Christ's Lutheran Church in 1900

[ Our church in the year 1900 ]

Pastor Isaiah J. Delo, conducting services in the new church building (the present one) on Mill Hill Road in the village. (To enlarge the picture, just click it.) According to church historians Magda Moseman and Mark Anderson(1),

Quoted from Moseman, Magda, and Anderson, Mark, eds., Perspectives and Patterns: Christ's Lutheran Church, 1806-1976 [Woodstock, NY: self-published monograph, 1976]. (Close)
The new church building was illuminated by a large, ornate chandelier hanging in the center of the chapel. It was balanced by a counterweight. Miss Florence Peper recalls helping her mother light the circle of kerosene lamps. The chandelier was pulled down with a long hook and the task took about ten minutes.

[ Sunday School reed organ ] It was perhaps this year (1900) that Mrs. Delo, the pastor's wife, donated a little reed organ for the Sunday School room (click it to enlarge). Here is how a later pastor described this gift:

The value of this little organ in service has far exceeded the monetary cost. Not a few children many of whom have come to mature years have gathered around this little organ to join their voices in melodies of praise to our heavenly Father. Adults, too, in mid-week devotional services and members of the Missionary Society in the monthly meetings have been guided by its sweet tones as hearts have been united in fellowship with God.(2) Quoted from Frederick, Rev. Walter, "Historical Address, Woodstock, N.Y., May 3, 1931," p. 14, itself citing, without attribution, Traver, Charles H., D.D., of West Camp, "History of Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, N.Y., 1806-1906," an earlier source from the centennial, when Reverend Frederick was pastor. (Close)

The Bible School was flourishing.

[ View looking up Mill Hill Road ]

Above is a view looking up Mill Hill Road just after our new church was built. It is in the distance on the left of the road. (To enlarge the view, click it.) There is no Joyous Lake or Denny's or CVS (Grand Union) to interrupt the view.

The Woodstock Region in 1900

With the discovery of gold in the Klondike, there arose, according to the Kingston Argus, a "mine craze" in Lake Hill. No gold or any other precious mineral was found there, however.

This is a placeholder for information on our region during this year. The information will come soon. The footnote at the end of this sentence is also a placeholder; please don't click it.(3)

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The United States in 1900

[ William McKinley ]

William McKinley (Republican) was President. The 56th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $22.57 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 the preceding 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.

About two fifths of the population were now city dwellers, twice the proportion of four decades earlier, due to the flocking of both rural Americans and European immigrants to the metropolises and mill towns in search of steady work. Transcontinental railroads were now knitting the United States together from coast to coast; there were now 192,556 miles of railroad in the country, 5½ as much as there had been at the end of the Civil War and more than all the railroad mileage in Europe. Such new industries as petroleum and steel had grown to a staggering size and had made megamillionaires out of their entrepreneurs. The newly huge cities needed transport systems, sanitation, hospitals, schools, and police, and their increasingly large metropolitan governments required budgets that a generation earlier could not have imagined.

There were 10.9 million workers on farms (a 60% increase over three decades earlier), and the value of farm productions was $8.5 billion ($192 billion in 2006 dollars), a sixfold increase (in constant dollars) during the same period.

Considering the population as a whole, one in ten Americans was illiterate; the illiteracy rate was half what it had been three decades earlier. On the other hand, a staggering 44% of nonwhites were illiterate.

Only 6.4% of Americans 17 years and older were high school graduates; this number was nearly twice as many as a decade earlier, however. During this year, about 95,000 Americans graduated from high school (more than twice as many as a decade earlier), 27,410 from college (nearly twice as many as a decade earlier).

Some 15.4 million tons of iron were produced in the United States, half again as much as a decade earlier, more than three and a half times as much as two decades earlier, more than an eightfold increase over three decades earlier, nearly 17 times as much as four decades earlier, 24 times as much as five decades earlier, 48 times as much as six decades earlier, 83 times as much as seven decades earlier, and 700 times as much as eight decades earlier. During this year, 11.4 million tons of steel were produced, more than double that of a decade earlier, more than an eightfold increase of two decades earlier, and 148 times as much as three decades earlier; in earlier decades--before the widespread use of the Bessemer method or the open-hearth method--hardly any steel was produced.

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.

There were 115 lynchings in the United States during this year; 106 of the victims were black, 9 of them white. (Apparently what terrible things that happened to Native Americans or to Asians did not get counted.)

In their memoire Having Our Say, Sarah L. Delany and A. Elizabeth F. Delany remembered the following(4):

From "Transwiki: American History Primary Sources Reconstruction and the New South," Wikiquote (part of Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.), at _Primary_Sources_Reconstruction _and_the_New_South, accessed 7 April 2007. (Close)
We were about five and seven years old at the time. Mama and Papa used to take us to Pullen Park in Raleigh [North Carolina] for picnics, and that particular day, the trolley driver told us to go to the back. We children objected loudly, because we always liked to sit in the front, where the breeze would blow in your hair. That had been part of the fun for us. But Mama and Papa just gently told us to hush and took us to the back without making a fuss.

Democratic Senator Ben Tillman of South Carolina said that the black man was

a fiend, a wild beast, seeking whom he may devour.(7) From ibid. (Close)

Some 10 million tons of steel were produced in the United States, a 67% increase in only 5 years.

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The World at Large in 1900

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