Zion U. C. C.

Hanover Twp., Lake Co., IN

Submitted by Karen Rowe

German United Evangelical Zion Church
Zion United Church of Christ (Evangelical and Reformed)
Dyer, Hanover Twp., Lake Co., IN Zion

United Church of Christ 14804 W. 113th Avenue Dyer, Indiana 46311 (219) 365-5288

Churchbook Extractions Background and Indexes

Edwin C. Friedrich 3105 Beacon Bay Place Davis, California 95616 and Retyped and reformatted February 1997 Karen Rowe 122 West Saunders Avenue Lincoln, Nebraska 68521-3925

The German United Evangelical Zion Church (Deutsche Vereinigten Evangelisches Zions Kirche) congregation was organized on August 31, 1859 as a daughter congregation of St. Johns Lutheran Church of Eagle Lake, Illinois. Their first church, measuring 40 x 30 feet, and which included living quarters for the pastor, was built at the site of the present church on 113th Avenue, about a half mile east of the Indiana-Illinois State Line. Farmer Otto Buehre donated a five acre corner of his farm for the church property. The families who founded the church lived both in Crete Township, Will County, Illinois and in Hanover Township, Lake County, Indiana. The signatures of the original signers of the church constitution on August 31, 1859 are in many cases faded and difficult to read. However, lists of the contributors from among the members of the congregation to the building and maintenance of the church building are given for 1860 to 1863 in the church book and are quite legible. The names given on these early lists, in alphabetical order, are: Heinrich Bahlmann, Johann Bahlmann, Friedrich Battermann, Heinrich Battermann, Heinrich Behrens, Friedrich Braemer, Heinrich Braemer, Christian Brenker, Friedrich Brenker, Heinrich Buehre, Otto Buehre, Gottlieb Buerkle, Heinrich Claus, Johann Elting, Rosine Glade, Wilhelm Grages, Dietrich Haake, Friedrich Hasselbrink, Heinrich Hecht, Heinrich Heisterberg, Karl Hitzemann, Wilhelm Holton, Friedrich Hue, Katharina Jung, Friedrich Kahle, Father Klemme, Christian Klemme, Friedrich Klemme, Heinrich Klemme, Georg Lesemann, Wilhelm Mussmann, Wilhelm Noehren, Friedrich Oehlerking, Christoph Piepho, Friedrich Ringgenberg, Christoph Ruessel, Heinrich Schoenbeck, Christoph Seegers, Conrad Seegers, Heinrich Seehausen, Karl Tegtmeier, Heinrich Thuennemann, Friedrich Wehrmann, Friedrich Wille, Christoph Zieseniss, Philipp Zimmermann. Note that womens’ names were not included unless they were widows.

According to a list given in the Zion One Churchbook in the pastors’ own writing, the pastors of the church up to the turn of the century were:

  1. Peter Lehman from Womb (or Warb?), Kanton Bern, in Switzerland, served from 01 September 1859 to 12 July 1868.
  2. Jacob Furrer from Reimsmuehler / Reimsmuehler / Reimsmuhler, Kanton Zuerich / Zurich, Switzerland, served from 12 July 1868 to June 1872.
  3. J. Robert Ruegg from Pfoeffikon / Pfoffikon, Kanton Zurich, Switzerland, served from 25 August 1872 to 02 October 1876.
  4. C. August Kitterer from Stuttgart, Kingdom of Wuerttemberg / Wurttemberg, served from 05 November 1876 to the end of September 1884.
  5. Wilhelm Wahl from Ebersberg, district of Welzheim, Wurtemberg, served from 03 November 1881 to 15 April 1884.
  6. Gottfried Emil Daehler from Bern, Switzerland, served from 10 August 1884 to 06 August 1885.
  7. H. Christian Friedrich Schmidt from Schleswich, North Germany, served from 17 October 1885 to 22 October 1899.
  8. Friedrich Grosse, born in Ballenstadt on Harz, Principality of Anhalt, Germany, “took over the congregation on 02 November 1899 and worked with them through the Grace of God until 17 November 1907.

The lists which follow were photocopied from the original church records by Judy Claus Segal of Wheaton, Illinois (Gr. Gr. Grandaughter of Heinrich and Wilhelmina (Battermann) Claus) or by Christian Orlov ( born James Ballard, and Gr. Gr. Grandson of Christoph and Wilhelmine (Seegers) Ohlendorf and Christian and Sophia (Grages) Klemme) of New York, New York. They, as well as the present writers who have translated and tabulated the records (Edwin Friedrich is the Gr. Gr. Grandson of Friedrich and Maria [Knief] Wille and Friedrich and Dorothea [Ostermeier] Battermann are descended from early members of the Congregation. All of the entries from 1859 to 1900 in Book One of the church records were written in German. Before 1876 the Old Style German Script was mainly used except for names. After 1876 the script is generally the English style. Fortunately, the handwriting is quite legible throughout the early records of Book One. It is of interest to note that a recent pastor of the Zion church, Reverend David McDonald, has recently published a compilation of the church records entitled: “So Great a Cloud of Witnesses: The People of Zion Church, Hanover Township, Lake County, Indiana”, Muttonburger Press, Kreitzburg, Indiana, 1996. This compilation covers the baptism, confirmation, marriage and burial records of the church from the beginning to the present, and also includes baptism sponsers and some family trees of early church members. Information about ordering a copy of this book, as well as another book by Rev. McDonald containing the records of Saint John’s United Church of Christ of Beecher, Will County, Illinois, a daughter church of Zion, may be obtained by writing to: Rev. David McDonald, 6778 Windsor Street, Windsor, WI 53598.

Photos from the German United Evangelical Zion Church Cemetery