Neighborhoods They Settled In: Detroit, Clark/Fulton, Industrial Valley, Ohio City, Old Brooklyn, Stockyards, Tremont, Central, Mount Pleasant, St. Clair
First Immigrants - 1830's
The Germans were one of the first groups to come to Cleveland. The first Germans were from Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland. They first began settling around Lorain Street in Brooklyn Township, and also along Superior and Central Avenues. There were large numbers of Germans who arrived in Cleveland between 1840-1846. There was another large group that arrived from 1848-1849. After the Civil War, German immigration really picked up speed.
By 1833 there were about 15 German families in Cleveland. They settled along Lorain Street on the west side and near Garden (now E. 17th) on the east side. Some had farms around the St. Clair and E. 55th Street area. Two miles south of the lake, on either side of E. 55th Street there were settlements on land near Central and Quincy Avenue and truck farms extended out Broadway beyond Kingsbury Run. The majority of Germans settled in old Brooklyn Township west of the Cuyahoga, and many made homes along what today is Lorain Avenue. In 1840 the German Evangelical Assn. opened a house of worship, and in 1843, the German Lutheran Church was built. In 1843, the Evangelical Zion (German) Church was organized, and for some years occupied a wooden building on Bolivar Street, near Euclid. In 1867, they built a church on Erie and Bolivar, and a large brick building for schools and evening meetings, on the site of the old wooden church. The German Protestant churches established before 1850 were: Schifflein Christi Evangelical (1835), Zion Lutheran (1843), the First German Methodist (1845) and Saint Luke’s Evangelical Church (1846); the first German Reformed church was established in 1848. The Germans had established German Catholic churches and Protestant congregations before 1860. The Protestant congregations were: Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (1853), the West Side United Evangelical Protestant Church (1853) and St. Paul’s Evangelical Protestant Church (1858). The Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church quickly grew so that by 1880 it had over 1,400 members, making it the largest congregation in town. The German Catholic churches were: St. Peter’s (1853), St. Mary’s of the Assumption (west side – 1854), and St. Joseph’s (1855). From 1840 to 1852, St. Mary’s in the Flats, at Columbus and Girard streets was the only Catholic Church in Cleveland. On February 13, 1853, the first all German Catholic Parish was formed under the direction of Bishop Rappe and Father Luhr. The present St. Peter’s was dedicated on Oct. 3, 1859. In 1854, the West Side Germans under Father J.J. Kraemer organized a parish of their own naming it “St. Mary’s of the Assumption”; they used the older St. Mary’s in the Flats until a new church was built in September of 1863. St. Joseph’s Church on Woodland and E. 23rd was an outgrowth of St. Peter’s parochial school named St. Bernhardts. In the summer of 1862 members of St. Bernhardt’s mission organized a parish of their own. Later a group of Franciscans took over the parish in 1868 and the present church building was dedicated on Oct. 5, 1873.
These Germans had formed settlements around Denison Avenue and West 54th Street; Scranton Road and Clark Avenue; West 54th Street and Bridge Avenue; Superior Avenue and E. 71st Street; Woodland Avenue near 71st Street; and Superior Avenue and E. 17th Street and Franklin Avenue. When their children grew up they quickly left and moved into the suburbs. Lakewood, Parma, and Garfield Heights today have absorbed a large percentage of these second and third generation Germans.
In recent years the Cleveland Germans have formed many churches including Holy Trinity, St. Joseph, St. Michael, St. Peter, St. Stephen, Bethany Lutheran, Christ Lutheran, Concordia, Pilgrim Lutheran, St. John’s, St. Mark’s Lutheran, St. Matthew Lutheran, St. Paul’s, Zion Lutheran, Christ Evangelical, Immanuel Lutheran, St. John’s Evangelical and the West Side Evangelical and Reformed Church.
The Germans who came to Cleveland were skilled craftsmen. They worked making musical instruments and were cabinetmakers and machinists. There were also quite a few German brewers in Cleveland - Leisy Brewing Co., Gund Brewing Co., Schlather Brewing Co. and Pilsener Brewing Co. The Berea Children's Home was founded by the Germans as well as the German Hospital on Franklin Blvd. (later Fairview Hospital on Lorain Avenue), the Lutheran Medical Center and Deaconess Hospital. They also founded the Altenheim Home, an old-age home on Detroit Avenue. They also founded Baldwin Wallace College in Berea and Notre Dame College as well. John Carroll University was founded by the German Jesuits as St. Ignatius College at W. 39th and Carroll St. The German newspapers were "Germania", Waechter am Erie (founded 1852), and the Waechter und Anzeiger.
Deutsche Zentrale or German Central - On York Road. Farm bought 1926, had dances, tennis, rifle range, soccer.
1942 Report by the WPA:
The names of the Germans arriving in Cleveland in 1833 were Kaiser, Neib, Driemer, Finger, Risser, and Frey. Denker and Borges were partners in a tailoring business. Wigman was a mason contractor. Schiele was a gardener and Dietz a watchmaker. Later came the Leisy’s, Schlathers, Gehrings, Hessenmullers, Henningers, Schaafs, and Umbstaetters. By 1834 there were 15 German families in Cleveland. Between 1860 and 1890, over 40% of all people living in Cleveland were Germans. Then, other groups began to come and by 1910 the Germans were 25% of the population. When the Germans first came to Cleveland they lived along Lorain Street and on streets branching off of Superior Avenue and off of Gordon Avenue which is now W. 65th Street. They wanted to live in settlements where their neighbors spoke German, ate the same foods, attended the same churches and talked of the same homeland. Their children quickly learned English, left the settlements and built their homes in all parts of the city. The Germans were quickly assimilated.
Cleveland cooking is more German than English. Dumplings, sauerkraut, potato pancakes, kuchen and other German dishes are common in Cleveland today. Many Christmas customs including Santa Claus and the Christmas Tree of Germanic origin. The German brewers who founded half a dozen large breweries are supposed to have changed Clevelander’s tastes in beverages from the hard liquors of the rough and ready frontier days to the milder sociable beer. Many of the early German settlers in Cleveland were skilled workmen, businessmen, or professional workers. Many of them opened their own stores or factories. A few were farmers who settled outside of Cleveland in what became the suburbs. These farmers raised fruit and vegetables in the clay soil of what is now Lakewood. There are still many people of German descent living in Lakewood.
In 1897 a book was published about Cleveland’s outstanding businesses. The Title was Cleveland, the Metropolis of Ohio. In this book the German businessmen were described in the following way: “A large contingent of businessmen of Cleveland is formed of citizens of German birth and they are unexcelled in integrity, enterprise and public spirit.” There are hardware and stove dealers, jewelry manufacturers and retailers. A florist who owns ten greenhouses in South Euclid, an upholstery and bedding factory, a bicycle maker, a coal and building material dealer, a tanner, two bakeries, two confectioners, four tailors, three druggists, four grocers, a cabinetmaker, carriage and wagon makers, a roofer, a paint dealer, cigar maker, two distillers and brewers, a furniture dealer, a cloak and suit factory and an umbrella maker.
The names of some of the old and famous eating places show their German origin. There was Peter Schmitt’s near the White City Amusement Park on Lakeshore Blvd, the Hofbrau House on Prospect Avenue and the Rathskellar on E. 4th Street.
The Germans played an important part in changing Cleveland from a frontier town to a city noted as a medical and cultural center. Young doctors trained in the European clinics are mentioned in the City Hospital records of 1894 as a reason for increased interest in science.
The Germans took a leading part in the musical life of the city during the years at the turn of the century. Many of them played in orchestras. Architecture was another field in which the German excelled. John D. Rockefeller, an industrialist and philanthropist was of German descent. He founded an oil company which became the largest in the world.
The present day Germans (in 1942) who are foreign and who have not left their settlements are centered near Denison Avenue and W. 54th, in the vicinity of Scranton Road and Clark Avenue, at W. 54th Street and Bridge Avenue, at Superior and E. 71st St., at Woodland Avenue near E. 71st Street, and on Franklin Avenue. The west side settlements are Franklin Avenue from W. 25th to W. 52nd, and the more scattered Lakewood Germans. They built a hospital at 2609 Franklin Avenue called Lutheran Hospital. A large Lutheran Church and school are located at Arthur Avenue and Detroit Avenue in Lakewood. There are now about 75,000 foreign born Germans in Greater Cleveland.
Information from The Jubilee Edition of the Cleveland Wachter und Anzeiger 1902
In 1830 and again in 1833, Germans attempted to overthrow dynasties in Germany. That cause failed and the Germans had to flee. The intelligent class came to Cleveland and were known as the Thirty-Three-ers. The early German immigrants that came in 1848 were called the Forty-Eighters and were known as “The Grays”. Later immigrants were called “The Greens”. There is a book called Memories of a Forty-Eighter by Jacob Mueller that talks about the failed revolution of 1848 in Germany.
The first German newspaper in Cleveland appeared in 1846 and was called the Germania, published by Edward Hessenmuller and L. Wangelin. This paper survived briefly. In the 1870’s, there was the newspaper called the Columbia which existed for a brief time. The Germania appeared again briefly and then in the 1880’s there was the Die Biene. At the end of the 1880’s the Germania appeared again as well as the Deutsche Presse.
8/9/1852 – The German newspaper was called Wachter am Erie – Sentinel on the Erie was founded by Jacob Mueller and Louis Ritter. August Thieme was the first editor. This paper later merged with the Clevelander Anzeiger in 1893 and became the Wachter und Anzeiger – Sentinel and Advertiser. It ended publication in 1989.
In 1852, when the Wachter am Erie was founded, there were 5,000 Germans in Cleveland. They took little part in politics but were being awakened by the Forty-Eighters streaming in. They campaigned for freedom, human rights and religious tolerance. They formed Singing Societies and Gymnastic Societies known as Turners.
The August 9, 1852 issue of Wachter am Erie, showed the following German businesses in Cleveland:
Carl Roeder, wine, liquor and tobacco
Dr. L.J. Czapkay, physician, surgeon, obstetrician and pharmacist
Dr. G. Schueler, surgeon and obstetrician, 66 Center Street
N. Heisel , cake maker, 13 Water Street
J.G. Mack, fall hats
Thiele and Hofer, 36 Seneca Street, gold and silversmiths and engravers
Rettberg, Doeltz and Haussmann, 166 Superior Street, importer of German goods
G. Griffith and W. Brinker, furniture factory of Water Street
Carl Sutter, painter
Jacob Mayer, 12 Water Street, selling watches, chains and gold goods
Wagner Bros., 23 Water Street, chairs, wholesale and retail
Max Treiber from Pittsburg, gravestones
Joseph Degen, 9 Water Street, toys
L. Emrich, Napoleon Hotel German inn, corner of Water and St. Clair
C. Frank, Lafayette House on Seneca Street
F. Weidenkopf, Zum Deutschen Schloss inn, 47 Seneca Street
Phillipp Lerch, Zum Schwarzen Adler inn on Erie Street
Johann T. Brodt, inn in Union Lane
Carl Behlen, German beerhall and restaurant on Water Street
John Gerlach, 71 River Street, boots and shoes
Valentin Ziemer, 6 Union Street, clothing store
J. Kuhnhold & Co., 12 Water Street, custom men’s tailors
Lutkemeyer and Schmidthusen, Superior and Vineyard Street, ironwares, books
Joseph Stoppel, Cleveland Distillery on St. Clair Street
Schulz Bros., furniture store on Bank Street
L. Gebhardt, 5 Merwin Street, wine merchant and grocery
Bratenahl Bros., leather goods
M. Dietze, lawyer and notary
Beavis, Mueller and Ritter, German-American lawyers and notaries
Rettberg, Doltz and Hausmann, exchange for Germany
C.B. Richard’s German agency in New York, represented by Wm. Lutkemeyer
Schmitt and Hoffmann Co.
Phoenix Brewing Co.
Germans founded the Altenheim home for elderly residents on Detroit Avenue in 1891. They also founded Deaconess Hospital in 1892. The Berachah Haven for Needy Girls was located on Courtland Street since 1882.
GERMAN SCHOOLS IN 1902 (All Free Men’s Schools):
1. St. Clair behind the medical college
2. Mechanic Street on the west side, - later became the hall of the Social Turners
3. Laurel Street (Teutonia Halle)
4. Zalinski School on the west side
5. Jersey Street Lindemann School – of the Stempel Congregation
6. Erie and Hamilton Street in the Schmidt Congregation
7. Zion in the Heights
The German language was introduced to the high schools in 1859. In 1867 a report showed that most Germans resided in the 4th, 6th, and 8th wards. In 1870, all public schools had German instruction.
Until 1832 there was only one house of God in Cleveland, Trinity Church on Superior Street, whose bells rang in 1896 on the centennial of the city of Cleveland, but which fell finally to commercialism on 29 June of this year when the last services was held in this old cathedral, and it was condemned to being razed. At the beginning of the 1830s the Old Stone Church was built on the Square. The Word of God was proclaimed in both of these churches in English. In April 1835, thus only 67 ½ years ago, the first German congregation was founded in Cleveland, receiving the name “The Little Boat of Christ” (zum Schifflein Christi). This congregation built its first church at the corner of Hamilton and Erie, in which Pastor Allard functioned as minister. Some Lutheran families separated themselves from this congregation in 1843 to found the Evangelical-Lutheran Zion Church, which was located at Erie and Bolivar Street.
Next there arose the first German Methodist congregation, which erected a church at the corner of Eagle and Erie Street with the assistance of their English fellow believers. German Catholics had no church of their own, and it was only in the second half of the 1840s that St. Mary’s in the Flats received a German priest who was commissioned to say mass and preach in German. The religiously freethinking element was strongly represented among workers and farmers. Attempts to establish German school here proved premature. Even the head of the congregation “the Little Boat of Christ” saw it necessary to hand over the parish school to a committee in order to create a non-confessional school in 1848, which later became the school of the Free Men’s League.
The oldest German Catholic congregation is St. Peter’s, whose church was located at the corner of Superior and Dodge Street. It was founded in February, 1853, and a year later St. Mary’s congregation was established on the West Side (Ohio Street).
1. Bethany Evangelical Protestant Church – established in May of 1890 on Burton Street and Storer Avenue, later W. 41st at Storer.
1894-1913 – Wm. Behrendt
1918-1924 – H.E. Voss
1928 – Theo Braun
Bethany German Evangelical Protestant was established in May, 1890, with the assistance of the local Zion Church and the German Evangelical Synod of North America, in a new area of the city. After the young congregation had organized itself, it obtained with no small difficulty a splendidly-located, valuable lot 112 feet wide and 180 feet long on Burton Street and Storer Avenue, and threw itself into constructing a provisional church. It made good progress, so that consecration of the new house took place in the middle of August of the same year. The parish house is located next to the church. Currently the congregation numbers between 150 and 160 families, mostly from northern Germany and recently immigrated. A series of lively and active societies have attached themselves to this growing congregation. The women’s association has accomplished no less by promoting the pecuniary well-being of the congregation. The Sunday School Society, consisting largely of younger people, leads a well-attended Sunday School. The Youth Society is a gathering place for confirmed young people. A Mission Society promoted interest in internal and external missions. Several years ago, most of the members joined a Sickness Support Society. So far as the ecclesiastical position of Bethany goes, it must be said that it has been a member of the Evangelical Synod of North America from the beginning. The preacher of the congregation since its establishment is Pastor W. Behrend.
2. Christ Evangelical Protestant Church – Founded 12/5/1897 by Pastor F. Oppermann. Located at Wellington and Cudell, later 2124 West 98th Street
1897-1906 – Franz Oppermann
1908 – John Huebschmann
1913-1918 – Henry Eppens
1921-1928 – Hugo Kamphauson
Christ Church is still young and small, but very promising. The church on Wellington Avenue at the corner of Cudell Street, is older than the congregation. The church, with a basement and heated by a furnace in the winter, was consecrated by Pastor F. Oppermann on December 5, 1897 in the presence of a large number of Protestants. A month later the organization of the Christ congregation was completed with 16 members. It now numbers 29 families and 16 individual members. It is part of the German Evangelical Synod of North America.
3. Ebenezer Evangelical Protestant Church – Founded in 1893 at Hoyt and St. Clair (later St. Clair at E. 73rd) by Rev. William Wahl.
1893-1908 – William Wahl
1913-???? – Richard Fillbrandt
1918-1921 – G.C. Maul
The first step to the foundation of the Ebenezer Church was made by a missionary committee of the Ohio district of the German Evangelical Synod of North America through the calling of Pastor Wilhelm Wahl, then at Rockport, Cuyahoga County, to be missionary preacher. Pastor Wahl moved to Cleveland on May 15, 1893 and took up his post. The four pastors in Cleveland belonging to the Evangelical Synod each donated $100 free of interest for an undetermined time to construct a little church, and the Zion Church (Pastor Leonhardt) donated $37.50 for the same purpose. The Ohio district of the German Evangelical Synod of North America which met at the start of June, 1893, in Pastor Burghardt’s church at the corner of Willson Avenue and Magnet Street, then approved $200 for construction. A lot was leased on Hoyt Avenue and St. Clair Street and a little church built there. It was dedicated on June 23, 1893. With the organization of the congregation on May 6, 1894, when the name of Ebenezer German-Evangelical Church was adopted, the first part of its history was completed. In June, 1894, the congregation was accepted as a member of the German Evangelical Synod of North America. On August 10, 1895 the congregation received a lot on Nora and St. Clair Street with a frontage of 100 feet, which has served its purpose. Pastor W. Wahl remains at his position today.
4. United Evangelical Protestant Church – Founded in 1853 at Kentucky St. near Bridge. Known as Stempel’s Church after Rev. Philip Stempel.
1871-1874 – Philip Stempel
1875-1879 – H.C. Fack
1880-1894 – William Angelberger
1894-1895 – F. Schrock
1898-1923 – C.W. Bernhardi
1924-1960 – Walter Klein
The oldest German Protestant congregation on the west side, and one of the oldest whatsoever in Cleveland, is the United Evangelical Protestant Congregation of the West Side, usually referred to as “Stempel’s Church”. It received this latter name because its founder and first pastor had that name. Pastor Philipp Stempel, an old Forty-Eighter from the Palatinate, by profession a teacher, and who was driven over the sea by the Revolution, came here in 1849 and took over a position as pastor and teacher in Brighton, now South Brooklyn. At the start of the 1850s he started preaching in turns in Rockport, then Cleveland or Ohio City, which is today called the West Side. This gave occasion to the establishment of the congregation in Cleveland on July 26, 1853. Mr. Stempel was elected pastor and held this office for 22 years.
On November 28, 1853 the cornerstone was laid for the first church, a little wooden church on Kentucky Street near Bridge Street. Very soon it proved to be too small and the active pastor managed to bring it about that the congregation moved in 1859 to a roomier brick church at the corner of Bridge and Kentucky Street. This did not fulfill their needs for long, and in 1866 the congregation built a stately new church next to the old one on Bridge Street. This construction cost $45,000. The earlier church was used as a parish school.
Although the congregation sought to reduce their debt, it became impossible to support the burden and there was a danger that the church would be auctioned. Pastor Stempel resigned. The congregation then elected Pastor Fack on November 7, 1875 as second pastor. He was not able to settle the poor finances. He remained until the end of 1879 before establishing St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church, which is on Harbor Street.
The third pastor was W. Angelberger of Buffalo. His period of service, from February, 1880 on, showed a growth in the external conditions of the congregation. The debt, which was $22,000 when he took office, was reduced year by year. When he died on October 26, 1894, the debt was paid down to $2,700.
During the subsequent vacancy, Pastor F. Schrock of Brighton oversaw the congregation until they won Mr. C.W. Bernhardi, a fine new pastor. He took up his position on January 13, 1895 and won the love and respect of the members. He was born the son of a pastor in Staudemin, Pomerania, in 1865. He emigrated to America in 1888. The congregation does not belong to any synod, but it has been served by the German Evangelical Synod of North America since 1880.
5. Friedens Evangelical Protestant Church at 3587 Kimmel Street.
1887 – F. Groth
1888 – L. Bach
1888-1891 – Heinrich Staebler
1891-1898 – Franz Oppermann
1897-1913 – Charles C. Gebauer
1918 – J.F. Trefzer
1921 – Walter Bauman
1924 – Adolph Egli
1928 – Theo Tillmanns
The Friedens Evangelical Protestant congregation was organized by Pastor F. Groth on Sept. 11, 1887. Services were held in a schoolhouse, but within the first year the congregation decided to build a church. A proper lot was purchased on Kimmel Street, and soon the cornerstone for the church was laid. The wooden church was consecrated the Sunday before Christmas. Since Pastor Groth only served the congregation for a brief time, the council turned to the German Evangelical Synod of North America for a minister. In January, 1888, Pastor L. Bach took over, but illness forced him to give up his office in May of the same year. He was followed by Pastor H. Staebler, who preached his first sermon on May 20, 1888. Still a free congregation, it decided under Pastor Staebler’s leadership to join the Evangelical Synod of North America. At Easter, 1891, Pastor Staebler left to go to Indiana. His successor, Pastor J. Oppermann, preached for the first time on April 17, 1891. During his over six years as a preacher, a whole series of groups came into existence which survive to the present day. In 1892 the congregation declared itself independent, and since then it has covered its budge from its own resources. In the crisis year of 1893 Pastor Oppermann declined to take his salary for four months in order to help the struggling congregation. Pastor Oppermann laid down his office at the start of September, 1897, in order to found a mission church on the West Side. He was followed by the current pastor, C.C. Gebauer. He took up office on October 1, 1897. Under his leadership a tower was built on the church in 1898. An 1,100 pound bell was hung in the tower. Currently the congregation consists of 86 members.
6. Emmanuel Evangelical Protestant Church located at Colfax at N. East Avenue, later Kinsman at E. 72nd
1886 – J. Heininger
1887 – G. Neumann
1888 – John Heininger
1888 – H. Haass
1889 – H.A. Koerner
1890 – T. Lenschau
1897-1908 – F.M. Haefele
1913-1924 – Theo P. Frohne
The Emmanuel Evangelical Protestant Church at the corner of Colfax Street and N. East Avenue, was founded on July 25, 1886 by Joh. Heininger, a cleric residing in Cleveland. Thirteen heads of families signed the first charter. After long missionary activity by Pastor Heininger, Mr. G. Neumann was elected minister. He took over in the winter of 1887. Since both divine service and Sunday School had taken place in rented quarters on Kinsman Street, then in a small storage room on Herold Street, on January 8, 1888 a committee was commissioned to buy a lot, whereupon the committee built a small church in keeping with the congregation’s capacity. Pastor G. Neumann departed in early 1888 and Pastor Joh. Heininger was unanimously elected. Under his leadership the congregation grew constantly. He took his leave in November, 1888. His successor was Pastor H. Haass, who created the first church register, entering the activities of the congregation there. On July 8, 1889 he resigned his position and on November 17 of the same year H.A. Koerner was called as pastor. On March 23, 1890 the congregation saw itself compelled to declare to him that his services were no longer desired. They then elected Pastor T. Lenschau, who had belonged to the Evangelical Synod of North America since 1854 and had served a series of German Evangelical congregations in Cleveland. The congregation then joined this synod. Pastor Lenschau died on June 11, 1897. The next pastor was F. Schroeck and then F.M. Haefele who took over on June 1, 1897. On October 1, 1901, it was decided to build a new church on the present lot. The congregation currently numbers about 80 members.
7. St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church located on Magnet St. at Willson (later E. 55th at Magnet), founded 1884.
1887-1918 – Carl Burghardt
1921 – Henry Vieth
1924-1928 – Emil Krafft
St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church was established in 1884. It had its first small church on Magnet Street. In the first three years of its existence, it was served by three ministers, each serving for a short time. During the service of the last of these ministers the congregation went downhill. It split, and a portion established a church on Kimmel Street, the present Friedens congregation. During this time of crisis, the present minister, Pastor C. Burghardt, was called and he took up his office on October 1, 1887. The congregation purchased a lot on Willson Avenue at the corner of Magnet Street and the cornerstone was laid on August 19, 1889. At this time there were 70-80 members. Currently there are between 170 and 180 complete members (families) in the congregation. There are also about 100 non-complete families.
8. St. Paul’s Evangelical Protestant Church located at Scovill and Greenwood (later Scovill and E. 28th)
1858-1865 – Steinert
1869-1872 – John C. Young
1872-1875 - John Bank
1875-1878 - Albert Zeller
1884-1906 – H. Eppens
1908 – Henry Deters
1913 – Wm. Leonhardt
1918-1921 – Adolph Schmidt
1924-1928 – Walter Baumann
The second St. Paul’s Evangelical Church, whose church is located at the corner of Scovill and Greenwood Street, was established in 1858. Its rise was due to the separation of a number of members of the “first St. Paul’s”, or as it was later called, “The Little Boat of Jesus”, whose pastor was then Allardt and his assistant Pastor Steinert. This division took place peacefully. A committee was named in 1858 to prepare for a new congregation. Pastor Steinert was chosen as first minister, a position he held until 1865. The little flock held its meetings in a rented hall before transferring to a little wooden church on a property owned by the mother congregation at the intersection of Scovill and Greenwood. This church was used for 12 years. There was concern to establish a parish school, which drew well though the end of the 1860s. It declined in the 1870s and was closed in 1878. Despite the frequent changing of pastors, St. Paul’s Church grew slowly but steadily. Steps were taken in 1870 to build a new church with its façade on Scovill, while the old church was behind it, fronting on Greenwood. Alongside the church to the north is the new parsonage. The preachers of this congregation to date were: M. Steinert, 1858-1865; Pastor Kroenlein, 1865-1869; Pastor Young, 1869-1872; Pastor Bank, 1872-1875; Pastor Zeller, 1875-1878; Pastor Buettner 1878-1884; Pastor H. Eppens 1884 to the present.
9. Zion Evangelical Protestant Church – located at Jennings and Branch (broke away from Stempel’s Church)
1867 – Bauer
1868 – Bochert (he was fired)
1871-1879 – O. Schettler
1878-1883 – Albert Klein
1883-1913 – Theophil Leonhardt
1918-1921 – B.F. Wulfman
1924-1928 – Otto Wittlinger
Zion Evangelical Protestant Church, located at Jennings and Branch Avenue, and which is one of the strongest German congregations in the city, is a daughter of the Stempel Church on the West Side. The congregation was established on January 1, 1867 in Schneeberger’s Hall by about 40 families, and it received the name of “The German Evangelical Protestant Church of University Heights.” No sooner had this happened but a lot was obtained at the corner of Tremont and College Street for the sum of $400, and a little church built there, whose cornerstone was laid on May 12, 1867 in the presence of Pastor Stempel and Pastor P. Schroeck of South Brooklyn. Pastor Bauer was called as first preacher and entered his office on September 15, 1867. He served the congregation until August, 1868, when Pastor Bochert was called to be his successor. He was no special compliment to the office of a Protestant preacher, and one fine November Sunday in 1871 the congregation shut the door in his face and fired him. Pastor O. Schettler of Martinstown, Indiana, was called. Under his action, he bought the lot at Jennings and Branch Avenue for $8,000. In 1873 the little church at the corner of Tremont and College Street was removed and taken to Jennings and Branch Avenue where it was for many years. Another building was purchased in which a parish school was established. The congregation grew until the throat ailment of the minister compelled him to resign in 1878. During his service the church became a member of the German Evangelical Synod of North America, where it still remains. The name was changed to Zion Evangelical Protestant Church.
Pastor Schettler’s successor was Pastor A. Klein who was with the congregation for five years. Due to a nervous ailment, he asked for a vicar in 1883 from the directory of preachers of the German Evangelical Synod of North America. His request was honored and Theophil Leonhardt was sent. At the same time, Pastor Klein received a call from Germany, so that he resigned on Sept. 2, 1883. Rev. Leonhardt was elected as future pastor and he still practices as pastor today. It was then necessary to build a new larger church and to use the old one as a schoolhouse. The costs were determined to be $25,000. A brick structure was raised on a plan by architect Mitermueller. Consecration took place on February 1, 1885. Currently 700 families belong to this church. The Sunday School has more than a thousand pupils and the confirmation class has 152 children. Pastor Theophil Leonhardt was born on February 8, 1853 in Hohenstaufen in Wurttemberg. He immigrated to America in December of 1880 and took over the second teacher’s position in the German Protestant Orphanage in St. Louis, MO, in February, 1881 and entered the preacher’s seminary on September 2 of the same year, where he took theology for two years before taking an examination.
1. Little Boat of Jesus (Schifflein Christi) founded in 1835 at Erie and Hamilton Streets
1838-1861 – C.A.H. Allardt
1861-1868 – W. Schmidt
1869-1873 – W. Purpos
1873-1875 – H. Veith
1875-1878 – Charles Munch
1878-1879 – Otto Telle
1879-1883 – F. Busser
1883-1891 – John Andres
1891-1901 – Friedrich von Schlumbach
1901 - H.H. Rippe
1906-1908 – Erich Becker
1913-1921 – J. Huebschmann
In the midst of a dreadfully stormy period in April, 1835, the first steps were taken in Cleveland to found a German Evangelical Protestant congregation. Were these storms a preparation for the many storms which have passed over this congregation in the course of decades, as well as over the little band of German Protestants who braved the winds on April 26, 1835 to attend the meeting in which the founding of the congregation? Four days later F.J. Tanke was elected pastor for a year. In the following month Tanke traveled to New York to marry his bride and bring her back to Cleveland. During his absence a Mr. Buse, who was passing through, preached every Sunday. An important part of the congregation was so fond of Mr. Buse that they wanted to keep him there as pastor. This conjured up the first storm and the tumult of division threatened to destroy the congregation. When Pastor Tanke returned, he found the congregation split. He preached to the part remaining loyal to him in the Masonic Temple, while Buse held services in an empty shop. In that time a man learned in the scriptures by the name of W. Steinmeyer lived on a farm about 9 miles from the city. Pastor Tank repeatedly invited this man to preach. Steinmeyer accepted and rapidly won friends though his gift of speech. He managed to bring the congregation back together. The condition was that he should become preacher. A position was found for Pastor Tanke in Black River, which he accepted. Buse was revealed to be no good and to avoid a serious charge he fled the city. In August, 1838, Steinmeyer accepted a call to Phillipsburg.
His successor was Pastor C.A.H. Allardt. He remained in office until 1861. In 1842 a bridge church was built at the corner of Erie and Hamilton Street which received the title of “The Little Boat of Jesus.” Further storms were not lacking during his ministry, breaking out in 1858 when Pastor M. Steiner was called by the congregation as assistant pastor. He made himself very popular with the congregation, but could not get on well with his elder colleague and superior, and this led to another fracture in the congregation. With the help of his adherents, Pastor Steiner organized a new congregation which constructed a church on property belonging to the mother congregation on Scovill and Greenwood. This daughter congregation is the flourishing St. Paul’s Church, whose minister today is Pastor Eppens.
After Pastor Allardt laid down his office, Pastor W. Schmidt took over. A bad storm arose during his ministry as well, which once more tore away a piece. In 1868 there were disagreements which led to a portion of the congregation, including some of the oldest members, departing along with Pastor Schmidt to establish the First United Evangelical Protestant Church on Erie Street and Central Avenue. This congregation existed for about 30 years, during which it was beset by many storms. What the crises could not accomplish was done by the death of the old pillars of the community, leading to dissolution. Some of the remaining members joined St. Paul’s Evangelical Protestant Church, some the Second Reformed Church on Woodland Avenue and Putnam Street.
Pastor W. Purpos served from 1869 to 1873, and after him through 1875, Pastor H. Veith as minister of the Little Boat of Jesus. A Pastor Schornstein preached briefly in 1875, but he spoke so poorly that the congregation would not allow him to consecrate the new, splendid church on Superior Street (its present church). And it stormed again, and once more a piece of the congregation broke off. Members who departed founded Trinity Church, now headed by Pastor Kimmel.
From 1875 to 1878, Pastor C. Muench, from 1878 to 1879 Pastor Otto Telle, from 1879 to 1883 Pastor F. Buesser and from 1883 to January, 1891, Pastor John Andres were ministers. Heavy debts and the various splits had led to a declined membership, so by 1890 the existence of the congregation was placed in serious doubt. A total of $28,000 debts stood on the church property. The debt had been referred to a federal court and the church was supposed to be auctioned off. Under these circumstances, Pastor Friedrich von Schlumbach, who was so mourned when he died in summer last year, entered office. The court approved a delay of the auction and from then on there was a turn for the better. Pastor von Schlumbach succeeded in paying off the greater part of the debt. The congregation left the Evangelical Synod and took its earlier independent position. The schoolhouse behind the church was renovated, a new parsonage constructed and two large halls and other rooms built in the association building. A gymnasium was installed, the church and school painted, Dodge Street was paved. The congregation consists of 250 voting members. The death of Mr. von Schlumbach on May 28 of last year was a cause of mourning. Pastor H.H. Rippe of New York was called in August, 1901 and he has been minister since last September.
2. Case Avenue Independent Evangelical Protestant Church – on Case Avenue, later E. 40th at Cooper – known as Trinity Church
1874 – Rev. Durr
1875-1878 – Charles A. Hermann
1878-1918 - August Kimmel
1921-1924 – John Etjen
1928-???? – Theo Kitterer
An assembly to establish an independent German Evangelical Protestant Church was held in early 1875 in the home of the late Mr. Christ Robbe on Clifton Street. Some weeks later a second assembly was held in the hall of Mr. Louis Zimmermann, corner of St. Clair and Lyman Street. These people were without a spiritual home after having ended their membership in the mother church, The Little Boat of Jesus, due to differences of opinion. The resolution was passed unanimously that the steps be taken to found a new congregation, receiving the name of Holy Trinity German Evangelical Protestant Church.
The next difficult task was to call a proper preacher as well as to find proper quarters for services. The congregation advertised in papers announcing its departure from its earlier congregation, and at the same time advertised for a pastor. Help came from the least expected quarter. Pastor J.W.C. Durr, then minister of Christ Episcopal Church on Orange Street, volunteered to take over the services. He also helped by making available the English Episcopal Church at the corner of Alabama and Superior for services. Services were held there for almost an entire year. The need to find a church of their own grew ever more urgent. The ranks of members began visibly to thin, and a split was threatening within the community. Some of the loyal members stayed away from Pastor Durr’s services, “since he is an Episcopal pastor,” and “since the service used in the Episcopal Church was alien to them.” They demanded that the congregation should protect its Evangelical-Protestant nature.
In May, 1874, the congregation determined to purchase the lot at Case Avenue and Cooper Street for $7,500. The cornerstone for this church was laid in June, 1874, by Pastor Durr with the assistance of other Episcopal clerics. Pastor Durr resigned, and there was an interregnum. At the request of the congregation, preacher Horn, at the time bishop of the Evangelical community, Pastor Schneider and later Pastor Stempel took up the interim ministry. In early 1875 the congregation called Pastor H.E. Hermann of Hamilton, Ohio to be preacher. He served for 2 ½ years. The congregation then called Pastor August Kimmel from Allegheny. He took over on June 12, 1878. He has now held the office for over 24 years.
3. St. John’s Independent Evangelical Protestant Church – on Harbor Street
1879 – C. Fack
1880 – A. Bauer
1881-1883 – C. Monch
1883-1924 – Carl Weiss
1928-???? – John Klein
Among the few independent Evangelical Protestant Churches in Cleveland, that is, those whose pastor or congregation belonged to no synod, there is St. John’s Church on the West Side, whose church is located on Harbor Street. On October 5, 1879 a number of German fellow believers gathered together and signed as 20 or 30 men to pledge their support for the founding of a new congregation. The first service was in a little church on Franklin Avenue Circle. Pastor C. Fack, who had previously been preacher at the Bridge Street church, led the new enterprise. After six months, the congregation decided to built its own church. This was quickly done and the consecration of the little church on Harbor south of Lorain Street took place in December, 1880. Pastor A. Bauer led the festivities. As already mentioned, Pastor C. Fack was the first minister, but only for six months. He was followed by Pastor A. Bauer who had already served the Zion church as well as the Case Avenue congregation. He resigned at the end of a year. From Sept. 18, 1881 to April, 1883, Pastor C. Moench was the preacher. On July 15, 1883 Pastor Carl Weiss was elected to the office, which he still holds. In 1893 another lot adjoining the church was obtained. There was a need for a new church and one was built and consecrated on October 29, 1899. The congregation currently numbers about 250 families.
EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCHES:
The Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Cleveland almost all belonged to the Missouri Synod. The oldest, Zion, was brought to live almost 60 years ago. It is nearly 60 years since the first German Evangelical Lutheran church was called to life in Cleveland. The degree to which the German population has grown is shown by the fact that there are now 11 Lutheran churches, of which 9 belong to the Missouri Synod and two to the Ohio Synod. These churches have always assured German youth a good education in the German language. The oldest Lutheran Congregation is the Zion Church established 59 ½ years ago on Erie Street. The other Lutheran churches of Cleveland which grew out of it are Christ Church on Selden Avenue, Trinity Church on Jersey Street, Immanuel Church on Scranton Avenue, St. John’s Church on Cable Street, St. Luke’s Church on Conover Street, St. Matthew’s Church on Meyer Avenue, St. Paul’s on Willson Avenue, and St. Peter’s on Craw Avenue, all belonging to the Missouri Synod. Those belonging to the Ohio Synod are the Friedens Church on Tod Street and the Martin Luther Church on West Madison Avenue.
The city of Cleveland has the honor to count the former long-term president of the Missouri Synod as one of its most outstanding citizens, the Rev. Heinrich Christian Schwan. He has been resident here for 51 years. He was born on April 5, 1819 in Herneburg in Hanover, the oldest of six children of Pastor G.H. Schwan. President Schwan enjoyed his first education in the local village school. His father instructed him in Latin and Greek. After confirmation, he attended the Gymnasium in Stade and passed his final examination with honors. In November, 1837, he entered the University of Gottingen, and the next year went to Jena. In July, 1842, he received permission to preach and was ordained on September 13, 1843. He then went as a missionary to Brazil, where he led a congregation for six year. Here in 1849 he married Emma Blum. One year later, on the request of his uncle, Pastor Wyneken, he came to the United States where he held his first position as a pastor in New Bielefeld, now Black Jack, in Missouri. Nine months later, in April 1851, he was called to Zion Church in Cleveland. For 30 years he worked at the Zion Church as minister, and for 25 years as president of the Cleveland district. In 1881, he was elected as successor to Dr. Walther of St. Louis, the founder of the Missouri Synod, as president. He held this office for 18 years until three years ago. Due to his great age he passed the burden to younger shoulders. On Oct. 29, 1893, Dr. Schwan celebrated his golden jubilee as Lutheran cleric. The old, venerable man, whose numerous family all reside in Cleveland, enjoys singular intellectual and physical strength despite his 83 years. The pastor of St. Paul’s, Paul Schwan, is the son of Dr. Schwan. The current president of the synod is Professor F. Pieper of Concordia College in St. Louis.
1. Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church – Founded 1843 - Erie and Bolivar, later Prospect at E. 30th
(The Mother Congregation)
1843-1844 – David Schuh
1845-1851 – August Schmidt
1851-1881 – Heinrich C. Schwan
1881-1913 – Carl Zorn
1918-1921 – Theo Schurdel
1924 – Armin Schroeder
1928 – Theo Schurdel
The first German Lutherans of Cleveland joined the congregation of the Little Boat of Jesus. Since this congregation did not profess the Lutheran faith, they decided to depart once they felt strong enough. In April, 1843, they established the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church. The young congregation had 45 communicants. The first pastor was David Schuh, who served for a year. Services were held in the third story of the old Miller Block. This building still stands on the north side of Superior Street, between Seneca and Bank Streets. Pastor Schuh preached every 14 days, and on the Sunday between the service was held by L. Richter. Pastor Schuh resigned in 1844 and Pastor August Schmidt was called at the start of 1845. He held the office until 1851. The hall on Superior Street was too small and the congregation bought a lot at the corner of Hamilton Street and Division Alley on which they built a church and parsonage. The consecration took place on January 20, 1848. At first the narthex of the church served as a school, but later a school was built. Pastor Schmidt resigned and was replaced by Dr. H.C. Schwan who took up his office in 1851. In 1856 the church was moved to the corner of Erie and Bolivar Street. Since the church was too small, the congregation built in 1866 the present large church on Erie and Bolivar. Mr. J. Melcher, 848 Prospect Street, was already chairman of the congregation, a position which he had held from 1856 to the present day. A large school building was built behind the church on Bolivar Street.
The Zion Church is the Lutheran mother congregation of this city. Trinity Church on the West Side as well as the Lutheran churches in Euclid and Independence owe their existence to it. St. John’s on Cable Street branched off in 1878 and in 1879 St. Louis Church on Willson Avenue, and in 1883 St. Peter’s, at the corner of Quincy and Craw Avenue. That was the limit of its function as a mother, but the daughter churches have since developed their own daughters.
Pastor Dr. Schwan was elected president of the entire Missouri Synod in 1881. He gave up his ministry at Zion, which he held for 30 years and now lives as the oldest German pastor of this city on Dibble Avenue. Dr. Schwan’s successor was the present pastor, Carl M. Zorn. This congregation now numbers over 1300 members. The congregation has obtained a new lot on Prospect Street, corner of Sterling, on which it built a great new school last year, and this year a grand church with a parsonage.
2. Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church – Jersey Street between Lorain and Chatham
1853-1864 – J.C.W. Lindemann
1864-1876 – F.C. D. Wyneken
1876-1910 – J.H. Niemann
1910-1932 – Franz Pieper
1933-1949 – Martin Sommerfeld
1949-1957 – Richard Meibohm
1958-1973 – Arthur Ziegler
Trinity Church may look with pride on its nearly half-century of prosperous existence. Its beginnings were small and unpromising. Great sacrifices had to be made and development was slow. But its growth was steady, and today the congregation counts 1250 souls, has a splendid church, a nice parsonage, and a teacher’s home. All these buildings stand together on one open place on Jersey Street between Lorain and Chatham Street. The property is free of debt. It was the members, who include many respected merchants and citizens on the West Side, who achieved this, as well as their respected minister, Pastor J.H. Niemann.
Until 1853 the few Lutherans on the West Side belong to Zion Church, which then stood on York Street (now Hamilton). In that year the Lutherans of the West Side, still called Ohio City in those days, decided to build a little church and school. The building of wood is still on Chatham Street, being used as a home. Continued grown caused them in 1873 to build a new church. This, the present church, cost $32,000. The roomy school stands behind the church with four rooms. Under the care of experienced teachers, the school has a high reputation.
Several other congregations have emerged from Trinity. In 1859 the Lutheran congregation in North Dover branched off; in 1880 it was Emmanuel Church on Scranton Avenue; in 1889 it was Christ Church on Selden Avenue, and in 1885 St. Luke’s on Florence Street. The mother church has always helped with the purchase of the necessary lots for these congregations and with construction of the churches. Trinity also owns a cemetery of 30 acres on Pearl Street and a 10 acre lot in West Dover for holding missionary and school festivities.
The first minister of the congregation was J.C.W. Lindemann, who headed the congregation from 1853 to 1864. He was followed by F.C.D. Wyneken, who died in 1876. His successor was the present minister, J.H. Niemann. He was born in Hanover, spending his youth in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Since 1880, Pastor Niemann has held the office of district president, and oversees the congregations belonging to the Missouri Synod in Ohio and Indiana.
3. Emmanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church – Scranton and Seymour
1880-1928 – Rev. Weseloh
Emmanuel Church is a daughter of Trinity, from which it branched off in 1880. Since the 1860s and 1870s there had been many German families in the area known as Brooklyn and the Heights, a strong percentage of them Lutherans. Most of these joined what was then the only Lutheran church on the West Side, Trinity. Others preferred to attend another evangelical church in the area, since the way to Trinity was too far. In order to help this situation, a district school was opened in the area of the Emmanuel church as early as 1871. In 1876, the present minister of the church, H. Weseloh, was named assistant minister of Trinity in this school district, where he took over the classes and preached on Wednesday evening and Sunday in the schoolhouse. In 1880 the need for an autonomous congregation made itself felt to such a degree that the organization could not be delayed. At once 350 communicants joined. With the help of the mother congregation, the young Emmanuel congregation bought a large lot at the corner of Scranton and Seymour, on which they built a large church. It was consecrated ion July 18, 1880. At the same time a two-story parish school was built behind, where 210 children received instruction. In 1881 Teacher C. Stumme was called and in 1883 Mr. M. Gatsch. The congregation grew so rapidly, that by 1884 it had 1,385 adult members. Since the church had grown too small, the St. Matthew Church was branched off in 1885. It came into existence with 500 members and built its church on Meyer Avenue. In 1895 the congregation installed balconies in the church. The congregation has 2,106 souls, 1,300 communicants, and 440 children in the five-class school. Pastor Weseloh, who was born about 46 years ago in Hanover, came to America as a 15-year-old boy.
4. St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church – Cable near Broadway
1878-1885 – August Dankworth
1885 – 1897 – Charles Kretzmann
1897-1927 – John H. Wefel
1904-1909 – Otto Burkenn
1925-1926 – C. Ahlbrand
1926-1933 – Fred Heidbrink
1935-1947 – Henry Tiemann
1952-1963 – N.W. Kline
1964 -???? – Leo Kostizer
St. John’s Church is a daughter of Zion Church. It was organized in 1878 with about 15 families. It built a little church on Bessemer Avenue where school was also held. It called Pastor August Dankworth to be its minister. After him, the pastor was C. Kretzmann, who served for 12 years. In autumn, 1897, the present pastor, J.H. Wesel, entered office. Years ago the church on Bessemer was too small and a lot was obtained on Cable Street near Broadway. The cornerstone was laid on July 14, 1901.
5. Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church – Selden and Robert Streets, later W. 43rd and Robert
1889-1897 – Harry Eckhardt
1897-1928 – Frederick Keller
Among the prosperous daughter congregations of Trinity on Jersey Street, one may add Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church on the “Isle of Cuba”. Its church is found on Selden Avenue and Robert Street. It was founded in the summer of 1889 and the present property was purchased for $4,000. The school is housed on the lower floor. On September 8, 1889 the church called pastor, H. Eckhardt, and opened the school with 40 children. In 1894 the congregation built the second schoolhouse. Pastor Eckhardt headed the congregation for eight years. His successor was Pastor F. Keller, who is now in his fifth year of office. A new church is to be built at the corner of Selden Avenue and Robert Street.
6. St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church – Conover near Willard
1895 – Niemann
1895-1928 – Herman Sauer
The newest Lutheran congregation in Cleveland is St. Luke’s out on the West End, whose handsome church is located on Conover near Willard Street. It branched off of Trinity in summer, 1895. Several years earlier Trinity had purchased two lots on Lawn Street, building a school there so that the children in the West would not have to go all the way to Jersey Street. When the congregation was founded in July, 1895, with 75 members by Pastor Niemann, the members agreed that this property would not suffice. It was sold and a better-located place on Conover was obtained for $5,000. The old schoolhouse was transported there and placed on the rear of the property. Construction of the church then began. It was consecrated on January 5, 1896. The constitution was adopted on November 14, 1895 and a month later Pastor H. Sauer arrived. Today this church has 475 members. Two additional rooms have been built for the schoolhouse, which now has 115 children attending, receiving good instruction from the teachers W. Horst and Brakesuehler. Pastor Sauer was born in Mobile, Alabama, the son of a German preacher. His father then took a call in Fort Wayne, which was where Sauer attended parish school and then College. After graduating, he studied theology at Concordia College in St. Louis.
7. St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church – Meyer Ave. between Pearl and Scranton
1884-1908 – Johann J. Walker
St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church branched off of Emmanuel Church in 1884, and since January 1, 1885 it has existed as a autonomous congregation. It obtained its first property on Meyer Avenue, between Pearl Street and Scranton Avenue. It erected a two-story building, the first floor used for schooling and the second for services. In autumn, 1884, the congregation and school moved into this building. The first minister was Johann J. Walker who entered office in June, 1885 and still serves the same office. In 1900, the congregation decided to built a new church on the lot already obtained at the corner of Meyer and Scranton Avenues. The new church was consecrated on September 22, 1901. St. Matthew’s congregation currently numbers about 1,350 souls.
8. St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church – Willson and Spencer, later E. 55th at Spencer
1873-1924 – Paul Schwan
1928 – Edward Friedrich
The forerunner of St. Paul’s, whose handsome church is located on the corner of Willson Avenue and Spencer Street, is the mission extablished by Pastor Paul F.G. Schwan as a branch of the Zion Church in 1873 on Superior and Sherwood. At first there was a little school at Superior and Sherwood, wich was given over on October 10, 1873 to a double function as a school and church. The mission continued until March 7, 1880 when St. Paul’s was founded with 25 families. In the same year, a wooden church was erected. In 1890 it bought a lot on Willson Avenue and Spencer Street for $6,000 and on July 5, 1895 the construction of a new church was begun. The cornerstone was laid on August 4, 1895. The congregation now numbers 2000 souls, 1426 communicants, and 181 men entitled to vote. The minister is Mr. Paul F.H. Schwan. He was born on January 1, 1851 in Black Jack, near St. Louis, as the eldest of 13 children of Pastor Dr. H.C. Schwan and his wife Emma nee Blum. After attending the Lutheran parish school and the public free school, and receiving an advanced education in Latin from his father, he went at the age of 14 to the Lutheran Gymnasium in Fort Wayne. In 1870 he entered the theological seminary in St. Louis. He passed examination in June, 1873 and was ordained the same month as assistant minister for the eastern district of Zion Church, which his father then oversaw. In 1880 he organized St. Paul’s, which has him largely to thank for its growth and success.
9. St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church – Quincy and Craw originally and then located at East Madison and Sherman Street, and then 2424 E. 79th
1883-1887 – M.A. Treff
1887-1893 – John H. Wefel
1893-1897 – Ernst Jungel
1897-1908 – Friedrich Westerkamp
1913-1921 – George Getsch
1924 – Julius Nickel
It was on May 6, 1883 when 18 members of the Zion Church, corner of Erie and Bolivar Streets, living east of Willson Avenue between Euclid and Kinsman gathered and considered establishing a congregation in the area. They organized themselves as St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Unaltered Augustana in Cleveland, Ohio, East Side. They purchased a lot at the corner of Quincy Street and Craw Avenue on which they built a two-story building. They called Mr. M.A. Treff as pastor. He served for four years and resigned. The next pastor was J.H. Wesel who remained until 1893. The next pastor was Mr. Ernst Jungel who served until autumn 1897. His successor was the current minister, Pastor Fr. Westerkamp. The congregation purchased a lot at the corner of East Madison Avenue and Sherman Street. The construction of a new church and school has begun there. The congregation currently numbers 950 souls, 530 communicants, 100 voting members and had 160 pupils in the school.
10. South Euclid Evangelical Lutheran Church
About 50 years ago Dr. Schwan began to preach to some German families in South Euclid, about 9 miles from Public Square. In 1853 a congregation was organized, ministered to over the years by Pastors Kuhn, Husmann, and Ernst. The current minister, H. Schesselmann, took over in 1893. About 85 families belong to this congregation.
11. St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Newburg
1854-1877 – Karl Heinrich Sallmann
1877-1887 Otto Kolbe
1887-1895 – Phillip Wambsganss
1895 – Friedrich C. Rathert
In Newburg there is a German Evangelical Lutheran congregation known by the name of St. John’s, which was founded in 1854. Until 1877 Pastor Karl Heinr. Sallmann headed it, then came Pastor Otto Kolbe for 10 years, then from 1887 to 1895 Pastor Philipp Wambsganss, and since 1895 Pastor Fr. C. Rathert. Pastor Sallmann has died, Pastor Kolbe lives in Chicago, and Pastor Wambsganss lives in Fort Wayne. A parish school is tied to the church attended by 75 children.
12. Friedens Evangelical Lutheran Church – located at Tod and Waterman, later E. 65th and Waterman
1890-1894 – Adolph Ebert
1894-1902 – John Dingelday
1906-1908 – Charles Loehr
1913 – S.W. Mantz
Friedens Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded in 1890 and consisted then of 40 families. It bought a lot at the corner of Tod and Waterman Street. A two-story building was put up. The construction of a new church is supposed to begin as son as the congregation feels strong enough. The present building is then supposed to be used entirely as a school. It belongs to the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Ohio and Other States. The first pastor was A. Ebert. He was called away in 1894 and Pastor J. Dingeldey came to this position and has served it ever since.
EVANGELICAL REFORMED CHURCH:
1. First Evangelical Reformed Church – first located on Tracy Street then at Penn and Carroll, then W. 32nd and Carroll
1848-1860 – Friedrich G. Kaufholz
1860-1870 – H.F. Rutenik
1870-1882 – F. Forwick
1882-1902 – J.H. Rontgen
1906 – William Leich
1913 – John Belser
1918 – Conrad Hoffmann
1921-1924 – John Sommerlatte
Around 1848 there lived in Cleveland a pious man who had immigrated from Hanover, a mechanic by the name of Friedrich G. Kaufholz, who along with his family belonged to the sect of the Herrenhuter. The machinist shop in which he worked with others was his mission. In the evening after work he gathered his fellow workers and held an hour of prayer. Kaufholz built with his own money a chapel on Tracy Street, then called Grove Street, the first church on the West Side. On September 18, 1848 the chapel was consecrated. Since the West Side was even then thickly settled with Germans, the congregation grew rapidly. Kaufholz recognized that he had to give the children a Christian education if the families were to remain in the congregation. He built a school and installed a teacher. Although he was not an ordained preacher, Kaufholz exercised the office of a minister with more care than anyone could ask. As long as he headed the congregation, it did not belong to any ecclesiastical combination. It called itself the Congregation of Brethren and pursued roughly the same goals as the Herrenhuter.
After the congregation existed for 10 years, it was incorporated on September 22, 1858 under the name of the Evangelical Brethren Congregation, purchasing from Kaufholz the chapel and lot for $800. The next year the congregation stood mourning at the bier of its founder.
In early 1859 Pastor Dr. H.F. Ruetenik came to Cleveland on his missionary journey. As the editor of the “Evangelist”, he was somewhat familiar with the local circumstances, and the members knew him by name. They asked him to remain with them through Holy Week and Easter and preach. He agreed and said he would remain for six months in order to bring them closer to the Reformed Church. After the passage of half a year the church council decided not to recommend the election of Dr. Ruetenik, since he was stipulating that the congregation had to join the Reformed Church if they were to have him as minister. When he gave his farewell sermon the congregation learned of the decision of the church council, the council changed its mind and asked him to stay. He agreed, and in October, 1860, the reception of the membership of 50 into the Reformed Church was approved. Dr. Ruetenik took up his office on January 7, 1861. Thus arose the first Evangelical Reformed congregation.
Several members were not satisfied with this and left, but they soon made their terms with reality and returned. The congregation bought a lot at Penn and Carrill Street for $6,000. The chapel was moved there. There was a growth spurt and a new church was built. The cornerstone was laid in July, 1863, and the new church was consecrated the following November. The old church was turned into a teacher’s house. During a journey by Dr. Ruetenik to Germany, the congregation decided to buy a house on Fulton Street as a parsonage. Dr. Ruetenik returned and moved into the house and remained there until his resignation in 1870. During his service, the foundation was laid for Calvin College, the publishing house, and the Second and Third Reformed churches.
After Pastor Ruetenik’s departure, the congregation called Pastor F. Forwick (died April 16, 1893), who took office in November, 1870. He founded the Fourth and Fifth Churches.
When German instruction was introduced into Public Schools, attendance at parish schools declined. In 1874 it was decided to allow the school to close. Pastor Forwick resigned his position on September 4, 1882 in order to follow a call to Vermilion, Ohio. On November 5, 1882, Pastor Dr. J.H. Roentgen was elected his successor and he took up office on January 8, 1883, which he kept until May 1 of this year. Since Dr. Roentgen’s departure the congregation is led by Pastor F.W. Leich.
2. Second Evangelical Reformed Church – originally on Henry Street then at Woodland at Putnam, then Woodland at E. 38th
1864-1872 – Elias Bentzing
1873-1886 – Johann Christoph Young
1886-1888 – Chr. Schopfle
1888-1906 – Johann Heinrich Stepler
1913 – John Van Zomeren
1918 – Philip Vollmer
1924 – Arthur Bisheim
1928 – George Meischner
The Second German Evangelical Reformed Church was organized on April 18, 1864. Their first minister was Elias Bentzing, who served them until 1872. They guilt their first church in Henry Street. The congregation sold this property to a Roman Catholic congregation in April, 1893. In 1873, Pastor Joh. Christoph Jung entered the service of the congregation. He served until his death in 1886. Pastor Chr. Schoepfle was his successor and he remained until August, 1888. The next month, Mr. Joh. Heinrich Stepler of Lima, took office in November of 1888. It became clear that they needed to move further east to follow the movement of the membership. In November, 1891, a lot was obtained at the corner of Woodland and Putnam Street and the church was built in 1893.
3. Third Evangelical Reformed Church – Aaron between Payne and Superior
1868-1871 – Nathaniel Rutenik
1872-1874 - P. Schulke
1877-1883 – Charles G. Zipf
1887-1894 - Wm. Friebolin
1895-1928 – Henry Schmidt
The Third Evangelical Reformed Church stands on Aaron Street between Payne Avenue and Superior Street. The first stimulus to the foundation of a reformed congregation in this part of the city came from Dr. H.J. Ruetenik, then pastor of the First Reformed Church on Penn Street in early 1868. Five families established the church on Aaron Street. The first minister was Pastor Nathaniel Ruetenik. After him came Pastors P. Schulte, C.G. Zipf, and Wm. Friebolin. Under Pastor Zipf the present church was built. During Pastor Friebolin’s pastorate, the members of his church formed the Fourth Reformed Church. The present minister, Henry Schmidt, has served since June 3, 1895.
4. Fourth Evangelical Reformed Church – Louis Street
1872-1882 – Heinrich Trautmann
1882-1888 N. Wiers
1888-1895 – John F. Winter
1895-1898 – Martin Vitz
1898-1902 - E.W. Henschen
1906-1908 – Louis Benner
1913-1918 – Adolph Krampe
1924-1928 – Edward Kielsmeier
The Fourth Reformed Church is a daughter congregation of the “First”. On December 10, 1872 about 15 members of the First living on the South Side of the city, organized the “Fourth” and called Heinrich Trautmann. He served until autumn, 1881. The congregation then bought the parcels at 40 and 46 Louis Street and erected a church which was consecrated the following August. Pastor Trautmann later returned to Cleveland as an emeritus and remained tied to this congregation until he died in 1898 at the age of 79. After him, Pastor N. Wiers served from 1881 to 1888. Under his time an addition of 30 feet for Sunday School purposes was added to the church. The Pastor J. Winter took over the pastorate. He remained from 1888 to 1895. Under his leadership they built a new parsonage. After him Pastor M. Bitz was called as minister. He headed the congregation from November 1895 to January 1, 1898. In January, 1898, the current minister, E.W. Henschen, took over. Currently it has about 365 confirmed members or a total of 650 souls.
5. Fifth Evangelical Reformed Church – Hague and Higgins, later Hague and W. 67th
1875 – C.H. Gundlach
1876 – Weiss
1877-1883 – Wilhelm Braun
1883-1884 – Krieger
1884-1886 – Henry Trautmann
1886-1898 – W. Reuter
1898-1906 – Wm. Friebolin
1913 – Gustave Von Grueninger
1918 – Carl Russom
1921-1928 – William Klein
In early 1875 Pastor F. Forwick, then the preacher of the First Reformed Church on Penn Street, founded a missionary Sunday School in the part of the city known as “The Island of Cuba.” First results were not very promising, and so there was a decision in early 1876 for a German Reformed Church on Higgins Street. At his own risk, Pastor Forwick bought a lot, collected money and built the church which now stands alongside the new church and is joined to it by sliding doors. This old church cost $800. A congregation was organized with a number of families, taking the name of Fifth Evangelical Reformed Church. Pastor C.H. Gundlach, was called as minister. He soon had to give up his office because of health. In 1876, Pastor Weiss took up the position but he only lasted until the following February. Pastor Wilhelm Braun took over as third minister in August, 1877 and served until 1883. The little church was often too small, so in 1879 the lot at the corner of Hague and Higgins Street was purchased, the church moved there and a parsonage constructed. Pastor Krieger then served the congregation from 1883 to 1884. Pastor Trautmann leapt into the breach and served the congregation for free until 1886. This helped so much that the people won back their trust and courage and called Pastor W. Reuter, who served until 1895. Under Pastor Reuter, the congregation declared itself autonomous and paid the preacher a salary of $500 in his first years. Pastor Wm. Friebolin, the current preacher, took up his position on October 1, 1898. The church was moved to Hague Street. In 1901 plans to spend about $5000 for a new church were considered and approved. Construction began last October.
6. Sixth Evangelical Reformed Church – Smith at Broadway and then 4843 Wendell
1883-1887 – August Schade
1891-1898 – Ernst Fuenfstueck
1902 – Albert Lohmann
1906-1913 – Frank Aigner
1918 – Fred Hoffman
1921 – Henry Clausing
The Sixth Reformed Church under Pastor Lohmann enjoys general respect among the nine sister congregations of the city. In 1877, Bernh. Sturm, elder of the Second Congregation, helped the young mission into existence. After a period of time Pastor O. Accola was elected preacher. As he wavered between accepting, a “free” preacher came in on the same day. Pastor Schade of Bucyrus was telegraphed requesting a guest sermon, and he preached to a number of person in a hall. The people were unhappy that the church council had permitted anyone to the pulpit who was not a minister in the Reformed Synod. Soon thereafter Pastor Schade was formally called and hastened to move. But the unsatisfied were not to be won back. They preferred to remain Lutheran. He began anew with the work and soon the numbers improved through new arrivals from the old homeland, from Mecklenburg and Schwerin. The unanimous call came to Schade from Baltimore. The position was filled by the election of Pastor Fuenfstueck. He led the congregation for eleven years.
7. Seventh Evangelical Reformed Church – Willcut Avenue at Woodland, then E. 63rd at Woodland
1882-1883 – Braun
1883 – 1900 – William Dreher
1900-1902 – John Schweickhardt
1906-1921 – J.H. Roentgen
On the afternoon of March 12, 1882, six German families gathered in what was Goldsmith’s Hall on Woodland Avenue for the purpose of founding a seventh German Evangelic Reformed Church. Pastor Braun, who was then minister of the local Fifth Reformed Church, temporarily took over. He organized it on June 1, 1882. From October of 1882 to October 1883, the congregation held its services in the Temperence Hall in Rock’s Block, corner of Kinsman Street and Woodland Avenue. After the departure of Pastor Braun, his successor was Pastor Krueger, who served from February 4 to July 1. On July 8, 1883, Pastor Dreher took over. Under him, the church moved in the fall to its own church, at 22 Willcut Avenue. This church was consecrated on October 7, 1883. Pastor Dreher ended his activities here on February 11, 900. Pastor J. Schweickhardt took over on February 18, 1900 and is the present minister.
8. Eighth Evangelical Reformed Church – Willowdale
1886-1908 – H.J. Rutenik
1913-1921 – Jesse String
1924-1928 – Harry Rohrbaugh
The Eighth Reformed Church came into being under entirely special circumstances and has developed in a peculiar manner. In 1886, students of Calvin College established a Sunday School in Brooklyn Village. The teacher of the institution encouraged them. The Sunday School grew, but the English congregation on Archwood Street where they were located wanted to be rid of the German Sunday School. Money was collected to buy a lot on Willowdale (then Terrace) Street near Pearl Street and a chapel was built on it. Services began on the first Sunday of Advent, 1888. This congregation was organized in May, 1889 and named itself the Eighth Reformed Church and elected Dr. H.J. Ruetenik the leader. He holds that office today. Dr. Ruetenik is the oldest active German cleric in Cleveland and one of our oldest pioneers. He was driven from his old homeland by the revolutions of 1848. He was born in 1826 in the province of Brandenburg.
9. Ninth Evangelical Reformed Church – Lockyear and Hodge
1889 – Wm. Friebolin
1890-1893 – Friedrich Forwick
1893-1924 – August J. Franz
The Ninth Evangelical Reformed Church is one of the youngest congregations in the city and the youngest among the Reformed. It is a daughter of the Third Church on Aaron Street. A number of families of that congregation moved further east from 1885 – 1889. The minister of the Third Church at the time, Pastor W. Friebolin, decided to gather these families into a new congregation. On May 19, 1889, the organization took place in the little chapel prepared by him at the corner of Becker and Lockyear Avenue. In the first and second year of its existence the new congregation remained in this chapel, which was leased by Pastor Friebolin and in which divine service was held by Pastor Friebolin and seven Reformed clerics and a large crowd on June 9, 1889. Soon people came to the view that this ministry could not last, and that it limited the expansion of the congregation. So the church was placed under the control of German missionary authorities. In agreement with the congregation, at the end of 1889 they called Pastor Friedrich Forwick of Vermilion, as minister of the community. Pastor Forwick gave his first sermon on New Year’s Day 1890. The officers bought a lot at the corner of Lockyear and Hedge Street where the present church stands. Work was begun on a new church in 1890. The years of 1891 to 1893 were years of trouble for the young congregation. Demands for expenditures came from all quarters. In early 1893 the congregation was dealt a hard blow when Pastor Forwick died on April 16 after a brief illness. The congregation remained orphaned until the following autumn. Then, Pastor A.J. Franz was called from Waukegan, Illinois and held his first service on September 10, 1893. Pastor Franz was born in Hessia-Nassau and came to America in his early years. On June 10, 1894, this congregation declared itself autonomous. After the death of the widow of Pastor Forwick (1895) the congregation decided to obtain her property located next to the church. Pastor Franz managed in the autumn of 1896 to obtain a barn nearby on Becker Street which had a great deal of wood. The young men endeavored to rip it down and sort out the wood, and within two months the congregation was in possession of a schoolhouse without any further effort. Funds are currently being collected to construct a more substantial, great church.
EVANGELICAL ERIE CONFERENCE:
In 1876, the Erie Conference of the Evangelical Community was born. It is significant that the Erie Conference was specifically formed as A German conference. When the Pittsburgh and Ohio Conferences, from whose territory the Erie Conference was taken, began to become predominantly English, the representatives of the Community to whom the original goal of “preaching the gospel to the Germans in America” had not yet been forgotten, posed the question, “How are German congregations to be provided with preachers, and how is the large German population to be provided with the gospel and supported if everything in the Conference become English?” They sought the answer to this question in the General Conference held in Philadelphia in 1875 by founding a German conference which would receive the name of Erie Conference. It was decided that the Erie Conference would hold its first meeting in the Heights Church in Cleveland on March 3, 1876.
1. Emmanuel Evangelical Church – Jennings Avenue at Starkweather
1863 – L. Scheuermann
1871-1874 - G.F. Spreng
1877-1879 – Matthew Guhl
1883 - J.J. Lang
1887 – J.D. Seip
1891 - Frederick Mueller
1894 – Charles F. Schoepflin
1898 – Jacob Lang
1902 - J.E. Mueller
1906 - Henry Wiegand
1908 – F. Mueller
1913 – Martin Neumeister
1921 – G.S. Gratz
1924 – Walter Yaecker
1928 – W.H. Schuster
The first beginnings of the Heights Emmanuel, now Jennings Avenue Church reach back to the year 1863. From 1863 to 1865 there arose a class, and during the summers Brother L. Scheuermann preached under the trees on the same spot where the church now stands. In 1865 this part of the city was received as a mission by the Ohio Conference, overseen by Brother L. Scheuermann together with the Salem Church, and he raised a little church with a membership of 46. Some of the first officers were: J. Marquardt, C. Striegel, J. Herr, H. Brandt, J. Buck, B. Eggert, F. and C. Buck. In 1873 the mission was changed into a station with 26 members under the oversight of Brother J.D. Seip, who built the current church. In 1876 the Erie Conference was organized in this church, and in 1901 during its 26th session it celebrated its silver jubilee in the same place. Since its origin the following brothers have served there: L. Scheuermann, J.K. Pontius, G. Hasenpflug, G.F. Spreng, J.D. Seip (twice), J.G. Theuer, M. Guhl, J.J. Lang (twice), G. Ott, C.L. Witt, F. Mueller, C.F. Schopflin, J.E. Mueller and currently F. Wiegand.
2. Salem Evangelical Church – on Linden St., later 2539 E. 33rd founded 1841
1871-1872 – C.G. Koch
1874 – J.G. Theuer
1877-1879 – A. Bornheimer
1883 – George Hasenpflug
1887 – J.J. Lang
1891 – G. Gehr
1894 – Andrew Woerner
1898 – J.E. Moeller
1902 – John Ziegler
1906 – John Hetche
1908 – Henry Wiegand
1913 – Gottlieb Gaehr
1918-1921 - J.H. Weigand
The Salem Church, whose building is currently on Linden Street is the mother congregation of the Community in Cleveland. The first members, the Schnuerer family, came to Cleveland in 1840. From then, there was preaching here until the city was designated a mission early 1841, and in summer a little church had been built. In 1855 a larger church had to be built on Erie Street. But in 1890 this church was sold and a new one built the next year on Linden Street.
3. Herald Street Church
In autumn, 1872, Bishop W. Horn, then editor of the “Evangelisches Magazin” together with several other preachers, went to the eastern portion of Cleveland to seek a place to preach. In 1873 this part of the city was designated a mission, and a small church was built on Brown Street. In 1882 the current church was built on Herald Street. The current preacher, Georg Goetz, was born on July 9, 1850 in Buffalo.
4. West Brooklyn Mission Church later known as Tabor Church, W. 41st at Daisy – founded 1889
1894 – George Walz
1898 – Theophil Gaehr
1902 – John D. Seip
1906-1908 – John Ziegler
1913 – Harry Fuessner
1918 – J.G. Ziegler
1921 – Ludwig Mayer
1924 – Henry Fuessner
1928 – William Bennett
This church received the name of Tabor Church at the time of its consecration. The beginnings of this mission were in 1889. In 1890 a church was built. Brother F. Mueller and the Jennings Avenue Church made great efforts for success, and at the next conference he could report that the church was free of debt. The current preacher is J.M. Herter.
5. Superior Street Church – founded 1854 – previously called Aaron Street Church, at Superior and E. 36th
1871 – H.C. Schwan
1872 – J.D. Seip
1874 – Frederick Heinrich
1877-1879 – C. Hammer
1883 – Herman Cordes
1887 – George Ott
1891 – Valentine Braun
1894 – Christian Walz
1898 – Frederick Mueller
1902 – William Lingelbach
1906-1908 – Ernest Yaecker
1913 – J.E. Moeller
1921-1924 – George Miller
1928 – Ludwig Mayer
This church was earlier called the Aaron Street Church. The beginnings of it go back to 1854. In 1856 this area was accepted as a mission and Brother Joh. Walz was the first missionary. The first church was built in 1872 under J.D. Seip, and the present church was built in 1899 under Fr. Mueller.
6. Woolsey Street Church – founded 1893 – located Woolsey at Korman and later E. 79th at Korman
1894 - C.F. Negele
1898-1902 - Leonard Scheuermann
1906 – August Dornheim
1908 – Gottlieb Gaehr
1913 – George Goetz
In 1893 the Woolsey Street mission was begun under W. Lingelbach and C.A. Thomas. Since those days the following preachers have served: M. Koffin, J.C. Ludwig, C.F. Negele, and J.M. Herter. The founder and current preacher of the congregation is L. Scheuermann, who worked there for four years at the outset and brought the membership up to 35.
7. Tod and Broadway Church
1886 – John Honecker
1888 – E.W. Jacker
The Tod Street and Broadway Mission was begun in 1886. Brother Joh. Honecker served it, then Father Spies with the aid of C.A. Thomas. In the same year a church was also built. In 1888 Brother E.W. Jaecker served and after him L. Scheuermann, then C.F. Schoepflin, G. Gaehr, M. Koffin, and F. Handke, then J. Wahl for a month. Brother G. Berstecher then took over until he was replaced with Carl Wolgemuth. The latter was born on March 23, 1853 in Ballbronn, district Wasselnheim in Alsace. He came to America in 1872.
8. Ebenezer Church – Gordon at Sargent, later 2195 W. 65th – founded 1882
1894 - Leonard Scheuermann
In 1882 the Erie Conference declared a “West Side Mission.” The beginnings were made by L. Scheuermann. In July 1883, a lot was purchased on Swift Street, an old building was moved ther and dedicated as the Ebenezer Church. During the service of J.G. Theuer, the current property at the corner of Gordon Avenue and Sargent Street was obtained. During the ministry of Val. Braun the new church was built. Until now the following preachers have served: L. Scheuermann (twice), Jacob Honecker, T.C. Meckel (twice), B.F. Snyder, J.G. Theurer, Val. Braun, G. Berstecher, G. Schenk, J. Finkbeiner and currently Georg Gaehr.
UNITED BRETHREN IN CHRIST:
Four German Congregations belong to the United Brethren In Christ sect. This sect shares much with the Methodists. United Brethren in Christ was called into being a hundred years ago in this country. Its founder was a German who organized the first congregation in Baltimore.
1. First United Brethren Church - This church first began in 1854 at York and Bridge Streets. In 1860 it relocated to Lorain near Randall and in 1868 it finally moved to Orchard and Peach. The pastors were:
1871-1872 - Matthew Bussdicker
1874-1877 - August Krause
1879 - Jacob Ernst
1883 - John Sick
1883 - G. Fritz
1887 - Edward Lorenz
1891 - John Bremer
1894 - Justus Moeller
1898 - Caspar Streich
1902 - Heinrich Oelschlager
At the start of the 1850s the first movement got underway to establish a German U.B. congregation here, since various persons had settled here who had belonged to one in the east. It was 1854 when the first German congregation of the U.B. in C. was born on the West Side. It was organized with 20 members. After the first congregation was founded in 1854, there was need for a church building, and so services were held in the English Brethren Church at the corner of York and Bridge Street, which had been built some years before. The first minister was Julius Degmeier. It soon received so many members that it was able to build a small church on Lorain Street near Randall Street. This was in 1860 when C.F. Eckert held the pastorate. After holding services there for eight years, the church was sold and a lot was obtained at the corner of Orchard and Peach Street. In 1868, the congregation headed by Pastor C. Streich, built a new church. From 1868 to the present, the following ministers have served the First U.B. congregation: C. Streich, M. Bussdicker, A. Krause, J. Ernst, J. Sick, G. Fritz, E. Lorenz, J. Bremer, J. Moeller, C. Streich, H. Oelschlaeger and C. Baumbach. The first U.B. congregation can be regarded as the mother of the two others since it passed members on to them.
2. Second United Brethren Church at Elton and Dudley, founded in 1878. Pastors were:
1879 – August Krause
1879 – Jacob Scholler
1883 - John Sick
1887 – John P. Mosshammer
1891 - A. Kopittke
1892 - G. Schmidt
1894-1898 – Henry J. Frank
1902 - John Dunzweiler
3. Third United Brethren Church on Kinsman, later Kinsman at E. 70th, founded in 1886 by John Assel.
1887 – Caspar Streich
1891 – Benjamin Fritz
1894 – Jacob Ernst
1898-1902 – John Assel
1918 – August Schmidt
1928 – Louis Odon
4. Fourth United Brethren Church on Rhodes Avenue at Hodgson, founded in 1894 by G. Strich.
1898 – John Floerke
1902 – Caspar Streten
1918 – Weber.
It was 1825, at the time when the construction of the Ohio Canal was begun, and the city numbered about 500, when the first Catholics, a number of Irish workers seeking employment with the canal, arrived here. The next year the first priest arrived in Cleveland, Thomas Martin. The foundation for the first Catholic church in our city was laid by Father John Dillon who was sent here in 1835. He felt victim to a bilious fever which killed him on October 16, 1836 at the age of only 29. In September 1837, the priest Patrick O’Dwyer was sent to Cleveland. A few days after Father O’Dwyer’s arrival, on October 24, 1837, messrs. James S. Clarke, Richard Hilliard and Edmund Clark transferred through a land contract the building lots 218 and 219 in “Cleveland Centre” to the bishop of Cincinnati as trustee for the “Roman Catholic Society of Our Beloved Lady of the Lake” of Cleveland, with the condition that the society build an adequate frame structure for public divine services and afterwards regularly holds services there. It was further stipulated that this property would remain the property of the said society as long as it was used for this purpose, or as long as this society owned property within “Cleveland Centre” and operated a church and held regular services in it. Father O’Dwyer went to work right away to increase the building fund established by his predecessor and to undertake the construction of the church. A few months later the rough construction was complete but the building could not be completed due to lack of funds. In the meantime disputes had arisen within the congregation which were partly due to nationalism. Father O’Dwyer was removed for that reason. The church stood unfinished for months until Bishop Purcell came to Cleveland in September, 1839. He managed to get the church to the point where a mass could be read there for the first time in October of 1839. The consecration took place on June 7, 1840. This church was named “The Church of Our Beloved Lady of the Lake”.
1. St. Mary’s Church in the Flats (aka The Church of Our Beloved Lady of the Lake)
1840-1846 – Peter McLaughlin
1846-1848 – Mauritius Howard
1848 – Louis de Goesbriand
1853 – Johann Luhr
This church served all Catholics of the city of Cleveland until 1852. In October, 1840, the priest Peter McLaughlin was named minister at St. Mary’s. Since he understood German to some extent, he could meet the needs of his “mixed congregation”, which consisted largely of German immigrants. With the intention of moving the church to the higher and better parts of the city, Father McLaughlin bought four lots from Thom. May at the corner of Superior and Erie Street, where the cathedral now stands. Critics accused Father McLaughlin of buying land “out in the country”. Erie Street was then the eastern limit of settled city. Tired of harassment, Father McLaughlin asked his bishop to relieve him of his position in St. Mary’s. His request was honored and he took his leave in February, 1846. His successor was Father Mauritius Howard. In January, 1848, the priest Louis deGoesbriand was named Father Howard’s successor. From October 1847, to November 6, 1852, St. Mary’s in the Flats, the sole Catholic church in Cleveland, was the first cathedral of the diocese. On the latter date the present cathedral at the corner of Superior and Erie was dedicated. St. Mary’s was left to the German Catholics, who were served by Father N. Roupp until the arrival of Johann H. Luhr in February, 1853. Father Luhr was the first residential parish priest of the Germans in Cleveland. After the formation of St. Peter’s and Assumption of Mary churches, Monsignor Boff celebrated high mass on Three Kings, 1886, at the direction of the bishop in the decaying church, which had been used since 1879. This was done to prevent repossession of the church by the descendents of the donors as a result of the contractual conditions which they had already raised. Collections were taken to set the church in good order, but they did not amount to much. The heirs of the donors turned to the courts. There was a compromise in which the lot was to be sold and the proceeds split between the diocese and the heirs. This church was torn down in September of 1888.
Spawning from St. Mary’s Church in the Flats were St. Peters and Assumption of Mary.
2. St. Peter’s – located at Superior and Dodge for people on the east side
1853-1868 – Johann Luhr
1868-1896 – Francis Allen Westerholt
1896-1928 – Nicolaus Pfeil
Since St. Mary’s was inconvenient for many German catholics, who were scattered over the city, Father Luhr proposed that those living east of the river should have their own church. A lot was purchased at Superior Street and Dodge Street. In this way, St. Peter’s Church came into being. The congregation is the oldest German Catholic church in the metropolis of the state of Ohio. It was established on February 17, 1853. On March 10, 1854, St. Peter’s obtained a large lot on Superior and Dodge Streets, on which they built a school and small church. On August 17, 1857 the cornerstone to the present St. Peter’s Chruch was laid. Pastor Luhr resigned in 1868. He was succeeded by Pastor Francis Allen Westerholt. He died on November 20, 1896 and Nicolaus Pfeil was his successor. He came to Cleveland on June 6, 1897 from Avon, where he had led the Trinity Parish. Properties were purchased on January 16, 1900 on Superior and Huntington Street for future expansion. Pastor Pfeil is a child of Cleveland. He is the son of our treasured fellow citizen, Lorenz Pfeil, who is now 82 years old. He came from the Tauber Valley in Baden in 1847. Pastor Pfeil was born in 1859, attending St. Mary’s school, then the St. Stephan’s parish school before studying in Canisius College of the Jesuits in Buffalo, which he graduated in 1878. On July 1, 1883 he was consecrated a priest.
3. Assumption of Mary or St. Mary’s – located at Jersey and Carroll, later W. 30th and Carroll
1854-1857 – J.J. Kraemer
1857-1861 – F.X. Obermueller
1862-1880 – Stephan Falk
1881-1887 – Michael Zoeller
1891-1894 – John Neustich
1894-1902 – Victor Scheppach
1906-1908 – Anthony Hartmann
1913-1921 – Rudolph Meschenmoser
1924-1928 – Augustine Hackert
Germans living west of the river became a congregation of their own in November, 1854, with the name of “Assumption of Mary” using the church in the Flats until the completion of their own church at the corner of Carroll and Jersey Streets in 1865. This is the oldest German Catholic church on the West Side. It was organized in 1854. The first minister was Rev. J.J. Kraemer. In 1857 Rev. F.X. Obermueller became Kraemer’s successor and served the congregation until 1861. Under Rev. Stephan Falk, who was pastor from 1862 to 1880, the congregation built a church of their own. At the corner of Jersey and Carroll Street they obtained a lot and in September, 1863, construction began. It was consecrated on September 13, 1865. Father Michael Zollner was the next parish priest. Father Ignatius Korling was chaplain and in 1881 a second assistant was given in the person of Heinrich Wochner. In 1884 Father Wilhelm Pakisch was another assistant. After Father Zollner left, Father Neusich was made his successor. He held office until 1894. The present minister is Victor Scheppach who entered office on June 15, 1894.
4. St. Joseph’s – located at Woodland and Chapel
1862-1868 – H.D. Best
1868-1871 – Capistran Zwinge
1871-1885 – Kilian Schlosser
1885-1888 – Alardus Andrescheck
1888-1897 – Theodorus Arentz
1897-1900 – Benignus Schutz
1900-1906 – Bernard Wewer
1908-???? – Francis Haase
1913-1924 – Polycarp Rhode
1928-???? – Flavius Kraus
The first beginnings of St. Joseph’s, located on Woodland Avenue and Chapel Street, dates back to 1855. In that year, some distance from the church, a Catholic school was opened called St. Bernard’s School on the east side of Irving Street. In 1857 the school was moved to Orange and Irving Street. Here Pastor Luhr bought a lot. A frame building was located there for school purposes, then it was later used as a church. This church was called St. Bernard’s Church and was a mission of St. Peter’s. In summer, 1862, St. Bernard’s Mission was elevated from an autonomous congregation, and the Most Reverend Ant. Krasney took office in August 1862 as the first parish priest. An effort was made to obtain another property and it was found at Kinsman (now Woodland Avenue) and Chapel Street. It was purchased in September, 1862. Construction was begun. The cornerstone was laid in 1862 and St. Joseph was taken as patron of the new church, so the church is known as St. Joseph’s. Pastor Krasney had become pastor of the Bohemian St. Stanislas and in the meantime, Reverend H.D. Best took over. The church became too small, and eight lots were purchased on Chapel Street between Hazen and Creighton Streets. These were purchased for the monastery or for the church. At the same time as construction was begun on the new church, the minister Pater Capistran was recalled, and on August 31, 871 Father Kilian Schlosser was named pastor of St. Joseph’s. The church was consecrated on October 5, 1873. On Father Kilian’s initiative, St. Alexis Hospital was established in 1884. On July 15, 1885 Father Kilian was transferred to Chicago. Father Alardus Andrescheck, was not pastor. He was succeeded on July 25, 1888 by Father Theodorus Arentz. Father Arentz remained until summer, 1897 and was replaced by Father Benignus Schuetz. He was pastor for three years. Since September, 1900, Father Bernard Wewer has been pastor.
5. St. Michael’s – located at Clark and Scranton. Founded 1881
1883-1908 – Joseph Maria Koudelka
1913-???? – J.M. Paulus
1918-1928 – J.A. Schaffeld
Through 1880 the southwestern part of Cleveland was only lightly populated, and most of this belonged to St. Mary’s on Jersey Street. The heavy immigration from Germany which followed brought so many to that part of the city that the desire was expressed for a German parish school. The project was supported by Father Zoeller, then minister of St. Mary’s, and on April 16, 1881 permission was given by the bishop to establish not only a school but also a congregation. In summer, 1881 a lot was purchased at the corner of Scranton and Clark Avenue. In the autumn, a frame building was built on the site consisting of two schoolrooms. Father Zoeller had a small alter placed in the school room. The building became too small and another two-story building of respectable dimensions was planned. The upper story was to be dedicated to divine services. The young congregation received a minister of its own on July 15, 1883 in the person of Rev. Joseph Maria Koudelka. The two-story church and school house were first consecrated on October 21, 1883. In the years immediately following it was decided that a larger church would have to be built in a few years. In March, 1884 a lot was purchased across from its previous property, at the corner of Clark and Scranton for the building of a future great church. In the meantime, a temporary schoolhouse was put up. In 1897 another schoolroom was built so that now there were seven large classrooms in which 234 boys and 227 girls received instruction.
The steadily growing congregation now decided to approach the church project. On June 19, 1988 the excavation of the foundation was begun. In this year the foundation alone was completed. Early the next year the other contracts were given out. On April 7, 1889 the cornerstone was laid. In 1890 the towers were built and the roof covered with tiles. A colossal figure of the Archangel Michael, patron of the congregation, was placed on the forward gable. Two other life-sized statues decorate the front façade – the archangels Gabriel and Raphael. During the winter months the interior work was done. It was the intention of the congregation only to do each year what their money permitted. It was hoped that they could complete the church by 1893, but on June 29, 1891, early in the morning, the old church and school burned down with all its contents. The new church was at once equipped for divine service though it was still unfinished. At the start of March, 1892, the work was advanced to allow the scaffolding to be taken out of the church. Finally on November 20, 1892, the church was consecrated.
6. St. Stephan’s – located at Courtland at Duke Street, later W. 54th near Lorain
1869 – Stephan Falk
1870-1913 – Casimir Reichlin
1918-1928 – Joseph Gerz
St. Stephan’s Church is the strongest in numbers of the German Catholic congregations in Cleveland. It is a daughter of the Assumption of Mary Church on Jersey Street, separated in 1869. It received the district to the west of Harbor Street. After the founding of St. Stephan’s, Pastor Stephan Falk had a two-story brick building erected in the middle of the land on which the present church stands, on Courtland across from Duke Street. In its first floor there were schoolrooms, while in the upper story there was a church. In April, 1870, Pastor Casimir Reichlin was consecrated priest. A new church was soon necessary and the cornerstone was laid on September 7, 1873. Work on the church wad delayed, but the congregation finally entered the church on July 2, 1876. On November 20, 1881, the church was consecrated. In 1889, the Sisters of Our Beloved Lady, who had served the school since 1874, received a lovely convent of brick. In 1897 a new schoolhouse was built on Scott Street.
7. Holy Trinity – located at Woodland between Giddings and Brown Streets, later Woodland at E. 71st Street.
1879-1913 – Peter Becker
1918 Joseph Hopp
1921 - 1928 – Joseph Trapp
The Holy Trinity German Catholic congregation arose in late 1879 when the German families belonging to Holy Family Church, now St. Edward’s parish, whose pastor was Peter Becker, applied together with their parish priest to remove themselves from that parish and establish a German congregation. This request was approved in December, 1879 and Pastor Becker received the power to buy a lot to build a church on Woodland Avenue between Giddings and Brown Street. Since the young congregation had also received permission to hold services for the time being in the chapel of St. Joseph’s Orphanage, they decided to build on one of the lots a wooden, two-story schoolhouse. In August, 1880 Father Becker was formally named its minister. After the erection of the schoolhouse, they passed in 1881 to building the church. The cornerstone was laid on April 24, and on August 24th it was consecrated. In September, 1899, the Ursulines took over the teaching of the parish school which had previously been handled by the Marian Sisters.
8. St. Francis – located on Superior near Becker and later Superior at E. 71st
1887 – Francis Westerholt
1887-1893 – Nikolaus Kirch
1893-1918 - Francis Metternich
1921 - 1928 – St. Francis – Superior at E. 71st, Rev. Joseph Hopp
The newest of the German Catholic congregations in Cleveland is St. Francis Church. Its areas of activity lies outwards in the district where East Madison Avenue crossed Superior Street. The present minister is Father F. Metternich. The branching off of St. Francis from St. Peter’s occurred because the distance of the faithful from the church had grown too great. This took place on March 3, 1887. As soon as the little congregation was organized by Father Francis Westerholt, a lot was obtained on Superior Street near Becker Avenue. The new church was consecrated on September 11, 1887 and the school was begun with two sisters of the Sisters of Our Beloved Lady. The first minister of the congregation was Nikolaus Kirch. He remained until January 29, 1893 and was replaced by Rev. Francis Metternich.
1. First German Methodist Church
1846 – Founded on Prospect Street, Rev. Buhrer
1850 – Founded in Ohio City and named St. Pauls on Harbor
1860 – Karl Rozenhardt
1860 – Sold Harbor location and built on Erie Street
1879 – Erie Street building exchanged for Scovill and Sterling
On September 3, 1845 the Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church held its session in Cincinnati, and Pastor Ernst Buhrer was sent here to establish a congregation as A German missionary. On the first Sunday of his being here, he held his first sermon before a numerous audience in the English Methodist Church on St. Clair Street. Some weeks later he was able to organize a Sunday School with 50 children and on January 2, 1846 a small congregation. This received the name of First German Methodist Church. Pastor Buhrer was now sent on and he was replaced by Pastor Karl Helwig. During his pastorate a lot was purchased on Prospect Street between Huron and Miami Streets, and the building of a brick church was begun which was completed in the pastorate of his successor, Pastor J.A. Klein. Later the church was sold. The congregation grew and increased, and in 1850 it founded a congregation in Ohio City which is now known as St. Paul’s on Harbor Street. In 1860, under the administration of Pastor Karl Rozenhardt, the church on Harbor Street was sold and a larger one built on Erie Street. On February 9, 1879 this church property was exchanged for a lot at the corner of Scovill and Sterling Avenue, and the present church was built in 1893. The current minister is Joh. J. Baechtold, who is in his third year as a minister.
2. Bethany German Methodist Church (Willard at W. 91st)
1893 – Founding year – Pastor J.W. Mueller
1898 – Frederick Mueller
1902 – John Holtkamp
1908 – Herman Beyer
1913 – George Mitter
1918 – Robert Blume
1921-1928 – Henry Knauff
On March 19, 1893, Pastor J.W. Mueller came to Cleveland with some members of the Rockport congregation and established a Sunday School on Lorain Street near Clark Avenue. This was the beginning of the Bethany German Methodist Church in Cleveland. The first gatherings took place in a storage room, then in the room of an apartment house. The same year construction began on a church and this was completed and consecrated in December. Pastor F.W. Mueller served the congregation for five years. Pastor F.J. Baumann became his successor and remained one year. He was followed by Pastor J.H. Holtkamp, the current preacher now serving his third year. The old Rockport Congregation dissolved and the members joined this one.
3. Second German Methodist Church (St. Paul’s) located at Harbor and Bridge, later W. 44th at Bridge
1883 – J. Rothweiler
1887 – David Graessle
1891 – O.C. Klocksiem
1894 – Carl Koch
1898 – John Bodmer
1902 – Herman Rogatzky
1906 – Emil Boch
1918 – M.C. Morlock
1921 – H.C. Beyer
1924-1928 – John Holtcamp
4. Emmanuel German Methodist Church – located at Quincy and Lussenden
1891 – Christian Baumann
1894 – John Mayer
1898 – Henry Schaedel
1902 – H. Glesen
1. Christ Episcopal Church – located on Orange Street near Belmont
1868-1889 – J.W.C. Duerr
1891 – Karl Oppen
1892-1894 – Roland Ernst Gruber
1894-1902 – D.D. Hefler
1902 - ??? - John Salinger
Pastor Duerr, the founder and minister of Christ Episcopal Church on Orange Street for the period of nearly a quarter-century, has written the history of the congregation as follows:
In autumn, 1867, Bishop Bedell wrote me that he would like to interest the clerics of our church for a “German Mission”. For this purpose he gave me a letter of introduction. Rev. J. Brooks, a brother of the later Bishop F. Brooks, now deceased, rector of St. Paul’s Church, agreed to the plan and took over total responsibility. As a result I began the German-English mission of St. Paul’s in the first week of 1868. For three-quarters of a year I held divine services in a hall of the former stocking factory at the corner of Broadway and Cross Street, preaching German services in the morning and English in the evenings, which were both very well attended. During the week the same place was used for a German-English school which soon had 50 and later 100 pupils.
In summer, 1868, not far from our place of meeting, the St. Luke’s Church was built, where we were able to move late in the year to continue this double mission. Until Christmas, 1869, this was the birthplace of Christ Church, which was what it was called when it was constituted and incorporated in June of that year. The congregation determined to buy land for a church, school and parsonage, and soon passed to building the first of these. The cornerstone was laid on September 29, 1869 on Orange Street by Bishop Bedell. At Christmas the Sunday School and later the church was ready enough for services to be held there. The consecration took place only on November 19, 1871.
During the following year the parsonage and the tower to the church was built; the latter received a bell of 16 hundred-weight, which was joined by a single smaller one. The total cost was $12,000 for all. Soon, that noble philanthropist, Mrs. M.S. Bradford, bought a property to the south of the church and gave it to the congregation, a value of $8,000, so that soon the congregation has amassed a property of $20,000.
Material growth went hand in hand with spiritual growth so that the church often could not hold the congregation. In 1889 poor health forced Pastor Duerr to resign. A result of this and the impossibility of filling the gap quickly was a certain alienation among the members of the congregation. For three years the congregation suffered from frequent changes of minister and the members declined. In early 1892 Pastor Roland Ernst Grueber accepted a call and began serving in May of that year. A major factor which prevented the settling of disputes at that time was that the change of bishops caused some disturbance as well in the liturgical concessions which had been made by Bishop Bedell, concessions which were reversed by his successor, Bishop Wm. A. Leonhard. With the loss of Pastor Duerr, the congregation had to deal with much which was alien and hostile. Mr. Grueber resigned before two years had passed. His successor was Pastor D.D. Hefter. Since November the current rector is J. Salinger Jr.
1. First German Baptist Church – located at Forest and Scovill
1866-1870 – G. Koopmann
1870-1879 – Edward Grutzner
1879-1881 – J.C. Haselhuhn
1881-1890 – Jacob H. Merkel
1890-1898 – Franz Friedrich
1898 - 1913 – William J. Zirbes
1918 - 1921 – H.C. Baum
1928 – Frederick Lehr
On a cold, raw day, the first Sunday in September, 1860, Maria Agnes Fetzer nee Schempp was baptized in her faith by Preacher Watson of what was then Erie Street Baptist Church (now the Euclid Avenue Church), in the Canal. This was the first baptism of a German Baptist in Cleveland. Some other German Baptists had settled here and joined that congregation. They participated in the meetings, but now and then they would gather in homes and hold German meetings. Through loyal work, gradually other Germans were won for the Baptist cause. Some German Baptist preachers passing through paused before going further as soon as they heard of these groups. Among these was the preacher G. Koopmann, who after repeated petitioning, was made a missionary to local Germans. He began his activities on October 18, 1862 with the help of seven members who had been meeting in the back of the Erie Street Church. Six months later they were combined with the English mission at the corner of Scovill and Sterling Avenue. Here the work began to have great results. The congregation soon had a Sunday School. The hatred and envy of strangers was of course not lacking, but it only helped to solidify and spread the congregation. Now the thought developed of organizing a German Baptist community, and on November 3, 1866, the First German Baptist Congregation was organized with 46 members. The first preacher was G. Koopmann. At once the new congregation began having difficulties in that the English Baptists occupying the Tabernacle at the corner of Scovill and Sterling organized their own congregation and desired to keep the church for themselves alone. Now where to go? James M. Hoyt, a member of the English congregation, gave the Germans a building lot located at the southwestern corner of Forest Street and Scovill upon which to build a German Church. Until it was ready, the congregation used a place at the corner of Orange and Wadsworth Avenue. A day of joy was October 10, 1868, the day on which the congregation got a home, even if it was only the temporary home of the lower floor of the church. The Cleveland Baptist Union helped the congregation out of its monetary problems. Until June 1870, Pastor Koopmann worked hard. He was followed by Pastor E. Gruetzner. New help arrived in the form of the publication house of German Baptists, which was being moved from Cincinnati to Cleveland. Pastor Philipp Bickel, who headed that institution, soon began helping. On September 28, 1873, the upper space in the church was occupied.
The state of health of Pastor Gruetzner soon obliged him to lay down his office. J.C. Haselhuhn, Bickel’s successor in the publishing house, then served for 18 months, followed by various other preachers. J.H. Merckel finally arrived. In 1884 the congregation was on Case Avenue, and in 1885 the congregation on Erin Avenue, where J.H. Merkel is now preacher, arose from First Church. The property of the church on Scovill was sold. After nine years of service, J.H. Merkel laid down his position. He was followed in 1890 by F. Friedrich. A new mission was begun on Starkweather Avenue. The seven years of missionary activity of Preacher Friedrich was beneficial. He was followed by the present preacher, W.J. Zirbes in 1898. With the aid of the missionary society in the city, the building for the Starkweather Mission was built at the corner of Fremont and College and consecrated in February 1899. F.P. Kruse resigned as missionary in November, 1900. He was followed by the preacher F. Buermann.
2. Second German Baptist Church – located at Case near Kelly. Founded in 1877, church built in 1883. Later located at E. 55th at White.
1884-1886 – J.C. Haselhuhn
1886-1889 – A.J. Ramacker
1889-1894 – F.A. Licht
1894-1900 – Henry Hitzinger
1901-1908 – Herman von Berge
Exactly 25 years ago it was that a German Sunday School was established in the building of the publishing house of the German Baptists at the corner of Payne and Dayton Street. H. Schulte was one of the deacons and first Superintendent. Pastor E. Gruetzner, then preacher of the First Church, let the preaching, and after his departure so did his successor, Pastor J.H. Merkel, now preacher of the Erin Avenue Baptist congregation. Soon, Pastor Dr. J.C. Haselhuhn, then editor of the “Sendbote”, took over the leadership of the entire business. On December 9, 1883 a church was consecrated and stands at Case Avenue near Kelly Street. On June 17, 1884 the mission was organized as an autonomous congregation. Pastor D.C. Haselhuhn was elected preacher. He remained a member there until his death in May, 1893. In 1885 the congregation invited A.J. Ramacker to spend his summer at the church. Before the next summer the congregation had elected him as its preacher. He served from 1886 to 1889. He resigned to acdept a call to the theological seminary of the German Baptists in Rochester, New York. Professor F.A. Licht was his successor and he served from December, 1889 to January 1894. He was followed by Pastor H. Hitzinger from June 1, 1894 to November 1, 1900. On April 1, 1901, the current preacher, Pastor Herm. von Berge, took office.
3. Erin Avenue German Baptist Church – located at Erin and Hitchcock – founded 1875. Later located on Erin at W. 32nd.
1883-1888 – H. Schwendener
1888-1890 – G. Fetzer
1890-1896 – N. Streike
1896-1899 – Ferdinand G. Wolter
1900-1906 – Jakob Merkel
It was a rainy day in Summer, 1875, as some children sought shelter from the rain in front of the house of Colonel Reeder at the corner of Wade Avenue and Pearl Street. Mrs. Reeder called the children into her home and spoke with them about religion. After the storm had passed, she invited the children to come back next Sunday. They did and they brought friends. In this way a Sunday School arose. The Reeder family were compelled to move it to an adequate location. They found it in the one-story building at the corner of Erin Avenue and Hitchcock Street which had once served as a parochial school. The work of the Reeders expanded and they soon found themselves compelled to seek help. They turned to the missionary society, Cleveland Baptist Union. Since the majority of the children were German, the society turned to the First German Baptist Church. In 1881 it took over the Sunday School. In early 1883 the First German Baptist Church called Mr. H. Schwendener. He accepted the call and came here in the end of May. On June 29, 1885 there followed the organization of the present Erin Avenue Baptist congregation with 54 members who were released from the First Church for this purpose. In the same year the present practical church was built. Pastor Schwendener left after five years. He was followed by Pastor G. Fetzer. He was preacher for 1 ½ years, then Pastor N. Streike arrived. He served for about 6 years. Then came Pastor F.G. Wolter of Detroit who led for three years. On September 1, 1900 Pastor Jakob H. Merkel arrived.
In 1902 there were 102 German lodges, 55 homeland associations, 30 singing societies, 4 associations of former German soldiers and 13 societies of charitable or scientific types.
1848 – Frohsinn Singing Society
1850 – Cleveland Turner Society (gymnastic)
1863 – Harmonie Singing Society
1864 – Concordia Lodge (Masonic)
1869 – Knights of Pythias
Foresters (Harugari Order was the German order)
Order of Good Fellows
Knights of Honor
1872 – Turner Men’s Chorus
1873 – Orpheus Singing Society
1873 – Heights Men’s Chorus
1881 – Society of German Warriors
1883 – Swabian Singing Section
Newburg Germania Men’s Chorus
Harugari Men’s Chorus
1884 – German Militia Association
1889 – Association of German Brothers in Arms
1890 – German Pioneer Society
1891 – Baden Liederkranz
1892 – East End Military Society
1897 – Cleveland Liederkranz
1902 – Austrian Liederkranz
1847 – German Order of Harugari (Harugari meaning Wandering People)
1871 – German League
1884 – Baden Support Society
1884 – Bavarian Support Society
1886 – Palatine Support Society
1886 – First Prussian Society
1887 – Hanoverian Support Society
1888 – South German League
1892 – United German Union
1893 – Swabian Support Society
1895 – Steinburg Saxon’s Illness Support Society
1895 – Independent Prussia Illness Fund Support Society (met at Muellers Hall at Scranton and Auburn Avenues
1895 – Rhineland Support Society
1897 – Hessian Suport Society
1898 – Independent German Order
VARIOUS NEWSPAPER ARTICLES ABOUT CLEVELAND GERMANS: