St. John’s Lutheran

In the 1840’s some of Beardstown’s German Lutheran immigrants, who had been attending services of other denominations, felt the need to form their own congregation. They did so in 1848. During the early years the group met in a small school that was located at Sixth and State Streets, or, occasionally, in the recently constructed courthouse on the Beardstown square.

Building at 6th and State Streets (Site of the old Masonic Temple)

Later, the congregation erected its own church on the corner of Fourth and Lafayette. This building was dedicated in January, 1851.

Site of present First Evangelical Lutheran Church at Fourth & Lafayette Streets

During the early 1870’s a disagreement arose among the membership, causing the church to divide into two congregations. The group that retained the name St. John’s sold their interest in the Fourth Street property and purchased land on the southeast corner of Sixth and Jefferson Streets. Initially, services were held in a parochial school, which was the first building constructed on the property. A church was erected and dedicated in 1872.

Church built in 1872 at 6th & Jefferson Streets

Current building, erected in 1914


Church and old school building, 1922 flood.

From 75th anniversary booklet (1923).


Circa 1954, old school – new school under construction.


Church History.

Vacation Bible School – 1940’s.


The students of St. John’s Lutheran School, circa 1900. Click to view a page devoted to this photograph.


The current church building was dedicated on May 3, 1914. This panoramic photograph of the congregation was taken that day, on the 6th Street side of the church. Click here to view enlarged sections of the photo in which a few of the individuals have been identified.

3 thoughts on “St. John’s Lutheran

  1. Craig

    Hi Duffy,

    Any chance you could send a copy of the St. John’s class of 1900 without the building photo insert to my email?

    Also, have you identified any of the people in the 1914 dedication photos? I have a few, although they are not I hesitate posting them on website.



  2. Craig


    The boy standing next to Rev. Berg is William Vette. I am 95% certain that the girl in the middle of the top row (seventh from both the right and left) is William’s older sister Hilda Vette.


  3. Craig Vette

    The picture of the school class of 1900 is wonderful. I am trying to identify the girl in the third row on the far right. Might it be Edna Vette. I have never seen a photo of her. She died in 1902 of typhoid.

    Craig Vette

Comments are closed.