June 13, 2007
Nevada's Online State News Journal
[From The History of Nevada, edited by Sam P. Davis, vol. I (1912), PPS. 536-586]
536 HISTORY OF NEVADA
BY A. G. SAWIN.
Baptists came into Nevada sixty years ago. Of their efforts to propagate their faith or organize bodies for worship and work there is at hand no reliable data. The beginning of systematic work, of which there is record, was ten years later. These activities, continuing through church organizations, then an association of churches, finally culminated early in 1910 in the organization of the Nevada Sierra Baptist Convention, with headquarters at Reno. The territory comprises the State of Nevada, and that portion of eastern California included in the Counties of Modoc, Lassen, Plumas, Sierra and that portion of the Counties of Nevada, Placer and El Dorado lying east of the line drawn from the southwest corner of Sierra to the northwesterly corner of Alpine, and the Counties of Alpine, Mono and Inio. Early in 1861, Rev. Cyrus William Rees, came into Nevada and began systematic Christian work, making his home at Dayton, Nevada, opened Baptist work with preaching services there, and at Ft. Churchill, Carson City and Virginia City. Congregations were gathered at these points and, at last tentative organizations effected. So far as available records show, his were the first Baptist services held in these towns, and it is certain that this was the first extended work of any Baptist minister in Nevada. Mr. Rees's labors continued for a considerable time in Nevada, and the border counties of California where he planted Baptist work in several valleys of the Sierras. From this field Mr. Rees went to Oregon, later to the territory of Washington, and died at Roslyn, Washington.
Aurora.—In 1863, Rev. Y. B. Saxon was settled as missionary at Aurora in Esmeralda County, the Home Mission Society contributing to his support at the rate of $1,100 per year. During this year a neat chapel was
built for his services. The earlier promise of Aurora for a permanent camp faded with the rising prospects of Virginia City's richness and the work at Aurora ceased.
Virginia City.—The drawing power of "the mines" was no respecter of persons. Among the racial types represented in the cosmopolitan population of Virginia City in 1863 was a group of negroes and some of those composing that group were Baptists. It is to the lasting credit of those negro Baptists that they did not leave their religion on the other side of the Rockies, but carrying it, they gave it expression in the jungle conditions of the Comstock by organizing a church. They secured a lot and built a chapel. A Rev. Mr. Satchell was their first minister. The charter roll of this body carried the names of nine members, one that of a white man. In 1864, Rev. W. H. Stevenson became pastor of this church. He came from Rhode Island and here he was ordained as pastor and continued work until 1867. About this time the excellent work of this body was interfered with by divisions respecting the pastor; that, together with the migratory character of its members put a period to its prosperity. Later the property was sold and the church was never reorganized. In 1864, the Rev. S. B. McLafferty became missionary pastor in Virginia City, under appointment of the Baptist Home Mission Society. Mr. McLafferty organized the Baptist work under the name of the Tabernacle Baptist Church. For a time its worship was in the Court House. In 1873, Rev. C. L. Fisher began work in Virginia City and became missionary pastor in 1874. His services were held in the Court House, later in Miners' Union Hall. Then in the Washington Guards' Hall, and at one period of three months, in the home of a "Sister Cochran." During this period Pastor Fisher effected the formal organization of the First Baptist Church of Virginia City, and it was recognized by a council, held December 14, 1873, of which the Rev. H. Richardson was moderator and the Rev. C. L. Fisher was clerk. The recognition sermon was preached by the well-known army chaplain and distinguished preacher and lecturer, the Rev. C. A. Bateman.
A lot was purchased on C Street for $800 and a chapel erected at a cost of $2,307. In 1876 Mr. Fisher was followed by the Rev. James Wells, who was succeeded by the Rev. George W. Ford. In January, 1880, the Rev. Hiram W. Reed became pastor and continued until Janu-
538 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
ary, 1884. The church was filled with rooms to lodge strangers like the present Y. M. C. A. buildings.
Reno.—In 1875 the Reno Baptist Church was organized and the Rev. C. L. Fisher settled as missionary pastor. The Home Mission Society contributing $750 toward his support. Mr. Fisher continued through the following year. The organization took place in the Old Opera House on Virginia Street, owned by the McGintley family, and this was its place of worship until its first house was erected. The charter members were nine. Chaplain Bateman and Rev. James Wills were present at the organization. Lots were secured on Second Street between Sierra and West, opposite the old Journal office and a house erected at a cost of $3,236. Rev. Mr. Fisher closed his work December 31, 1876. The Rev. Thomas Arnold was missionary pastor from January 1, 1877, to January 1, 1878. During an interim of pastors extending to June, 1881, for the latter portion of this period, Chaplain Bateman supplied the church. While Chaplain Bateman was supplying the church in 1879 its new house of worship was burned. Plans for the erection of a new building were at once entered upon, Chaplain Bateman rendering valuable assistance. In June, 1881, the Rev. Winfield Scott, D. D., became pastor, and under his leadership the new house was completed and dedicated. Among the subscriptions secured by this able and energetic leader was one of $1,000 from the Rev. I. S. Kelloch, then a pastor in San Francisco. In June, 1882, the Rev. E. B. Hatch succeeded Dr. Scott and continued a fruitful ministry for three years. Rev. B. F. Battray followed Mr. Hatch, continuing until July, 1886. In September, 1886, Rev. Mr. Fisher again became pastor and continued until September, 1889. On the sixth day of July, 1889, the second house was totally destroyed by fire; the origin of the fire was in a building two doors west. The Court House was tendered the houseless congregation, for its services, as was the Episcopal Church for the evening services and the kind offer of the county officials and the fraternal one of the Episcopal people were thankfully accepted. The old site was sold, and the present one on Second and Chestnut Sts. secured. The present house of worship was erected at a cost of about $7,500, the dedication taking place on the 18th day of May, 1890. The Rev. John Barr became pastor in the latter half of that year, continued until January, 1892. In April the Rev. William B. Pope entered the pastorate and continued until January 1, 1895. The Rev. N. L. Freeman
became pastor in September, 1895, and continued until September, 1898. The Rev. B. F. Hudelson became pastor in February, 1898, and continued into 1902, when in broken health, he retired from active service and died early in 1903. The Rev. C. W. Driver succeeded to the pastorate and continued until early in 1905, after a very successful pastorate. November 1, 1905, the Rev. A. G. Sawin became pastor, continuing until October 1, 1909, the longest continuous pastorate in the history of the church. In April, 1910, the Rev. H. Brewster Adams entered upon his pastorate in Reno. Mr. Adams was called from the leadership of the Baptist Church at Mt. Morris, N. Y.
Ft. Wadsworth Mission.—Under appointment of the Home Mission Society the Rev. J. M. Halsey in May, 1882, settled as missionary at that place. Mr. Halsey was also to do mission work for the Indians on the reservation, now the Pyramid Lake Reservation, and conduct services for the people at Wadsworth. Mr. Halsey extended his work for Indians as far east as Humboldt. For six years this devoted missionary did a noble work on that field. His work was immediately continued by the Rev. John W. Henry, until May, 1889, when he was relieved for one year by the Rev. Lawell M. Pratzman. Mr. Henry assuming charge again in May, 1890, and continuing until November, 1892. In the fall of 1896 the Chapel Car Emmanuel, in charge of the Rev. B. B. Jacques and wife, held a meeting in Wadsworth, the result of which was the organization of a church and the building of a chapel. The meeting for organization was held in the car and occurred November 7, 1896. From February, 1900, the Rev. W. M. McCart was a district missionary in that part of Nevada, for one year with his work centered at Wadsworth. From March, 1902, until September, 1903, Mr. Lawrence was in charge of the field and substantial progress was made. Shortly after the removal of the Southern Pacific division station from Wadsworth to Sparks, took most of the people and buildings, with them the Baptist Church and chapel. This terminated the mission to the Indians, a mission which has borne fruits, and its closing was a distinct loss to the Indians and to Baptist work; but out of the work came a substantial and useful church. The "Chapel Car" work is part of the missionary activity of the American Baptist Publication Society; the car "Emmanuel" is No. 2 of a group of six cars; this chapel car work was begun more than twenty years ago, and has been prosecuted with signal success. The campaign of the car
540 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
"Emmanuel" during 1896 included two meetings at Verdi, resulting in the organization of a mission and the erection of a chapel, a meeting at Reno, also at Wadsworth, culminating in organization of the church and the building of a chapel; a meeting at Lovelock and at Winnemucca.
Sparks.—The history of this church is a continuation of the history of the Ft. Wadsworth Mission and of the Wadsworth Church on a new field. On September 17, 1903, Rev. W. C. Driver preached the first sermon in the new town, a flat car being his platform and a box his pulpit. November, 1903, Major G. W. Ingalls and his wife organized the first Sabbath School at Sparks in the old Robinson house. Major Ingalls, as superintendent, and Mrs. Ingalls as Bible class teacher, successfully conducted the same until April 1, 1904. The older Wadsworth Church was reorganized under the name of the Emmanuel Baptist Church of Sparks, Nevada. In June, 1904, the Rev. Frank H. Webster settled as missionary pastor and led in the erection of the house of worship and the building of the parsonage. Early in 1906, the property was seriously damaged by fire, but was promptly repaired and enlarged. He closed his work in the summer of 1907. Early in 1908, he was succeeded by the Rev. J. A. Sunderland, who closed his work in less than a year. After a few months he was followed by the Rev. S. G. Willson who closed his work in the fall of 1910, and December 1 was succeeded by the Rev. W. E. Tanner. Late in 1911, Mr. Tanner closed his pastorate, after which the church was ably supplied by Prof. R. C. Thompson of the State University.
Fallon.—At the suggestion of the Rev. C. A. Wooddy, D. D., Superintendent of Missions for the Pacific Coast Division, work was begun at Fallon in 1904, and in June of that year the veteran pioneer missionary, Rev. G. W. Black settled as missionary. Fallon was then a place of perhaps a dozen houses. A church was organized in January, 1905, and in June, 1906, a substantial and attractive house of worship, costing $4,600, was dedicated. This pioneer missionary continued labor on the field until May, 1907. The Rev. J. B. Webber, D. D., succeeded Mr. Black. Dr. Webber died in June, 1908, after a very successful ministry. After some months, the Rev. E. L. Spaulding became pastor, but his stay was short, though he was very much beloved by the church and community. In the interim between the close of this young minister's work and the settlement of the Rev. T. J. Hudson, December 1, 1911, who
served as pastor eight months, the church was served by Pastor-at-large W. M. McCart for several months.
Tonopah.--Organized in 1906 by the Rev. W. C. Driver and cared for by him. The records of the Home Mission Society credit the Rev. J. B. Thomas with eight and a half months' work, from February 15, 1907. The Rev. G. N. Gardner became pastor in 1907, and at once undertook and carried to success a church building enterprise which gave the Baptists an excellent house of worship. Mr. Gardner was called to Utah and the Rev. H. W. Nice became pastor late in 1908, and closed in the early part of 1910. The Rev. Myron Cooley supplied for a few months; since that time the church has had no pastor.
Mason.--By the personal initiative of Mr. G. M. Frazer this church was organized in 1910. A beautiful and well appointed chapel was built. The average contribution of members of this church for its first year exceeded $20o per member; all this was achieved before a pastor was called. The Rev. W. H. F. Jones was settled as pastor September 1911.
Elko.—September 1, 1911, Rev. W. R. Howell, under appointment as pastor-at-large, settled at Elko, and was joined by Rev. and Mrs. Barkman and Rev. Floyd Barkman, their son. A meeting of five weeks resulted in the organization of a church and securing lots for a building.
Winnemucca.—The Barkmans, with chapel car "Good Will," entered upon a campaign near the close of 1911, which resulted in the organization of a church, a building site secured, and a house of worship erected. Mr. Floyd Barkman remained temporarily in charge. A like effort at Imlay by the Barkmans secured the organization of a mission at that point.
Wabuska.—Early in 1912 Rev. G. W. Black was joined in Wabuska by "the Barkmans" and their car, in a meeting which resulted in the organization of a church, lots secured and preparations begun for the building of a chapel. Mr. Black had temporary charge of the work. In the winter of 1905 and 1906, Rev. W. C. Driver organized a church at Susanville, and held meetings at Honey Lake. Rev. J. D. Webber, D. D., became pastor early in 1906, doing excellent work until 1907, when he took charge of a church at Fallon. Rev. J. W. Black gave several months' service at Susanville. Rev. Falls, September, 1911, became the pastor at Susanville. The Sierra Nevada Baptist Convention field included the
542 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
mission work in the counties of California east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and established churches at Alturas, Modoc County; Susanville, Lassen County, Loyalton, Sierra County ; Bishop, Inyo County. The work at Alturas was started November, 1907, by Rev. G. W. Black, and during the winter of 1907 and 1908 meetings were held by Rev. C. P. Bailey and Rev. G. W. Black. Lots were secured and nearly $1,000 subscriptions received for a church building. In the fall of 1908, Rev. W. C. Driver had charge of the work, and remained until June, 1909, doing very successful work and concluded his labors on the Nevada field. Rev. G. N. Gardner settled as pastor at Alturas, June, 1909, and during his pastorate has secured a fine church edifice and parsonage, completing the same in 1911. In 1863 the first Baptist Church at Loyalton was organized, and house of worship erected in 1864, but was destroyed by fire in 1866. The church membership was united with the Reno church. Twelve years later a chapel was built at Lewis Mills by Spurgeon Lewis, who, with other members, started a mission at Verdi, and built a neat chapel there. The church at the Mills was removed to Loyalton, and the members at Reno were transferred and united with the Loyalton church. Rev. Robert Whitaker acting as pastor. He was succeeded by Rev. Mr. Crandall, who died after a. few weeks' service. In 1903 a new church building was erected, and Mr. H. B. Neville was ordained pastor, who was followed in 1905 by Rev. C. Houston Smith. Later, in 1907, Rev. R. B. Wolf became pastor. He resigned in the fall of 1908. Rev. A. G. Sawin became pastor October 1, 1909, and had a very successful ministry up to the present date, and the church has been self-supporting. Rev. W. C. Driver went to Bishop and built a new house of worship in 1907, and later a parsonage, and remained pastor until 1908. Rev. Andrew Clark has been a faithful, successful minister on this field for over fifty years. Rev. Mr. Iler succeeded Rev. Mr. Driver, and in 1910 was succeeded by Rev. Sidney Maddox, who is still the devoted pastor. On April 14, 1911, the Nevada Sierra Baptist Convention was organized in co-operation with the American Baptist Home Mission Society, affiliated with the Northern Baptist Convention of the United States, and elected the following officers: President, Mr. H. B. Neville, of Loyalton; vice-president, G. M. Frazer, of Mason. Miss Lillie R. Corwin, a graduate of .the Chicago Baptist Training School, was sent to Nevada by the Woman's Baptist Home Mission Society the latter part of the year 1907.
During five years of unremitting toil she has given herself for the betterment of Nevada Indian work. Her work has extended from Loyalton on the west to Elko on the east, a distance of four hundred miles. She has had as assistants Miss Harrison (now Barber), Miss Farquah, Miss Ryan and Miss Elizabeth Glick. Miss Corwin is well known and greatly loved by the Indians and her work in Reno, Carson, Fallon and Lovelock has attracted attention of educators, philanthropists, and prominent government officials. For several years her headquarters has been at Reno, but was transferred to Fallon, and she now divides her time with Stewart Indian School at Carson, Nevada. As a result of an extended visit through the Eastern States she secured nearly $2,000 and has built a residence and church building, locating the same by permission of the Interior Department on the Indian Reservation, near Fallon, Churchill County, Nevada, and by liberal contributions of funds from Nevada citizens has also arranged to build a residence and chapel near the Stewart Indian School, near Carson.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
BY REV. T. TUBMAN.
The first church built in Nevada for Catholics was erected by Father H. P. Gallagher at Genoa. This was in the summer of 1860. Tradition has very little to say of Father Gallagher. When the great discovery of the precious metals made Nevada famous in the early '60s a great rush was made to the new El Dorado. But it is said long before that many missionaries had worked among the settlers exercising their sacred functions without churches or rectories. Mass was celebrated, confessions heard, sermons preached, baptisms administered, spiritual condolences afforded the sick and dying in their dug-outs and rough habitations. When the great Comstock Lode was discovered Rt. Rev. Eugene O'Connell, Vicar Apostolic of Marysville, Cal., exercised jurisdiction over Nevada. This prelate was remarkable for great prudence. When, therefore, he was called upon to select a priest for the difficult and trying Nevada Mission, he at once found the man for the office in the person of Father Monogue. In June, 1862, he was appointed pastor of Virginia City. In 1869 he was made Vicar General, and in 1880 was made Bishop
544 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
Coadjutor to Bishop O'Connell, with the right of succession. He was consecrated in Sari Francisco on January 16, 1881, by Archbishop Alemony of that See. He succeeded Bishop O'Connell on March 17, 1884. Up to 1886 the Episcopal See was at Grass Valley, Cal., but on May 16, 1886, Pope Leo XIII changed the seat to Sacramento. Bishop Monogue set about building a quarter of a million dollar cathedral in the Italian Renaissance style, and a magnificent residence, which stands today as his crowning monument. He died on February 27, 1895.
Let the reader use his imagination in arriving at a true conception of the conditions existing in those early days, when Father Monogue entered upon his missionary career in Virginia City. Truthfully it can be said that all was chaos. No church, no presbytery, not a dollar available, and yet he had to meet the stern situation, and did meet it unflinchingly. There was no danger too great to discourage him, no difficulty too overwhelming not to be overcome, no obstacle that he did not conquer.
A man of unlimited resources with a heart as large and as full of the milk of human kindness as ever beat in human breast, he was an ideal pastor. Under his gentle administration, the church flourished in a marvelous manner. Gathering about him all that was good in the miners' camp farm, and ranch, he soon was able to inaugurate an era of church construction. As if by magic, under his control the finest Gothic edifice on the Pacific slope was soon completed. Its furnishings were of the very best. Marble altars, beautiful statuary, magnificent pews and confessionals, a pipe organ of great excellence and all that the church demands for the splendor of Catholic worship, were provided and paid for. He erected a magnificent academy, orphan asylum and a hospital, and was successful in inducing the mother house of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul to send their sisters to conduct these institutions of learning and charity. Besides engaging in these extensive operations of building, organizing and administering to the extensive parish of Virginia, he attended all Nevada. There was no spot, however distant, that he did not serve. From the waters of Reese River along the Humboldt and to the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, calls came and were cheerfully responded to.
In the great fire that destroyed Virginia City in 1875, Father Monogue's beautiful church was burned to the ground. In an incredibly short space of time a second church was built and dedicated to Catholic worship and
that church stands today a glorious monument to the energy, zeal and perseverance of its builder.
A peculiar feature regarding the beautiful bell which calls the people to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and other devotions is that the silver it is composed of was mined in the Comstock Lode, and sent east and presented by Mr. Lynch, a generous benefactor of the church. The church today, after these many years, is intact in every way, being recently redecorated by the present pastor. The cost of erecting St. Mary's in the Mountains is estimated roughly at $100,000, the material at the time was costly and was of the very best. On a marble slab inserted in the front doorway the story of the church and its builder is concisely told. "Built in '68. Burned down in '75. Rebuilt in '76. P. Monogue, pastor." After Rev. Father Monogue came Rev. S. Monteverde, as assistant priest, also J. M. Nubby, L. Haupts, M. Coleman, P. McGuire, F. Nugent and the next pastor succeeding Father Monogue was Rev. D. Sullivan with Vincent Reitmyer as assistant. Then came the late Rev. C. M. Lynch as pastor with Father T. Tubman as assistant, and afterward rector, who was followed by Rev. D. B. Murphy, the present pastor.
History records that the first church built in Reno was a small wooden structure, erected on Lake and Fourth streets, where the 'Hotel Nevada now stands. This pioneer church was neither expensive nor ornate, nevertheless its erection was a task of great difficulty. Let it be remembered that there were only a few Catholics, and these were poor and scattered. This church was burned to the ground in a night.
Then a lot farther out, near where the University now stands, was purchased and another frame church, larger and more expensive, was built. In this edifice the Catholics of Reno worshipped for many years. They had many priests at frequent intervals.
A Jesuit, Father Raffo, was pastor for a considerable time. Father Callan and Father Maloney also ministered in this church in succession.
When Father Maloney laid aside the rule of the district he was followed by Rev. Father Michael Kiely, who received the appointment from Bishop Monogue. That was over twenty years ago. Father Kiely held the office for seven years. His labors extended all over the country. The outside missions were many and widely separated. Nevertheless he gave special attention to the Reno parish. He paid off a large indebtedness on the church and added many improvements. He also instituted the pres-
546 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
ent Dominican Convent and school which were the object of his special care. His health failing, he asked for a lower territory in which to labor. The Bishop appointed him to the important parish of Ferndale.
To the vacant and now rapidly growing parish of Reno the Rt. Rev. Bishop Grace appointed Father Tubman, who had served the Virginia parish ever since his ordination, both as assistant and as pastor.
A few months after Father Tubman's appointment on the afternoon of November 13, 1905, fire was seen blazing from the belfry of the church. In a short time the flames enveloped the entire edifice and quickly reduced it to ashes.
Father Tubman set to work before the ashes were cold planning and devising for a greater edifice. The site of the ruined church was too far from the center of the city. Believing that the church should be able to serve the greatest number and for that reason should be placed as near as possible to the great mass of the people, he purchased the present magnificnt location on Second Street, paying $10,000 for the entire block.
The following June he had secured sufficient financial backing to accept plans and to start building operations.
The cornerstone was laid Sunday, July 28, 1907, by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Grace, amid a scene of ecclesiastical and civic grandeur seldom surpassed or even equaled in the West.
The Bishop, wearing full pontificals and accompanied by a large number of priests, rode from the old site to the new. Fully 10,000 witnessed the laying of the corner stone. Governor Sparks, the Mayor, City Council and the entire police force attended. Father Ramm, secretary to the Archbishop of San Francisco, preached the sermon. Father Horgan, Truckee; Father Horgan, Sparks; Father Melehan, Winnemucca; Father Gartland, Carson City; Father Murphy, Virginia City, and Father Tubman assisted the Bishop in blessing and laying the corner-stone.
The new church was called after the great angelic doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas.
On Sunday, June 21, 1908, the new church was ready for dedication. The Rt. Rev. Bishop Grace came from Sacramento to preside at the great function. He was just recovering his strength after a serious illness, but his heart was so thoroughly in the new church that he cheerfully came over the mountains and dedicated St. Thomas Aquinas to Divine worship.
Carson.—In territorial days and while we were under the guidance of
Governor Nye, Catholic services were held in the "Clapp School House," which is still standing. A good old German priest of the old school was the pastor. A small wooden church was soon erected by Fathers Beakey and Rubey, who did the actual labor under most adverse conditions. This church was built on the site of the present church, the land being donated by Ned Sweeney. In all its crudity it was hailed with delight as the first Catholic Church of the capital city. Fathers Rierra, Clark and Gleason were some of Carson's pioneer priests. The present Catholic Church was built under the direction of Father Grace, now Bishop of Sacramento, in 1870. It was named St. Theresa. Among those participating in the ceremonies was Bishop Monogue, Fathers Nulty and Coleman, of Virginia City. This church was erected by Peter Cavanaugh, Sr. To St. Theresa's Church has been added in modern times many improvements. The interior contains some pieces of beautiful imported statuary and stained memorial windows of great beauty adorn its walls.
Rev. D. Gartland was appointed pastor about fifteen years ago by Bishop Grace. Rev. P. Clyne, now deceased, was Father Gartland's predecessor. Fr. Luke Tormey was also pastor for a number of years.
Tonopah.—On down from the earliest settlement in Nevada the Catholic Church and its priests have followed in close wake of the pioneers; in point of fact, many of the priests braved the hardships of the pioneers in their zeal to plant the banner of the cross. Such was the case in Tonopah in 1901 when Rev. James Butler came overland from Austin and began looking around for a site to build a church and so active was he in securing both the lot and money to erect a $5,000 edifice that people began to wonder if they had been asleep while this man of God had been working. The church is plainly and substantially built in the early Gothic style with the intention of a facade being erected in front with a bell tower. The interior decorations received the greatest care. The main and side altars are of polished butternut and harmonize with the woodwork of the church. The organ is a Vocallion resembling a pipe organ and pumped by electricity or hand. The Stations of the Cross were presented by Mr. Kerns, of St. Louis, on one of his visits to Tonopah. The pastoral residence was erected later, when the camp seemed to warrant it, a fine two-story frame with a broad veranda. During Father Butler's residence he had several missions, the first being
548 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
held by the Paulists of San Francisco under Rev. Fathers Wynan and Handly. January, 1911, Rev. Wm. J. Flynn relieved Fr. Butler, whose health began to fail, since which time Rev. Father Flynn has enlarged his congregation twofold. In May, 1912, the Jesuit Fathers held a most successful mission.
Gold Hill, in Storey County, is presided over by Rev. Fr. O'Donnell, who has been pastor of St. Patrick's Church for twenty-five years. The church is a substantial structure erected by the Franciscan Fathers of an earlier date. Father O'Donnell attends Silver City and Dayton.
Rev. Fr. Thos. Mollyneux is pastor of the church in Yerington. He visits occasionally Rawhide, Hawthorne, Wellington, Mason and Bodie.
In Ely there is a flourishing Catholic parish of which Father Sheehan is pastor.
Austin has a beautiful brick church that cost $50,000 in the early days. Father Phelan was pastor for a number of years. Father Corcoran is at present the pastor. He also attends Battle Mountain, Carlin and all the smaller towns of that section.
Fr. McMinnamon is in charge of Eureka, where there is a substantial church and presbytery.
The several eastern counties of Nevada are under the jurisdiction of Rt. Rev. Lawrence Scanlon, of Salt Lake. The parishes and missions in Washoe, Humboldt, Storey, Esmeralda, Lyon, Ormsby and Douglas counties are subject ecclesiastically to Rt. Rev. Bishop Grace, of Sacramento, Cal.
Goldfield.—On the last Sunday in October, 1904, Rev. James B. Dermody celebrated the first public mass in Ladies' Aid Hall. The congregation on that Sunday, and for three months afterwards, being composed of men. For eight months mass was celebrated in this hall. During 1906 the Catholic population grew to such an enormous extent that the church could not accommodate the congregation. Father Dermody, seeing the necessity of a larger and better house of worship, appealed on Sunday to his people for subscriptions, and on that memorable day $12,000 was promised by the members of the church, and $7,000 of that amount was collected and used to start the new Sacred Heart Church on Hall and Franklin streets, which compares favorably with any church in the State, is an ornament to the City of Goldfield and a lasting monument to the .religious zeal of Father Dermody and the citizens of this community.
Sparks.—Rev. Thos. W. Horgan, its pastor, was ordained in All Hallows College, Dublin, Ireland, June 24, 1901. He came to California, September, 1901, and spent two years in Woodland, Cal., and afterwards was appointed assistant priest in Reno, where he remained for one year. When the new town of Sparks was established, the bishop, recognizing the administrative abilities of the young priest, made him pastor of that growing center of population. He immediately started ways and means, looking to the erection of a fine and substantial church edifice. In 1904 it was dedicated under the title of the Immaculate Conception and cost over $5,000. It has a congregation of 1,000 and a well organized Sunday-school with an efficient corps of lay teachers. Father Horgan then secured a lot and succeeded in building the finest parochial residence in the State, costing $6,000. Besides Sparks, Father Horgan attends a number of outside missions at stated intervals. In Fallon he built a beautiful church where he celebrates mass and preaches with great success to a large congregation. It is said this church cost $5,000. In the town of Verdi he has built a model church that cost $3,000, which was dedicated in 1906, and has a membership of 250 and a Sunday-school of 30. At Wadsworth there is no church at present. The church there was burned and never rebuilt. It cost $2,500. Father Horgan attends Wadsworth and Hazen once each month and occasionally celebrates mass at Lahontan dam, near Fallon.
Las Vegas.--Father Edward V. Reynolds came to Las Vegas in December, 1908, from Chandler, Okla., where he had a large mission for over fifteen years. In April, 1910, he erected the church, a frame building, at Las Vegas, which cost $1,600, on Second Street. The membership is 125, and the Sunday-school 20. He also attends missions at Rhyolite, Caliente, Pioche and Milford, Utah, once each month.
Lovelock.—St. John's Church, of which Rev. Father Enright is pastor, was built in the spring of 1900 while Father Reynolds was pastor of Reno. It was completed in 1901. After Father Reynolds came Father Chas. Burnes. He was succeeded by Father Meehan, of Winnemucca, and on September of last year, Bishop Grace, of Sacramento, divided Humboldt County, appointing Father Enright the first resident pastor of this church. Besides the town, Father Enright conducts monthly services at Mazuma, Seven Troughs, McDermitt, National, Paradise, with Imlay and Humboldt occasionally, taking in the entire county with
550 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
the exception of Golconda, Winnemucca and Gerlach, which are attended by Father Meehan. Its original cost was about $5,500, built by subscription, money being collected by Senator and Mrs. O'Kane and Mrs. O'Leary. The property, 130 x 50, was donated by Senator O'Kane and John G. Taylor. Father Enright is at present engaged in building a spacious church in the new town of Rochester, which promises to become one of the great mining centers of the State.
Winnemucca.—Mission established in Winnemucca, Nevada, October, 1883. Erection of church building commenced by Rev. A. O'Donnell same year, on lots purchased by him at corner of Fourth and Melarkey streets. Church finished and dedicated as St. Paul's. Mission style; cost about $3,000. First resident priest, Rev. Charles E. Burns, appointed in 1901; died July 19, 1905. Succeeded by Rev. P. E. Meehan, present rector, appointed in December, 1905. At that time the mission included all of Humboldt County, Nevada, with a larger area than Switzerland. During summer of 1911 the mission was divided by Rt. Rev. Thomas Grace, and two parishes created—Winnemucca and Lovelock. The former embraces Winnemucca, Golconda and all towns along the line of the Western Pacific in Humboldt County, and in addition Gerlach, Washoe County. Lovelock parish includes the town of that name and all of Humboldt County not included in Winnemucca parish. Rev. P. E. Meehan is rector of Winnemucca parish. In the early days of the mission it was attended by the following priests at different times, from Reno, Nevada: Rev. Father Francis Reynolds, Father William Maloney, both deceased; Rev. M. Kiely, now of Ferndale, California. When this diocese was established twenty-six years ago, the work was all performed by a priest stationed at Reno. Since that time the church in Nevada has grown to such pro-portions that new parishes have been created as follows: Sparks, Gold-field, Winnemucca, Lovelock, and in that portion of Nevada included in the diocese of Salt Lake, Tonopah and Ely, in addition to the old parishes of Austin and Eureka.
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE CHURCH.
In Nevada there are now five Christian Science organizations: First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Reno, First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Goldfield, the Christian Science Society of Elko, the Christian Sci-
ence Society of Ely and the Christian Science Society of Carson City. In practically every town in the State, however, there is at least one Christian Scientist, and in some of these places steps are now being taken towards organization in accordance with the Manual of the Mother Church, the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, of which every authorized organization is a branch.
First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Reno, was organized on August 5, 1907, after a few people interested in Christian Science had been holding services for about a year, first in private houses, and later in Harmony Hall, on Sierra Street. In the fall of 1907 the church moved to the Century Club, where services were held until the completion of the Odd Fellows' Building. Then the church again moved to the large hall in that building, where it still holds its services. On November 13, 1911, after considering for about six months the available lots in Reno, the church unanimously voted to buy the lot, one hundred feet square, at the corner of Granite and Court streets, for the price of $6,500. The church has each year given a free public lecture on Christian Science and has maintained a free public, reading-room open in the Odd Fellows' Building every afternoon. The congregation has grown steadily until now it practically fills the Odd Fellows' Hall at every service, both Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.
In Goldfield, those interested in Christian Science first began to meet together in the latter part of 1905. A little later the Ladies' Aid Hall was rented and services were held there for several months. When a regular Christian Science Society was organized on August 29, 1906, the services were conducted in a building on Fifth Avenue. Early in 1907, however, the present church building was erected at the corner of Euclid and Myers avenues. In March, 1909, the society became a church, taking the name of First Church of Christ, Scientist, of Goldfield. For the past three years the church has had a free public lecture, on Christian Science each year and has maintained a free public reading-room. The reading-room down town, at 225 East Ramsey Street, was opened in March, 1912. Like all other Christian Science churches, the church in Goldfield has been unceasingly prosperous from the beginning.
The Elko students of Christian Science first met for the regular Sunday services, in the spring of 1903, at a private house. A little later they moved to the Dotta Building, on Idaho Street, where they still hold
552 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
their services. The group organized for regular work in December, 1905, and soon established a free reading-room and then the Sunday-school. Attendance at the services has gradually increased until at present both the Sunday morning and the Wednesday evening services are well attended. In all ways the work in Elko is prospering steadily. The society has already set aside a substantial sum for its future building.
In Ely the first Christian Science meeting was in a private home in June, 1907. On the following Easter Sunday the congregation had grown to such an extent that steps were taken to secure a public hall. In December, 1908, another move was made into a room more centrally located, fitted and furnished by the members, and in all ways more suitable for a Christian Science hall. In September, 19o9, growth made it necessary to reorganize the society, revise the by-laws and provide for a Sunday-school, a Wednesday evening service and a reading-room. From that time the growth in every department of the Christian Science work in Ely has been steady and firm. The society had a free public lecture on Christian Science in November, 1911, and is steadily accumulating a building fund.
The Carson City Christian Scientists first began to meet together on Sundays and Wednesdays in January of 1911. No regular organization, however, was attempted until January 13, 1912. Then the Christian Science Society of Carson City was organized and arranged to meet in the Odd Fellows' Hall.
The Christian Scientists throughout the State maintain a committee on publication for the whole State. The offices of this committee are at present in the Odd Fellows' Building in Reno.
BY REV. W. D. TROUT.
The First Congregational Church of Reno was organized in 1871 in a little schoolhouse on the south side, by Rev. A. F. Hitchcock. The charter members were J. C. Hageman, Kitty Hageman, Mary F. Poor, J. C. Weston, Mary C. Crane, Lucy Scott and Mary Kinney. Services were held for two years. Then a church was built on Chestnut Street by the Congregationalists and Odd Fellows.
In 1877, Rev. Mr. Pope took charge. Owing to his genial qualities, the church was self-supporting that year. He was popular with all classes.
His successor was Rev. August Drahms, who afterwards became chaplain of the prison at San Quentin, and at present is pastor of a Congregational church in the Hawaiian Islands.
The next pastor was the Rev. Mr. Palmer, an industrious worker, and through his efforts the present parsonage site was purchased. Then followed strenuous times in which the very life of the church was due to Mrs. Poor, Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Finlayson, Mrs. Clow, Mrs. Fairchild, Mr. Painter, Mr. and Mrs. Grant and Mrs. Chism.
In 1887, Rev. Thomas McGill began a very successful work, in which the present church edifice was erected. His was the longest period of pastoral service.
Following some short pastorates, Rev. F. V. Jones was called. He was eminently successful and laid the foundation for greater things.
In 1904, Rev. Charles Leon Mears, of Washington, accepted the pastorate. Mr. Mears was instrumental in installing the pipe organ and building one of the best parsonages on the coast. He also organized the Pilgrim Brotherhood, a very effective agency of the church. It was in this body the Anti-Gambling Bill really originated and the Y. M. C. A. movement was started.
Among the church activities are the Ladies' Aid Society, the St. Margaret Society, the Missionary Society, a helpful Christian Endeavor and an effective Sunday-school of 303 members. The church membership is 262. The present pastor is Rev. W. D. Trout, who was called in 1910.
The church was erected in 1891 and the present valuation of the church property is $27,000.
THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
BY REV. SAMUEL UNSWORTH.
NOTE—To be kept in mind while reading the following Historical Sketch.
Nevada, ecclesiastically, has had a checkered career, as far as the Episcopal Church is concerned. At first, it was swallowed up an indistinguishable part of the Missionary Jurisdiction of the Northwest, which extended from the eastern boundaries of Oregon and California to the Missouri River and from Mexico to Canada. Then, in 1865, it was carved out, raggedly and indefinitely, from this Mighty Vast, as the Missionary District of Nevada and Parts Adjacent, while, later, in 1868, when Bishop Whitaker was elected, it was to Nevada and Arizona. Divorced from Arizona in 1874 it was (much?) married to Utah in 1886, and in 1898, by the Solomonic decree of the General Convention, actually carried out, alas, as King Solomon's was not; it was cut in two, losing all the identity that's in an own name, the eastern half taking that of "Salt Lake," and the western,
554 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
that of "Sacramento," each part being under a different bishop. Tonopah, in, Nye Co., said "I am of Paul" (Bishop Spalding), and Goldfield, in Esmeralda, "And I, of Apollos," (Bishop Moreland). In 1907 we were allowed to reintegrate again and take our own lawful State name, much to the comfort of our State pride. The next year we were able to welcome our present chief shepherd, the Rt. Rev. Henry Douglas Robinson, D. D., who was, before his consecration, Warden of Rae College, Racine, Wis.
St. Paul's Church, Virginia City.—The Territory of Nevada was made a part of the Missionary Jurisdiction of the Northwest by the General Convention of 1859. The Rev. Joseph Talbot was consecrated to the Episcopate in Christ Church, Indianapolis, Wednesday, February 15, 1860, and given charge of this large district.
Among the great number who passed over the mountains from California, came the Rev. H. Smeathman, on secular business, in 1861.
At the request of several churchmen in Virginia City, he held divine service on several occasions, the congregation meeting in the United States District Court House On the 1st of September, at a meeting convened after service, a parish was formed under the name of St. Paul's Church, and wardens and vestrymen were chosen. In the interesting, smoke-stained first record book of the parish, and in the calligraphy of Wm. Fell, secretary, the following records of that important meeting are written: "Moved and seconded, that David S. Turner and Fenno Downer be the Wardens of this Parish. Carried. It was then moved and seconded, that the following named Gents: compose the Vestry of said Parish, for the term, namely W. van Bokkelen, Dr. J. W. Noyes, L. W. Ferris, Wm. Fell, D. E. Hoff, H. O. Gaylord and R. Meacham, which was carried and the Gents: declared duly elected." Further on in the minutes of that first meeting, the following: "Virginia City, Carson County, Nevada Territory, Nebraska Mission,* Sunday,1st September, 1861, 14th Sunday after Trinity.
"At a Meeting of Episcopalians held in the Territory of Nevada, and Virginia City, it was proposed to form a Congregation; we whose names are hereunto affixed, being desirous of establishing a Protestant Episcopal Church in this place, do hereby associate ourselves together for that purpose, and consent to be governed by the Constitution and Canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, and by the Constitutions and Canons of this Diocese.
"Signed: David S. Turner, Fenno Downer, H. V. Gaylord, Wm. A. Van Bokkelen, L. W. Ferris, George W. Kinney, J. W. Noyes, R.
*This is a mistake. The District of Nebraska and parts adjacent was not constituted until 1865.
Meacham, Wm. Fell, H. Becker, David & Hoff, Wm. Welch, Smyth Clark."
This vestry applied to Bishop Talbot to send them a rector.
On the 5th of April, 1862, the vestry acknowledged the receipt of a communion service, Bible and altar-cloth as a present from the bishop, and information of the appointment by the American Church Missionary Society of the Rev. Franklin S. Rising, of Bergen Point, N. J., as "Missionary to Nevada Territory." The society provided for the expenses of his journey, sending him by the isthmus, and assumed his support, but his very first month's salary of $150 was returned by the parish to the society. He arrived in Virginia City on the 18th of April, and on Easter Day, the 20th, held his first service in the Court House The room was crowded and the Holy Communion was administered to fourteen. In August a frame church was begun on the site of the present church. On Christmas day it was temporarily occupied for the church service and a Sunday-school festival, and on the 22d of February, 1863, formally opened by the rector.
In 1863, Bishop Talbot made a visitation to his immense district, arriving in Virginia City in September. On the 11th of October he consecrated the church and on the 18th confirmed thirteen persons at the public service and one in private.
On account of failing health, Mr. Rising was compelled, in 1866, to resign his work and return to New York.
In April, 1867, the Rev. O. W. Whitaker, of Englewood, N. J., became rector. In the same year Bishop Talbot was translated to the Diocese of Indiana and Right Rev. Wm. Ingraham Kip, Bishop of California, placed in temporary charge. In the following October he made a visitation and confirmed thirty-six in St. Paul's.
The church building, after several enlargements, was destroyed, with the rectory and a $3,000 pipe organ, in the general conflagration of October 26, 1875. The present building was then erected at a cost, fully furnished, of $25,000.
In October, 1868, the Rev. O. W. Whitaker was elected Missionary Bishop of Nevada and Arizona, and consecrated on the 13th of October, 1869, in St. George's Church, New York.
All of the nineteen years that he was Bishop of Nevada, until his translation to Pennsylvania, the bishop remained also rector, of St. Paul's,
556 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
Virginia City. Away so much on his visitations, it was very important that he have fine men to leave in charge of the work during his absence. He was fortunate in drawing to him a lot of noble men as his assistants, beginning with J. W. Lee, the first one, on to Henderson, Rush S. Eastman, later chosen rector of Gold Hill. Then Jenvey for four years, till, in 1878, he came to Reno as rector of Trinity. George N. Eastman, brother of Rush, succeeded Jenvey, and Crawford Eastman. The Rev. Dr. McClure came up from California for two or three months after Bishop Whitaker's removal to Pennsylvania, being relieved by Ridgely. Hyslop was Ridgely's assistant for three or four months, when he succeeded Ridgely, and Houghton became his assistant, to be followed by Stafford when Houghton was called to establish the mission at Elko. The need of these assistants to the rectors of St. Paul's came from the care of missions at Silver City, Dayton and, occasionally, other places. Hunting succeeded Jukes in 1894 and stayed four years. The new century saw the old historic parish called to face increasing trials of dwindling population and lessening pay-rolls, but she was still served by men who were brave through their faith. They heard of "Jim" Fair throwing handfuls of five dollar gold pieces to the boys; they read in their own parish record how Mr. Rising's salary had been returned to the Missionary Society; they read that a committee of the vestry had picked up on the street $400 for Bishop Kip's expenses from the coast and back. They read of a friendly tilt between a former rector and his vestry, the former announcing at a vestry meeting that "from and after May 1st his salary would be $200 per month, to which decrease exception was taken by those present." The vestry refused to accept the reduction of the rector's salary.
Now times were different, when Ramsey and Hazlett and Pitcaithly were the rectors, and they have not grown much more encouraging since. At present the only services given to the old historic parishes and missions of the Comstock are the occasional ones that the bishop and archdeacon (Hazlett) can give. The latter gives a monthly service.
St. Peter's, Carson, was the next parish to be founded. It was organized on the 16th day of November, 1863. S. D. King and A. W. Griswold were the first wardens. Others of the vestry were Governor James W. Nye and H. M. Yerington.
The Rev. W. M. Reilly, a missionary of the Domestic and Foreign
Board, was chosen the first pastor, serving until March, 1866. He is still living in San Francisco, rector emeritus of St. Paul's Church. Thirteen other priests have followed him in the rectorship. The names of the thirteen are Geo. B. Allen, S. P. Kelly, H. L. Foote, Geo. R. Davis, F. R. Sanford, J. Fred Holmes, J. W. Hyslop, J. B. Eddie, R. L. Macfarlane, B. J. Darneille, H. A. R. Ramsey, C. H. Powell and Lloyd B. Thomas. Under the able direction of the last named, the church is alive and vigorous, with a communicant list of 125, women's guilds and men's and boys' clubs, and a fine Sunday-school.
St. George's, Austin.—In 1863, Bishop Talbot stopped in Austin a few days and held a service. In 1866, Mr. D. M. Godwin began lay services on Sunday in the Court House. In March, 1868, the Rev. Marcus Lane began a year's ministry. In 1873 the parish was organized, the Rev. Christopher S. Stevenson, of New York, being the first rector. In September 1874, Rev. S. C. Blackiston, from Colorado, succeeded him and built the handsome brick church that is still standing. On Easter day, 1877, the rector announced that the offering would be for a building fund for a church. When the subscriptions were counted by the wardens, a pledge was found from Mr. Allen A. Curtis, superintendent of the Manhattan Mine, Austin, to give the church outright, if the others would furnish it. Church and furnishing cost $15,500, all but $500 given by the people of Austin. Such things, except in mining States, are the rarest of rare experiences in missionary fields.
In May, 1879, Mr. Blackiston went to Butte, Montana. Rev. S. P. Kelly succeeded Blackiston for a few months, to be followed by Rev. Rush S. Eastman.
Horace Hall Buck was rector from August 5, 1883, to September 1, 1886. From this date to June 1, 1896, St. George's seems to have had no rector and to have received only four visits, one each from Houghton, of Elko, and Crook and Ridgely, of Salt Lake, and Bellam, of Eureka-Wadsworth, i. e., as I suppose, on his way from Eureka to Wadsworth. Then Rev. W. H. Stewart and Rev. R. Mercer each gave a year, and Rev. Arnoldus Miller three years. After this Darneille and Smith, from Elko, and Thomas and Henriques, from Battle Mountain, gave an occasional service.
St. Luke's, Hamilton.—On September 24, 1870, in the house of S. M. Van Wyck, St. Luke's was organized in Hamilton. Rev. S. P. Kelly,
558 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
from Rhode Island, became the rector of St. Luke's, building a neat frame church, and purchasing a house for a rectory during the two years of his incumbency. Rev. John Cornell followed, but remained only a year, the population of the town melting away as rapidly as it had collected. It is a good many years since Hamilton has been known, ecclesiastically.
Christ Church, Pioche, was founded in September, 1871, by the Rev. Henry L. Badger, who came from Warren, Ohio. Although there were only two communicants when he came, and until the end of the next year he had received but five from other parishes, including his wife, and two by confirmation, he received in Pioche the large amount of $3,787.29 for church building, organ and other expenses other than his salary.
Mr. Badger was succeeded, in September, 1875, by Rev. R. H. Kline, who stayed until June, 1879. Thereafter the records show only occasional services and acts, at first Bishop Whitaker, and then Bishop Leonard made a visitation, or a priest of the church dropped in.
St. James', Eureka, was the result of a late service, held in a tent bearing the sign, "Antelope Restaurant," on September 28, 1870. The service had been announced for 7 o'clock, but the bishop was delayed through a breakdown of the stage, and the people dispersed, but were rallied again by messengers on his arrival. That winter Rev. S. P. Kelly officiated several times and secured a lot for the church, which was built the following summer, Bishop Whitaker spending several weeks in Eureka to hurry the work. In August the Rev. W. Henderson took charge, using a tent for the services, until the church was ready the next summer. September 1 of that year, 1872, Mr. Kelly became rector, and served three years and a half, yielding up his work to Rev. C. H. Marshall, of Evanston, Wyoming, on being elected State Superintendent of Public Instruction, and moving to Carson. Rev. C. B. Crawford, from Pennsylvania, succeeded Marshall in August, 1877, and remained until 1885, when Rev. H. H. Buck became rector. In Bishop Leonard's second annual report, dated August 31, 1889, he says: "The Rev. Ti. H. Buck, who was for several years a faithful missionary in the changing mining camps of Nevada, retired from Eureka a year ago because of the decline of the town and the failure of support." Not very long after Rev. T. L. Bellam went to Eureka for a time. From his departure to Wadsworth, in 1893, an occasional service from the bishop and the
rectors of Elko and Battle Mountain has been all that could be given to the town. In 1905, Bishop Spalding writes: "Eureka used to be a place of 20,000, but now there are not more than 800, though there is a fine stone church and a roomy rectory. . . . Mr. James Pardy is lay reader and superintendent of the Sunday-school and keeps the flag flying." The Church Almanac credits 27 communicants to St. James' still and shows it to be, with St. Luke's, Clover Valley (12 C.), St. George's, Austin (29), and Wells, in charge of Hennques, rector of Battle Mountain.
Trinity Church, Reno, was organized in February, 1873, by the Rt. Rev. O. W. Whitaker.
Services were held in the Court House, and during the months of February, March and April, the bishop, Rev. George B. Allen, and Rev. A. L. Eastman officiated in turn.
On May 5, 1873, the Rev. Wm. Lucas, of Tiffin, Ohio, entered upon the rectorship of the parish.
In July the present church lot was purchased from Mr. C. H. Eastman for $400, and the rectory begun.
On October 5, the day, it would seem, of the First Communion, there were thirteen communicants in the parish, six of whom were present at the communion. Of the entire thirteen, no one is now living in Reno.
September 6, 1874, witnessed the first confirmation service. It was in the Court House. Six persons were presented to Bishop Whitaker, not one of whom is living here now.
On May 24, 1875, the church building was begun, enclosed, floor laid and outside painted. "Money on hand will only allow this much now," is the significant comment following. Bishop Whitaker preached the sermon to a large congregation at the opening service on December 12 of the same year.
Although the church remained unfinished inside until 1879, during the rectorship of Rev. W. R. Jenvey, the chancel furniture and font, the latter the gift of the Rev. S. P. Kelly, arrived in April, 1876.
In 1878 the Rev. Mr. Lucas was granted a year's leave of absence on account of impaired health, the Rev. W. R. Jenvey serving the parish in his absence. The desired improvement in health not appearing, Mr. Lucas resigned May 5, 1879, and Mr. Jenvey was called to the rectorship, remaining until May, 1883.
560 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
Mr. Lucas, on the same day of the same month, May 5, on which he had been called to his first rectorship of the parish ten years before, was called to his second, and accepted, serving until 1892, when for a few months the Rev. Erasmus Van Deerlin took up the work, being quickly succeeded by the Rev. Charles L. Fitchette, who, in turn, resigned in less than a year.
On June 1, 1894, Samuel Unsworth became rector, and is here yet, a standing proof of the patience of one parish in Nevada. Trinity has 200 communicants, a Sunday-school of 125 pupils and ten teachers, and a fine women's guild.
St. Stephen's, Belmont, held its first service April 21, 1872, on which day the Rev. S. P. Kelly, then rector of St. Luke's, Hamilton, held morning and evening services, both services being in the Court House. October 26, the Rev. Samuel B. Moore took charge of the mission and was called to the rectorship of the parish on its organization, February 16, 1874. Bearing date of December 20 of the same year is this entry in the parish register: "The new church was occupied and the Court House vacated." Mrs. Julia Brewer, member of St. Stephen's, Sewickley, Pa., gave $500 towards the "$3,600 gold coin" which the church and furniture cost, and probably gave the church its name. September 17, 1876, the Rev. D. Flack succeeded Mr. Moore and remained two years, when Rev. S. P. Kelly appeared once more to fill the breach, from December 20, 1878, to June 1, 1879, when he removed to Austin.
St. Paul's, Elko.—In 1891, W. H. I. Houghton entered upon his duties as missionary. When he went to Elko there were only four communicants. During the little more than three years of his rectorship, they were increased just tenfold and a frame church was built. The Rev. John Dawson is the next rector of whom I find any record. The bishop speaks of him in 1896 as making himself felt in the country about Elko as well as in the town. The church was vacant a portion of 1898, and then the Rev. Arnoldus Miller, from western Colorado, took charge. In 1901, Rev. George F. Plummer became rector and later in the year Rev. B. J. Darneille, who had come from Delamar, took charge.
In 1905, Bishop Spalding, who had succeeded Bishop Leonard the year before, speaks of Elko as a regularly organized parish with a fine church, rectory and parish hall. This year the Rev. Percival S. Smithe came from Minnesota to be the rector and remained for four years. Besides
going to Clover Valley, Tuscarora and Wells, he established St. Andrew's Mission, Battle Mountain, and ran down to Austin.
Elko, after being vacant since Mr. Smithe's resignation, is now supplied by a newly ordained deacon named Ernest H. Price, and now has 75 communicants.
Tonopah.—Until I read a few days ago in Bishop Leonard's last "Salt Lake Annual," I had thought and said that I was the first clergyman to give Tonopah an Episcopal service. I was mistaken, I see. It was on Sunday, May 29, 1904, on my return from a missionary trip for Bishop Nichols through Mono and Inyo counties, that I held this service in the Masonic Hall, which was the upper story of the "Jim Butler Building." I had morning and evening prayer and the Holy Communion. I was down again in 1906 with the Grand Lodge of Masons, and made an address at the laying of the corner stone of the beautiful St. Mark's Church, which is built of white sand stone and is enriched inside by beautiful memorial gifts.
The Rev. Lloyd B. Thomas was rector from 1908 to 1910. The present rector is the Rev. George Gallup. The communicants of St. Mark's, last reported, number 66.
St. Bartholomew's Mission, Ely, was established in January, 1902. Rev. Arnoldus Miller was the first resident missionary and his first Sun-day service was held January 18, 1902. During 1905, Rev. Geo. F. Plummer served for a time. In 1907 a church and rectory were built under the ministry of Rev. Geo. C. Hunting. Rev. J. W. Gunn succeeded him.
St. Andrew's, Battle Mountain.—The Rev. P. S. Smithe founded this mission. It was on St. Andrew's Day, in 1905. The next year the Rev. Lloyd B. Thomas became the missionary in charge and served two years, earning the promotion of his call to St. Mark's, Tonopah. Under his ministry a church was built and, in October of that year, consecrated. The present rector, Rev. Hoyt E. Henriques, succeeded Thomas, and has added a good rectory. Battle Mountain reports 27 communicants.
St. John's, Goldfield.—On Friday, May 27, the first Episcopalian service was held in the front office of Mr. H. B. Lind.
The Rev. Mr. Johnes used to go over from Tonopah, after he took St. Mark's, and give the Goldfielders a monthly service. Then a lot was bought and a very small chapel built on it, in which the Rev. Samuel Mills
562 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
used to live and preach before the handsome brawn stone church was built. Rev. Mr. Mills, after a pastorate of three years, removed to Placerville, California, in 1909, then the Rev. Harry Gray, of Las Vegas, came up for a monthly service, and Archdeacon Hazlett helped out until Rev. B. J. Darneille came as rector, to be succeeded after a short pastorship by Rev. L. Foulkes. Twenty-one communicants are reported.
St. Paul's, Sparks, is practically St. James', Wadsworth, moved a few miles west. It first appears in our church reports in 1905. About that time the railroad shops and almost all Wadsworth were removed to Sparks. With his church people came the Rev. T. L. Bellam, the oldest priest in age and by residence in the State. In 1893, Mr. Bellam came from Eureka to Wadsworth. Twenty-six communicants are reported.
St. Mary's, Winnemucca.—The church was built by Archdeacon Hazlett, but the work which resulted in its being built was begun by Mr. Bellam and cared for a year or two before Archdeacon Hazlett came to us, by Archdeacon Parker. Bishop Moreland used to visit the town and one year he confirmed a class of three. Mrs. George Nixon, in the struggling days of the mission, was an earnest and generous helper. It has 23 communicants.
A list of the missions he cares for are Blair, Dayton, Fallon, where he built another good church building, Hawthorn, Lovelock, Miller's, Mina, Silver City, and now once more, his old parish, Virginia City.
Good Shepherd, Verdi.—In the fall of 1902 I began visiting Verdi, and have tried ever since to give the good people of the little lumber town at least one service a month ; most of the time it has been two. In that time I have baptized 68 persons, most of them adults. I have presented 35 for confirmation. At present there are only 26 communicants. A little chapel has been erected.
Christ Church, Las Vegas.—Harry Graham Gray, after his ordination to the priesthood, in 1908, took charge of Las Vegas, building the church there and a rectory, with money raised largely in the east by Bishop Robinson. After two or three years of valuable service, he went to Los Angeles, and was succeeded by the present rector, Rev. Paul B. James. Las Vegas has a communicant list of 35.
BY REV. F. E. MARTENS.
Lutheran people first moved into Nevada about 1877. They settled in Carson Valley, in the vicinity of Gardnerville. The first Lutheran minister to visit them was Rev. A. Geier. His stay was brief and his work insignificant. His successor was Rev. G. A. Hoernicke. Rev. Hoernicke resided in Placerville, California. He visited and worked in Gardnerville during the summer months from 1879 to 1883, inclusive, and did much to place the church work here on a firmer basis. But it is due to Rev. Julius Backer, Carson Valley's first resident pastor, that an organization of the Lutheran congregation was effected, in June, 1893, and that a church was built in 1895. It is the same church which is still used for worship, although greatly remodeled and improved in appearance. The congregation is officially known as the Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Congregation.
On the 15th of March, 1896, Rev. Becker preached his farewell sermon and at the same time installed in office his successor, Rev. H. Bohl. His stay was short. He was followed in office by Rev. J. F. W. Horstmann. Rev. Horstmann remained seven years. He was finally called to Iowa Park, Texas, where he still attends to his ministerial duties.
The present pastor of Carson Valley's Lutheran Congregation is Rev. F. H. Menzel. He was called by the congregation directly from the Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. He was ordained and installed on the 21st of April, 1907.
At the present writing the church owns over half an acre of valuable real estate, on which the original church, enlarged and improved in appearance, still stands, together with a larger commodious parsonage. The congregational roster contains the names of 268 communicant members. The number of souls—that is, of such who are affiliated with the church, young and old—is 562. Its school, including two branch schools, is attended by 112 pupils. One of these branch schools is located in Genoa and the other just across the Nevada State line in Fredericksburg, California. The congregation consists of German and English speaking people, but in general the English language prevails, being the medium of instruction in Sunday-school, catechetical or confirmation classes and
564 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
choir rehearsals. The services are conducted in the German and English languages alternately. Although the former language will in no wise be neglected as long as there is a demand for it, it will be but a comparatively short time when the congregation will be entirely English.
The next place in Nevada in which Lutheran people settled in large numbers was in the city of Reno and vicinity. The first services here were conducted under the direction of Rev. J. H. Theiss, of Oakland, California, in 1896. From this time on Reno Lutheran people were visited and served by Rev. J. F. Horstmann, coming from Gardnerville ; Rev. O. Groensberg, of San Francisco, California; Rev. F. G. Gundlach, of Chicago Park, California; Rev. M. Kussner, of Lodi, California, and the present pastor of Gardnerville, Nevada, Rev. F. H. Menzel. At the time of Rev. Groensberg's visit, fourteen children received Christian baptism at one service.
The first pastor to make his residence in Reno was Rev. H. Jonas, in 1906. The next pastor to be called for Reno was Rev. F. E. Martens, the present incumbent. He was called directly from the Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., and was inducted into office by the Rev. J. H. Schroeder, of San Francisco, California, on Sunday, August 9, 1908.
A congregation was formally organized in the following spring and took the name "Evangelical Lutheran St. Luke's Congregation." At this writing it owns valuable property, 95 x 140, on Second Street. Its roster contains the names of 39 communicant members and the number of souls, young and old, regularly affiliated with the congregation, is 93. The congregation conducts a Saturday language school which is attended by five scholars and a Sunday-school with a membership of 35 pupils. Then there are in the neighborhood of 200 Lutheran souls in and about Reno, who, although not regularly affiliated with St. Luke's Congregation, look upon it as their church. While some German work is done by the congregation, yet by far the larger part is English only. Three-fourths of the services are held in English; one-fourth only in German. All other work, including Sunday-school and confirmation instruction, is carried on exclusively in the English language, as in the case of Gardnerville.
The above congregation in Carson Valley and Reno belong to the national Lutheran body, which is officially known as The Evangelical
Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and other states, which is again affiliated with the Synodical Conference, to which all those Lutheran bodies belong which profess unconditionally all the confessions of the Lutheran Church.
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
By REV. JAMES H. N. WILLIAMS.
The Methodist Church is universally recognized as a pioneer church. No frontier has been too distant and no field too difficult for her heralds to reach and her servants to cultivate. Are there unshepherded people there? That is enough. Her itinerant preachers find them and minister to them. The Nevada field has been no exception. The Methodist minister was there at the beginning. He will remain all through, helping to make the history and shape the destiny of the State, halting not before the hardships; willing to sow, though others may reap, and always believing the harvest will come.
The First Preacher.—The honor of being the first preacher in Nevada belongs to Jesse L. Bennett, a Methodist local preacher, who in 1859 held religious services in the Carson Valley at Genoa and Eagle Ranch, where Carson City now stands. Mr. Bennett also preached the first sermon heard in Virginia City. It was delivered on C Street on a Sunday morning in 1860. A "hat" collection brought the astonished preacher several hundred dollars from a generous congregation, "flush" in their prosperity and ready to pay well for any novelty offered by preacher or troubadour or otherwise.
Mr. Bennett never joined the conference in California or Nevada, but remained always in the local ranks.
Administered from California—The California Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in San Francisco in 1853. In 1855, Carson Valley and Salt Lake City (Nevada was then a part of Utah Territory) were appointments "left to be supplied" by the presiding elder, whenever he could find men for the fields. But evidently no supplies were found, as the places were dropped from the list in 1856.
In 1857, the Rev. Ira P. Hale was assigned to the circuit; but I find no evidence that Mr. Hale reached the field. He doubtless supplied some charge in California. In 1861, however, he was preaching at Esmeralda
566 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
and Mono. Having gone into law, he remained a local preacher and true to the church, dying in her fellowship in Aurora in November, 1890.
No Nevada appointments were made in 1858; but in 1859 the Rev. A. L. S. Bateman was sent to Carson Valley. Eighteen hundred and sixty is, however, again left blank, only that Carson Valley and Walker River were "to be supplied." From 1861 the work becomes continuous. That year the Nevada Territory District was created with Rev. N. R. Peck, presiding elder, who visited his field. The following appointments were made: Carson, City, W. S. Blakeley; Virginia City, S. B. Rooney (supply); Washoe Valley, Jesse L. Bennett (supply) ; American Valley, E. L. Dickinson (supply) ; Silver City, Genoa, Palmyra, Humboldt and Honey Lake, "to be supplied." In 1862, N. R. Peck remained, in charge of the district. Additional names appear: Charles V. Anthony, Virginia City; F. H. McGrath, Carson City ; A. P. White, Silver City and Dayton ; O. N. Brooks, Humboldt ; Thomas Cayton, Aurora; E. Paddison, Honey Lake. Carson Valley, Walker River and Sierra Valley are "to be supplied." W. S. Blakeley succeeds Jesse L. Bennett in Washoe Valley and the name of Mr. Bennett does not again appear in the records.
In 1863 the Nevada field is designated "Washoe District," Adam Bland, Presiding Elder. Fifteen appointments are set apart, but only seven men are available to fill them. Messrs. Anthony and McGrath continue and H. L. S. Bateman returns to Carson Valley and Warren Nims comes to Carson City. J. H. Maddux, G. B. Hinkle and R. Carberry are stationed respectively at Gold Hill and Dayton, Unionville and Starr City and Honey Lake Valley.
This was a significant year. Nevada was about to enter Statehood. Nevada Methodists desired the church to keep step with the State, so they asked the California Conference to memoralize the General Conference—the quadrennial law-making body of the church—to constitute Nevada a separate conference. Some believed this premature; but the memorial was carried, and by the General Conference of 1864 the Nevada Conference was authorized.
At the California Conference of that year, Adam Bland, Presiding Elder of Washoe District, reported that all the Nevada men had continued at their work through the year, excepting H. Dermot Slade, who died at Aurora, April, 1864, after ten months of faithful service. The Nevada necrology is not a long list, but Mr. Slade's name properly heads
it. The year had seen churches built, others completed and the general work extended. Recognizing the new conference, Bishop D. W. Clark divided it into two districts: Washoe District, I. N. Leihy, Presiding Elder; Humboldt District, A. N. Fisher, Presiding Elder. Including the presiding elders, the bishop assigned thirteen preachers to this scattered field from Indian Valley and Quincy on the west to Austin in central Nevada on the east. T. S. Dunn, D. C. Adams, W. J. White, A. F. Hitchcock, C. A. E. Hertel and J. D. Bullock are new names for this year. The conference thus created was to continue for twenty years, until at Genoa, on August 23, 1884, by a vote of 13 to 1, the "Nevada Conference" was changed to the "Nevada Mission," in which ecclesiastical and administrative form it remains to-day.
Pre-Conference Pioneers.—From 1859 to 1864, more than twenty men in all were attached to the field, only four of whom were to give any lengthened service—T. H. McGrath, Warren Nims, G. B. Hinkle and F. M. Willis.
The great majority of preachers who first came remained only a year or two. Yet they were worthy men; and some of them were to become prominently associated with Methodism in California and elsewhere.
Jesse L. Bennett, the father of Nevada Methodism, was not long identified with the mountain work. After rocking the Methodist cradle in Carson Valley in 1859, introducing the work in Virginia City in 1860 and supplying Washoe Valley in 1861, his name does not again appear in Nevada history.
Samuel B. Rooney was the first regularly appointed preacher to Virginia City. As a preacher he was of more than ordinary ability, and though his pastorate on the Comstock was brief, it was effective. Indefatigable in service, preaching in any available place, whether private house, lodging house or blacksmith shop, his work made a good and lasting impression. The little society he ministered unto was mostly sheltered in a lodging house on E Street until the first church was built in 1861 on Taylor and D streets. Mr. Rooney returned east to New Jersey.
A. L. S. Bateman was a truly western pioneer, coming to California in 1851 and to Nevada in 1859. He was greatly devoted to frontier work, asking for the hardest appointments—just the kind of a man to do picket duty for the church. During the conference year 1859-'60, he
568 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
undoubtedly preached in Carson City, Genoa and Virginia City. In 1864 he also returned to the east.
W. G. Blakeley was sent to Carson in 1861. He at once initiated plans for the building of a small church. Governor James W. Nye attended the meeting at which a subscription paper was prepared and several hundred dollars pledged. But that particular plan fell through. The next year Mr. Blakeley served Washoe Valley, his last Methodist ministerial service, he being discontinued by the California Conference, at his own request, in 1863. He was chosen chaplain of the Territorial Legislature.
Thomas H. McGrath was stationed in Carson in 1862. Mr. McGrath was the first Methodist preacher to come into the Territory to remain for any considerable length of time as pastor and presiding elder. He also served as chaplain of the Territorial Legislature and as a member of the State Legislature. On account of changes in his theology and irregularities in his life he was allowed to withdraw from the ministry in 1873.
N. R. Peck had the honor of being Nevada's pioneer presiding elder. He faithfully visited his field.
Adam Bland, from San Diego, in Southern California, known in that State's early days, and to the mines of Nevada, was the second presiding elder.
Charles V. Anthony reached Virginia City in October, 1862. Dr. Anthony was an able young preacher, devoted to the work of the ministry, a most estimable Christian gentleman who came to the highest positions his conference had to offer. He remained in Virginia City two years.
George B. Hinkle, in 1863, went to Unionville and Starr City. This worthy man remained a staunch friend of the Nevada work for thirty years, the longest continuous service of any man in its history, retiring in 1893.
Warren Nims entered Nevada in 1863, also to remain loyal to the close of his active ministerial life in 1888. At the first conference session, in 1865, Mr. Nims was elected secretary and was thereafter successively elected each year for twenty-two years.
F. M. Willis is another of the Nevada men of 1863, finding his first field of work on the Truckee Meadows. At Crystal Peak, near Verdi, at his home, he organized a Methodist class, conducted Sunday-school in a carpenter's shop and prayer meeting in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Orin
Van Aiken. Glendale, then known as Stone and Gates' Crossing, was also a preaching point. Mr. Willis was another of those sturdy stalwarts unswerved from duty by worldly opportunity, unflinchingly loyal to righteousness and constantly devoted to his assignments as a minister of the church. He severed his connection with Nevada in 1885.
The first Methodist Church building erected in Nevada was built in Virginia City by Rev. S. B. Rooney during the summer of 1861. It was an unpretentious wooden structure of heavy planks set up endwise, with the rear of the building resting on posts fully ten feet high, to make it level with its frontage. It had a seating capacity of 150 and cost about $2,00o. Its location was on the corner of D and Taylor streets.
Rev. C. V. Anthony became preacher in charge in October, 1862. He found a strong and well-organized official board composed of such men as Captain H. B. Blaisdell (afterwards Governor of the State), Sunday-school Superintendent; Dr. H. T. Pinkerton, John C. Faull, James Wagor, Levi Prince, Amaziah Smith, Timothy Jones, T. R. Diehl and others.
In the following summer work was commenced on a larger and more pretentious church edifice. It was to represent an outlay of $40,000. On February 14, 1864, it was solemnly dedicated, the Dev. Dr. Martin C. Briggs preaching the sermon and conducting the dedicatory services. Amidst rejoicings and with great satisfaction this second Virginia City church was now in the hands of its people. An unfavorable turn in the tide of mining prosperity would have cost the church the loss of its building had it not been for the large liberality of some of its friends, notably Gove nor Blaisdell and John C. Faull, who came to the rescue. But this elegant edifice was not long preserved to the church and the city. One Saturday night the $40,000 structure fell in a pile of ruins, and to this day the cause remains a mystery. Its fall, with a loud crash, was accompanied by a sound like that of exploding gas or powder. That it was blown up by human help is a belief not without reason.
Not utterly discouraged, the plucky flock rallied for the erection of another church on the remaining granite foundation, but this time not of brick, but of less pretentious frame, and costing about $8,000. Then came the great conflagration that swept the city in October, 1875, and in its blackened and desolated pathway lay in a heap of charred ruins this, the third Virginia City Methodist Church building. At this time the Rev.
570 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
Charles McKelvey was the pastor and directed the building of a new church the following summer. This was a handsome frame building erected on the old site and at a cost of $20,000, the Church Extension Society of Philadelphia coming materially to the help of the local society. This, the fourth building to be erected on the original lot by the Methodists, being built in the centennial year, was named "Centennial Church."
For 1912, Virginia City neither appears in the annual report of the Superintendent of the Mission, the appointments nor in the statistics. Indeed, four years ago the Centennial Church, with its parsonage, was moved to Sparks, marking another chapter in the mutations of time. If the parts could be pieced together, the story of Virginia City Methodism would be thrillingly interesting, with its lights and shades and varying vicissitudes.
Dayton has the distinction of having the second church building in chronological order. A neat frame structure was erected in 1863, Rev. J. H. Maddux, pastor. It cost $3,000. Regular work was maintained for only about a decade when Dayton ceased to be an appointment. In 1876 a tramp set fire to the building and it was totally reduced to ashes. Irregular services were held for more than twenty years following the burning of the church. The writer of these notes preached there several' times during the summer of 1888, and for a few years later it was a part of the Gold Hill charge.
Washoe City came next in order. In 1863, Rev. T. H. McGrath built a church and parsonage, costing $4,500. In 1866 and 1869, the conference met in this church, each time presided over by Bishop Calvin Kingsley. Its life, however, was brief, as was that of the place itself. In 1876, the conference deeded the building to the district school trustees, with the provision that it should be open at any time for religious worship when not in use for school purposes. Thus it continued to serve the people for a number of years when, in 1888, it came again into the hands of the church, was taken down and moved to Lovelock, where it was re-erected to serve its original purpose for another nineteen years. In 1893, I assisted the Rev. Thomas H. Nicholas, pastor, in a series of evangelistic services and found attending the meetings several persons who had worshipped in it when it stood in Washoe City. In 1909 it was remodeled into a larger building and one better suited for modern church uses.
The fourth church was built in Gold Hill in 1865, by Rev. A. F.
Hitchcock, at an outlay of $5,000. In 1876 it was sold to one of the companies of the City Fire Department and was moved one block south, where, as was said, it "continued to fight fire in another direction." A new and more centrally located lot was purchased and another building erected in which a succession of able ministers preached the gospel. Gold Hill has ceased to be a Methodist appointment.
Austin was another mining camp contributing "experience" in church building. The Rev. J. L. Trefren built in Austin the largest church building in the State, with the exception of the Roman Catholic building in Virginia City. It was built of brick and, with its elegant organ and adjoining brick parsonage, cost fully $35,000. Funds were raised in the east on mining stock sold on the "installment plan." Alas ! the "boom" bursted before final and full payments were made, and the fine building was sold to the county for a Court House. Later the Connexional Board of Church Extension redeemed the property. Austin is still on the list, but for 1912 was "left to be supplied."
Carson City, the cradle of Nevada Methodism, comes comparatively late in the work of church building. But though somewhat slower than some of her neighbors, she finally built the most durable church of which the denomination boasts in the State.
In 1861 plans were formulated for a church and a board' of trustees was organized. On November 4, 1861, at the quarterly conference, N. R. Peck, Presiding Elder, and W. G. Blakeley preacher in charge, with Governor James W. Nye in attendance, a church building was decided on and a subscription paper was started, several .hundred dollars being secured. For some reason the plan did not materialize. Rev. Warren Nims became pastor in 1863 and built a small parsonage at a cost of $800. In 1864, Governor Blaisdell and R. L. Higgins were added to the board of trustees. The following year the church bought a block of land for $1,000 and began preparations for a stone building.
The work of building the stone church was a slow process; but finally it was completed, having cost $10,000. The conference session of 1867 was held in Carson, and on Sunday, September 8, Bishop Edward Thompson dedicated it.
In 1909, under the leadership of the present pastor, the Rev. W. H. D. Hornaday, extensive and expensive improvements were made, enlarging the old stone building and giving to the Capital City the finest Methodist
572 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
house of worship in the State. Bishop Edwin Holt Hughes held the annual meeting of the Nevada Mission in Carson, August 25-30, 1909, and dedicated the new church, which is valued at $18,000. Only a comparatively small debt remains on the property. An interesting feature of the session of 1909 and of its dedicatory services was the presence of Mrs. Sarah L. Nims, widow of Rev. Warren Nims, the man who labored so hard and so successfully in the early '60s to build the church completed in 1867.
Nevada Conference Organized.—At the California Conference of 1864, held in San Francisco, September 21 to October 2, Bishop D. W. Clark, presiding, the Nevada Conference was organized and Virginia City was chosen as the meeting place for the first session to be held in 1865. Bishop Clark divided the new field into two districts—Washoe District, with I. N. Leihy, Presiding Elder; Humboldt District, A. N. Fisher, Presiding Elder. The Washoe District was composed of the following places and preachers : Virginia City, Thomas S. Dunn; Gold Hill and Silver City, D. C. Adams; Aurora and Bodie, W. J. White; Owen's River, "to be supplied"; Markleville and Silver Mountain, "to be supplied"; Genoa and Carson Valley, "to be supplied"; Carson City, Warren Nims; Washoe City and Steamboat Valley, T. H. McGrath ; Truckee River, George B. Hinkle ; Dayton, A. F. Hitchcock; Fort Churchill and Como, "to be supplied." The Humboldt District received an assignment of seven appointments, viz.: Humboldt City and Dun Glenn, "to be supplied"; Austin, C. A. E. Hertel; Canyon City, R. Carberry; Surprise Valley, "to be supplied"; Honey Lake Valley, "to be supplied"; Sierra Valley, J. D. Bullock; Indian Valley, A. L. S. Bateman.
Of the Presiding Elders, Mr. Leihy had been on the field before when Nevada was a part of his territory when he was Presiding Elder of the Humboldt District in the California Conference. Presiding Elder Fisher was ordained an elder and appointed by the bishop a presiding elder, which in effect is the office of a sub-bishop. The Nevada Conference, organized and manned with the above-named thirteen preachers, was to continue through two decades of history.
Conference Area.—When organized, the Nevada Conference embraced the whole of the State of Nevada, parts of Utah and New Mexico, together with all of the California counties east of the west summit of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, making a field which was "simply immense."
The present territory of the Nevada Mission, with Utah and New Mexico eliminated, is as large as the combined areas of Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, Rhode Island, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho.
Conference Sessions and Men.—The first session of the Nevada Conference was held in Virginia City, commencing September 7, 1865, and lasting four days, presided over by Bishop Calvin Kingsley. Warren Nims was elected secretary. The more important statistics reported were: Church buildings, 4; parsonages, 5; full church members, 267; probationers, 26; local preachers, 11; Sunday-schools, 17; officers and teachers, 158; scholars, 803. The Missionary Society, with headquarters in New York, had appropriated $4,400 to the field for ministerial support that year. The missionary collection from the field was $22.
This first conference was proud to record the fact that the State of Nevada was the first to ratify the Constitutional Amendment forever abolishing slavery within the limits of the United States.
Presiding Elder A. N. Fisher reported his district as being 800 miles in extent. He had been around it three times during the year.
Bishop Kingsley stationed eleven preachers and left eight places "to be supplied." At the second session, commencing September 5, 1866, held at Washoe City, and again presided over by Bishop Calvin Kingsley, fifteen men received appointments. A. N. Fisher was continued in the Presiding Eldership, and T. H. McGrath was appointed the other Presiding Elder. During the year two new churches had been built.
The third conference session, held in Carson City, September 5-8, 1867, under the presidency of Bishop Edward Thompson, elected the first delegate to the general conference, A. N. Fisher receiving the honor Carson's stone church was dedicated on the Sunday of this session. As this was the Methodist centennial year, a report on centenary matters was made, showing that the conference had raised the special sum of $50,384, applying $49,100 for increase of local church property and $1,043 on local church debts, the remaining $241 going for connexional purposes. The next annual session was also held at Carson City and presided over by Bishop Levi Scott, who had visited the Territory ten years before when it was a part of the California Conference. The outstanding feature of this session was the organization of a Board of Church Extension, with Governor H. G. Blaisdell as president.
574 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
Of the men connected with the period of the conference, this chronicle must be limited to a recognition of only a few among many who were worthy.
Colin Anderson came into Nevada in 1866 from California, where he had been well initiated into circuit work as a junior preacher in Sonoma and Napa counties. His first Nevada appointment was Aurora. He served in the pastorate and the Presiding Eldership. In 1873 he took a "location," but continued to preach as a "supply" both in Nevada and California.
Lorr M. Ewing came to the conference in Washoe City in 1869 and was sent by Bishop Kingsley to supply Elko and Carlin. Elko was then a tent and canvas town of about 1,200 people. His first call for a congregation was by a large sign conspicuously displayed, "Divine Services in the Canvas Theatre, Sunday, August 28, 1869. The preacher must pay $10 for the place. A collection will be taken." The collection was just $10. The next year he was admitted to conference on trial and sent to Humboldt Circuit, embracing Unionville, Winnemucca, Dunn Glen, Humboldt, Mill City, Paradise Valley, Palisade, Carlin and Elko. He died July 19, 1909.
Dr. John D. Hammond came from Wisconsin to Nevada in 1868 and became one of the most prominent Methodist ministers in Nevada and later in California. For thirteen consecutive years Dr. Hammond was in the Nevada Presiding Eldership. Three times he represented the conference in the general conference-1876, 1880, 1884.
Reno.—Methodism on the Truckee Meadows precedes the birth of the town, the scattered settlers being religiously served in 1863 and 1864 by Revs. F. M. Willis and G. B. Hinkle. During 1863 there was an "Indian scare" and some of the settlers moved to Washoe City and other places, but the preacher never missed an appointment and never met with any molestation.
Reno came with the coming of the Central Pacific Railroad in 1868. Methodism came also, organized a class, held preaching services, and in 1871, R. A. Ricker, pastor, a church building had been completed. From the time of the first house of worship to the present, Methodism has had but two church buildings in Reno, the original structure escaping the fire of 1879. The first house had been enlarged and improved from time
to time, notably when Charles McKelvey was pastor, from 1878 to 1880, and again in 1888, under the pastorate of Thomas P. Bradshaw.
The first years of growth were rather slow and pastors were changed every year from 1872 to 1878, the church being served by the following ministers: A. P. White, A. J. Wells (Mr. Wells built a parsonage), E. C. Arnold, G. W. Fitch, T. S. Uren, W. C. Gray. Mr. McKelvey was the first pastor to remain more than one year. George W. De La Matyr succeeded him in 1880 and also served for three years. In 188o the church had only 64 members, tieing in that respect with Carson, while Virginia City had 129. But in the decade of 1890 the Reno membership doubled. It has since kept the lead in all particulars. In 1885 the church became self-supporting. The present church building, erected on the original site, was built in 1900, when George H. Jones was pastor. The church building and lot are estimated to have a probable value of $15,000, while the parsonage property is considered worth $2,000. The church now reports 274 full members, with 330 Sunday-school scholars. During the ministry in Reno of Robert H. Bready (1889-1890) a gracious revival greatly encouraged and strengthened the church. Dr. Henry Aston was pastor in 1884 and 1885, and was succeeded for three years by Thomas P. Bradshaw. Mr. Bradshaw's health failed him towards the close of the second year, but he recuperated sufficiently to be reappointed, though only for partial work. In the summer of 1888 the writer of these notes occupied the pulpit for several weeks. R. H. Bready, two years; Fred V. Fisher, one year; John A. Bready, five years; F. C. Lee, G. H. Jones, J. A. Phelps, A. C. Welch, Leslie M. Beerwell, W. S. Kelly and Harry Sheldon have been the ministers since 1890. The present pastor is Mr. Sheldon.
This section closes the second, or conference period, of Methodism in Nevada. When the conference was organized in 1864 there were in its territory four churches, with a total membership of 230 and 41 probationers. Its four churches were estimated worth $57,000, while its four modest parsonages were considered worth $3,700. There were ten Sunday-schools, having 422 scholars, with 74 officers and teachers. Nine preachers received from their charges for the year ending September, 1864, $7,51 I, Charles V. Anthony, of Virginia City, receiving the highest salary —$2,000. Carson Valley and Silver Mountain paid its minister, A. L. S.
576 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
Bateman, the smallest sum, viz., $250; nor did he receive any help from the Missionary Society.
In 1884, when the conference by vote of its members became a mission, it reported 21 churches, valued at $66,400. (In 1864 the church at Virginia City was estimated worth $45,000, while in 1884 the property there was only valued at $15,000.) The four parsonages were increased to 20, and in probable value to $13,500. The full members were 643, with 54 probationers. There were 24 Sunday-schools, with 1,665 scholars and 218 officers and teachers. For ministerial support, including that paid to the Episcopal and Presiding Elder funds, the sum of $19,899 is recorded, which was divided among fifteen men, an average of $690. But this was supplemented with an appropriation of $3,000 from the Missionary Society, bringing the average up to $926.
The Nevada Mission.—From 1884 onward, the ecclesiastical administration of the work is Under that of a mission with a superintendent at its head. In the years from 1884 there have been four superintendents—George W. De La Matyr, Dr. Eugene W. Van Deventer, George C. King and Dr. S. A. Thompson.
George W. De La Matyr's term was from 1884 to July, 1889. During a part of the time of his superintendency he had associated with him as a Presiding Elder, his brother, John H. De La Matyr, to whom was assigned the northwestern part of the work. Superintendent De La Matyr received the mission with twenty-one appointments, having twelve men stationed and nine places "to be supplied." Of the twelve appointees under Mr. De La Matyr, four had been connected with the Nevada work for a good many years—G. B. Hinkle, Warren Nims, F. M. Willis and Lorr M. Ewing.
By the 1885 session, E. W. Van Deventer had returned from Southern California and was stationed at Carson City.
From 1887 to 1890 a number of young Englishmen came to Nevada. Thomas Leak was the first, coming in 1887 from England. Through him came others from his native Yorkshire. Mr. Leak did not stay long, going over to California. In 1888, James Whitaker was sent to Gold Hill, and later served Quincy, Truckee and Virginia City. From Virginia City he went to Denver, Colorado.
James H. N. Williams, on the second Sunday in June, 1888, began his itinerant ministry in his native country by preaching in the very church
in which, nineteen years before, he had been baptized. For several weeks he supplied the Virginia City pulpit, when at the mission meeting in Reno in the middle of August, Bishop Thomas Bowman sent him to the Cedarville Circuit in Modoc County, California. Mr. Williams served Cedarville, Lakeview and Winnemucca, and also supplied for brief periods, Virginia, Gold Hill and Dayton, Reno and Genoa. For the years 1891-1894, he was secretary of the mission, when he left the Nevada work for the California Conference, being at present in charge of the College Avenue Church, Berkeley, California.
In 1887, Edwin Francis Brown, of San Francisco, took supply work in the mission, and in 1891 was received on trial and gave ten years of very capable work to Nevada.
In 1889, Fred R. Winsor, and in 1890, Henry J. Winsor (brothers), joined the Nevada forces. Fred R. gave to Nevada a longer service than did his brother, Henry J., but the service of each was eminently satisfactory
The Virginia City session of 1890 received on trial Fred R. Winsor, William Ackroyd, Joseph Johns and Samuel Albone, while Henry Pearce and Henry J. Winsor were received as supplies. These were an estimable group of men. Joseph Johns alone remains in the mission. S. W. Albone continued in Nevada until 1907.
Eugene W. Van Deventer, for seventeen consecutive years, with only one brief break of a few months, was superintendent. During his superintendency there was built nineteen new churches and fourteen new parsonages at an aggregate value of $75,000. Three more churches were in process of building—estimated cost $25,000, totaling $100,000. All the churches and parsonages have been repaired and improved so that they are fairly new. The benevolences increased steadily and orderly from $700 annually to $2,650. The church membership has ever been uncertain as to numbers, ranging from 800 to 1,200.
Joseph Johns is the only man connected with the Nevada Mission to-day who was on the field when Dr. Van Deventer became superintendent, and his service has not been continuous. J. M. Wilson is the one man who from 1890 has continued consecutively in the mission.
In 1899, Nevada's ministerial forces were vitally and permanently strengthened by P. H. Willis, the present pastor at Sparks, and who also gives some week-day services to Battle Mountain and Carlin. It was
578 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
at Battle Mountain that Mr. Willis began his ministry, giving to the little town at the junction of the Central Pacific Railroad and the Nevada Central Railroad, that goes to Austin, with neighboring towns in the mountains, three years. He then gave seven years to Quincy, in Plumas County, California. He is a nephew of Rev. F. M. Willis, earlier referred to as preaching on the Truckee Meadows in 1863.
In 1906 the mission reported 994 members in 33 churches; 2,534 scholars in 44 Sunday-schools; the church benevolences receiving a support in all of $2,320. In 1909, the end of Mr. King's term, there were 35 churches, with 1,406 members; 56 Sunday-schools caring for 3,686 scholars; to the benevolences were given $3,083.
Comparing the appointments of 1906 with 1909, it is found that of the 24 men stationed in the former year, only three—P. H. Willis, L. M. Burwell and J. M. Wilson—were appointed in the latter year, so completely had the personnel changed. Seven of the 1909 men were reappointed in 1912 and two of these (Willis and Wilson) are of the old guard.
In 1905 the new names of Hazen, Calientes and Las Vegas appear in the superintendent's report and in the appointments, each having a minister, viz.: J. F. Price (Hazen), W. J. Gamble (Calientes), J. W. Bain (Las Vegas). Of these places Las Vegas remains a separate charge with a church having 34 members, 70 Sunday-school scholars, one church building worth $7,000 and a parsonage worth $1,500, with only $250 remaining indebtedness. E. A. Palmer is the present pastor. Hazen is a part of the Fallon circuit and Calientes is connected with Las Vegas.
Nineteen hundred and eight brings new places on the Methodist map—Ely, Fallon, Manhattan, Rawhide, Fairview, Searchlight, Goldfield, Stan-dish and Tonopah. Of these, Goldfield has special recognition in Superintendent King's report for 1907. N. J. Chrysler had been appointed in 1906. He was followed by A. S. Mulligan, who secured lots for a church building, gathered members and organized the church. Dr. Charles L. Halterman, of the St. Louis Conference, is next in charge. Goldfield now has 62 members, cares for t00 Sunday-school scholars, has a church building valued at $5,000. W. F. Wenk is the pastor.
Fallon.—Under J. F. Price's pastorate a neat church was built. There is also a comfortable parsonage. Ira E. Price is the present minister.
In 1900 the mission had 24 charges and when the appointments were
made every charge was supplied with a minister. In 1912 the places are 32, while the men appointed are only 22.
The mission, in its minutes for 1912, shows Superintendent Dr. S. A. Thompson to have under his care 32 appointments, including stations and circuits, with 37 church buildings, having an estimated value of $150,800. There are 28 parsonages, considered worth $44,500. The church members number 1,426. There are 45 Sunday-schools having 3,092 scholars, with 334 officers and teachers. The current expenses of the churches amounted for the year to $3,056, those of the Sunday-schools being $1979. For pastoral support the amount of $21,240 was paid, while the house rent (parsonages) was placed at $4,095.
On the Superintendent's claim, the Episcopal and the Retired Ministers' Fund, $1,575 was paid, while on the benevolences the amount was $2,320. For building and improving church property the churches paid that year $13,811 and $2,547 on indebtedness on church property. Here is a grand total of money raised for the year ending in August, 1912, of $46,528, an average of $1,454 for each of the 32 charges.
In 1856 the first Mormons came to this section and settled in what is now Washoe Valley. About forty families comprised the settlement. They built a sawmill and started homes. Their independent mode of living did not please Brigham Young, who sent emissaries to call them back to Salt Lake. Many went, selling their belongings for very little. A few stayed and changed their religion, calling themselves Josephites, declaring against polygamy, and going back to the original church organized by Joseph Smith. The Gentiles had several conflicts with the Mormons and in those days when there was little attention paid to law, the enmity was at times quite bitter.
The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ, Latter Day Saints, was first established in Nevada in 1867, by Alexander H. Smith, who came as a missionary of the Reorganized Church, under the presidency of Joseph Smith, son of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Previous to his death he ordained that his oldest son should preside after his demise. The church was disorganized after his death and his son reorganized it in harmony with the law of the land,
580 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
and with the Covenant given by Revelation in 1830. There are branches of the church in different parts of Nevada, but Carson City is the principal place of worship, with D. R. Jones as the pastor, and has been since 1867, when first organized. Mr. E. Penrod, partner of H. T. P. Comstock, of the Comstock mines, was among the first members. John Twaddle, George Smith, A. B. Johns, John Hawkings, T. R. Hawkings, W. Baxter, W. Ridlar and D. R. Jones, all pioneers, were the leaders in this branch of the church.
BY MRS. GEO. L. SWARTZ.
The interdependence of pioneer settlers upon each other in a frontier country, the identical conditions of life in which they all exist, tend to obliterate demoninationalism as we find it in longer established communities. The Presbyterian Church in the early days seems to have been particularly adapted to the individual needs of the pioneers, as we find that the first Presbyterian Church established in Nevada embraced members from different evangelical denominations. The Presbyterian Church was established in the days before the reign of law and order, and Christian work meant hardship and sacrifices; when there were no churches and few Christians. The purpose of the early missionaries was not so much to build up a denomination, as the cause for which the denomination stood.
What was known at that time as the New School Branch of the Presbyterian Church was the pioneer in Nevada. The Home Mission Committee in the spring of 1861 sent Rev. W. W. Brier as exploring agent to the Territory of Nevada. He called a public meeting at the old stone schoolhouse in Carson City, May 19 of that year and organized the first Presbyterian Church in Nevada.
In the early day the work of building up the Presbyterian Church in Nevada was an expensive and not always successful undertaking. Some churches were organized that existed only a short time, others remained stationary or declining for years, and all growth was extremely slow. One of the Presbyterian missionaries in Nevada had a parish one-half the size of Pennsylvania, or as large as Massachusetts, Rhode Island and
Connecticut combined. The length of it from north to south was 225 miles. In a tour among the ranches, this missionary found people who had never seen a minister or heard a sermon. In another camp a family who had lived there twenty-one years and never before had a minister of any denomination been in their house. One Sunday found him in a hall owned by a saloonkeeper. A choir was improvised, three of whom were saloonkeepers. The owner of the saloon closed his place of business during the service. At another settlement he preached in a schoolhouse. The saloonkeeper took up the collection, and if any one failed to contribute he called on him to "shell out," as the preacher must live as well as they. In this one tour over his parish he traveled 1,300 miles. In 1870 there were five churches, in 1881 four, three of which were included in the first five. In 1913 there are sixteen Presbyterian churches in the State.
Presbyterianism in Nevada may be divided into two periods, the first period dating from the organizing of the pioneer church in Nevada, the Carson City church, on June 2, 1861, and ending with the organization of the church at Wells, on March 27, 1892. This first period covers about twenty-one years of active missionary work in which time seven churches sprang to birth. They are as follows: Carson City, June 2, 1861; Virginia City, September 21, 1862; Elko, May 26, 1870; Eureka, August, 1873; Starr Valley, June 1, 1890; Lamoille, October 26, 1890; Wells, March 27, 1892. Then the population began to come in, for the boom following the rich discoveries at Tonopah attracted settlers from far and near. The men under the Board of Sabbath-School Work seized the psychological moment and pushed into the new camps. That intrepid pioneer, the Rev. Francis H. Robinson, for ten years was an able organizer for worship and gathering children into Sunday-schools. As a result, during the second period several churches were organized : Reno, August 31, 1902; Tonopah, September 21, 1902; Goldfield, March 26, 1905; Las Vegas, April 19, 1905; Manhattan, June 1o, 1906; Rhyolite, November 11, 1906; Columbia, November 11, 1906; Searchlight, January 12, 1908; East Ely and Magill, May 16, 1909.
Carson City.—This historic church was organized on June 2, 1861, by Rev. W. W. Brier. At a meeting held May 19, Judge Flenoken acted as chairman, and the following gentlemen were elected as trustees to procure a site and erect a church: G. A. Sears, J. Gasharie, S. Fraser, W. M. Stewart and H, B. Pomeroy. At this first meeting $5,000 were raised by
582 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
subscription. On June 2, 1861, a letter was written to Mr. Brier requesting that he organize a church of Jesus Christ to be known as the First Presbyterian Church in Carson City, and to be placed by him under the care of the Presbytery of Sierra Nevada. Mr. Brier returned to California and explained to Rev. A. F. White the important needs of the field. Mr. White went to Carson City as temporary supply September 12. Another $5,000 was subscribed and building operations begun during the spring and summer of 1863. Financial depression delayed the completion of the building and it was not dedicated until May, 1864. In 1881 the number of members was 79, and 120 pupils in the Sunday-school. The General Assembly report for 1912 gives 55 members, a decrease of 34, and l00 in the Sunday-school. Hugh H. McCreary is the pastor.
Virginia City.—The second church was organized at Virginia City in 1862. For several years their meetings were held in the District Court room and it was not until 1867 that a church was built. It is said that the funds for the erection of this building were obtained by the trustees through a successful mining operation. In 1881 there were 105 members and 200 Sunday-school pupils. In 1912, 19 members and 55 in the Sunday-school. W. A. Laughlin is pastor.
Gold Hill and Austin.—A church was organized at Gold Hill in 1863 and at Austin in 1864, but no churches were ever built at either place, and the organizations were only short lived.
Elko.—In the early autumn of 1869, Henry Otis Whitney, a Yale college man, came to Elko to establish a Presbyterian Church. He lived only a short time and in the spring of 1870, Rev. John Brown organized a church of nine members—Mrs. E. S. Yeates, Mrs. Cornelia Earll, Mrs. Mary Campbell, Mr. Charles Wright, Mr. F. P. Kittridge, Mrs. O. F. Rogers, Mr. Donald Campbell, Mr. Robert Carter and R. M. Fowler, M.D.
The Central Pacific Railroad Company gave four lots on which to build a church. A building costing $2,500 was dedicated in October, 1870. Of this amount $1,200 were contributed by persons outside of Elko County. The organ was the gift of Henry Ward Beecher.
This pioneer church had a hard struggle for existence, at one time, in 1875, having only four members. In 1879 the number reported was 25, and again in 1881 only 6. The Rev. Byers, who preached in 1876, testified that, the people of Elko were generally kind, but as a class very wicked. He had no deacons and he had no material out of which to make them.
The Hon. H. H. Peyton, formerly a member of the Legislature, was buried June 3, 1876. On this day the famous lightning express was to make its initial trip from New York to San Francisco. The funeral was set for 2 o'clock, and the train was expected about 4 o'clock. The bell was tolled and the church was filling up. The pastor was just rising in the pulpit to begin the service when some one near the door called out, "The fast train is coming." To the astonishment of Mr. Byers there was a general stampede. Everybody left the church, pall-bearers, mourners, friends and sexton, the minister alone remaining. About the time the train left town he again tolled the bell when the people began slowly to return to the church. He then preached the funeral sermon. These were the days when the mines were not developed, when the water courses were not ditched, when the fields were not cultivated and the land not cleared. As the value of the rich farming lands became known and the waters of the streams were utilized for irrigation, the abundant natural resources brought new life to the country and a consequent increase of population to the town. The church received new inspiration and outgrew the humble building in which it had its birth. The Rev. John Wallace undertook the building of a new church. Much of the labor he did with his own hands, and April 13, 1893, the second building was dedicated.
In September, 1901, Rev. George H. Greenfield took up the pastorate of the church and has faithfully served to the present time. When Mr. Greenfield took charge of the church it was $1,000 in debt. This debt was liquidated in the next two years. Also $1,200 was raised to repair and remodel the church and $1,800 to build a manse. The aim of this pastor has been to establish a church free from denominational lines, a church home for all believers in Christ. It has in its membership Baptists, Methodists, Congregationalists, Disciples of Christ, Episcopalians, Lutherans and Roman Catholics, as well as Presbyterians.
About two years ago it was observed that the building constructed in 1893 was inadequate to the needs of the church and community, and it was decided to erect a structure that would accommodate both a church and a Y. M. C. A. A building costing $20,000 was projected and on November 17, 1912, the cornerstone was laid with imposing ceremonies by the Masons, and on Easter Sunday, 1913, this beautiful church was dedicated.
584 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
Besides containing an auditorium and Bible-school room, with separate rooms for each class, this building contains a library and museum, a lounging room, pool hall and reading room, shower and tub baths, dressing rooms with individual lockers, a dining room and kitchen. Connected with it by a stairway leading up from the dressing rooms is the old church, well equipped as a gymnasium. This entire plant, except that used for church purposes, has been leased to the Y. M. C. A. organization at a nominal rent of one dollar per year. The church membership is 220; the Sunday-school, 175. The following ministers have served this historic church: Rev. Henry Otis Whitney, Rev. John Brown, Rev. C. D. Roberts, Rev. E. M. Deems, Rev. J. H. Byers, Rev. Robert McCullough, Rev. A. J. Compton, Rev. J. D. Beard, Rev. E. C. Jacka, Rev. Anthony Simpson, Rev. C. J. A. Porter, Rev. John Wallace, Rev. F. S. Witter, Rev. M. S. Riddle, Rev. J. M. Donaldson, Rev. J. Anthony Mitchell and Rev. Geo. H. Greenfield.
Eureka.—In August, 1873, the Presbyterian Church was organized by six members, with Rev. W. C. McDougal as its pastor. A meeting-house was soon after erected and for some time the church continued to grow. At present there are eleven members with no pastor.
Pioche.—A Presbyterian Society was organized at Pioche in 1873, with a membership of twelve. The decline of business and the departure of the population for other camps soon made it impossible to maintain an organization and in 1879 it was taken from the roll of the Sacramento Presbytery.
Wells.—The church at Wells was organized March 27, 1892, and a building costing $3,000 was erected, under the direction of Rev. J. M. Donaldson, pastor of the Elko church, and having in charge the work in the surrounding valleys. A manse costing $2,500 was built while W. P. Friedrich was in charge. These buildings are free from debt. The work at Wells is now under the supervision of Rev. Thomas Hedges.
Lamoille.—James McCombs, long a missionary in India, left with regret a promising field of labor in that far-off land and turned his face home-ward. In Nevada's mountain-bordered valleys he did not find the stoical Hindu listening with indifference to the story whose acceptance would free him from the bondage of the cruelest religion the world has even known, but he did find a handful of men and women of the valley who desired earnestly that God should not be shut out from their lives in the stress of
the world's work. So Missionary McCombs called the people to service in the schoolhouse and October 26, 189o, an organization of the Presbyterian Church was effected. On November 21 of the same year the South Fork branch of the Lamoille Presbyterian Church was organized with three members.
This young church met with many seasons of trial and discouragement. During the next thirteen years the resident pastor of Elko had charge of this field. It was his duty to visit Carlin, Wells, Clover and Starr Valleys, a work now employing three men. Small wonder that services at Lamoille were few and far between. Still, services were held at intervals and a number of children were baptized. During this time the following ministers preached to this congregation: John Wallace, F. S. Witter, M. Riddle, J. M. Donaldson, J. A. Mitchell and George H. Greenfield.
On September 18, 1904, a congregational meeting was called for the purpose of reorganizing the church. Out of the nine charter members which had comprised the church fifteen years before, only five were still in the field. Through the earnest effort and arduous labor of Mr. Green-field, the church was reorganized and once more placed on a firm basis.
Fifteen years were to elapse from the time this church first dreamed of securing a suitable and comfortable meeting place, until in the reorganized church the question arose again. It was at first proposed to purchase and remodel the old building known as Harmony Hall; but investigation proved it not suited to the church needs. It seemed a task of stupendous proportions that this little band should erect a new and creditable building; but courage and enterprise, coupled with the untiring zeal of the pastor, Rev. George H. Greenfield, and the generous and substantial aid given by the people of Elko and of adjacent valleys, made possible the surmounting of all obstacles. The site for the new building was donated by Mr. C. E. Noble. The cornerstone was presented by Mr. G. P. Griffith, of Elko. The new church, costing $3,000, was completed and dedicated in November, 1905.
To a chance visitor in the valley this beautiful church is a revelation. It is seated with opera chairs, has a fine organ, and the subdued light coming through its cathedral-glass windows gives a feeling of worship and of praise. Two magnificent memorial windows, the gift of Mr. and Mrs. Greenfield adorn this church. The present congregation averages fifty. Rev. Thomas Hedges is pastor.
586 THE HISTORY OF NEVADA
Goldfield.—The church at Goldfield was organized March 26, 1905. Its first meetings were held in a tent. Under the able leadership of Rev. James Byers a building was erected which, with its furnishing cost $10,000. It has ninety-six members, and 123 pupils in the Sunday-school. Rev. John Creighton is pastor.
Reno.—The Presbyterians were first organized at Reno August 31, 1902. For some time the large debt incurred in building was a hindrance to its prosperity, but in 1906 this debt was wiped out, and its valuable property is entirely clear. The rapid growth of the residence part of the city around also improved the prospects of the church. The report of the General Assembly for 1912 gives thirty-one members, and seventy-two in the Sunday-school. Rev. James Byers is the pastor.
Tonapah.—Tonapah Presbyterian Church was established September 21, 1902. Hermann L. Burnham is pastor. The membership is fifty-seven and 120 in the Sunday-school.
Las Vegas.—The church at Las Vegas was organized April 9, 1905. The last report gave twenty-five members, and forty-six Sunday-school pupils. Jay M. Swander, minister in charge.
Starr Valley.--The Presbyterians have no building in Starr Valley, the services being held in the Good Templar's Hall. This church was instituted June 1, 1890, and at present has nineteen members. Rev. Thomas Hedges is pastor.
McGill.—There is a pretty church at McGill, built by Rev. S. C. Gillman. This is the youngest Presbyterian Church in Nevada, being organized May 16, 1909. The last report gives it nineteen members with no pastor.