Warren County Iowa Genealogical Society




    Medford Methodist Episcopal Church

    Medford Methodist Church, Squaw Township, northeast corner of section 6, organized and built in 1892…..closed in the 1960s


    The town of Medford was referred to as the "Braucht Settlement." Located in the southwestern corner of section 32, White Oak Township, it had a post office from 1890-1903. The Medford Methodist Episcopal Church sat cattycorner across the road, in Squaw Township, the northeast corner of section 6.

    Medford Methodist Episcopal Church, written Nov 16, 1974 (copied at the Warren County Historical Society Library)

    Medford Methodist Episcopal church was the outgrowth of a tent meeting held by Rev. A.E. SLOTHOWER, at Medford in the fall of 1892. The present site for the church was decided by the votes of five men: M. A. TAYLOR, Adam BRAUCHT, George BRAUCHT, Charles BRAUCHT, and the minister in charge of the circuit at that time, Rev. FASSET. The Rev WICKERSHAM from Des Moines dedicated the church January 1, 1893. The doors were locked on the inside and no one left the dedication until the church was paid for. Prior to the building of the Medford church in 1893, most of the people who later formed the congregation, were members of one of the oldest churches in the county, at Mt Tabor.

    Medford Methodist Episcopal church maintains a Sunday school, superintendent, and an active Epworth League. It has been closed many years. It still has an active Ladies Aid. They serve a luncheon and hold a bazaar each fall.

    A brief history of the Medford Methodist Episcopal Church was compiled from the memoirs of Benjamin BRAUCHT and from newspaper articles supplied by Dixie GILLETT (found at the Warren County Historical Society Library)

    In the summer of 1892 enough enthusiasm was reached in the neighborhood to build a church. An all day picnic and Sunday meeting was held at Medford Schoolhouse to see what could be done. The whole school yard was packed with teams, buggies and wagons. Everyone brought baskets of food, and there was a big wooden barrel of lemonade with a big chunk of ice to keep it cool.

    It was decided to build the church on the corner of Adam BRAUCHT’S farm, which Mr. BRAUCHT donated. All interested parties helpd in the hauling of materials, and it wasn’t long until it was finished and ready for services. The first minister was Rev. A. E. SLOTHOWER. The church was dedicated on a cold, frosty day in January 1893, by Rev. WICKERSHAM, of Des Moines. The topic of his sermon was “Here a Little, There a Little.” The doors were locked and no one was allowed to leave until subscriptions to pay for the church had been raised. The amount raised was $2,600.00. Another account states that the church was dedicated on December 18, 1892.

    The ministers were mostly Simpson College students who were paid from $250.00 to $300.00 a year.

    Almost every winter there would be a two to three week revival at the church with an out-of-town evangelist and guest ministers. The church would be packed every night. On Saturday evening, May 4, 1894, Master George WINTERBORNE, the famous boy lecturer, spoke at Medford Church. In the winter of 1899-1900 a lot of children joined the church. The following summer Medford and Mount Tabor churches joined together for a big baptismal. There was a large picnic dinner after the church service, with the baptisms in the afternoon. Due to declining attendance, the Conference closed Medford Church in the early 1960s. Rev. Ora REEP was the last pastor to serve the church.

    Medford Methodist Episcopal Church 1892-1992, Warren County, Iowa, booklet at the Warren County Historical Society Library