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Old Church at 7th and Orange Streets

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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2015 9:12 am    Post subject: Old Church at 7th and Orange Streets Reply with quote

In the histories of Concordia, there is scant mention of the church that stood on the southwest corner of 7th and Orange Streets, where the current post office is located.

As a youngster, I remember it well, standing there vacant on the corner of "Red" Hewitt's property. One can catch a brief glimpse of it in one of my dad's old movies (See Street fairs), i.e. 2:15 min into the clip of the milking scene at the Black and White show of the 1940 Street Fair. By the time we built the lumber yard across the street (at the beginning of the 1950s), it had been torn down and was the site of Red's ill-advised pheasant raising experiment. (See Red's Grand Plan.)

The church was built in 1897 by a group of dissidents from St. Paul's Church who joined the Iowa Synod of the Lutheran Church. That congregation was short-lived because the building was sold in 1901 to the Catholic Church for another relatively short-lived congregation.

References to that church can be found in the following sources.

From 1910 Young's History of Lafayette County, Vol. 1, p 163 (Written by Prof. Andrew Baepler)


Father Hoog, of Lexington, was perhaps the first to administer to the wants of the Catholics in the vicinity of Concordia, the number of whom up to the days of railroads was quite limited in this portion of the county. Father Ryan was the first priest to say mass there, he coming out from Higginsville. Following him came Reverend Groth and the various Franciscan Fathers since 1892. In the autumn of 1900 the town Catholics collected a sufficient sum to pay for a half acre of ground opposite the Methodist cemetery to be used as a burial ground, and in March, 1901, encouraged by this first step, over five hundred dollars was raised for the purpose of building a church. Finally they purchased the old Lutheran church of the Iowa synod for one thousand dollars ; the interior was remodeled and in June, 1901, it was ready to be dedicated and was named St. Joseph's church. After the Franciscan Fathers were established at Higginsville in 1905, Reverend Mertens, of that order, began his labors here, serving them twice each month. Father Candidus collected a sufficient amount to clear off the debt of the church and make fine improvements about the church and grounds. He was succeeded by Rev. Cyprian Saner, O. F. M., who served one year and was followed by Rev. Marcelline Schroeder, who is still serving as pastor."

From 1960 Voight, Concordia, Missouri A Centennial History, p115:


About 1901, according to Young, people of the Roman Catholic faith purchased the old Iowa Synod Lutheran Church on the corner of 7th and St. Louis [sic], re-dedicated it, and named it St. Joseph Church. Services were held here for a small group of Roman Catholics for about thirty years. The church building is no longer standing, and recently the site was purchased for the new post office."

Finally, from 1990 Rodewald, et. al., Descending Love, Ascending Praise ..., p. 61:

"In 1895, St. Paul's Congregation numbered 1,500 members. Some in Concordia sought to found another Lutheran congregation. On August 7, 1896, trustees for the German Evangelical Lutheran Friedens Church, of the Iowa Synod, in Concordia bought a building site on Lots 1 and 2, Block "F" for $65 on which the congregation later built a church. The facility was sold to John Joseph Hogan, D. D., on March 12, 1901. The facility on Seventh and Orange streets soon became the property of the Roman Catholic Diocese to serve as a meeting place for the St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church. The congregation disbanded about 1932."

One can trace the history of the church from early maps of Concordia. The 1897 plat for Concordia and Sheet 2 of the 1900 Sanborn Insurance map show it as a Luth Evan Church on the corner of 7th (Caroline) and Orange Streets. Sheet 3 of the 1909 Sanborn Insurance map shows that the building had been converted to St. Joseph’s R. C. Church.

Interestingly, the church is not listed in the 1897 Deindörfer Geschichte der Evangel. Luth. Synode von Iowa und anderen Staaten (History of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa and other states). Deindörfer's compilation of congregations that joined the synod ends in 1896 [p. 383]. So the name of the Concordia congregation and pastor could not be located. Apparently, the group was still in its formative stage and did not make that volume when it was being written.

Does anyone have more information about that church in either of its lives as a Lutheran or Catholic Church? One must keep in mind that, at that time, it was considered sinful for a Missouri Synod boy to date an Iowa Synod girl.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:20 pm    Post subject: Possible pastor of the church Reply with quote

If Peace [Friedens] Lutheran Church on 7th and Orange had a resident pastor in 1900, he should appear in the 1900 census records. Searching for ministers living in the Concordia, MO area at that time, one finds a 23 year old Fredrick W. Krauss, single, living on Schiller (Main) St. He had immigrated to the U.S. just a year earlier in 1899.

Tracing him through the years, he can be found in various parishes in Nebraska and Kansas after 1900. In 1903 he was united in marriage to Emilie Klinksick (born in Cole Camp, MO) in Toledo, Ohio, where her father was a pastor at Salem Lutheran Church [a member of the Iowa Synod]. She passed away in 1908. In 1910, he married Mathilde Kraushaar in Waverly, Iowa. Rev. Frederick Wilhelm Bernard Krauss died in 1975 at age 93 and is buried in Emmanuel Lutheran Cemetery at Stuttgart, Phillips County, Kansas (where he had retired).

Although not known for certain, he may have served at Peace in Concordia.
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