Source:The Episcopal Church in Wisconsin, 1847-1947 : a history of the Diocese of Milwaukee by Harold Ezra Wagner; 1947.

The Rev. James Cook Richmond, D.D. was possibly one of the most unusual clergyman ever to work in the Diocese of Milwaukee. Gregory's "History of Milwaukee" (1931) said he was considered eccentric. At any rate he was an individualist, and as such made both loyal friends and equally loyal enemies. He came to Milwaukee in 1857 on a lecture tour. He attracted huge crowds as he was a powerful orator and could hold large crowds enthralled. St. Paul's Church, Milwaukee, was looking for a rector at the time, and the vestry impresed by Richmond's persuasive platform abilities, elected him to that parish. His eccentricities endeared him to some, but his persistent unconventionalities brought him more and more into disfavor until in 1859 the Vestry requested Bishop Kemper to remove him. After a consultation with both parties, Richmond resigned but took most of the congregation with him to a church which he established on Jackson Street between E. State and E. Juneau Avenues, and to which was given the name "Church of St. Paul." This congregation was, in time, received by Bishop Kemper, the little building dedicated and the mission received into union with the diocese.

In 1857 a mission was opened by Bishop Kemper on Jefferson street, between E. Wisconsin and E. Michigan Streets, (where the Federal Building now stands) and called the "Free Chuch of Atonement." In 1858 a parish organization was formed. The mission was never too healthy, and in 1861 Richmond was placed in charge. Its affairs continued to languish, however, and in 1865 it was united with "Trinity Church," the name to which the congregation of the "Church of St. Paul" had changed in 1862. The parish continued weak and in May 1867, the title to all church property was conveyed to Bishop Armitage, Assistant Bishop of Wisconsin, who on July 7, 1867, reopened the mission under the name of "All Saints Pro-Cathedral."

Father Richmond - a title sufficiently rare in those days as to cause comment by Milwaukee historians-had left "Trinity" in 1866 to become a chaplain in the Civil War. At the end of this struggle he returned to his boyhood home in Dutchess County, N.Y., where he was murdered that same year in a quarrel with a neighbor over the location of a line fence.

One of the first acts of the vestry of the new All Saints congregation was the purchase of some lots at the corner of E. Juneau and No. Prospect, the deed being dated July 1, 1869. A building intended for chapel and school use was begun, and the last official act of Bishop Kemper was the laying of the cornerstone on November 1, 1869. In April 1870 this building was abandoned to the mortgagor and the chapel on Jackson Street re-occupied for services.

In 1871 the firt half of the present cathedral property, the Cass and Juneau corner lots, was purchased by the congregation and the Jackson Street chapel moved there for use. In 1872 Bishop Armitage formally initiated the cathedral project and the All Saints congregation became the nucleus of this enterprise with Armitage as rector.

On June 1, 1872, the purchase of the Olivet Congregational church, which occupied the east half of the block on Juneau Street, was accomplished by Bishop Armitage. This building had been erected in 1868 by the Congregationalists at a cost of $63,000, but was soon vacated through dissension and financial difficulties, and Armitage acquired it for $35,000. The cathedral for which the diocese had long sought was at last attained.

On June 17, 1873, Bishop Armitage addressed the Diocesan Council and told them of his hope that a cathedral organization would not be too long in becoming a realized fact. The Council of that year passed a resolution accepting the church as a cathedral, and a canon for its organization was drawn up to be presented to the next year's meeting for ratification. In December, Armitage died, and it wasn't until 1877 that a provisional canon modeled along those proposed in 1873 was passed. The Rev. Erastus W. Spaulding was named Dean, and the Rev. Messrs. C. L. Mallory and E. R. Ward as resident Canons.

In 1881 the cathedral clergy were conducting services in ten placesóChrist (since dissolved) and St. Edmund's (in the process of relocation, 1947) in Milwaukee; St. Luke's, Bay View; St. John's, Wauwatosa (the ancestor of the present Trinity Church there); St. Peter's, North Greenfield (now West Allis); St. James, West Bend; St. Cornelius Chapel at Soldier's Home (since abandoned); the County Poor-House, the County Hospital, and the House of Correction.

It was not until 1882 that the Diocesan Council adopted the canons which now govern the Cathedral, when the property was transferred to the "Joint Tenants" of the cathedral property, and the former parish organization was dissolved. Spaulding continued as dean for thirteen years to be succeeded by the Rev. Canon C. L. Mallory, who put the Day School, organized in 1867 and held in what is now the Cathedral Guild Hall, on a paying basis.

The election and consecration of Isaac Lea Nicholson, as fifth Bishop of Milwaukee in 1891, marks a new era both in the history of the Cathedral and of the Diocese. He was a man of wide financial experience and knowledge, and he served the diocese well through the panic of 1893. It was about this time that the diocese suffered great financial loss through the bankruptcy of its treasurer. It would have been much worse except for the prompt and efficient action taken by Bishop Nicholson.

On All Saints Day, 1902, Bishop Nicholson consecrated the Cathedral, and The Rev. E. W. Spaulding, its first dean, preached the sermon. In that same year the old clergy house, known as Armitage House, and which stood where the Bishop's House now stands at the corner of E. Juneau and N. Cass, was moved to its present location on N. Marshall street and became the resident of the Dean and other clergy of the Cathedral. In that same year was also laid the cornerstone of the Bishop's House by Bishop Nicholson.

In 1907, one year after the consecration of William Walter Webb as sixth Bishop of Milwaukee, the Cathedral Chapter as it now exists began to function. The first act of the Chapter was the election of the Rev. Selden P. Delaney as Dean. After World War I, when the Rev. C. M. Lathrop, resigned as Dean the Rev. Harwood Sturtevant was made Canon. In 1929, while serving as Rector of St. Luke's, Racine, he was elected Bishop Coadjutor of Fond du Lac, the last of the Cathedral clergy to become a bishop.

In 1922 the Cathedral was extensively remodeled, the sanctuary enlarged, a new altar installed, and the old rood screen removed. In 1944 further changes were made when a new throne for the bishop was installed, the organ and choir moved to the rear balcony, and stalls for the Chapter and Diocesan clergy placed in the sanctuary. The present Dean is the Very Rev. Malcolm de Pui Maynard.


Source:The Episcopal Church in Wisconsin, 1847-1947 : a history of the Diocese of Milwaukee by Harold Ezra Wagner; 1947.

A number of families who had moved out into the northwestern part of Milwaukee in the '90s felt the need of a church. The matter was taken up with Bishop Nicholson and on March 3, 1898, a meeting was held in the home of Dr. J. E. Birkhaueser. The Bishop presided and some of the leading families of the neighborhood were represented.

The Mission was organized, given the name St. Andrew's, and the Rev. George Fredericks Burroughs appointed deacon-in-charge. Ordained to the priesthood that same year, Burroughs became the first rector of the parish and served for twenty years until his death, October 21, 1917.

The first service was held March 27, 1898, at the home of Mr. K. Evans. On April 3rd, Evensong was held in a vacant store on Lisbon Avenue. On June 7, 1898, the organization of the Mission was perfected and the Mission admitted into union with the Diocese. The vacant store was soon found to be inadequate for the congregation's needs and after due deliberation it agreed to purchase the property where the church now stands at the corner of North 33rd and West Lloyd Streets. Here the church was erected and dedicated by the Bishop on November 29th, in other words, the Mission was founded, and the church built all within the same year.

On February 4, 1900, the temporary Guild Hall was blessed by the Bishop. It was an old barnyard building and served for thirteen years. It was Sunday School room, church parlor, theatre, dining room and kitchen all rolled into one. On Easter Day, 1906, the south aisle was added to the church, a gift from the rector, Fr. Burroughs, as a memorial to his daughter, Mrs. John B. Clarkson. The Memorial Organ was dedicated December 21, 1912, the gift of members of the congregation. On November 13, 1913, the present parish house was dedicated on the fifteenth anniversary of the parish.

On September 15, 1903, just five years after its organization, the mission was admitted into union with the diocese as a fully independent parish. Burroughs was followed by the Rev. William Frost, and when he assumed the leadership of the parish, he assumed with it a debt of $18,000, incurred by the building of the Parish House. When Fr. Frost resigned because of ill health in 1935, this debt had been reduced to $3,500. The rectorates of Frs. Burroughs and Frost total thirty-six years, more than seventy-five per cent of the parish's forty-eight year existence.


formerly St. Paul's Mission House

Source:The Episcopal Church in Wisconsin, 1847-1947 : a history of the Diocese of Milwaukee by Harold Ezra Wagner; 1947.

In the year 1887 a little Sunday School was started in an empty store on North Broadway in the lower Third Ward. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Catlin and a group of young women, all of St. Paul's Church, traversed the district, gathering together children regardless of creed or nationality. Under the leadership of these devoted workers the Sunday School grew and flourished, and became known as the Laura Catlin Kindergarten. In addition to the Sunday School, there were also housekeeping classes, carpentry work, and a kindergarten held every day in the week as there were none such in the public schools at the time.

The terrible Third Ward fire on October 28, 1892, destroyed all buildings south of East Buffalo Street, among them the building housing the Laura Catlin Kindergarten. New space was subsequently found at 339 No. Van Buren Street where St. Paul's Mission House was started. Services were conducted regularly on Sunday evenings by the Rev. Otho F. Humphreys. New organizations were formed such as a Men's Club, Boy's Manual Training, Girls Friendly Society, Sewing School, etc. The quarters on Van Buren Street finally proved inadequate and new accommodations were secured in a former butcher shop at 186 East Huron Street. The men of the Mission took active charge of remodeling the place. The altar was curtained off so that the balance of the space could be used for social activities. Guild rooms, dining room and kitchen were upstairs. The Rev. A. S. Bumpus of St. Mark's Church conducted the service of Holy Communion once a month on Sunday mornings, while the Rev. Mr. Humphreys continued to conduct the evening services.

In the fall of 1903, George W. Schroeder, then a student at Nashotah House, began conducting both morning and evening services. He took an active interest in the mission, and under his leadership and enthusiasm, the former butcher shop was transformed into a beautiful chapel. The front of the place was remodeled to look like a church and stained glass windows replaced those in the building. Some of these are now in the building at No. Twelfth and W. Center Streets. The altar was built by the men of the church from packing boxes procured from Chapman's. Pews and an organ replaced the chairs and piano.

When in 1906, Mr. Schroeder was ordained to the priesthood, he became resident curate with his living quarters on the second floor. The Mission expanded rapidly, and Fr. Schroeder secured the use of a large barn in the rear of the church and with the help of many friends in St. Paul's Church, and the constant interest and support of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Catlin, converted it into a Guild Hall. Eleven years of healthy expansion marked the progress of the Mission on Huron Street, but conditions changed. Dwellings were replaced by business houses, families scattered to all parts of the city, and the population changed considerably. Because of this, it was decided to move the church elsewhere in the city and to build it a new home there. Fr. Schroeder selected the northeast corner of No. 12th and W. Center Streets, as a likely location, and the property was acquired by the Rector, Wardens and Vestry of St. Paul's Church. Bishop Webb gave the congregation the old Christ Church building, then at No. 18th and W. Wright Streets, which was moved to the new site, and put into use as the new church home.

In 1915 a spacious Guild Hall was built, the basement of the church was remodeled into Sunday School rooms, dining room, kitchen and bowling alleys. Living quarters were built on the second floor for Father Schroeder, who served the mission faithfully for thirty-seven years, until his death, June 19, 1941, the second longest rectorate in diocesan history. A year later the Rev. Sydney Waddington, on furlough from the Philippines because of the war, became the Vicar and in 1943 under his guidance the congregation petitioned the Council of the diocese and was admitted as a parish, with Fr. Waddington as its first rector. Upon becoming a parish, it was necessary to chose a new name, and with the Bishop's permission, the church was dedicated to Saint George in memory of the many years of faithful service given it by Father Schroeder.

In 1946 Fr. Waddington returned to the Philippines, and the Rev. Reynold McKeown was called as Rector. Under him the parish has helped in the establishment of a Mission at Elm Grove, a suburb in Waukesha County to the west of Wauwatosa, and so the work begun years ago in the city's Third Ward continues to go forth, but now under the banner of the soldier saint.


Source: Newspaper unknown title

The New Edifice Built Upon the One-Time City Cemetery

Partial Construction of the Building by Fire in 1872

The history of St. James Episcopal church is one of no little interest. The first organization dates as far back as 1846, at which time services were held in the store-room of I.A. Lapham. Since that time it has brown and prospered until the present time the St. James Church edifice is one of the ornaments of the city. The first church building was erected in 1847, and Rev. Ingraham served as rector until 1849. In July 1850, a call was issued for persons interested in forming a parish on the West Side to meet in the vestry rooms of St. Paul's Church. The following gentleman answered the call:

H.L. Palmer
Winfield Smith
A.W. Hatch
James Kneeland
F. Randall
A.G. Miller
J.B. Martin
J.W. Newbury
T.R. Rhoddies
J.A. Swain
C.S. Ross
J.B. Roe
Archibald Wilson
J.A. Helfenstein.

The Unitarian Church building on the corner of Grand avenue and Second streets was purchased by the new society, and the building was moved to the present location of St. James Church on Grand avenue between Eighth and Ninth streets. This lot had been purchased by the "Trustees of the Town of Milwaukee" in 1839, and was used for burial purposes. On March 31, 1851, the Second Ward deeded the lot to the Fourth Ward, and on the same day the Fourth Ward deeded the lot to St. James parish for the sum of $150. The adjoining lots were purchased from James Kneeland.

A large number of graves were opened and the bodies conveyed to Forest Home Cemetery. Nearly all the bodies were thus removed, but some of them remain even at the present time.

The first rector of St. James was Solon B. Manney, and he remained until 1852 and was followed by Rev. J.P.T. Ingraham, who remained until 1863. From 1864 until the latter part of 1872 Rev. John Wilkinson had charge. It was while Rev. Wilkinson was rector, in 1867, the cornerstone of a new ediface was laid and the building was completed the following year with the exception of the tower. That portion was finished in 1872 and a chime of nine bells was hung. The chime was a gift of members and friends to the church.

On the evening of Dec. 30, 1872, flames were seen rising from the basement and an alarm was sounded as soon as possible. Owing to a scarcity of water and a delay about the engines getting to the scene the whole interior of the church was consumed. The tower and the valuable chimes of bells were saved, however and the walls of the building were not damaged. The old church, which had been used as a chapel, was speedily fitted up until the burned structure was re-built. It was competed in 1874, and Sunday, April 19, of that year, it was formally dedicated by Bishop Whitehouse, of Illinois. The services consisted of consecration prayers by bishop Whitehouse, who also delivered the sermon. Rev. Dr. Ashley, Dr. Egar, Revs. Wilkinson, Ten Broeck, Fiske and Byllesby assisted in the ceremonies.

The Interior of the church is handsomely decorated and inscriptions from the Bible adorn the walls. The preaching desk, handsomely ornamented, was presented by Mrs. Alexander Mitchell, while the alter was the gift of Mrs. L.F. Hodges. The wood work of the church is all handsomely carved and the whole cost of refitting the church amounted to $40,000. Rev. Nathan Chamberlain became rector in 1870 and remained until 1872, when he was succeeded by Rev. Morrison Byllesby, who remained until 1874. Rev. W.H. Throop then took charge and remained until a very short time ago. During last October it became evident to a number of church members that the congregation was gradually diminishing in numbers. A committee was appointed to call upon Rev. Dr. Throop and to take measures for correcting the evil. The result of the conference was that the rector resigned although his resignation was not asked by the church authorities. Since that time the pulpit has been filled by a number of clergymen who preached one or two Sundays by request. Alexander Mitchell and Dr. S.W. French are the wardens. The vestrymen are H.H. Camp, S.T. Hooker, D.O. Millette, D. Courtenay, H.M. Cananaugh and N.L. Burdick.


Source:The Episcopal Church in Wisconsin, 1847-1947 : a history of the Diocese of Milwaukee by Harold Ezra Wagner; 1947.

Like so many of the older churches, St. James parish had its beginnings in the days when Wisconsin was not yet a state. In 1846, the Rev. Benjamin A. Akerly, who had succeeded the lamented Mr. Hull as rector of St. Paul's parish, and Bishop Kemper decided the time had come for the church to occupy more ground, and that churches were needed on the west and south sides of the city. St. John's parish is the outcome of this work on the south side, St. James that which was begun on the "west side," as North Eighth and West Wisconsin was then a wilderness. A mission was started and called "Trinity Mission." The first service was held in a vacant store on the west side of N. Third Street, between Chestnut and Popular Streets. At this mission the Rev. Mr. Akerly conducted the services in addition to his work at St. Paul's.

On March 7, 1847, Bishop Kemper appointed the Rev. J. P. T. Ingraham, a deacon at Nashotah House, to take charge of Trinity Mission. There were thirty communicants. Trinity soon erected a small building, 56 x 22 feet, at the corner of N. Fourth and Prairie streets; the cost being $1,500. It was consecrated by Bishop Kemper, December 22, 1847, assisted by the Rev. Dr. Akerly and the Rev. David Keene of St. John's. The first class was confirmed'by Bishop Kemper, January 30, 1848. The work begun with so much enthusiasm was not successful. The Rev. Mr. Ingraham resigned in the spring of 1848, and Trinity Mission soon drops from the diocesan records. The west side was not long left in this condition, however, for the Rev. Mr. Akerly again sent out a call for persons interested in the work begun at Trinity Mission. Fourteen gentlemen responded and at a meeting held very soon it was decided that the parish of St. James should be organized. Thus St. James has its real beginnings in the little Trinity Mission congregation. Land was purchased by these men, all of them afterward prominent in the city and state, for $800, land on which stood what was known as the Old Guild Hall. There was at that time a Unitarian Church, located at the corner of Second and Spring Streets, now Wisconsin Avenue. Later, a committee was appointed to purchase a lot for this building. At that time, the lots on which St. James now stands were used for a cemetery. These cemetery lots belonged to the Town of Milwaukee. On May 31, 1851, the town deeded unconditionally these lots to the Fourth Ward and on the same day, in consideration of $150, lot number one was deeded by the Fourth Ward to the Rector, Wardens, and Vestry of St. James Church, with the proviso that it be used only for church purposes, otherwise it was to be returned to the original owners. This provision held in force until June 17, 1868, when the lot was unconditionally conveyed to St. James parish by the city. The existence of a burying ground in what is now the very heart of Milwaukee, gives one a realization of the growth of Milwaukee, for there are few who know today of the existence of that cemetery.

The Unitarian church building was moved to the present site of St. James, and the Rev. Solon B. Manney was called as rector in 1850. He remained for two years when the Rev. J. P. T. Ingraham was recalled in 1852, who stayed with the church during its darkest days. He threw all his youthful energy and enthusiasm into the work of building up St. James parish, and there were times when it seemed as if the lack of a few hundred dollars threatened the life of the new work. The first ten years were full of discouragement. In 1861 came the Civil War. Mr. Ingraham resigned and went to the front as a chaplain. Some of the finest young men in the congregation enlisted in the Union Army. Following the war, the time had come to build a new church and the Rev. John Wilkinson, who became rector in 1865, began the work in earnest. The laying of the cornerstone took place June, 1867. On St. James Day, 1868, the church was opened by Bishop Kemper for services, Bishop Whitehouse of Illinois preaching the sermon. St. James church was the first stone church built in Milwaukee. In 1867 the tower and spire were completed, and in July 1871 a carillon of nine bells was purchased and placed in it.

In December, 1872, the church burned. It was a great blow to the parish. Not much of the church was saved, only the walls and tower remained standing after the flames had passed. The Evening Wisconsin reported: "The New Year dawned upon a ruin." The cause of the fire was never learned. No time, however, was lost in the work of restoration. The congregation and friends rallied and work was soon recommenced on the beloved St. James. The first services in the restored church were held in April, 1874. One of the great undertakings of the Rev. Edwin G. Richardson was the building of the parish house in 1899. To do this, 60 feet of the land on Wisconsin Avenue was sold, where the apartment house, called St. James Court, now stands facing St. James Church. Today St. James is one of the larger parishes in the city of Milwaukee, and occupies a most excellent spot opposite the Public Library and Museum at the beginning of the Court of Honor Park in Wisconsin Avenue. It is the only Episcopal church on the Avenue, and the only one which is strictly "downtown."


The rector of St. Paul's parish, the Rev. Dr. Akerly was the prime mover in establishing St. John's parish. On June 7, 1847, the mission was regularly organized as St. John's church, under the laws of the territory of Wisconsin. The first vestry consisted of L. W. Weeks and William H. Cross as wardens, and Rufus King, C. H. Walker, Evan Edward, John S. Filmore and Robert Helfinstein as vestrymen. Immediately following the organization of the mission, the Rev. David Keene was called as rector of the parish. The first church which was dubbed "the one horse church," no one knows why, was soon superseded by a brick church. When three years later in 1850, they decided to build they had on hand as a basis for a building, a sum of $2,200 which had been previously subscribed in the East. Four men each gave $100 and building proceeded.

On July 15, 1852, the cornerstone was laid by the Rt. Rev. Jackson Kemper, Bishop of Wisconsin. The money for this brick building was raised by Dr. Keene, mostly in cities along the Atlantic coast, who not daunted by the lack of money in Milwaukee had proceeded East to solicit aid. By getting many small gifts and by wise and prudent management, he was soon able to begin the work. The new church was built on land purchased, 72 feet on Hanover Street, and 300 feet on Pierce Street. Dr. Keene not only built the church at this location, but served the parish from its beginnings in 1847 until 1886, when he was compelled to resign because of ill health. During his incumbency at St. John's, he baptized over nine hundred persons, presented four hundred for confirmation, performed the marriage ceremony for over four hundred couples and officiated at five hundred burials. His rectorate of nearly forty years at St. John's is the longest in the history of the diocese.

When Dr. Keene relinquished active charge of the parish, he was succeeded by two men and then in 1892 by the Rev. James Slidell, who remained as rector for twenty-one years. Under him the parish again prospered and many improvements were made in the church fabric. A new Guild Hall and Rectory were built, and other improvements made from time to time.

When Dr. Slidell resigned in 1913, his tenure and that of Dr. Keene's covered sixty years of the church's life. The neighborhood at Hanover and Pierce Streets became more and more industrial and the affairs of the parish suffered in consequence, so during the rectorate of the Rev. Nathaniel D. Bigelow, 1916-1928, a mission was begun at So. 26th and W. Mineral Sts., the present site of the church. The mission showed signs of healthy growth, and so early in the incumbency of the Rev. L. B. Hastings, 1928-1946, the congregation sold their old property and erected a new church building on the mission site.

This new building was first occupied on December 24, 1933, and was dedicated by Bishop Ivins. It stands today as a monument of a century of struggle and the emergence of the parish into the modern age. The present rector is the Rev. George B. Wood. When the First Annual Council of the Diocese of Wisconsin convened in Milwaukee on June 24th in 1847, two parishes which were exactly seventeen days old sent representatives. These were St. Paul's, Watertown and St. John's, Milwaukee, both of which were formed on June 7, 1847. In honor of this event, St. John's celebrated its centennial with appropriate festivities from June 1-8, last spring, anticipating thereby the diocesan centennial.