St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church Eagle Lake

RR 2 (Eagle Lake Road), Beecher, IL 60401

Submitted by Karen Rowe

St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church Eagle Lake

St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church Eagle Lake

The St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Congregation was organized late in 1854 as a daughter congregation of Zion (now Trinity) Lutheran Church of Crete, Illinois. Their first church was located on Bemis Road in Crete Township not far from the Ilinois-Indiana State line. In 1866 the church was moved about 2 miles south to its present location on Eagle Lake Road in the northeast corner of Washington Township, just across the border from Crete Township. The original church building in Washington Township (2 miles north of present church) was built and destroyed in 1854. The present church was erected in 1866. Missouri Synod. Both locations contain cemetery. St. Johns at Eagle Lake was the mother church to St. Paul Lutheran Church at Beecher and St. Pauls was the mother church to the Sollitt Zion Church near Grant Park in Kankakee County, formed in 1872. In 1903 St. Pauls and St. Johns again lost members when residents of Beecher decided to for another Lutheran church in the village of Beecher. The charter members of the congregation are said to be: Hans H. Tatge, John Hartmann, Henry Wassmann, John Scheiwe, Konrad Ohlendorf, John Windheim, F. Rotermund, Chr. Wassmann, Chr. Scheiwe and Konrad Tatge. The list which follows was extracted from photocopies of Book One (1854-1876) and Book Two (starting 1877 and containing printed forms for the entries) of the original church records. The photocopies were made by Christian Orlov of New York, N.Y. (born James Ballard, and Gr. Gr. Grandson of Christoph and WIlhelmine (Seegers) Ohlendorf and Christian and Sophia (Grages) Klemme). He, as well as the present writers who have translated and tabulated the records , are all descended from or have some close connection with early members of the Congregation. (Edwin Friedrich is the Gr. Gr. Grandson of Friedrich and Maria (Knief) Wille and Friedrich and Dorothea (Ostermeier) Battermann and Karen Rowe is the Gr. Gr. Gr. Granddaughter of Hans Heinrich and Engel Dorothea (Wille.) Riechers.). All of the entries in the St. John’s Church Record Books One and Two are written in German. Most of the names, dates and place names were written using the present English style script. However, the remainder of the entries were often written using the old style German script.

Churchbook Extractions

St. John's Eagle Lake Lutheran Church, Will Co., IL Burial Records

St. John’s Eagle Lake Lutheran Church, Will Co., IL Burial Records

– Updated Jan. 2001 Transcribed/ Edited by Karen Rowe and Edwin Friedrich.

Information from the 1854-1954 Centennial Booklet

Before 1854: Lutheran immigrants who had settled in the Crete and the Washington Townships in the late 40’s and early 50’s worshipped with our brethren of Zion Congregation in a house 20×26 (now still know as the Brase House) still standing south of Crete on Faithhorn Road. Zion congregation was founded some time during the “Gold Rush” year, 1849. Their first resident pastor was Anton Weyel. He was also to be “missionary for Will County and surrounding country, with Crete, Illinois, as his base”. In the fall of 1851 Rev. C. August T. Selle of St. Paul’s in Chicago became their pastor. The (Crete) Trinity Centennial Anniversary booklet contains this reference, “The congregation had scarcely grown to 20 members, when already several (8) of these members asked for and received permission to organize a new congregation farther toward the southeast, with the result that St. John’s Church at Eagle Lake was founded in 1854”. Accordingly, we are the daughter congregation of Trinity.

  • First Marriage: 19 NOV 1854 Johann Heinrich Borchert and Maria Sophia Joerdening
  • First Baptism: 20 OCT 1854 Maria Klaus born 20 AUG 1854, daughter of Heinrich Klaus and Wilhelmine Battermann.
  • First Confirmation 1855: John Christoph Behrens, Christoph Hasenjaeger, John Grupe, Catherine Seehausen, Maria Grages.
  • First Burial Entry: Henry Wilhelm Tatge, son of Conrad Tatge, died February 1, 1855 and was buried Feb. 4, 1855.

Former Pastors

From the 1854-1954 Centennial Booklet

Church and Cemetery Photos