ST. JOHN’S EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH and the TANNERY CHURCH
Two Rivers, Wisconsin
Source: Information from: “A History of Manitowoc County”, Ralph G. Plumb; “History of Manitowoc County”, Dr. Louis Falge;
“The Blum Family History”, H.E. Blum (Ellen’s Great Uncle)
The photo below is of St. John’s School and was taken sometime before the year 2000. Click on the photo to see a larger photo.
St. John’s School(pre 2000), Two Rivers
In the early years (1850-60) Two Rivers was an area of sparse settlements around the townships. Services were held in the homes of residents until the churches were established and a church building could be erected. One of those early homes was that of Irwin WILKE in the area of Shoto. Pastor Goldammer was the first pastor to visit the area. After he left, Pastor Philip KOEHLER of the Manitowoc congregation made frequent visits to the area.
Three miles up the East Twin River from Shoto, Emanuel Congregation was established on September 9, 1860. Many of the Two Rivers Lutherans traveled up the river by boat or on foot to meet for church in the small village near the tannery. It has been recorded that in November 1862, Pastor KOEHLER performed 35 baptisms. Thirty-one persons signed the constitution of the newly formed parish. Land was purchased for the church and cemetery.
The Lutherans in the village of Two Rivers decided they no longer wanted to travel up the river for services. On Feb. 1, 1861, St. John’s was established. The first services were held at Smith’s Meeting house, located on Washington Street between 15th and 16th streets. The building was built in 1857 and served as a gathering place for the congregation.
On May 14, 1864, St. John’s purchased the church building of St. Paul Episcopal Church. St. Paul had been abandoned for several years due to the loss of members during the Civil War. When this church building was purchased, Emanuel Congregation at Tannery was disbanded. Only the cemetery remains.(#88) “A History of Manitowoc County”, Ralph G. Plumb
As early as 1861 occasional Lutheran services were held in the village of Two Rivers but it was not until 1863 that St.John’s Congregation was organized by Rev. H. BARTHELS, a. missionary pastor of the church. In the same year “the little brown church” built and owned by the Episcopals was purchased from Bishop KEMPER and was used as a place of worship by the new congregation. Rev. BARTHELS remained until the latter part of 1865 and was succeeded by Rev. Braun and under his pastorate a parsonage was built.
In October 1869 Rev. Braun was succeeded by Rev. ZUBERBIER, who died in the midst of his activities in 1872, whereupon Rev. C. Jaeger assumed pastoral duties for six years, he now being a resident of Racine. His successor was Rev. P. Lucas, who passed away at Two Rivers July 28 1881, Rev. J. P. KOEHLER then taking up the work. He remained seven years, at the end of which time he resigned to accept a position as professor in the Northwestern Theological Seminary in Watertown.
It was under his guidance that the congregation decided to build a new church edifice. The building operations, however, were carried on by his successor, Rev. A. F. SIEGLER, the dedication taking place in 1899. In September 1892, the present pastor, Rev. C. A. F. DOEHLER,, assumed charge of the church and under his leadership it has prospered, numbering now about nine hundred communicants.
The school, started at the same time as the church, was for ten years under the care of the pastors but from that time on teachers were hired and the institution now numbers 160 scholars. Two frame structures are utilized for school purpose, one of them being the old church.
The above photo is of students at St. John’s School, c1917-1921. The last German confirmation class was confirmed on May 6, 1921
Rose Anna Marie Jaeckel is the girl in the front row center with the big bow (the girl second from right side of photo) her married name was Rose Anna Marie Swanson. (info. supplied by her daughter). the other students in the photo are unidentified.