HOME » online historical archives » news clipping month index » January, 1935 »

[month index] [previous] [next]

Newspaper Clippings for
January, 1935

loose clipping, source unknown 12 January 1935
Flames Ruin VIllage Church That Served
Community For Past 69 Years
The First Congregational church in Millburn, the weather-beaten frame structure that has served that community as a house of worship for 69 years, burned to the ground shortly before noon today.
Three fire departments stood by and unsuccessfully fought the blaze but prevented the fire from spreading to other buildings. Gurnee, Lake Villa and Antioch departments all responded to the call from Millburn residents.
The fire presumably started in the chimney. A fire was lighted in the heating plant this morning as the women of the community were to gather there to prepare a banquet for the annual meeting of the members of the Millburn Mutual Fire insurance company today.
Flames Spread Fast
Flames first were noticed about the chimney, it was learned. There was no chance to save the building as the flames ate into the timbers with startling rapidity.
The fire started about 10 o'clock in the morning and by 11 o'clock little was left standing of the building, which was one of the oldest church buildings in the county.
The structure was built in 1866, the year after the men of Newport township community returned from the Civil war, but was remodelled and modernized in 1887 and in 1905.
It replaced, when first built, the original church which had been built starting June 1, 1847, but as a matter of fact the congregation's organization dated back to 1841 with Rev. Flavel Basom being the first pastor. The congregation was organized less than ten years after the treaty with the Indians and the settling of Lake county by the white pioneers.
There were 14 persons who organized the congregation and they held their Sabbath worship in the school house at first. They were William and Eliza Abbott, Mark and Harriet Pitman, Robert and Elizabeth Pollock, George and Jane Trotter, Merrill and Lydia Pearson, Samuel Dowst, Alesander Kennedy, Mary Thayer and Abigail Berry.
In Use Constantly
The church has been in constant _______________________
Waukegan News-Sunabout 15 January 1935
Millburn Congregation Will Meet Wednesday
To Discuss Plan For New Building
The congregation of the First Congregational church of Millburn will meet Wednesday for the purpose of laying plans for the building of a new church. The meeting will be presided over by the pastor, Rev. Samuel Holden.
The church burned to the ground Saturday morning from a chimney fire although three fire departments, Gurnee, Lake Villa and Antioch, pumped water from Mill Creek in an effort to save it.
The grove of tall pine trees surrounding the building were undamaged by the fire and will live.
The church, it is understood, is free of debt and has some investments. The investments, however, are of little value as the money was tied up in bonds that defaulted later.
Insurance Small
The insurance on the building was small a policy for $2,000 was carried on the building, and a second policy of $300 on the contents of the building.
The new structure will rise on the ashes of the old building which was constructed in 1866 after the men of Millburn returned from the Civil war. It was remodelled in 1887 and again in 1905. In 1905 a huge brass bell weighing more than 500 pounds was placed in the belfry. This came crashing down when the steeple tumbled into the burning ruins and the top of the bell broke away. This may be welded successfully, members of the congregation stated.
There are 109 members of the church. About 14 new members were added a year ago when the church at Hickory corners was abandoned permanently. Originally there were 14 persons who organized the congregation in 1841, a matter of 94 years ago.
Formed After Indian Treaty
Church was held by these 14 pioneers who came to the country after the treaty with the Indians in the school house that was there. Then they built a log church about two years later, and then replaced it with a frame building in 1847 which gave way to the church that burned down to the ground Saturday.
The old frame church that was abandoned in 1866 for the present structure that was lost by the fire was a point in the "Underground Railway" during the Civil war and many negroes escaping from slavery in the Southern states were harbored there until they could push on northward and make new homes in a free land.
There were two "underground railroad" stations in Newport township during the Civil war. The other was on the Charles Heydecker farm near Wadsworth. Heydecker, a Bavarian gardener, settled near Wadsworth several years before the war of the rebellion and raised a large family there. The sons and daughters all are dead.
The church was held yesterday, including Sunday school services, in the Millburn school. This will continue to be the place of worship until the new church is built.
[month index] [previous] [next]