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Newspaper Clippings for
June, 1937

Waukegan News-Sun05 June 1937
Fourth Building of Old Congregational Parish Center
of Attraction at Tomorrow's Dedicatory Services.
By Gladys Priddy
Tomorrow at 2 p. m. the people of Millburn will dedicate a new church home, the fourth building of that Congregational parish.
And taking part in the program and mingling in the audience will be men, women and children of the parish who are the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of that first little band of Congregationalists who met for services 97 years ago in the little hewn log church the men of that pioneer community had built themselves.
It was on Jan. 12, 1935, that the third home of the Millburn Congregational church burned. The parish immediately sought to replace it, and good fortune fell upon them when the Third Congregational church of Oak Park united with the First Congregational church there. Thus, there was an extra church building, and it was given to the Chicago Congregational union. This organization in turn gave it to the Millburn parish, and the Millburn men hauled bricks, pews, windows, fixtures --an entire church in their trucks and cars from Oak Park!
"Bit of Scotland"
Millburn was originally and still is a "bit of Scotland." The original settlers came from land of plaid and heather, and the present pastor, the Rev. Samuel Holden, is the son of Scotch and English parents and has spent much of his time in Scotland.
The original group formed the First Religious Society of Millburn. The Rev. Flavel Bascom of Chicago and the Rev. E. G. Howe of Waukegan assisted in the beginning. The organization was based on the old New England parish system, this probably brought by "Father" W. B. Dodge, a member of the seventh generation of his family since the immigration to America from Cheshire, England. Under this system everyone had to support the church. The entire community was one unit, one parish. It is still. Millburn has had only one church.
Of the first generation of Scotch settlers, all are gone now except one, James Bonner, now a very old man, who was brought to Millburn as an infant. He was born in Scotland. Other pioneers besides the Bonners whose descendants are still in the community are the Whites, the Mintos, Thaines and Strangs.
Second Structure Built
After the first hewn log building was outgrown by the Millburn congregation, a second frame structure replaced it. The log building had served as both church and school and stood very near the "Robert Strang home," according to the church history published in 1902. The second structure, erected in 1847 was situated across the street from the first one and stood on land donated by George Strang.
In 1844 "Father" Dodge, no longer a young man, came to Millburn. His service to the church is legend, and his constant efforts further strengthened the already firm religious life of the parish.
The famous pastor was a leader in the forming of the Millburn Mutual Insurance company, the oldest mutual company in the state. He served until 1862 when his age compelled him to ask to be relieved. He stayed on in Millburn until his death which occurred a few years after his retirement. The Rev. Calvin Selden replaced "Father" and Dodge, and he, in turn, was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Bross who married Miss Lydia Johnson of Fremont while serving in the Millburn pastorate.
South African Missionary
From the Congregation church of Millburn have gone many members to become well known for service in far places. In the Philippines, Hawaii, and Africa, this church is represented. At present, Miss Una Minto, sister of Harold Minto, is working the mission field of South Africa.
So long established is this little church that a delegation from it attended the council of welcome for the first Congregational church in Chicago.
Besides the gift of much of the material from the Oak Park church, the new building has been made possible by the cooperation of Congregational benevolent societies and the gifts of members and friends in this area.
The Ladies' aid of the church is especially active. This group purchased the carpet for the building. The women, incidentally, serve church suppers every so often, and when they do, there is always an abundance of delicious food. One evening last fall they served 700 persons!
The dedication of the new church occurs in the fifth year of the Rev. Mr. Holden's service. It was in 1932 that he began preaching in Millburn after serving for a quarter century as assistant superintendent of Congregational home missionary work in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. His preaching career began in pastorates where the church law brought to Millburn by the Rev. Mr. Dodge is still enforced, that is, the old New England parish system.
The architect of the fourth home of the Millburn Congregational church is Arthur R. Rhenisch of Oak Park. The builders were Arthur Rich of Grayslake and Charles H. Cashmore of Wadsworth, with the assistance of the men of the parish. The building is entirely modern including shower baths and partial gymnasium facilities.
Officers of Church
Jesse Denman, Harold Minto and Leslie Bonner are deacons of the church. Emmet King, Carl Anderson and Ralph McGuire are trustees. Harold Minto is church clerk, and Gordon Bonner is parish secretary and treasurer. Officers of the Bible school are: Harold Minto, Frank Edwards, Vivien Bonner and Kenneth Denman. Officers of the Ladies Aid society are Mrs. George White, Mrs. William Bonner and Mrs. Emmet King. Serving in the Christian Endeavor offices are: John V. Edwards, Juanita Clark, Richard Martin, Mrs. W. A. Bonner and Mrs. Frank Edwards. Victor Strang is the church janitor.
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