The Daily Appeal - Sunday, April 5, 1896, p5
Our Churches and Their Pastors
The massive and stately structure which stands at the corner of D and Fifth streets is the home of the local Presbyterian Society. It is the most costly, and from an architectural point of view, the most beautiful of the Protestant church buildings of Northern California. It stands as a monument to the enterprise and generosity of our citizens. The first building occupied by this society was erected on the corner of D and Third streets in the spring of 1851. Justice Field, of the United States Supreme Court, was one of the first subscribers. It was finished and dedicated August 3, 1851. It was anything but a pretentious structure, as it was built of rough lumber and lined with cotton cloth. A few years later this building was burned, and the Trustees having purchased a lot on the southeast corner of D and Fifth streets, a chapel was built at a cost of $6,500. In this modest chapel the society continued to worship until the year 1859. It was then found necessary, on account of increase in congregations, to have a larger building and the present handsome edifice was erected where it now stands at a cost of $33,000. The sermon of dedication was held on Sunday morning October 14, 1860.
The style of architecture is an adaptation of the principles of the English Gothic as practiced in the latter part of the 14th century, the design being modified in construction, ideas and arrangements. The church proper originally consisted of a tower, a vane and a sacrarium or space recessed for the pulpit, and the architect was enabled from the fortunate position of the lot to place the church in the same relative position, according to early Christian canons, in which all the early churches were placed, namely the tower to the west and the amlion or seat of doctrine to the east. In recent years some slight changes have been made. The tower is 18 feet square and rises to a height of 80 feet from the ground. It is surmounted by a spire, which terminates in a gilt copper globe surrounded with ornamental iron work in the shape of a maltese cross, measuring in total height from the ground 147 feet. The audience room, which is 70 feet in length and 44 feet in width is beautifully finished. Originally there were 76 crescent-formed pews, all handsomely upholstered with crimson damask. The seating capacity was about 500. In recent years a magnificent pipe organ, costing in the neighborhood of $2,500, was purchased and put in place. Hugo Mansfield, the celebrated pianist, presided at its dedication.
The next important addition to the property was made in the year 1890, when the building known as the Church Parlors was erected. The building which includes lecture room, Ladies' Parlor, two dressing rooms, kitchen and study, cost about $5,000.
The Presbyterian Society, was organized by Rev. W. W. Brier on November 24, 1850, with nine members. Previous to this time Mr. Brier preached under the shade of a large white oak tree with all the stores in the vicinity wide open, the gambling houses in full blast and teams of oxen and a train of mules being loaded up close to where services were held. (From history of Yuba county.)
It is to be regretted that the early records of the church, covering the first four years of its history were burned in the fire which consumed the first church building. It is very evident, however, that among the pioneers of our church, there were many noble, large-hearted men and women. Many of them have gone to their reward, but their work abides. And now it is fitting that we who "have entered into their labors" should honor those who remain and gratefully cherish the memory of those who have departed. In the list of those who have served as pastors during the forty-five years of the church's history we find the following names: E. B. Walsworth, J. H. Booth, W. W. McComber, E. McKaig, P. L. Carden, John E. Anderson, L. J. Garver and E. L. Allen.
The officers of the church at the present time are as follows: Pastor, Reve. J. W. Lundy; Elders, Allen Cooley, (Clerk of Session); A. D. Cutts, W. T. Phipps, George Cooley and Willis Rose.
Board of Trustees - Dr. W. W. Russell, President; Frank B. Miller, Secretary and Treasurer; Miss Alice Swain, Organist.
Ladies' Aid Society - Mrs. N. D. Rideout, President; (recently elected); Mrs. C. N. Jenkins, Secretary; Mrs. Buttleman, Treasurer.
Y. P. S. C. E. - Miss May Fisher, President; Secretary, Miss Jennie Bowen; Treasurer, Miss Etta Buttleman.
Organ Grinders - Mrs. G. A. Morris, President; Mrs. J. U. Hofstetter, Secretary; Mrs. C. S. Brooks, Treasurer.
While this is not a society of the church or in any way under the control of the church officers yet the work is along the line of church improvements and already it has rendered very material aid.
Sabbath School - Willis Rose, Superintendent; Miss Carrie Ruff, Secretary and Treasurer.
Church Orchestra - Prof. Wm. Gern, Director
Church Choir - Mr. W. T. Phipps, Chorister; Miss Alice Swain, Organist.
J. W. LUNDY
BACK TO CHURCHES INDEX PAGE