St. John's Mantels United Church of Christ History Day
June 30, 2002
This event has passed but
the information may still be of interest.
If anyone has German ancestors from Franklin County they might
interested in what my church is doing on June 30. We will have a worship
service in a traditional fashion as would have been seen in the mid 1800s.
The service will, however, be in English as well as German. The men and
older boys will wait outside while the women and children enter the church
as sit on the left side. When the old bell rings the men will enter and sit
on the right side of the church.
We have German-speaking liturgists and our two pastors also speak German so
there will be a very authentic sound. The building itself was erected by
immigrants 127 years ago and still holds much of its original "flavor." Lunch
will be served on the big pavilion behind the church and will consist of
Bratwurst, German potato salad, home-made ice cream and much more. This is the
same church which you may have seen featured in "Country Extra" magazine.
Twenty-eight veterans of the War Between the States are buried in the 1843
cemetery next to the church and a color guard of soldiers in blue and gray will
lead the ceremony as we dedicate the first of the new tombstones for these
veterans of the 54th and the 55th Enrolled Missouri Militia. There will be
authentic camp music from the war years and more modern live music on the
pavilion for dancing.
The church is
air-conditioned. The 1843 cemetery holds the remains of countless victims
buried in mass graves from the gold rush of 1849. These people contracted
cholera while they waited for the Spring thaw so that they could begin their
journey to California. Many got no farther than these trench graves in Franklin
If anyone is interested in the History Day, please send a letter, or call,
or e-mail me at the address below. I'll send more details promptly. We will
only have room in the little country church for 154 people so write soon.
I hope that this might put some meat on the bones of your
ancestors' vital statistics and your understanding of their lives.
St. John's Mantels Church
442 Mantels Church Road
Washington, MO 63090