CELEBRATION OF 100 YEARS OF GRANTSBURG COMMUNITY CHURCH AND GRANTSBURG ALUMNI HOMECOMING AT GRANTSBURG, INDIANA SEPTEMBER 28, 1986
Previous to the 1880's the various denominations held their church services in the old school house or in various homes of the members. In about 1885, the Methodists and Presbyterians joined together in an effort to build a church house. Neither congregation was able to do it alone.
Mrs. Cassie (Yates) Martin gave the timber to build the church and by hard work and generous help of many of the citizens of the Community, during 1885 and 1886, they cut the timber, had the lumber sawed, no doubt by the Benhams, as they lived and operated a mill near here. Then it is probable that the Patrick Brothers and Thomas Loughmiller, carpenters, did the cutting and fitting of the frames. With the help of the energetic men the church was built and was, for that day, when finished, a magnificent structure.
Nearing completion, they found that they lacked about $200 having enough money to pay for the finishing. The Presbytery at New Albany offered to supply the needed money and take a deed for the church until such time as the debt could be paid. By June of 1886 they had the church house ready for dedication. The 1886 date on the southwest cornerstone of the church was carved there by Gordon Bennett.
The Methodist and Presbyterians thus used the church for many years. Then, for a period of years we had no regular church service or no Sunday school. The church was dissolved by the Presbytery April 20, 1910.
In July 1934 the Sunday school was reorganized and Miss Dolly Ford was selected as Superintendent, which she held until 1960 and at that time Donald Sloan was elected Superintendent and is still at the present time in the same office. There were times when the attendance was no more than five people.
In 1947 upon learning that the Presbytery would sell the church for $600.00 the people at Grantsburg and many former residents donated enough money to pay the debt off and the community church of Grantsburg received the deed to the church property.
The church was in a sadly dilapidated state, so more donations were given and over the next few years several improvements were made, such as a new roof, steps, windows, doors, underpinning and new flue. Later the ceiling was lowered, new floor and many other improvements.
In 1962 - two Sunday school rooms were added, new vestibule and new pews in 1964.
In 1980 two more Sunday school rooms and restroom was added, which is the present condition of our church today.
Our ministers have been:
Burley Fletcher 1938-1950
W. H. Hanover 1950-1980
Rick Utz 1981-1985
Charles Burgin 1985 -
The Rev. Raymond Husk was a Missionary with the American Sunday School Union in Crawford County from 1942-1964.
One item from the Crawford Publishing Company paper in 1920 reads that Rev. Samuel Duggins who was a Methodist Minister had church services at Grantsburg at 2:30 p.m. on November 11th, 1920.
Our present officers of the church are:
Don Sloan - Superintendent
Erma Scott - Assistant Superintendent
Aleda Sloan - Secretary & Treasurer
Lillian Goldman & Twila Walts - Pianists
Choir Leader - Lola Goldman
Durinda McKay - Charge of Youth Sunday school
Joyce Sherron - Teacher of Youth Sunday school
Teachers of Adult Sunday School are:
Estelle (Tille) Ridenour, Jewell Sears and Don Sloan.
Deacons and Elders are:
Don Sloan, Bob Walts, Nolan Scott and Paul Scott and Chancy Wright.
Over the years we lost many faithful workers such as Shelby Goldman, Andy & Jessie Sturgeon, Sallie Goldman, Hazel Wright, Hattie Cole, George Miller, Rosa Hammond, Mrs. Elsa Doolittle, Bessie Clements, Leo Goldman, Rev. & Mrs. Raymond Husk, Iva Scott, Amy Balding, Annie Froman, Dolly Ford, Lilly Ford, Laura Ferguson, Mr. & Mrs. G. M. Byrd and the Roberson's.
Much has been said about the material aspect of our church, but far more important is the spiritual advancement of our people. We have no way of knowing how many souls have been converted to Christian living by the preaching of our ministers and the teaching on our Sunday school at Grantsburg.
We feel there have been many who have gone out into the world to spread their Christian influence in many localities. Today, they rejoice in the progress of the church here.
HISTORY OF GRANTSBURG, INDIANA
The Jim Ferguson Store of which he was postmaster and owner from 1913-1933, at which time Laura Ferguson was postmaster until 1948. This building was torn down in 1970's. Upstairs of this building was Odd Fellows Lodge No. 407 for many years. In 1911 the Lodge had 68 members. In later years the upstairs of this building was living quarters for the Ferguson and Sarles Family.
The Town of Grantsburg was laid out in 1854. In 1889 Grantsburg had a population of about 200. In 1883 Grantsburg tried to get the county seat. The Republican convention met in Grantsburg August the 11th, 1906. In 1853 the first school in Union Township was built at Grantsburg.
The Town of Grantsburg was named after the Grants and General Grant.
At one time there were three doctors in Grantsburg - Dr. Edd Land, Dr. George Land and Dr. F. R. Gobbel. This was in the early 1900's.
Business places in Grantsburg have been: Jim Ferguson Store, Ike Froman Store, Vernie Sarles Barber Shop, Blacksmith shops. Feed Mills, Charles Roberson Grocery Store, Hat Shop and the Red Front Store.
Grantsburg got electricity in 1941 and Grantsburg Rural Water. Inc. was formed in 1967. This was the smallest water system in the USA at that time.
Ministers in Grantsburg in the early 1900's were William Scott, Pearl Senn and W. H. Wright, Highway 37 was built in Grantsburg from 1929-1931.
Some of the oldest homes in Grantsburg were the Henry Roberson house built in 1866; The Oscar Miller House; the Nolan Scott house; the Floyd Knight house and the Tina King house. There were two churches in Grantsburg for many years. The Holiness Church was torn down in approximately 1937.
The first burial in the Grantsburg Cemetery was Charles Land Died 4-15-1851 - age 1 year, 4 months, 17 days.
William G. Roberson was the first postmaster of Grantsburg post office in April 19, 1854. Since then there has been 26 postmasters.
The Grantsburg School House was closed in 1965.
In 1982 a new Highway 37 by-pass was routed west of Grantsburg.
Grantsburg was, is and always shall be:
The Garden Spot of the World
& the Dimple of the Universe
We can only hope that the coming generations will use this house of worship for the purpose for which it is intended and will keep it in good repair and may the blessing of God rest upon us all.
Jewell Sears, June Walts and Aleda Sloan
Typing & editing by Durinda McKay
Sketches of church by "Chuck" Hilgret
The Committee wishes to thank many people for all the historical information.
[Clearly, Grantsburg naming is not related to General Grant of US Civil War era; Ron Yates 3/29/2012]