until the autumn of 1913.  During his charge the present  charge the present charge the present cotamodious parsonage was built and other improvements were made.

The third pastor to serve First Lutheran Church as his first charge was Rev. Frank R, Carlson, who was ordained in June 1914, and immediately began his work here.  His term of service extended until 1916, when he resigned and left for Kewanee, Illinois.  Rev. Carlson is at present serving Tabor Lutheran Church, Chicago, Illinois.

For a few months Rev. J.O. Lindquist served the church during the year 1918, but left for duty as U.S. Army chaplain in which capacity he is still serving at Fort Hayes, Columbus, Ohio.

Rev. C.A. Johnson served First Lutheran Church from 1918 until 1924, a period of six years.  He is at present serving the Lutheran congregation at Attica, Indiana, and Danville, Illinois.

Rev. Carl Lundgren served this congregation form 1925 until May 13, 1928, when he moved to Sheffield Pennsylvania.  During the summer of 1928, the congregation was served by Rev. E.J. Erlandson, who was then a theological student.  On January 1, 1929, a pastoral call was issued to him to become pastor of the church on his ordination.  Rev. E. J. Erlandson was ordained June 9, 1929, in connection with the Augustana Synod convention, held in Rockford Illinois, and his pastorate here August 4, 1929.  Rev. Erlandson is the fourth pastor to serve this congregation as his first charge.

The Anniversary festivities on October 4, 5 and 6 are fittingly planned as an observation of the passing of another decade in the history of the work laid down on this community by First Lutheran Church; and this congregation is ever ready and willing to serve this community in the future in helping individuals to live better lives—better because Christ-filled. 

To the right is the old First Lutheran Church building.  This building is now the Church of Christ.


First Presbyterian Church - Chariton

Located at:
737 Braden Avenue
Chariton, Iowa 50049

First United Methodist Church - Chariton

Located at:
923 Roland Avenue
Chariton, Iowa 50049

From the History of Lucas County 1978 book.

First United Methodist saw it's beginning in 1851 in this small village in wild prairie country.  The Iowa Methodist Conference sent the Rev. E. L. Briggs to Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa to seek out families of the Methodist faith and others with no church home.

The first meeting was held at the site of all public meetings in those days, namely the new log Courthouse on the east side of the square.  Everyone sat on puncheon seats with the men on one side and the women on the other.  Peter and Susan Waynick, Caleb and Dorothy James, Edward and Caroline Culbertson and Orilla and Ellen Waynick responded to the invitation at the first meeting and became the center of the new church.

Although the first church was formed in 1851 by those few settlers it was not until 1854 that a building was erected as a house of worship.  The frame building was erected on the west side of Block 3 where the Johnson Machine Works now stands at a cost of $3,500.
Through the years, buildings were replaced or repaired until the completion of the beautiful church which stands tall near the town square.  An education building was added in 1962.  In 1976 the pipe organ was completely rebuilt and a new console installed at a cost of about $21,000.  The original organ was installed in 1906.

From those early beginnings the church has continued a ministry and service in the community, has grown in both membership and wealth and now in 1977 is embarking on a new co-operative work with three other congregations, Chariton Christ, Pleasant Prairie and Norwood in an United Methodist Parish.

First United Methodist, second incarnation

First United Methodist Church

Refer to Frank Myers, Lucas Countyan article on this church at:

Full Faith Christian Center

Located At:
1216 Commercial Ave.
Chariton, Iowa 50049

Grace Baptist Church - Chariton

Located at
703 South 1st Street
Chariton, Iowa 50049

From the History of Lucas County 1978 Book

Much of the early history of the Grace Baptist Church is not on record.
Three families helped establish the Regular Baptist Church in Chariton; The Lee Anderson's, Jr., Kenneth R. Culver's, and Frank Andrew Johnson's.  Each family had three children.  In 1966 the ground was purchased where the present building stands.  On February 5, 1967 he first service in the new building was held.  The mortgage was burnedon March 20, 1977.  Those participating in the mortgage burning were the ones who signed the original note.  Completion of a new auditorium was completed in 1978.  This area will be used for a fellowship hall and classrooms, and a sanctuary where the present building will be used for Sunday School space.

Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses Church - Chariton

Located at:
1516 Court Avenue
Chariton, Iowa 50049
(no longer in this building)

Jehovah's Witnesses (officially the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society) was founded by Charles Taze Russell in 1872 and represents a growing movement. The Jehovah's Witnesses are noted for their strong evangelistic focus, often knocking on doors and distributing literature. The Jehovah's Witnesses believe that there is power in the name of God and that the planet Earth will never cease to exist. They have a very strong premillennial focus, meeting in buildings they call "Kingdom Halls." They are also known for incorporating many Judaic belief systems into their theology and for their non-Trinitarian views. The Jehovah's Witnesses publish their own translation of the Bible, the New World Translation (NWT), which contains alterations to the original text to fit the belief system of the Jehovah's Witnesses. They are also very well known for their prophecy of the return of Jesus Christ in 1914; when this did not occur, they adapted the belief by positing that Jesus began to rule in 1914 when Satan was cast down to earth, on account of their interpretation of Revelation 12:9.

Mount Zion Primitive Baptist Church

Mount Zion Primitive Baptist Church

This church stood in Mount Zion Cemetery,  unused, for many years until in 1979 when it was torn down.

Primitive Baptist churches are a rare commodity in Iowa. Although Primitive Baptist preachers were among the first Baptists to look upon Iowa as a mission field, their take on faithful practice did not catch on in the Midwest and most of that denomination now are found in the southeastern United States.
All that remains of Mount Zion Church today is this marker at the base of a flagpole.
We don’t know too much about Mount Zion, organized in a Liberty Township schoolhouse in 1867, in part because it had become inactive by the 1940s --- so few remained to tell its story.  It seemed to have had the distinctive marks of the Primitive Baptist outlook --- Self-educated (theologically, not in general) leaders who were called elders
rather than pastors, absence of musical instruments in church, foot-washing as an element of communion, the use of wine (as opposed to grape juice) and unleavened bread as communion elements, and so on. The Mount Zion congregation seemed also to have gathered for worship on the old Sabbath, Saturday, rather than the new day --- more the mark of a Seventh Day Baptist than a Primitive Baptist Church.
The late Elizabeth Tuttle wrote many Lucas County history articles that were published in the Chariton newspapers.   One contained information on Mount Zion Cemetery and Church.  If you would like to read excepts from these articles and more about the Church and the Cemeteries, click here: Marching to Mount Zion . This is where I referred to for this article.  Frank Myers is probably the best authority  on Lucas County History there is.    Thanks, Frank.

Otterbein Church - Chariton

Located at:
Lucas County Historical Museum
123 N. 17th Street
Chariton, Iowa 50049

Sacred Heart Catholic Church - Chariton

Located at:
407 North Main Street
Chariton, Iowa  50049


From the History of Lucas County 1978 Book

In 1869, Chariton was blessed by the organization of a Catholic Church. Fr. Bernard McMinemy of Georgetown, seeing the need of a local place for the Catholic people of this locality to worship, was concerned enough to put forth the many efforts which were required for this accomp-lishment.

The name of the first church was St. Mary's and was located on Brookdale Ave. in the 1300 block.  The priests in those first years lived in other towns and came to Chariton once a month to hold mass.

In 1881 Fr. Edmund Hayes purchased a house and three lots on Orchard Ave. for the use of a rectory.  The old church was moved to these lots.  The present land was purchased in 1910 by Herman Steinbach from the Mallory estate and in 1914 he donated this property to the church under the conditions that the Catholic people raise $10,000 and build a Church.  The church was built in 1915.  The name was changed to Sacred Heart. The church serves 180 families in Lucas County.  There are 150 children attending C.C.D. classes each Sunday morning between Masses.  The past records show what a wonderful blessing this church has been to the community and the people can only wish the best for this church and it's members.

Saint Andrews Episcopal Church - Chariton

Present St. Andrews Church

Located at:

1112 North 7th Stteet
Chariton, Iowa 50049


2nd St. Andrews Church in Chariton, Iowa (1903)

This article appeared in Frank Myers' Blog, The Lucas Countyan on January 10th, 2014.
click here to see his blog:  A Little Tribute to Old St. Andrews

Concrete, used cars and a recycled 1950s gas station cover the quarter block east of the southeast corner of Chariton's square today, but until 1955 this was the site of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, perhaps the finest example of Gothic Revival design in south central Iowa.
This quarter block had been the home of St. Andrew's since 1869 when its first home, a relatively simple wood-frame building with board and batten siding, was completed. As the years passed, a two-story home that served sometimes as rectory and at other times as parish house was constructed between the church and the alley.
By the 1890s, St. Andrew's parishioners were itching to express their aspirations in something grander, as were several other congregations in Chariton --- First United Methodist, First Presbyterian, First Baptist, First Lutheran, First Christian and the United Brethren in Christ all built fine buildings within a block of the square during the 20-year period, 1890-1910.
Elizabeth (Evans) Fulkerson-Hammer, of Russell, named St. Andrew's residual legatee of her estate when she died during January of 1896. She had been a prime mover in founding during the late 1860s Russell's St. Mark's Episcopal Church, long gone by the time of her death, and had transferred her allegiance to St. Andrew's when the Russell church closed.
The drive to build commenced with that bequest, which exceeded $11,000 --- a considerable sum at that time.
The most prominent members of St. Andrew's since its founding had been Smith H. and Annie Mallory and their daughter, Jessie (Mallory) Thayer. Their home was the legendary Ilion, or Mallory's Castle. The Mallorys committed an amount similar to the Hammer bequest, and the Episcopalians were off and running.
Jessie Thayer selected the architect, Isaac Pursell of Philadelphia, widely acclaimed for his church designs. She reportedly had visited Pursell churches while visiting Philadelphia and had been impressed.
The old St. Andrew's was moved to the back of the lot for temporary use and ground was broken for the new building during 1900 and the cornerstone put into place. The building was completed during 1903 and consecrated during 1904.
Although not Chariton's largest church, the new St. Andrew's probably was its most elaborate. The exterior was built of Colorado red sandstone and inner walls, of Indiana limestone. Fittings and fixtures were custom made of quarter sawn oak. Fine stained glass was commissioned to fill the three large chancel windows; diamond-paned leaded glass with occasional stained glass cartouches, elsewhere.
Edward Ames Temple, another parishioner, commissioned the marble altar, designed and built by Spaulding & Co. of Chicago, in memory of his late wife, Elizabeth, who had died during 1880. With the exception of the stone font, little was brought from old to new building.
Financial disaster struck Chariton during 1907, when First National Bank was declared insolvent and closed a day after its chief operating officer, Frank Crocker, killed himself with an overdose of morphine. He had misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars in bank assets.
This was especially hard on St. Andrew's because the bank was owned by Annie Mallory and Jessie (Mallory) Thayer (Smith H. Mallory had died during 1903). The Crockers --- Frank had been a trusted Mallory manager for nearly 40 years --- also were parishioners.
The Mallorys eventually were held financially accountable for their employee's actions. While that by no means impoverished the women, it was a long and bitter court fight and they moved permanently to Florida during 1909 with little good will remaining. Crocker assets also had been seized and sold (with the exception of the Crocker house, now Fielding Funeral home, which remained in the widow Crocker's hands). The Crocker family departed for Minneapolis.
St. Andrew's recovered, however, and continued to use the fine building until about 1950, when it became evident that something had gone badly wrong structurally.
Consultants were called in and it was determined that poor engineering, perhaps aggravated by construction lapses, had resulted in foundations inadequate to support the considerable bulk of the building. The cost of stabilizing it was estimated to be in the neighborhood of five times the building's original cost. Neither the parish nor the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa, which held title to the building, was able or willing to make the investment.
As a result, furniture and fixtures were removed during 1955, the building sold for salvage and it was demolished. This was the same year that Mallory's Castle was taken down, too.
The parish bought several acres on the north edge of Chariton and constructed the modest A-frame building that continues to be St. Andrew's home as well as a new rectory. Furniture and fixtures from the old church --- the marble altar, eagle lectern symbolizing St. John the Evangelist, font, pews and other items --- were installed in the new building and remain in use.
The quarter block where the church had stood was leased to an oil company, which built the service station, and eventually sold.
It's difficult to conceive now how the half block east of the square once looked. With the exception of Constitution Park, which occupies the footprint of the 1920s Yocum Hospital, little that's green or especially appealing remains.
But once upon a time, it contained two of Chariton's most architecturally significant buildings, extensive hospital gardens and the green and shaded grounds of old St. Andrew's.

Episcopalian Churches

Written by Frank Myers
Appeared in the Lucas County Notes and Shakin' the Family Tree
Volume 12  Issue 4   October-December 2007
 Let us praise Elizabeth E.E.F. Hammer
    Communicants and friends entering the main door of Chariton’s St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church during its second incarnation, roughly from late 1904 until the building’s demise during the mid-1950s, would have passed a large and finely crafted (by the Gorham Manufacturing Co. of New York) bronze tablet upon which words cast in raised letters read : “To the Glory of God and in Grateful Recognition of the Liberality of Elizabeth Evans F. Hammer, Born December 7, 1815, died January 30, 1896, Whose Generous Bequest to St. Andrews Parish Aided Greatly the Erection of this Church.”
    Elizabeth’s memorial tablet was the lesser of two Gorham creations in the church. A larger tablet erected to the glory of God and in memory of Smith H. Mallory, whose $10,000 bequest during 1903 allowed completion of a building begun with Elizabeth’s 1896 bequest of roughly the same amount, was displayed more prominently --- on the north wall of the choir to the immediate left of the altar.
    The precedence given Mallory is not surprising. He had been, after all, a member (although not yet confirmed an Episcopalian) from organization of the parish on 13 June 1866 until his death on 26 March 1903, was an alpha male and arguably Lucas County’s (if not southern Iowa’s) most prominent citizen of that era. He also had the foresight to leave behind a widow, Annie, and daughter, Jessie, to ensure for at least a few last golden years that his proper place in the precedence of things was recognized.
    Elizabeth, although no less devout and substantially more generous if percentages of the respective Hammer and Mallory estates designated for good works are considered, was operating with two disadvantages: She was a woman and she left no descendants.
    In the end, the legacies of both turned to dust in worldly terms. St. Andrew’s the second was demolished and both memorial tablets went missing in the confusion of that congregational and architectural disaster.
    But time delivered to Elizabeth a degree of recompense. Her polished granite tombstone topped by a marble urn stands tall in the Russell Cemetery, and her mortal remains rest there still, secured by a slate vault purchased from Dr. J.E. Stanton of Chariton for $60 (then a remarkable amount) upon her death.
    Mallory, by contrast, was unceremoniously uprooted from the Chariton Cemetery by his daughter during the 1920s, his body cremated and both his ashes and the spectacular Celtic cross that had marked his grave shipped off to eternal obscurity in a Florida cemetery.
In the beginning:
    Elizabeth was born, her obituary (Chariton Democrat, 7 February 1896) tells us, on 7 December 1815 in New York to William and Dorothy Evans, one of nine children --- all but one of whom predeceased her --- and was married to William Fulkerson about 1833. I do not know where that marriage occurred or the circumstances --- other than the fact that they were childless --- of their early years together.
    Prior to October of 1850, William and Elizabeth had moved to Waukegan, Illinois, located north of Chicago in Lake County --- so called because Lake Michigan formed its eastern boundary. William and Elizabeth, along with Mary Mason, age 13, born in Michigan, were enumerated as a separate household within the home there of William J. and Sarah Dennis and their children, Mary A., 3, and Joseph, 1. The occupation of both William Dennis and William Fulkerson was given as farmer, although Dennis was credited with real estate valued at $1,200 and Fulkerson apparently owned none.
    About 1854, the Fulkersons moved west to Washington Township, Lucas County, settling on a 240-acre prairie farm two miles south and a mile east of what would become Russell --- a farm later owned and occupied by three generations of the Kells family for more than a century. Here, the Fulkersons prospered.
    Elizabeth, according to her obituary, “at a very early period in life … was confirmed in the Episcopal Church of which she ever remained a devout communicant.” William may or may not have been an Episcopalian. There are no records to tell us.
    Elizabeth, we know, was involved in forming an Episcopal parish at Russell immediately after the town was organized along the Chicago Burlington & Quincy (then the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad) rail line during 1867.
    Susan Day, in her 1914 “A Brief History of Russell, Iowa,” tells us that “The first church, the Episcopal church, which was established in 1868, did not prosper, owing to its weakness in membership, and was soon disbanded and the church building was sold for other purposes, and it is now (during 1914) occupied by I. E. Raines as a paint shop.”
    Charles M. Wright, in his 1967 “Russell Centennial Book,” adds a few details: “As soon as the rails arrived in the town (during 1867), the railroad authorized the newly appointed agent, N.B. Douglas, to offer two lots and a cash subscription to the first denomination that would build a church in the town. By August, the Episcopalians accepted this offer. Eventually they were given three lots and a fourth was sold to them for $25. A subscription of $50 was then granted to them for their new edifice.
    “Even before this transaction was completed,” Wright continues, “the Presbyterians, hearing of the matter, offered to put a building under way immediately in exchange for two lots and a cash donation. Douglas wrote for instructions. ‘I think,’ he observed, ‘that two churches would be a great benefit to the growth of the town.’ Asked for more details by the authorities, Douglas reaffirmed his belief that ‘two churches would flourish here.’ The Episcopalians, he explained, had then only a few members, but they were ‘all of a wealthy aristocratic class.’ They already had six loads of timber on the spot and planned a structure 30 by 60 feet, with a tower and steeple in front. The Presbyterians, with a large and active membership, expected other denominations to help build their church in return for using it a portion of the time. Thereupon the second donation was authorized.”
    “It was Dr. LaBach of Chariton,” according to Wright, “who came to Russell and began the preparation for the building of the Episcopal house of worship. This was completed in the spring of 1868, but owing to weakness in membership the church did not prosper and was soon disbanded. The building was then sold for other purposes."

Praise, too, for the Rev. Isaac Peter Labagh
    Wright is mistaken in attributing to Dr. “LaBach” first work among the Russell Episcopalians. The gentleman in question actually was the Rev. Isaac Peter Labagh, a pioneering Episcopal missionary whose name certainly should be spelled correctly and whose work in Lucas and Monroe counties deserves proper acknowledgement.
    The Rev. Mr. Labagh, whose work in the Diocese of Iowa from 1865 until his death during1869 was sponsored by the Board of Missions of the Protestant Episcopal Church, arrived in the state during July of 1865 when shortly before his 61st birthday he was named rector of St. Peter’s Church in Fairfield.
    As the tracks of the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad (later Chicago Burlington & Quincy) pushed west after the close of the Civil War, Labagh and his family followed.
    He was appointed 5 August 1867 as the first rector of the newly-organized St. Andrew’s Church, Chariton, and also was named at about the same time to serve as rector of Grace Church in Albia. He moved with his family to Russell, a new town platted during October of 1867 along the B.&M.R.R. route in Washington Township, Lucas County, between Albia and Chariton but now accessible to both by rail, and set about planting a third Episcopal church, St. Mark’s, there.
    Labagh, born 14 August 1804 in Leeds, Green County, N.Y., was a fascinating character who embodied the missionary zeal of the Episcopal church of that era. His father, the Rev. Dr. Peter Labagh, was a prominent minister of the Dutch Reformed denomination. Isaac was determined to follow in his father’s footsteps, and in preparation for that calling graduated from Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa., during 1823 and the New Brunswick Theological Seminary of the Dutch Reformed Church, then sharing facilities with Queen’s College (now Rutgers University), New Brunswick, N.J., during 1826. He then served Reformed congregations in Rochester, N.Y., and Gravesend, Long Island.
    During 1842, however, he was suspended by the Reformed general synod “for views expounded concerning the Second Advent and the Christian Sabbath.” He found a welcome, however, within the Protestant Episcopal Church during 1846 and never looked back.
    His first work as an Episcopal missionary was among the Jewish population of New York City. He then founded and built Grace Episcopal Church, Gloucester, N.J., and St. Paul’s Church, Brooklyn, N.Y., and “resuscitated” Calvary Church of Brooklyn, “which had fallen into decay.”
    During 1860, he moved west to McHenry County, Ill., where he established a seminary for girls called Euphemia Hall in Marengo, which burned during 1862.
    Throughout his career, probably to the occasional dismay of his family, the Rev. Mr. Labagh financed mission efforts with his own funds. That was the case with Euphemia Hall, in which he had invested an estimated $15,000, all lost when it burned.
    Undeterred, Labagh moved to Cairo, Ill., where he built St. Peter’s Episcopal Church before commencing work in the Diocese of Iowa.
 St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
    As Charles Wright recounted in his Russell history, the Rev. Mr. Labagh was the first in Russell to take up the railroad offer of lots and a financial subscription in return for the promise to build a church. On 23 April 1868, Henry S. Russell, trustee, deeded lots set aside for the Episcopalians the previous fall, Nos. 143, 144 and 145 in the original town of Russell, to Isaac P. Labagh, trustee of the Russell Episcopal congregation.
    Labagh had purchased a fourth lot, No. 142, from Henry Russell for $25 during March of 1868. Interestingly, the purchaser of record for this lot was listed as the Rev. Mr. Labagh’s son, Reginald Heber Lebagh, then 19. And it’s interesting to speculate about why. The most likely explanation is that the Rev. Mr. Labagh’s habit of financing mission work out of his own pocket left his family financially vulnerable and that this was intended to offer some degree of security. Accounts of Grace Church in Albia, for example, state that its building was financed in large part with funds advanced by the Rev. Mr. Labagh. Those accounts go on to state that Grace ran into financial difficulty during the 1870s and actually lost the building to creditors other than Labagh, who sold it to the Roman Catholics of that city.
    Whatever the case, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church was constructed in Russell during 1867-68. Lots 142-145 formed the south half of the city block in the northeast corner of the intersection of Prairie and Ames streets. It seems likely that the church was constructed to the east and the Labagh home, on Lot 142 at the southwest corner, a site now occupied by a service station, but there’s no way to confirm that.
    St. Mark’s had been enclosed by February, 1868, and a festival was scheduled to raise funds for outfitting it, as reported in The Chariton Democrat of 22 and 29 February:
    “FESTIVAL AT RUSSELL: All of our people ought to go to the festival to be given in St. Marks (Episcopal) church, at Russell, on next Tuesday evening. A special train will leave Chariton between six and seven o’clock, and carry passengers free. A grand time may be anticipated, and a pleasant little ride “into the bargain all free gratis for nothing,” Superintendent Perkins having generously placed a train at the disposal of the society. Supper tickets 50 cents.” (22 February)
    “THE RESTIVAL AT RUSSELL: The festival held in the Episcopal Church at Russell, on Tuesday evening, was one of the pleasantest affairs of the season. The church has just been enclosed, and the object of the festival was to raise funds to fit it up. A large number of Chariton people went down by the special train, and those in the vicinity of Russell turned out almost en masse. It was expected that Albia would send up a delegation also, but by reason of some misunderstanding they did not come. Mrs. Fulkerson, one of the founders of the church, desires to thank the people of Chariton for the generous manner in which they responded to the institution, and assures them that when an opportunity occurs to reciprocate, Russell will turn out in full. The net receipts of the festival amounted to $41.” (29 February)
    Sadly, the Rev. Mr. Labagh became ill during the closing months of 1869 and on 29th December of that year died in Fairfield, probably at the home of his son, Peter.
    Although both St. Andrew’s and Grace continued, St. Mark’s did not survive the Rev. Mr. Labagh for long --- and its interesting to speculate about what its outcome might have been if that dynamic individual had lived longer. The deed transferring three lots to Isaac Labagh specified that they be used only for church purposes, so once the Russell church closed its doors the lots defaulted to the Russell trustees. They were sold on 21 June 1873 to D. F. Comstock, a Russell businessman. This suggests that the Russell congregation probably survived for four years at the most.
    Reginald H. Labagh retained ownership of Lot No. 142 until 3 June 1879 when he (then a resident of Chicago) sold it to Rowena (Sargent) Haywood for $100.

Elizabeth Soldiers on:
    While there is no record to tell us exactly when the Episcopal church in Russell closed its doors, Elizabeth Fulkerson seem to have been undeterred and apparently not tempted to join another denomination. Instead, she shifted her allegiance to St. Andrew’s of Chariton.
    Elizabeth and William were enumerated in the 1880 census as residents of the village of Russell, so apparently lived there rather than on their Washington Township farm until his death on Friday, 31 December 1880, at the age of 69 years, 10 months and 17 days. The Fulkersons had purchased lots in Russell as soon as it was platted and also owned lots in Chariton, where they reportedly also lived for a time.
    William Fulkerson’s passing drew brief note in The Chariton Patriot of Wednesday, 5 January 1881: “Wm. Fulkerson, whose death was briefly noticed in Friday’s Daily, was an old citizen of the county, having located on the farm near Russell where he died, over 26 years ago. He was 70 years of age, and had been sick about a week of congestion of the lungs. He leaves an estimable wife to mourn his departure. The funeral will take place tomorrow at Russell under the Masonic auspices.” William was buried in the Russell Cemetery.
    An astute businesswoman, Elizabeth managed a substantial amount of property in the Russell area and enjoyed income both from rent and from cash loaned at interest to various people and institutions in the community. She also built a substantial brick home --- a rarity in Russell --- probably the house in the east part of town that later served as a private home, then as the O’Donnell Nursing Home and eventually was demolished.
    About seven years after the death of William Fulkerson, Elizabeth married Eli F. Hammer on 4 September 1888 at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Russell (of which Hammer was a member) with the Rev. Francis Duncan Jaudon, rector of St. Andrew’s 1888-1891, officiating.
    Eli, born 1 January 1826 at Greencastle, Ind., had married Mrs. Demitha Branham, some 10 years his senior, 1 September 1848. The Hammers were prosperous but childless farmers who lived in Wright Township, Wayne County, just a few miles south of Russell probably in or near what was known as the Dry Flat neighborhood. Eli and Demitha were charter members of the Russell Methodist congregation.
    Demitha Branham Hammer died 25 March 1887, a year and a half before Eli’s marriage to Elizabeth, and she, too, was buried in the Russell Cemetery.
    Eli and Elizabeth moved into Elizabeth’s home in Russell and apparently lived there contentedly until the late fall of 1895, when old age and circumstance conspired against them. A Chariton Democrat news item of 31 January 1896 states that Elizabeth had sustained injuries a few weeks earlier in a fall, then became ill with “lagrippe.” Eli, according to The Democrat, became ill at about the same time. She died in their Russell home at 1 a.m. on Thursday, 30 January, age 80; and Eli died a few minutes later, at 1:35 a.m., age 70.
    Joint funeral services were held at the Fulkerson/Hammer home Friday afternoon, 31 January, conducted by the Rev. A. W. Armstrong of the Russell M.E. Church, and by the Rev. William V. Whitten and the Rev. J. A. Russell, of St. Andrew’s. Elizabeth then was buried in the Russell Cemetery beside her first husband and Eli, beside his first wife, Demitha.

The benevolence of Elizabeth E.E.F. Hammer
    Elizabeth and Eli had not mixed their assets upon marrying and owned no property jointly. In her will, she left $4,400 to be divided among five people: Amelia Miller, $200; Dorotha McKinley,$1,800; H. Everett, $2,000; Mary E. Carpenter, $200; and Minnie Miller, $200. She also provided for Eli Hammer’s brother, Isaac, of Wisconsin, by ordering that he be paid $5 monthly from her estate so long as he lived.
    The balance of Elizabeth’s assets was willed to churches. St. Andrew’s Episcopal was the principal beneficiary, receiving $500 outright and the residue of her estate once other bequests had been paid and accounts settled. The other congregations that she remembered, each of which received $200, were the Russell M.E. Church, Russell Baptist Church, Russell Presbyterian Church, Trinity Evangelical Church (located a mile east of the Fulkerson farm and now known as Center Community Church) and Dry Flat Evangelical Church (also known as Goodwater Church), located in the Wayne County neighborhood where Eli had lived before his marriage to Elizabeth.
    Elizabeth named George W. Plotts, variously a Russell farmer, meat market operator and grain dealer, to administer her estate. At the time of her death, he was leasing her brick business building on Russell’s main street and seems to have functioned as her manager.
    It took two years to settle Elizabeth’s estate. Her biggest asset, the old Fulkerson farm of 240 acres, was sold to Charles A. Kells for $8,400 during 1898. That farm, which remained in the Kells family until 2006 when it was sold for only the second time in its history, was valued in 21st century dollars at many times that amount.
    On the 25th of April, 1898, Lucas County’s probate judge approved payment of specific bequests, including $500 to St. Andrew’s. By October of that year, St. Andrew’s also had received $6,300 from cash in hand after all other bequests and bills had been paid, and at St. Andrew’s request, remaining assets of the estate had been transferred to that congregation, as well as the obligation to pay Isaac Hammer $5 per month until his death. Those assets included title to Elizabeth’s brick business building and brick home as well as a vacant lot in Russell. A variety of household goods and uncollected notes, including one for $320 against the trustees of Russell First Baptist Church, also passed to St. Andrew’s as did several hundred dollars in cash.
    When all was said an done, St. Andrew’s received approximately $10,000 from the Fulkerson/Hammer bequest, an amount sufficient to allow the congregation to begin planning a grand new building to replace the modest frame structure that had served it since 1868.

Swedish Lutheran Church (Old)

     First Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized November 3, 1869 at the old Baptist Church.  A lay preacher, Mr.. Nels Nordgren, assued charge of the congregation until the arrival of the first pastor.  The first regular pastor to serve the congregation was the Rev. M. Frykman who arrived in June 1875.
      In 1922 the name of the congregation was changed from First Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church to First Evangelical Lutheran Church.  English became the dominant language of the congregation.