The congregation called B. Q. Hallenbeck to replace Martin J. Stover, who had retired at the end of the preceding year. Almost as soon as Pastor Hallenbeck began conducting services in the third church building (which, like the second one, was known as the "Church on the Rocks," because it sat on a rocky ledge overlooking the Sawkill, about ¾ mile east of our present location [that is, north of present-day Route 212, across from the country club]), Nathaniel M. Nash, 46, church council president, made a formal proposal at a special meeting of the congregation "to consider the propriety of building a new church in the village."(1)
Less than a month later, the Finance Committee had raised $2,000 ($41,820 in 2006 dollars) toward the new church. The committee had also purchased a lot in the village. A Building Committee was elected with the power to select plans and build the church. The congregation laid the cornerstone for the present building on Mill Hill Road. Reverend T. J. Yost, president of the Hartwick Synod, performed the official act.
Synodical treasurer Mrs. J. B. Badgley visited the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society of the Lutheran Church of Woodstock.
The Bible School was flourishing, with a membership of 71.
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Benjamin Harrison (Republican) was President, succeeded during this year by Grover Cleveland. The newly elected 53rd Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $20.91 in 2006 for most consumable products.
Immigrants from the British Isles and western Europe (especially Great Britain, Ireland, and Germany)--the so-called "Old Immigrants," most of them boasting a comparatively high level of literacy and accustomed to some level of representative government, who were either Protestant (most of them) or Catholic, were arriving during this decade at an average annual rate of 111,000. The "New Immigrants," those from southern and eastern Europe (especially Italy, Austria-Hungary, and Russia), largely illiterate and impoverished, who tended to be either Catholic, Orthodox, or Jewish and who had little experience with representative government, were arriving at an annual rate of 184,700--two-thirds again as much as the Old Immigrants' rate, a fivefold proportionate increase from a decade earlier and twice as many in raw numbers. The New Immigrants huddled together in large cities, such as New York City and Chicago.
Solidly Democratic white supremacists held political power all over the South. Blacks (and poor whites as well) continued being forced into sharecropping and tenant farming; former slave masters were now bosses and landlords. Through the "crop-lien" system, the serflike small farmers could get food and supplies from storekeepers by agreeing to a lien on their expected crops, a lien they would never be able to fully pay off. The economically dependent blacks who tried to vote faced unemployment, eviction, and violence. The daily discrimination against blacks grew increasingly oppressive. "Jim Crow laws," systematic state-level legal codes of segregation, maintained a way of life for African Americans that was grotesquely inferior to that of whites. Blacks had inferior schools and assigned places on such public facilities as railroad cars, theaters, and restrooms. Blacks were continually assaulted by harsh reminders of their second-class citizenship, and the white supremacists dealt brutally with any black who dared to violate the customary racial code of conduct. Record numbers of blacks were lynched, often just for the "crime" of asserting themselves as equals.
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