SURPRISES IN THE MAIL

As I’ve remarked on this blog before, sometimes things just fall into my lap.  And thank goodness they do.  Last week two photos arrived in the mail, courtesy of Mr. Fraas who was raised on his family’s farm in the southern part of Schaumburg Township.   He had graciously donated a number of his family’s photos a few years ago and, more importantly, done an oral history with us. But the photos above were a real surprise–particularly the interior shot.  Having never seen this one before, I was delighted to add it to our collection. 

These photos (click on them to enlarge) are of the St. John Lutheran Church that was built in 1910 at the intersection of Irving Park and Rodenburg Roads.  At the time–and for a number of years afterwards–it was also known as Rodenburg Church.  [The Frass family lived, literally, right across the road.]   This building was built to replace the original church [built in 1851] which was struck by lightning and burned to the ground on August 23, 1910 during a thunderstorm.

The congregation got busy and, by October, the church was on its way to being rebuilt.   Contracts were given to George Franzen to provide the lumber and B.L. Franzen of Itasca to provide the altar.  In December they were already celebrating Christmas services in the new church.  The formal dedication was held in the following year on February 12.

The church served its congregation faithfully through 1996 when it was torn down and the current one built across Rodenburg Road on the SW corner of the intersection.

It is my presumption that these photos were taken shortly after the church was built–possibly the spring or summer of 1911.  We are lucky to have this interior photo.  You will notice the hymn numbers on the hymn board as well as the German words on the wall above the altar.  It reads, “Ehre sei Gott in Der Hohe.”  Translated, it is “Glory Be to God on High.”

To view other photos of St. John Lutheran Church and its congregation, visit our Local History Digital Archive.  Browse through the photos until you get to the Churches.  We have a nice collection and now there are some new ones to add, thanks to the generosity of Mr. Fraas.

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