From the History of Owen County

Edited by Charles Blanchard 1884 and Enlarged with the Addition of Index and Photographs, Including Spencer and Gems of “Sweet Owen” 1890.

Published by the Owen County Historical Society 1977

Submitted by Layne Powell


St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

The history of this society begins with the year 1860, at which time it was organized by Rev. John F. Lautenschlager, with a membership of fifteen families, whose names are as follows, to wit: John Schmaltz, Adam Haldt, John Haldt, Matthew Haldt, Christian Weber, Gottlieb Schmaltz, Stephen Maegerlein, Samuel Bierly, Abraham Keiser, Eli Dickey, Daniel Stahl, Frederick Sindlinger, Daniel Miller, Ludwig Schwinger and George Sanderson. Meetings were held in the village schoolhouse until the year 1862, when the subject of a more suitable place of worship began to be discussed, and a building fund started. The citizens of the village were all afforded an opportunity, and many responded with liberal donations, members of other churches not excepted.

The contract for the building of their present commodious edifice, situated on Sycamore Street, in the north part of the village, was awarded in 1862, and the good work pushed to completion during that year. It is a frame building, 30x45 feet, and cost the sum of $1,500. Since its organization, the society has been ministered to by the following pastors in the order named: D. M. Martins preached three years; William J. Schrover preached the same length of time; T.H.H. Jaeger preached four years; A. Eberbach, three years; and F.W.C. Wiechers, three years. The pastor in charge at the present time is Rev. William H. Price, who is now on his first year’s work. About 100 members belong to the church at the present time, and services are conducted in both the English and the German languages. A good Sunday school is maintained throughout the year, with an average attendance of sixty scholars. The present Superintendent is John Schmaltz.