Cottonwood Co. AHGP-Church of the Good Shepherd Centennial Book

Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd
Windom, Minnesota 1874 - 1974

The Church of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal
453 – 10th Street West
Windom, Minnesota 56101

Sunday, June 23, 1974
100th Anniversary of First Known Service Held in Windom
by Bishop Henry Benjamin Whipple

.....Program .....
10:00 A.M. Holy Communion Service Officiated
by Bishop Philip McNairy

Dinner Follows Service
Rector, Edward G. Vock

Vestry Officials

Senior Warden - Harris Knauss
Junior Warden - Harold Thake
Secretary-Treasurer - Alvin Nemitz

Centennial Committee Chairmen

Mrs. Kathy Voehl
Mrs. Kathy Pankonin
Mr. Dudley L. Jans


We sincerely hope that you enjoy this History of The Church of the Good Shepherd.

On the following pages, we the committee for "The Church of the Good Shepherd Centennial History Book" have searched in records available and also have contacted several members of our Parish in order to obtain updated information and facts that are herewith.

We regret that we do not have all the names of those who have been a part of the Church of the Good Shepherd during its early years. Those that are available, we offer in the interest of the surviving families and of possible merit in genealogical assistance.

Several books and records were destroyed years ago, so thus, all pertinent information is not complete in this History.

God Bless each of you who have made this History of the Church of the Good Shepherd possible.

The Centennial Book Committee

Dr. James H. Dokken
Mrs. Charles Baumback
Mr. Loren Warren
Mrs. Dudley L. Jans


Miss Cora Dell Smith

To Cora Dell, who very unselfishly has given many hours of work and research, in order that the History of the Good Shepherd might live in the minds and hearts of our present and past members, with deep appreciation, we dedicate this book.

Miss Smith has been a member of the Parish Life during this entire 100 year span.

The Committee

Miss Cora Dell Smith

The oldest living member of the church is Cora Dell Smith, who celebrated her 104th birthday, January 31, 1974. In honor of this occasion, the Women of the Church held an Open House for this gracious lady. She received gifts and messages from many, including Actor William Windom, whom she met at the Cottonwood County Centennial Celebration in 1970, and Johnny Olson, Columbia Broadcasting System Television celebrity, a former Windom resident. Cora Dell served as County Centennial Queen in 1970.

"A formula for living so long? No, I never had one", she shakes her head at the obvious question. "One thing I have learned", she adds thoughtfully, "That is to take things as they come, and not to complain. I am so thankful that I have my faculties - my mind, my hearing and my eyesight." There has been no loafing in her long life. Up at 7:00 in the morning, in bed by 10:00 or after, she has always kept busy - "Maybe that's the secret", she ventures.

Born 104 years ago the last day in January at Kenosha, Wisconsin, Cora Dell came to Windom the following year, 1871, with her parents two brothers and one sister, Ada Belle. Cora Dell's father, L.D. Smith, was a pioneer Windom businessman. Of English decent, he and his Scotch wife, Dianth Combs, had come west by stages from New York to Ionia, Michigan, thence to Kenosha, Wisconsin and finally to St. James by sled and by wagon to get flour and other supplies from my fathers store." "When I finished elementary school in 1883, there was no high school here. It was five years before one was established in Windom. Our class of four girls was the first class to graduate completing the four-year Latin-scientific course." Nor was this young girl idle during the five years she was unable to attend school. She became an avid reader - books and magazines - and she also made her own clothes. After high school, she took advanced courses at Mankato Teachers College.

During her long career as a teacher, Miss Smith was at Windom, Menominee, Michigan, and then at Minneapolis, before going east to teach at Passaic, New Jersey in 1905. While teaching, she continued her studies, taking mathematics courses at Columbia University, New York, and a Rutgers extension Course. When she retired from teaching in 1933, her sister, Mrs. T. C. Collins, ten years her senior, persuaded her to return to Windom.

"Yes, I've had my ups and downs - broken arm once when I tripped over a chair hurrying to answer the phone, - a bad cut when I was in the East, that a doctor from New York had to put stitches in. It seems as a person gets older, one becomes more interested in poetry. This short poem is one of my favorites".

"If you hold, no matter how the years go by,
No matter how the birthdays fly, you are not old".


To the Church of the Good Shepherd:

“I would like to congratulate you on the one hundredth anniversary of the first Episcopal Service held in Windom with the participation of Bishop Whipple.

A lot of water has gone under the bridge since them. A great number of changes have taken place, both in time and numbers. The dependency and faith in God that made you strong in the beginning still remains.

May you continue to grow in Him over the next hundred years.

May God Bless and keep each one of you in the coming yeas.”

Father Edward Vock


“Phyllis and I are sorry we can not come. We have many happy recollections”.

Leland Stark

“The invitation to attend the Centennial Celebration of the Church of the Good Shepherd is very tempting. At this time I do not expect to be able to attend but I am not ready to say I cannot. If I can come it would be just for the service and the dinner following>

The Church of the Good Shepherd has many happy associations for me. I would love to see the people in Windom. Probably most of my friends are now gone, but there are still a few left.

With warm wishes,”
Alice Emery (Mrs. Richard)

“I was delighted to hear of the plans being made by the Centennial Committee of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Windom. Mrs. Putnam and I look back with a great deal of nostalgia to the time of a little more than one year that we spent in Windom and Worthington. It was my “baptism” in the ministry and from it I learned a good deal which was very helpful to me in later years.

I would like very much to attend the Centennial Celebration and if I am able to be in Minnesota at that time, I will certainly be there. However, it looks now as though I will be in Denmark, or on my way home from Denmark on June 23rd. I have applied for a study grant to attend a traveling seminar in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, so I may no be able to attend.

Please give my best greeting to any of the people at Good Shepherd who were there back in the “Stone Age” when I was your Vicar in 1942-1943. With best wishes to you and your Committee as you make plans, I remain,

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Frederick W. Putnam

“Thank you for your notification of the Centennial of the Good Shepherd on June 23rd. I am deeply regretful that I must be at Rutgers University in New Jersey where I teach a summer course.

Please be sure of my prayers and very best wishes for a happy and meaningful celebration. Some of my very warmest memories are of Windom! It would have been particularly meaningful to have been able to be present because the date is within days of our own 30th anniversary of arrival in Windom, June 15, 1944!”

Vernon Johnson

“It was good to get the announcement and to refresh pleasant memories of my years in Windom. It has been a good number of years since my travel; has taken me there, although, a few trips have been made to Minneapolis to see old friends of my Windom days.

Windom has many memories for me and it is my hope that the Church continues to be of great service in the community and exercises a role in the proclamation of the Good News. The location of the church across from the high school was a tremendous help. Do convey to the people in Windom my gratitude fro having been a part of the church there and also my hopes for the continuing growth of the church in Windom. May the day be most joyful and may it renew for the congregation every hope for the strengthening of Our Lord’s mission.

With every good wish to you.

Faithfully yours,
Geofrey W. Ashworth

“Thank you for the notice of your centennial Celebration, 1874-1974. My congratulations to all of you in the Church of the Good Shepherd. Mary and I came there as Vicar and wife from 1951-1955. We brought our infant son Andy with us and added Stephen and Rebekah while there. It was a highlight of our lives to have had the privilege of living in Windom and sharing in the lives of so many wonderful people. It doesn’t seem possible so many years have slipped by since those good days in Southwestern Minnesota.

Mary and I regret we shall not personally be able to attend the Celebration. Perhaps some of you will be attending Expo ’74 in Spokane, Washington. If so, remember us in Yakima. We are 230 miles west of Spokane. If you take in the sights of the Northwest, include a stop at the Web Barnett’s, where you are always most welcome.

May God’s Spirit be with your committee, your Rector, and all the people of the Good Shepherd.

Most Affectionately Yours,
Web Barnett

“I do regret that I shall be unable to attend the Centennial Service of the Church of the Good Shepherd on June 23, 1974.

My congratulations and prayers go to you,

Walter Allyn Rogers

“Please be informed that I have marked June 23rd and will make every effort to attend your Centennial Celebration.

Best wishes to the committee in their work and warm greetings to the Rector and people of Good Shepherd.”

Yours in Christ,
Lawrence J. Rowe

“Greetings, and God Bless you all as you celebrate your Centennial! Rejoice in the unlimited possibilities of resurrection, as you go forward. Fight for inward growth. Thank God for our restoration, and pray that it might continue.

And accept our love at this very special time.”

Harry A. and Alice Kirkham


“Cordial and hearty congratulations on the Centennial Celebration of the Church of the Good Shepherd. As you know, during the almost 22 years that I have been a Bishop in Minnesota, I have had a very close and happy relationship with the Church of the Good Shepherd, and have visited the Parish on many events for Confirmation Services and other occasions. I have always been impressed by the cooperation, friendliness and loyalty of the people. Over the years the Church of the Good Shepherd has been one of the most devoted and loyal congregations in our Diocese, and has supported the Diocese and its various projects with great generosity.

The program which you have announced for the Celebration is most attractive and inspirational, and I surely should like to be among those present. I have been invited to participate in another significant anniversary with this same date, so I am not sure at this writing whether or not I shall be able to present on the 23rd of June in Windom. However, I assure you that I want to do so very much, and I also want you to know that if I am not present in person, I most surely shall be with you all in spirit as you observe what I am sure will be one of the most memorable and outstanding occurrences in the distinguished, historic and long life of the Church of the Good Shepherd.

With a prayer that the next 100 years the Church of the Good Shepherd will continue to exercise outstanding Christian leadership in the community and in the Diocese as a whole, I am, with kindest personal regards to one and all,

Most sincerely yours,
Hamilton H. Kellog


“Congratulations! What a wonderful thing to bear witness to our Lord for a century!

Survival has become the name of the fame for so many churches today. My prayer for you is that you not settle for that! Rather, may you become more and more the light of Christ - - a light that doesn’t dim, even though things come slowly apart in the world around use. Indeed the true measure of a church is not its ability to “survive” another century, but the degree to which it can be a channel of the Grace of God. Isn’t it better to be a river, flowing in the wilderness, than a stagnant pool, producing nothing but its own reflection?

Reverend Douglas E. Lorig

“Our heartiest congratulations on the occasion of your Centennial Celebration. Our memories of the Church of the Good Shepherd and the people of Windom will always remain as an important point in our lives because, as you know, it was while we were members there that the decision was made to begin work toward entering the full time Ministry of the Church and I am sure that our association with Father Larry Rowe (then Rector), and the good, Christian people of your Church had a great and beneficial influence upon this decision. Your prayers for us, at that time, have truly been answered as I hope our prayers for you will continue to be.

God Bless you all.
Yours in Christ,
Leonard and Shirley Claxton

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