History of Arenzville, IL
By Judge J. A. Arenz, Chapter XIV, History of Cass County, Illinois, edited by William Henry Perrin, Chicago, O.L. Baskin & Co. Historical Publishers, 1882.
Churches and School-Houses in the Villages
The public school at Arenzville is visited by about one hundred scholars; T. W. Dyer, Principal and one assistant. There is also a private school. The first school-house was built in 1839, and the present public school-house was erected in 1866. The old school-house was also used for church purposes for all denominations.
Churches. -- In Arenzville are now three churches, belonging to the following denominations: The Cumberland Presbyterians, the Lutherans and the Catholics. The Presbyterians have at present no regular minister. The pastor of the German Lutheran is J. Drogemiller, and the Catholics are supplied from Beardstown.
After the new church had been built, in 1860, by the citizens of Arenzville, there was a deficiency of funds to pay the contractor, George Gunther, and the building was used by all denominations, until finally in 1870, the Cumberland Presbyterians became the owners by paying the debt.
The first building used for religious services was erected in 1839. It was open to all denominations on Sundays, but at all other times was devoted to school purposes. In the year 1844, a German Lutheran church was in the Howell neighborhood, and soon afterward a German Methodist church, and in 1870 a very handsome new Lutheran church was erected, and the old one used for a school house. R. G. Linker is the pastor of the Lutheran church, and Mr. Barth of the Methodist church. About the year 1875, a Methodist church was built in the neighborhood of L. D. Graham's; also, five or six years ago, two German Lutheran churches were erected in the neighborhood of the farm of G. H. Jost, of which Revs. Bosin and Merschroth are the pastors.
A Union church was lately built near the farm of J. Melone.
School Houses. -- Among the first school houses outside of Arenzville was one near Pitner's farm, one on the land of George Englebach, and one in the Skinner neighborhood. There were also schools established for teaching in the winter in several neighborhoods. Some person who was able to read or write was engaged as teacher, and when the season for farm work commenced again, these teachers hired themselves to farmers.
And Odd Fellows' Lodge was organized in 1874, and the Order of the United Workingmen in 1876. Both were organized by L. J. Wallich, who moved to Arenzville in 1869. He is a native of Pennsylvania, and is 54 years old; was also the Superintendent of the Union Sabbath School from 1869 to the present time, and for many years a Justice of the Peace of the precinct, which office he filled worthily and with ability.
Arenzville is a station on the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, 11 miles southwest of Beardstown.