Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Arthur St. S. 0060 - St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church Elmira
1915 - Yes, date unknown

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  • Birth  1914-1915  60 Arthur St. S., Elmira, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Unknown 
    Church  1914-1915 
    Died  Yes, date unknown 
    Person ID  I162  Properties
    Last Modified  14 Aug 2011 

  • Photos
    St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church 1935
    St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church 1935

  • Notes 
    • St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church - 60 Arthur St. South

      The Lutheran congregation was organized in 1850. The corner lot was purchased for eleven pounds and five shillings, and a log building was constructed on the site of the present church. In 1869 a yellow brick church in the Upper Canada Gothic style was built. the plot of land at the rear of this church was used as a burial ground from 1850 to 1884. In 1875 a pipe organ built by George Vogt of Elmira, an innkeeper and a noted organ builder, was installed in the church. This organ, transferred to the new building and rebuilt and enlarged in 1951, was not replaced until 1975. The present church was built in 1914-1915. Notice that the cornerstone of the former church is set in the front facade of the present church. The interior was renovated in 1954 and the new wing at the back added in 1963. Like many Ontario churches, St. James is a mixture of styles and thus hard to classify. The pointed-arch windows and doors as well as the wooden tracery on some of the windows are in the Gothic Revival style popular in church architecture. But the asymmetrical design of the two towers - the bell tower is square while the shorter tower is octagonal with a battlement top - suggests Italianate influence. The focal point of each flank wall is a broad round-headed window set under a central gable. This window shape is Italianate, while the wooden tracery in the upper portion is Gothic. Notable in the interior of the church is the ornate Gothic altarpiece and the floral motif of the stained glass.1a

      1aElmira Three Walking Tours, compiled by Susan Bryant and Bertha Thompson for the Township of Woolwich LACAC (Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee), December, 1985 - submitted by Marion Roes  with permission of the authors 2011


      History of St. James' Lutheran Congregation

      pg. 5
      Mr. Jacob B. Oswald, aged 97, at present a resident of Kitchener, attended the services of this congregation from the time of its organization until 1900, becoming a voting member at the time of his marriage in 1858. He vividly recalls the building of the log church and the organization of the congregation. He informed the writer that the timer for the church was donated and all members of the congregation assisted in the construction of the building. The church furniture and pews were comparatively crude: the pews were constructed in all simplicity, slabs of logs resting on blocks of wood had to answer the purpose. Mr. Henry Christman acted as the first janitor.                 

      New Church Built

      Rev. J. L. Raw of Sebastopol became the next pastor. He moved to this district on April 16, 1868. Ten days after his arrival he was installed by Pastor C. F. A. Kaessman.... On October 5 of the first year of his ministry here a congregational meeting was held to make initial plans for the building of a new brick church. The following constituted the Building Committee: "K. Lorch, K. Klinck, L. Simon, John Lingner, Peter Beisel, Henry Schierholtz, M. B. Oswalk, Henry Ziegler, C. Weidenhammer, John Ott and the Pastor. The dimensions of the church was situated where the present parsonage now stands, were 34 feet by 60 feet. The contracts for the edifice were let by tender: the mason work was given to H. Lein and the carpenter work to F. Kaempf. Building operations were begun early in the spring of 1869. The corner stone of the church was laid on July 1 of the same year....The church was dedicated to the Glory of God on December 19, 1869. The cost of material and labour of the new structure was $1700.

      On January 9, 1879, the Rev. A. R. Schulz of Logan arrived in Elmira....In the same year of his arrival the congregation purchased the frame house on 66 Arthur Street South for the parsonage. Three years thereafter two bells, one weighing 600 pounds and the other 400 pounds, were placed in the tower of the church. These bells were dedicated on April 5, 1882 by the Rev. A. R. Schulz, assisted by Rev. U. Berner of New Dundee and the Rev. J. Brezing of Heidelberg. From the time of the organization of the congregation in 1850, the plot of land at the rear of the church was used as the burial ground. In 1884 the congregation began negotiations with Mr. C. Weidenhammer for the purchase of one-half acre of land on the Guelph Road near the town limits, for a cemetery. This land was bought at a price of $150. By 1910 more land was required and another acre was purchased from Mr. Charles Stroh.

      Another Church Built

      After the death of Rev. Schulz, the Rev. J. Strempfer of Toledo was called. He was installed by the Rev. A. Blunck of Milverton on Sunday, March 17, 1912..... On January 1, 1914, preliminary steps were instituted to to undertake a building program. The Building Committee consisted of: George Steffler, Charles Herman, Martin Brubacher, Karl Weber, Adam Mattusch and the members of the Church Council, namely: George Jung, John Klinck, Henry Ahrens, Henry Lackner, Albert Lorch, Christian Esch, Henry Cress, C. Klinck, Henry Beckner and Rev. J. Strempfer. Building material, sand, gravel, brick, etc., were hauled to the grounds before the breaking up of winter. On April 26 of the same year the last service was held in the white brick church. On the following day wrecking operations of the old church began. The excavating for the new church was done by the rural and urban members without remuneration. On July 12, 1914, the corner stone was laid. Pastors Hanson and Behrens assisted Rev. J. Strempfer in the ceremony: the Elmira band furnished special music. On November 29, the building was so far advanced that the Divine services could be held in the basement of the new structure, where the congregation worshipped until the spring of the following year. On May 9, 1915.2a

      2a1850 - 1935 Anniversary Booklet St. James' Evangelical Lutheran Church, Elmira, Ont.