Solving a few mysteries

Category: What on Earth!?

Late at night, when I cannot sleep, I look up the information I am finding in the stacks of postcards that we have found in the attic.

This one (click to enlarge):

was mailed from the town of Brillion, Wisconsin in 1921 by pastor's wife, Hulda Moor. It shows the M.E. Church and Parsonage.

It's a lovely little town in Wisconsin and, strangely, they also struggle with the mysteries of their origin!

I contacted the very helpful H.Zander from Brillion who sent me photos of a few current Brillion churches to see if there was a match between the church in the postcard and the church today.

Hmmm. What do you think? Do we have a match? Or do we need to keep investigating?

It's possible that there were changes to the M.E. Church...or that it no longer exists. But it would be terrific if it does still exist....and to visit it. Someday.

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I wonder how a card addressed to Vincennes Ave. In Chicago Heights got to your house POPS"30"

Well, that one we DO know :) The previous owner's great (or great-great?) grandparents lived at that address prior to moving to this house in the '30s.

I haven't examined them that closely yet, but we do have quite a few postcards from the late 1800's too!

Hmmm...The second picture looks a lot like the church on the postcard, taken from a different angle.

Your post made me curious about what a Methodist Episcopal church (which I've always associated with African-Americans) would be doing in a small town in Wisconsin consisting mostly of Germans, so I did a little googling. Check out the biography of Rev. Frank F. Kleuske, about midway down the linked page. Looks like he was possibly a minister at this church, which was apparently *German* Methodist Episcopal. A further search on that phrase brought up this page, which suggests that the GME merged into what would later become the United Methodist Church.

So you could call the UMs in Brillion and see if one of them used to be Methodist Episcopal...

...though before you do, I'd suggest practicing saying "Methodist Episcopal" ten times in a row...:)

This opens up a really interesting bit of history here as well...fascinating stuff. Hmmm. The family we purchased the house from was German...but joined the primarily (at the time) Swedish Covenant church in our neighborhood.

Interesting bit about the convergence of the church and nationalism in the States after WWI. I think one of the historical moves of the Swedish Covenant church to the United States was to purposefully separate "church and state" since the church in Sweden was (is?) state run...I apologize to those affiliated with ECC if I misunderstood that piece of history. I should dig to find out more.

I'm a United Methodist pastor in Green Bay, not far from Brillion. ME is indeed Methodist Episcopal, one of the forerunner denominations that later became the United Methodist Church. Contrary to one of your commentator's comments, ME churches were not unusual in this highly German state. That person may be thinking of the AME, African Methodist Episcopal Church, which broke off at an unhappy (and racist) period in our history. They remain a separate denomination (but we have much better relations now). Methodist Episcopal, now United Methodist, churches are all over this state, all about a half-day's horse ride apart. I'll make contact with the current pastor of the UM Church in Brillion, (when I get back to work and my Conference directory), and let you know what I find out.
P.S. I can say Methodist Episcopal pretty easily, but I can't quit typing "Untied" Methodist Church. Quite Freudian I'm sure.


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