The Odessa Record -

Harrington history

Early Harrington churches


The Zion German Methodist Church at Rocklyn, built in 1905, continues today as the Zion United Methodist Church.

In 1883, August Bursch, Ludwig Hoffman and Gottlieb Mielke came to the Zion district without their families and established themselves sufficiently to summon their families in Minnesota anxiously awaiting the call to come west. In October, the families were reunited, and church services were held in the homes until the following summer.

The edifice now known as the Zion Rocklyn United Methodist Church was the first organized church in Harrington when Rev. Adam Buehler was assigned on June 15, 1884, to the small flock of Germans homesteading in that region, about seven miles northwest of Harrington and five miles south of Rocklyn. Some of the Charter Members were Ludwig and Henrietta Hoffman, Julius Hoffman, Emil Kruger, Henry and Albertina Kruger, Gottlieb and Minna Mielke and August and Henrietta Bursch.

The Articles of Incorporation were filed on June 14, 1886, for the First German Methodist Episcopal Church of Harrington, with the primary location for services being in the Zion district. The trustees were G. Mielke, Chris Buob, Sr., L. Hoffman, A. Bursch and H. Kruger. The first church was built in 1889. In September of 1905, the congregation built a new church on the same location at a cost of about $3,000. The 1905 church continues to be used for regular services although the denomination is now United Methodist.

Private services were held in Catholic homes as early as 1885, and the group was cared for as a missionary field by Father Folchi, a Jesuit priest from Gonzaga, by Father Meurvise of Sprague and in 1890 by Father Van de Ven. St. Francis of Assissi Catholic Church in Harrington on Alice Street was dedicated October 20, 1901, and the church continued to function as a mission until 1907. The cost of the building and its furnishings was $1,269.99, and due to the generosity of 19 Catholics and 37 Protestants, an excess of $47.30 was raised, and the building was dedicated free of debt.

Some of the earliest Catholics in the Harrington area were M.F. Adams, the Tierneys and Sam McDonald. The subscribers for the church were M.F. Adams, James Tierney, John B. Adams, Philip Shields, Sam McDonald, John Tierney, Rev. H.J. Van de Van, George Huck, Michael Huck, D. Coughlin, Fred C. Lee, Bartholomew Schmitz, J.E. Russell, John Ness, Henry Fallert, N.E. Normille, Mrs. J.W. Hughes, W.A. Miller and T. Mossong. The first church was used until the summer of 1964.

The Methodist Episcopal Church of Harrington filed its Articles of Incorporation on August 19, 1893, at the request of G.G. Muller. The trustees were W.F. Glascock, James R. Amon, S.L. Burrill, and F. Graff. It was not until December 1907 that the ME Church dedicated its new church structure under Pastor J.F. Redfern. No records of this church have been found locally.

The Harrington Evangelical Church was organized in 1893 in Lord's Valley and in Harrington by W.N. O'Kelley and his wife in 1894. The earliest of the Harrington Evangelical ledgers, covering 1897-1921, was not found in the church archives. Some of the early members included Mr. and Mrs. S.H. Miller, Wesley Miller, Henry Hiller, W.J. Lamparter, Hulda Lamparter, Chris Lamparter, Barbara Lamparter, Mary Lamparter, Mrs. C. Brugger, James Burge, Mrs. Mae Burge, Hazel Burge, Gottlieb Knapp, Mrs. Knapp, Margaret Knapp, Mary Knapp, Hedwig Knapp, Mrs. George Knapp, Laura Kiehn, Cereta Kiehn, Edd Kienholtz. The Harrington Evangelical Church built their edifice in 1902, on Alice Street, and it continues to be a house of worship for the Harrington United Methodist church. An Evangelical congregation was organized at Rocklyn in 1896, Salem Church of the Evangelical Association of North America, with trustees Fred Grob, Herman Maurer and O.C. Borck. They held a Quarterly Conference in 1898.

The First Presbyterian Church of Harrington was organized in 1894. Charter members included Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Brace, Mr. and Mrs. G. Laugenour, Mr. and Mrs. David Gunning, Mr. and Mrs. Thos. Hayes, Mr. John Oman, Miss Oman, Mr. and Mrs. Durie and two daughters, Mrs. E.E. Plough, Mrs. W.F. Glascock, Miss Eva Thomas, Mrs. John Harding and Mrs. W. Sherman Thompson.

The Articles of Incorporation were filed in 1898, with six trustees, John F. Green, E.E. Plough, M.F. Setters, E.E. Schafer, H. Haynes and W.A. Moore. Their church building was completed on December 6, 1898, located on Second and Glover. It was built at a cost of about $2,600 and was dedicated free of debt. The church continued until November 23, 1925, when it united with the First Baptist Church to form the Harrington Community Church.

The First Baptist Church of Harrington was organized in November 1901 with 14 charter members, Mr. and Mrs. W. Sherman Thompson, Mrs. Madison Charlton, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Hansard, Mr. and Mrs. E.E. Loffler, Mrs. Harms, Mr. and Mrs. Graham, Mr. Stenger, Mr. Garretson and Luther P. Turner. The dedication of the church building was on September 12, 1902, with their first pastor, Rev. J.B. Spight (1901-1905). The building was located on Fourth and Main Street, where in 1925 the Presbyterian edifice was moved and added to the Baptist structure, at which time they became the Harrington Community Church.

Dedicated in 1907, the Methodist Episcopal Church was purchased by the Disciples Assembly of Harrington in 1920. It was dismantled, moved to Davenport and rebuilt in 1938 as the Davenport Gospel Tabernacle.

The Harrington Community Congregational Church membership list (furnished by Elaine Morse) includes Mr. and Mrs. W.B. Armstrong, Herbert Armstrong, Mr. and Mrs. Herman S. Bassett, Florence W. Bassett, Glen and Madge Biggart, James and Bertha Braden, Jesse Baker, Icelone Baker, Lowell Baker, Marion Baugh, Mrs. J.H. Boyer, Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Cobb, Lois Cobb, Mrs. F.M. Charlton, Corajean Charlton, Mr. and Mrs. Claude Cormana, Mrs. Lulu Duncan, Warren W. Downie, Mrs. Rhoda Downie, Ruth Downie, Robert E. Gay, Olga Todd Gay, June Gay, Robert Todd Gay, A.J. Grant, Mr. and Mrs. W.B. Hose, Glenna Huddle, Mrs. Sam Harberson, Mrs. J.H. Hinshaw, Alexander Kramer, Rosa Kramer, Mrs. E. Kerr, Miss Viola Laabs, A.P. Munson, Mary A. Melville, Maggie McKinnon, Eva McKinnon, James McKinnon, Jr., Fred A. Nice, Mrs. Nellie Nice, Frederick Nice, Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Owen, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Phillips, Elizabeth Phillips, Herman Pfeifer, W.H. Richardson, Grace H. Richardson, Edgar Richardson, Billy Richardson, Mr. and Mrs. Harry W. Reading, Florence Reker, Mrs. H.E. Reid, Mrs. Bessie Sheppard, Phyllis Sheppard, Orville Sheppard, Darrell Sheppard, Clarence A. Scott, Adelia Bassett Scott, Mr. and Mrs. F.E. Stuermer, W.E. Shrader, Gertrude Shrader, Marion Shrader, Lois E. Shrader, Mr. and Mrs. George Simpson, Mrs. Nellie Swenson, Miss Nellie Swenson, Attie L. Turner, Mrs. Lyle Turner, Winnie Armstrong, Mrs. T.E. Talkington, Evelyn Talkington, Brud Watson, Mrs. Alma Watson, Bob Watson, J. Edgar Williams, Roger Williams, W.H. Weisgerber, Elizabeth Weisgerber, Mrs. Carrie Waltz, M.V. Yale, Mrs. Mae Yale and Dean Yale.

The Free Methodist Mission of Harrington had its start in 1906 in Lord's Valley, followed later in Bluestem, Rocky Hill and Harrington. Some of the names affiliated with this church were S.E. Scott and wife Minnie, Frank Scott, Mr. and Mrs. A.H. Teel, Mrs. K.J. Whitbeck, Ralph Young and Mrs. James Watson. No records of this denomination have been located locally and most of the news items do not mention the members.

The Harrington Free Methodists did not have a "church" building, rather they had a "mission." The segment of Methodism labeled as "Free Methodist" was organized in 1860 in New York because many were coming to believe that the church was becoming too worldly. Their churches were not allowed to have musical instruments in their building, however, it was allowed in their missions. In September of 1925, the Harrington Free Methodist Mission had an organ brought in.


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