Monday, November 1, 2010

From Church to Home


Barbara Hunt, "From Church to Home," (A Decorah Newspaper c. 1971). Image courtesy of Verla Williams.

From Church to Home

In 1892, the Baptists found a home in Decorah when a church was built for their congregation. The first pastor was the Rev. Henry Grant, and he apparently left Decorah only to return for a second pastorate. His great granddaughter, Helen Grant Schmidt, lives in Decorah and is seeking information about the Rev. Grant and the church. She knows from a Des Moines Register feature which appeared in 1933 that the Seventh Day Adventists took over the building after the Baptists, whose membership" was dwindling, gave it up. Picture No. 2 shows the demolished steeple of the church which blew down in a wind storm and was never replaced.

The church building was abandoned for a time until Mr. A. Leytze bought it. He, with Hanson and Altfillisch architects and A. R. Coffeen, contractor, transformed the church building into an attractive home. It is located and is now the residence of Mr. and Mrs. William (Bill) Johnson. Mrs. Schmidt would appreciate any information, especially dates of when the storm struck the steeple and when the Baptist church ceased to exist at that location.

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