ST. LUKE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The Church now known as St. Luke’s Episcopal Church was erected by six Englishmen who came to Milwaukee from Stratford, England, about 1870. These men, having been hired along with others to work in the steel mills located on Lake Michigan, decided to build a church in what would become the Bay View area or Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The Episcopal Diocese helped this group to purchase land and build a small wooden church on the corner of Russell and Clement Avenue. The Church opened as a "mission church" at that site in 1873.
After many years, in 1928, Father G. White brought the mission church to Parish status, making St. Luke’s Episcopal Church an independent venture. At that point, the Church was already well-known in the Bay View community. Local groups were already using it as their meeting places on a regular basis.
The church is now located at 3200 S. Herman Street - Milwaukee, WI 53207 (Source: St. Luke's Church Website)
ST. LUKE'S CHURCH (BAYVIEW)
Source:The Episcopal Church in Wisconsin, 1847-1947 : a history of the Diocese of Milwaukee by Harold Ezra Wagner; 1947.
The history of St. Luke's parish, situated on East Russell Avenue, is somewhat coterminous with that of All Saints Cathedral. The first record of an Episcopal service held in the old village of Bay View is reported in the Diocesan Journal of 1871 by the Rev. Messrs. Keene (rector of St. John's) and H. B. Burgess. Later, services were held in a school house on Bishop Avenue, now South Wentworth Avenue, which has since been torn down. In the early part of 1872 a meeting was held in the home of John T. Meredith and St.' Luke's Mission was organized. Land was purchased for $400 by the Rev. Erastus W. Spaulding, Dean of All Saints Cathedral, and the men of the mission cleared the site of timber and during the winter of 1872-3, hired a contractor to erect a church. This building cost $2,816. Dean Spalding took charge of raising the money with which to construct this "little church in the woods."
The church was first used for services April 13, 1873. Barrels and boxes were used for seats, candles and kerosene lamps furnished the light. The name "St. Luke' was chosen at a general meeting of the congregation called for that purpose and for the appointing of officers. The name St. Luke's was chosen to honor St. Luke's Church at Bilston Staffordshire, England, the parish in which the Merediths and their ancestors had worshipped for many years. First Warden was Mr. John T. Meredith, first Treasurer H. P. Nelson, first clerk A. W. Johnson, and the Rev. G. W. Harrod first priest-in-charge. The first official report of the mission in 1874 showed fifteen communicants. That same year Bishop Armitage confirmed a class of seventeen. On January 15, 1885, the first rectory was blessed by Bishop Welles, and the Rev. David Laserom was the first to occupy it. About the same time, the Guild Hall was also erected. The Rev. James Lloyd Breck, Jr., son of the James Lloyd Breck who was one of the founders and first president of Nashotah House, was Vicar of St. Lukes's from 1882-84. In 1889 the Mission was admitted into union with the Diocese as an Organized Mission.
G. W. Lamb, a layman of St. Luke's, was ordained a priest in 1892, and was Priest-in-charge until 1894. As a layman, he was one of the mission's first deputies to the Diocesan Council. During his incumbency, new pews, altar, processional crosses, vestments for the altar, a bell tower and bell were added. For over fifty years, St. Luke's remained a mission. The church became a parish under the guidance of the Rev. George F. White in 1927, and he was the first rector. Since 1929, St. Luke's has been self-supporting.
The parish has grown today to proportions necessitating a new church building, and this is listed as the next advance this parish will make. A new site more centrally located and away from the industrial district along the lake front has been chosen, and the parish hopes to be able to begin building before long.
ST. MARK EPISCOPAL CHURCH
a.k.a. Trinity Mission
St. Mark's Parish was organized as Trinity Mission, at a meeting held at 554 National avenue, November 15, 1877. There were present at this time thirty adult communicants and a Sunday-school of ten teachers and fifty-one pupils. At a subsequent meeting, held at the residence of Mr. Dousman, 198 Hanover street, on November 27, an official letter was read from Bishop Welles fully authorizing this mission. At this meeting the following officers were nominated and afterwards confirmed by the Bishop: Warden, C. J. Whitney; Treasurer, James Pimbly; Clerk, G.B. Seaman. In December of this same year a room on National avenue, formerly used as a paint shop, was rented and regular Sunday services established. The Rev. Robert Ritchie became missionary in charge in January, 19878. May 22, 1878, at a meeting held at the residence of Dr. E.H.G. Meacham, it was resolved to build a chapel on the corner of Greenbush and Orchard streets, in the Twelfth Ward. Mrs. Geo. H. Paul, G.B. Seamen, and T.C. Moore were appointed building committee. At the annual session of the Diocesan Council held in June, 1878, Trinity Mission was admitted into union with that body. By November of the same year the chapel was completed and occupied. In May, 1879, Rev. Mr. Ritchie tendered his resignation and the Rev. F.C. Eldred succeeded to the rectorship the third Sunday in June of the same year. At a meeting of the Mission held at the "Guild" rooms, Metropolitan Block, on Florida street, April 19, 1880, Trinity Mission was organized into St. Mark's Parish and the following officers were elected:
Wardens, E.H. G. Meacham, M.D., C.W. Helliwell;
Vestry, A.L. Hutchison, G.B. Seaman, F.H. Warner, T.C. Moore, Geo. H. Paul, H.D. Ewer. In December, 1879, the chapel was removed to the corner of Walker street and First avenue. The present congregation numbers about eighty families and over one hundred communicants.(Source: History of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The Western Historical Company, Chicago; A.T. Andreas Proprietor, 1881, pg. 880)
ST. MARK'S CHURCH
Source:The Episcopal Church in Wisconsin, 1847-1947 : a history of the Diocese of Milwaukee by Harold Ezra Wagner; 1947.
In 1893, St. Paul's parish was enlisted in the starting of another mission, this time on Mitchell Heights, and as a result St. Mark's was organized on February 24, 1893, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wade H. Richardson, then 549 Frederick St., with thirty families enrolled. Until it became self-supporting, it was under the charge of the Rector of St. Paul's, who held services at the Westminister Presbyterian Church on Sunday afternoons. By December of 1893 a chapel was in the process of erection at the corner of Maryland Avenue and Greenwich Street, and on Sunday, January 1, 1894, it was opened for services. The oil painting that once adorned the reredos in St. Paul's church formed a part of the polished pine reredos of the new chapel.
Pews, prayer books, a lectern altar desk, and credence table, besides the reredos were gifts of St. Paul's Church. The font came from St. Paul's Sunday School. In 1898 the chapel was moved, enlarged, and placed on a lot purchased by St. Paul's for $2,000. The Rev. O. F. Humphreys, curate of St. Paul's, was in charge of St. Mark's Mission, and the growth of the work was largely due to the enthusiasm of the Rev. and Mrs. Humphreys. In 1900 the Humphreys left, and were succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Bumpus, the new curate at St. Paul's. It was about this time that St. Mark's became self-supporting, and with the help of St. Paul's, built a larger chapel on a new location, the present site of St. Mark's Church on North Hackett Street and East Belleview Place. This early history of St. Mark's reflects credit, not only upon its own members, but also upon the foresight and wisdom of the Rev. C. Stanley Lester, Rector of St. Paul's church during those years, and those associated with him in laying the foundation of the Mission. In 1906 overtures were made to the diocese for admission as a parish, and at the Council of 1907, this hope became fact. Never before in the history of the diocese had a mission entered into union with the diocese with a communicant list of over two hundred members. During the rectorate of the Rev. Mr. Bumpus, work was begun on the securing of funds for a new building to meet the growing needs of the parish. This new building was begun in 1911 and completed in 1912, the church as it now stands at the corners of Hackett Avenue and Belleview Place.
In 1943, the parish having reached its fiftieth milestone, began to lay foundations for improved facilities so the parish can render the community service on a wider and fuller scale, and according to present plans, this will be done in the near future. A building fund of some $50,000 has been raised and plans made to complete the present structure with a handsome parish house and cloister. St. Mark's has had a phenomenal growth and is today one of the larger parishes in metropolitan Milwaukee. Some of this is due to the trend of city growth to the north and east, but also in large part to the fact that the parish recognized the great opportunities that were offered in that community, a section of the city that still looks to the church for leadership and religious direction.
ST. MARK'S CHURCH
Source:The Episcopal Church in Wisconsin, 1847-1947 : a history of the Diocese of Milwaukee by Harold Ezra Wagner; 1947.
The Rev. David Keene, first rector of St. John's Church, Milwaukee, mentions having ministered to the people of Oak Creek, now South Milwaukee, as early as June, 1850, but regular services were not begun until 1864, when Mr. Asa Howes, lay reader, began having services in his home and in the schoolhouse on Nicholson Road under Dr. Keene's supervision. On July 6th of that year St. Mark's Mission was organized. An acre of ground was purchased. Then Henry Dusbin, and later a Miss Maud, each presented the church with a half-acre, making the total two acres. On August 30, 1864, the Rt. Rev. Jackson Kemper consecrated the portion of ground set aside and still used for burial purposes.
Under the leadership of the Rev. E. K. Miller of the "Associate Mission" of Racine, the present church building was begun. The corner-stone was laid in 1869, and the building was first used for services on Easter Day, 1870. The building was constructed by John Whitmore who received $106 for his labor. To clear a space for the building, one hundred twenty-five cords of wood were cut off the land and hauled to the Northwestern railroad. Parish organization was perfected July 6, 1878 under the guidance of Bishop Welles and the first rector was the Rev. A. J. M. Hudson who resided in Racine. The Woman's Guild was organized in 1895. Through an oversight, the church had been in existence for thirty-four years unencumbered before it was consecrated by Bishop Nicholson, August 28, 1904, during the rectorate of Rev. F. C. Roberts.
There is much to admire in the early history of St. Mark's. Into the founding and building up pf the church went much hard work, devotion, courage and consecration in the face of great discouragements. In the face of lack of funds and adequate numbers there was perseverance, happy and unselfish service. They hauled lumber long distances to erect the building. There were few who owned horses in those days and they all lived long distances apart. Men, women and children walked long miles to the church, while others rode long stretches behind oxen. St. Mark's has developed from a tiny rural church into an active urban parish. Many and various additions have been made to its physical fabric, most noteworthy of these is the rectory which was completed in 1924.
Like so many other of the smaller churches in the diocese, St. Mark's has had a long line of pastors and rectors, for many of whom the parish was their first charge and who remained but a short time. The present rector is the Rev. Ralph E. Dille.
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH
The first Episcopal services to be held in Milwaukee were those held in the cabin of George Dousman, January 10, 1836, by the Rev. Henry Gregory, who was passing through on his way to teach the Winnebago Indians. Regular services were begun the following spring in the office of Cyrus Hawley over a store on North Water Street. The congregation consisted entirely of men. The Rev. Isaac Hallam of St. James Church, Chicago, came up from that city to conduct these services. It was this same Mr. Hallam who two years before had written the Board of Domestic Missions that there was a field for active missionary endeavor in Milwaukee and in Root River, later to become Racine. He, therefore, might be considered as having fathered the formation of what were to become two of the most important parishes in southern Wisconsin, St. Paul's, Milwaukee and St. Luke's, Racine.
In the early months of 1838 a permanent organization was established and a call extended to the Rev. John Noble, who preached his first sermon on Ash Wednesday, February 28, 1838, in the upper room of a two story frame building on the northeast corner of East Wisconsin Avenue and North Water Street. This makes St. Paul's Church the third oldest in the state, second in the diocese, and the oldest church in southeastern Wisconsin. Regular services were first held in the old Court House, located near what is now St. John's Roman Catholic Cathedral, then quite new and "way out of the way on the edge of the woods." Here the parish was organized and the first Wardens and Vestrymen elected. The Rev. Mr. Noble, who presided, was elected the first rector. At this same time the Sunday School was begun. In the fall of 1838, the Rev. Lemuel Beach Hull succeeded Mr. Noble and has the distinction of having erected the first brick house in Milwaukee, which was also the first one to have box window frames with weighted sash.
St. Paul's has always been a church with a keen missionary conscience and this may well be said to have been begun by the Rev. Mr. Hull. During his rectorate he started services at Sussex, Oconomowoc, Racine and Kenosha, and is said to have had a deciding voice in the location of the site of Nashotah House. It was his custom to walk to these various places for services despite road conditions or weather. One pioneer mentions that Mr. Hull had been "mired" in the mud twenty-seven times between Milwaukee and Racine.
This missionary work begun by the Rev. Mr. Hull has extended through the century which followed and St. Paul's has "mothered" four of Milwaukee's most prominent churches, St. James, St. John's, St. Mark's and St. George's. The first parish record began with an annual meeting held March, 1844, at which time a building committee was appointed for building a church. This first church was located where the Layton Art Gallery now stands on the corner of East Mason and North Jefferson Streets.
It was a frame building of Gothic style, 40 x 70 feet in size. The first service in the new edifice was held on March 26, 1845. The structure, lot, furniture and organ cost $5,000, a lot of money in those days, but all defrayed by the members of the parish. Ever since this year, 1845, St. Paul's has been a self-supporting congregation. The windows from this old church are now in the chapel of St. Paul's. When the Diocese of Wisconsin was legally set-up by the Church in America in the spring of 1847, St. Paul's was reorganized and became a corporation under the new law passed by the Territorial Legislature. On June 24th of that year the first Diocesan Convention of Wisconsin assembled in St. Paul's.
In the fall of 1847 a committee was appointed to procure a suitable plot of ground for a cemetery. Seventy-two acres were purchased and this was the beginning of what is today Forest Home Cemetery, Milwaukee's oldest extant burial grounds. Today this site occupies over two hundred acres in the heart of the city. At an early meeting of the Rector, Wardens and Vestry, it was ordered that all revenues from the cemetery should be appropriated to the improvement of the same, no profit or income accruing therefrom to the parish, a fact not so well known and appreciated today. The Rector, Wardens and Vestry have always been the trustees of the cemetery.
In 1880 the Rev. Charles Stanley Lester became rector and under him was erected the present church edifice, conceded at its dedication in October of 1885 to be the most beautiful in the Diocese. At the opening of the church, the chapel and tower were still unfinished and a debt of $57,000 burdened the congregation. Gifts soon liquidated this and the building was consecrated by Bishop Isaac L. Nicholson on November 11, 1892, as his first official act in the diocese.
In 1938 when the parish celebrated its centennial some $60,000 was raised and expended for many improvements and repairs to the church fabric, and the property today represents an investment of about $400,000. At one time St. Paul's stood in the midst of Milwaukee's most fashionable East Side residential area. Today the character of that neighborhood has changed and the parish ever alert to the needs of the neighborhood is inaugurating a social service program on a rather wide scale.
In sixty-four of its 110 year history, St. Paul's had but three rectors, all Harvard men, the longest tenure being that of the Rev. Holmes Whitmore, D.D., who when he resigned in 1943 had served the parish thirty-four years, the third longest rectorate in the history of the diocese.
ST. PETER'S CHURCH
In March, 1873, some twelve families living in the town of Greenfield on the banks of Honey Creek where Mukwanago Road crossed the Creek, determined that Episcopal services should be held in the neighborhood. A request was accordingly sent to the Bishop, the Rt. Rev. W. E. Armitage, who sent one of the cathedral clergy to get things under way.
The first services, therefore, in the southwestern area of Milwaukee County were held in a log cabin about a half a block from the present location of St. Peter's Church at South 81st and West Lapham Streets. Services were conducted at regular intervals and the group served by various clergy. In 1877, a frame building was erected on what is now South 84th Street, near West Lapham. In the early '80s this place was sold to the Jordan Evangelical Lutheran congregation and the church disappears for nearly a decade. In 1893 the present site was acquired through the generous gift of Mrs. Mary Abbott Henderson, a member of St. Peter's, and the present church built in 1894. Members were severely criticized for placing it "so far from the center of things." North Greenfield, as the community was called, was then located primarily near the present junction of West Becher and South 84th Streets several blocks distant. Today the church is in the very center of a thickly populated suburban area. The Mission was formally organized in September 1873 and was admitted into union with the diocese in 1884, and became a parish in 1910. This last status, however, did not last.
ST. STEPHEN'S CHURCH
NOW THE EPISCOPAL CITY MISSION
The first services held in connection with what later became St. Stephen's Church was a Sunday School that gathered in the West End Club House in the spring of 1890. In December of 1890 seventy families petitioned Bishop Knight for the formation of a parish. On January 27, 1891, the Bishop granted canonical consent for the formation of a church to be called St. Stephen's. The first service was held in the Club House, February 22, 1891, and Dean Williams of the Cathedral preached the sermon. The first wardens and vestry were elected in March 1891, and the first rector was the Rev. Isaac Barr, who stayed only three months. In August 1891 a lot was purchased on the south-west corner of West Wisconsin Avenue and North 28th Street for $800, and a guild hall facing 28th Street was erected. Plans were made to erect a church on the Avenue. It was never built.
In 1904 the Wesley Methodist congregation moved into its new church on No. 26th and W. Wisconsin, and its former place of worship was put up for sale. With the aid of Bishop Nicholson this property was purchased, and the present St. Stephen's came into being at 704 N. 27th Street. The congregation moved into its new quarters in the summer of 1905, and under the leadership of the Rev. C. H. Linley, 1906-11, enjoyed what might be termed the "hey day" of its existence as a parish. In those days 27th St. was the western city limit of Milwaukee and the district from there to the Valley (35th Street) was one of the most rapidly growing suburban areas around. In 1918 a pipeorgan which cost some $3,000 was installed.
The character of the neighborhood changed rapidly, a series of short rectorates had their effect, and when the depression of the 1930's arrived, the congregation, seriously affected, was reduced from parish to mission status. For a time the church was combined with St. Andrew's, and later with St. Edmund's. The chapel, dedicated to St. Clement's, was the work of the Rev. John Taylor while he was Vicar. When in 1938 Harold H. Haug, who was a member of the Cathedral parish, began studying for Orders, he was placed in charge of St. Stephen's, and at once the Mission took on new life. He worked faithfully and happily among the children of the neighborhood, and he it is who gave to the mission its present character as a social center. The work grew under his leadership, but it became too strenuous and on physician's orders he was compelled to resign in 1943. He became Vicar of Holy Trinity, Prairie du Chien, where he died sitting in his chair reading a book, December 6, 1944.
In December, 1945, the Haug Memorial Foundation was incorporated as a charitable corporation to work especially among the children of the neighborhood, an area undergoing profound social changes, and St. Stephen's became the center for general city mission work. In May of 1946 the parochial status of St. Stephen's was dissolved, and by action of the 1946 Diocesan Council it became "The Episcopal City Mission," its sole purpose to be that of a social settlement center. In the early months of 1946 the basement Guild Hall was remodeled and repaired and is now a center where some five hundred youngsters a week gather. In the early months of this year (1947) the nave of the church was dismantled and remodeled into a gymnasium and the ecclesiastical furnishings given to other churches. The pipe organ went to West Allis, the pulpit to South Milwaukee. The Rev. Reinhart B. Gutmann came in 1945, and is now leading the new work which has made such promising beginnings.
The first recorded settlers in what is now known as Wauwatosa were Charles and Ben Hart. These two brothers came in 1835 and established a grist mill and a saw mill on the Menomonee River near the corner of State Street and Harwood Avenue. This enterprise operated for a great many years and gave the young settlement which grew up there it's earliest name, "Hart's Mill." The first record relating to the Episcopal Church does not appear until eleven years later, when Bishop Kemper made an entry in his diary indicating that on March 11, 1844, a service was held by him in Wauwatosa. There is no record of any other services from the Book of Common Prayer being held there until 1872 when services were held at fairly regular intervals by the Rev. John Wilkinson of St. James' Church, Milwaukee, and the Rev. James Throop of the same parish. Other clergymen who officiated occasionally were the Rev. Messrs. E. H. Rudd and Joseph De Forest.
Finally St. John's Mission was organized with the Rev. E. R. Ward in charge, and from the first the venture met with a fair degree of success. A building, formerly the Public School, was purchased. It faced on Root Comman, in approximately the same location as the present band shell at the corner of Wauwatosa and Harwood Avenues. The lower floor was used for church services and the second floor rented to the Good Templars. At the same time the mission purchased a very beautiful lot, one and one-third acres, for the sum of $358 from J. M. Warren and also secured an organ and the more essential items of church furniture. The lot was located at the corner of Milwaukee Avenue and Church Street and is the present location of Trinity Church. For reasons which are not clear in the available records this attempt to establish the Church in Wauwatosa was abandoned and in 1878 the building sold, to later become the Town Hall. The money from the sale of the building, together with the church furnishings, were put in the hands of Messrs. S. H. Seamans and George E. Treat, to be held by them in trust for the benefit of any future venture of the Episcopal Church in the village or town of Wauwatosa.
After a lapse of eight years the Rev. E. P. Wright visited the families in the vicinity and discovered twenty communicants and several other persons who were desirous of having regular services re-established, so on October 10, 1886, Dr. Wright began services in the Good Templar Hall. Every other Sunday the Holy Communion was celebrated and on the alternate Sundays, Evening Prayer and Sermon, followed by instruction of the young people in the Church Catechism. Dr. Wright's endeavors were so fruitful that on April 4, 1887 a meeting was held in the Good Templar Hall at which a parish was formally organized, to be known as "Trinity Church, Wauwatosa". At this first parish meeting there were eight voting attendants who thus elected the first wardens and vestrymen, consisting of C. W. Helliwell, Senior Warden: H. P. Bradley, Junior Warden; and Messrs. R. N. Dudley, F. W. Hotchkiss, and H. B. Hunter, Vestrymen.
It was almost two years after its organization before the young parish was able to worship in its own building, and the records contain many interesting items which indicate that the delaying factors were not far different from those which would be experienced today. It is worthy of note that the carpenter work on the new building was done under contract by W. H. Hughes of Racine, who received for his own manual work and his supervision the sum of $4.00 per day and, for two helpers, $2.50 and $2.25 respectively, a "day" in those times being at least ten hours. The cornerstone of the new church building was laid on June 22, 1889, by the Rt. Rev. Cyrus F. Knight, Bishop of Milwaukee, and on October 10, 1889 the first service was held in the building. It is altogether fitting that the first rector and leading organizer of the parish, the Rev. E. P. Wright, should be remembered in the building by the present south window which is in his memory. Later Dr. Wright became chaplain at the Soldier's Home, now known as the Veterans' Administration.
From the day of its organization Trinity Church has a record of steady if uneventful growth, coupled with a history of close cooperation and support of all diocesan projects. In 1940 a rectory was built west of the church at a cost of $11,000, and in 1946 a building fund of $64,000 was subscribed. The parish thus looks forward to further expansion to meet the community's needs. For the last few years the parish has had an annual rate of increase slightly exceeding that of the community. The present rector is the Rev. G. F. White, who became rector in 1930.long and by 1925, due to reverses and other causes, the church had again become a mission. In 1943 a building campaign was begun and plans drawn for a new church, and the congregation now looks forward to the day when a beautiful new structure will rise on its splendid corner location.