Wabash County

Jordan Creek Lutheran Church

The cornerstone of the St. Peter's Lutheran Church at Jordan Creek was laid on April 25, 1836. The Stoltz and Marx families were charter members of the newly founded church. This was the first brick church in the state of Illinois; dedication was on March 11, 1838, by the Reverend Daniel Koebler, a home missionary sent out by the East Pennsylvania Synod. Following the church's dedication, the reverend proceeded to Mt. Carmel where he organized the Zion Lutheran congregation. He served both churches. In the early 1840's, the newly assigned pastor was unable to preach in the German language and many who preferred the German language withdrew; other questions were methods of administration of sacraments. The original Lutheran congregation was now divided into separate congregations: the Evangelical Lutheran congregation and the Evangelical German Reformed congregation. The church building was held jointly. Until 1853, Jordan Creek Church did not own the land on which it was erected. On Nov. 8, 1853, the church purchased ten acres from George and Rachel Glick. An additional seventy acres were purchased from the Glicks in March, 1865.

In 1876, the Evangelical Lutheran Church adopted as it's corporate name "The Evangelical Lutheran Jordan's Creek Church." The old Jordan Creek Lutheran Church is now composed of two separate corporate congregations, each to be issued a charter by the State of Illinois: The Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Jordan's Creek Church.

In 1877, The Trinity Evangelical congregation decided to leave the Old Jordan Creek Church and build a new church in Lancaster, establishing the St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, March 24, 1877. On March 1, 1878 St. Paul's Church sold seventy-five acres of the property originally sold to the Jordan Creek congregation in 1853 and 1865. In 1888, a beautiful new brick church was erected. St. Paul's Lutheran Church was active until the early 1920's. Worship services were discontinued and the windows boarded up. Several years later the church structure was razed.

The Evangelical Lutheran Jordans Creek Church burned in the early 1900's, probably struck by lightening as the building stood among several large trees. The congregation made some plans to build a new church on the Marx property across from the Stoltz School; however, these plans were never carried out. (Note: Both Dad and Aunt Eva recall hearing that their grandfather had donated lumber for this purpose--this lumber being used later to build the barn on the "Doc" Litherland farm just south of the school.) Members of the old church went to Lancaster church or other churches in the area. (Noted: On April 26, 1911, George, Eva and Edward Marx were Baptized by Clarence H. Hightower, Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lancaster, Illinois. This information taken from Aunt Eva's Baptism Certificate. The children were baptized about a month before their mother's death on May 22, 1911.)

Jordan Creek Cemetery - a.k.a. "Little Brick" and "Old Brick"

An area east and adjacent to the Jordan Creek Lutheran Church was designated as the cemetery. Serving the congregation since the church was founded and later the St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Lancaster. Grave stones mark many of the graves; however, many are unmarked and other stones have been damaged or the inscriptions are no longer legible. A portion of the land owned by the Cemetery is enclosed in a fence, a section between the fence and the road is kept mowed and the remaining acreage is rented to a farmer with adjoining land. This small income helps pay for maintaining the cemetery. Labor for mowing and upkeep has been donated for several years. Trustees at this time are Edward Marx, Donald Marx and Wanda York.

I hope many of you will visit the Jordan Creek Cemetery in the coming months. It is a lovely, old cemetery and the inscriptions in both English and German are interesting to read. The new monument for the MARX FAMILY is one that we all can be proud of. Thanks again for helping make it possible.

Betty (Marx) Foshee
dated: 12 November 1993

Webmaster's note: Betty (Marx) Foshee had replaced Edward Marx as Cemetary Trustee.