SHELTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
In the Twentieth Century Club souvenir edition of The Shelton Clipper (1905) Miss Rosa Stebbins writes of the
early history of Shelton Public Library: "In the year 1896 the Nineteenth Century Club, believing a circulating
library to be in the highest degree beneficial to the public, first assumed the responsibility of placing one in
the town. Certain of its members solicited the community and secured by subscription the amount of $50. With this
capital the club subscribed to what was known as the Fremont Circulating Library. This library sent out a set of
books every three months, the club paying the freight and subscription and being entitled to their use for five
years. Miss Anna Wood (later Mrs. John Light) was authorized to care for these books as librarian. Later on in
the year 1898, the club ladies believed that a library owned by the public would prove more far reaching and satisfactory,
and thereupon began Their work for the establishment of a public library.
"A call was extended to all ladies interested through the Clipper which resulted in the formation of an association
with a membership of thirty five ladies. At this time it became independent of the club, and became possible through
the courtesy of A. H. Morris, who donated the use of a steam heated room for this purpose, and to those who subscribed
books and money. The club donated a large number of books they had on hand. During the next three years, Miss Minnie
Smith being made librarian in 1901, by dint of hard work and unflagging interest on the part of the association,
the library was kept open, and at the close of the year 1902, 670 books were reported on the shelves.
"On November 1, 1903, the association deemed it advisable to close the library for one year, there being a
deficiency of funds, and a seeming lack of interest on the part of the public. In January, 1905, the association
again took up its work with redoubled vigor, and reorganized with a much larger membership than ever before.
"The library is now (1905) situated at the north end of Main Street, a pleasant room in the Meisner Building
having been donated by Mr. Meisner for its use. The library hours are from 2 to 6 o'clock on Wednesday and Saturday
afternoons, and the room is also kept open on the same evenings as a reading room. There are now 1,370 books on
the shelves and subscription to several magazines has been donated. Although the Twentieth Century Club deserves
credit for the first establishment of a library in the town, the idea and desire for it originated in the mind
of Mrs. H. H. Stedman."
In January, 1908, it became the Shelton Public Library, a village tax being levied for its support. On April 25,
1912, at the annual town meeting of Shelton Township, it was made a township library, one of the first thus established
in the state and a two mill tax levied for its support. On April 7, 1913, Andrew Carnegie's offer of $9,000 with
which to erect a library building was received and accepted.
On June I, 1914, the library moved into the new building. The members of the library board (1915) are George W.
Smith, president; V. L. Johnson, Leroy Barrett, Mrs. J. H. Dugdale and Mrs. George Prouty, secretary.
The annual report for the year ending June 1, 1915, shows: Number of volumes in library, 3,411; number of volumes
issued, juvenile, 3,113; number of volumes issued, adults, 4,582; number of readers, 2,748.
Those serving as librarians, Minnie Smith, Rosina Stebbins, Jessie Smith, Hattie Bissett, Gladys Adams, Edith Weaver,
Mrs. H. A. Vose.
The Shelton Bank was started as a private enterprise in 1882 by Coleman and Leachey, who were succeeded in about
a year by Huggins and Leachey and these in turn (in June, 1883) by H. J. Robbins and S. H. Graves; the bank remained
a private affair until July, 1889, when it organized as a state bank with an authorized capital of $50,000, one
half paid in. The charter members were J. S. Hedges, D. P. Junk, George Mortimer, S. H. Graves, and L. F. Stockwell;
George Mortimer, president; S. H. Graves, cashier. In 1902 was organized the Farmers Bank, with a capital stock
of $10,000. George Mortimer, president; M. L. Phelps, vice president; P. H. Graves, cashier. In the year 1905 the
Farmers Bank was taken over by the Shelton Bank. In 1913 the bank had a capital stock of $25,000; surplus, $6,200;
deposits, $120,000. The officers of the bank, H. C. Hansen, president; H. H. Stedman, vice president; V. L. Johnson,
Meisner's Bank was a private enterprise on the part of George Meisner, starting in the year 1884 with a capital
stock of $35,000. In June, 1889, the bank was reorganized as First National Bank with a paid up capital of $50,000,
the charter members being George Mcisner, J. H. Robbins, H. J. Robbins, M. G. Lee, Henry Fieldgrove and George
Smith; Mr. Meisner, president; A. H. Sterrett, cashier; F. D. More, assistant cashier.
In the year 1895 the bank was chartered as a state bank (Meisner's Bank) and in the year 1915 had a capital stock
of $40,000; surplus, $8,000; deposits, $250,000. President, H. J. Robbins; vice president, M. G. Lee; cashier,
George W. Smith; assistant cashier, F. D. More.
THE METHODIST CHURCH
The first history of record of the Methodist Church at Shelton appears to be that of Rev. J. Marsh, who came
to Buffalo County in 1873, taking a homestead claim in Gibbon Township. Mr. Marsh records that he organized in
1873-4 a class at Shelton with Rufus Mitchell as leader. The names of the members of this class as given by Mr.
Marsh are: Eunice Mitchell, Nathan T. Britton, Jane A. Warner, Alexander Ross, Henry M. King, Margaret Vanwey,
Jane A. West, Isaac A. King, Hannah Britton, Joseph Morgan, Eliza J. Ross, Amanda E. King, Robert Gilispie, Emma
J. Bly, Charlotte C. King, James A. Light, Celesta Morgan, John C. Vanwey, Joseph T. Ross, Angeline Gilispie, Almira
Jaunt, James O. King, Mary A. Light, Eliza Vamvey, Wm. J. Vanwey, Kate Ross, Roswell West and Almed Morrow.
The church services were held in the old schoolhouse until 1882 when a church edifice was erected. In the year
1896 the Epworth League room was added and extensive repairs made.
The Methodist Episcopal Aid Society was organized in 1882. In 1915 there were forty members, the officers being,
Mrs. George Hauke, president; Mrs. Charles Lucas, vice president; Mrs. Clyde Burkerd, secretary and Miss Elizabeth
In the year 1906 a new church building was erected at a cost of $9,500.
The following pastors have served the Methodist Church at Shelton: Revs. J. Marsh, Charles Deily, Peter DeClark,
J. A. Bartholemew, H. Somers, H. C. Harman, Charles A. Mastin, G. H. McAdam, J. G. Martin, C. C. Wilson, C. C.
Snavely, S. Blair, James Leonard, M. T. Stuffier, W. H. Mills, W. H. D. Horneday; A. L. Umpleby, J. R. Martin and
E. E. Carter.
FIRST PRESBYTERIAL CHURCH
The First Presbyterian Church of Shelton was organized April 12, 1887, by Rev. George L. Little, assisted by
Rev. J. G. Tate.
The charter members were George L. Warner, Mrs. Jane A. Warner, James W. White, Mrs. Ella J. Whited, Henry Fieldgrove,
Mrs. Margaret Fieldgrove, Philip Smith, Mrs. Philip Smith, Mrs. E. Gilbert; John Gutherless, Mrs. L. L. McDonald,
Shield Smith, Mrs. Shield Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Meals, Mrs. J. G: Tate, Mr. and Mrs. George Smith, Mrs. Emily
Beekman, O. J. Vandyke, Mrs. Sarah Vandyke, Mrs. A. J. Heatherington, Mrs. B. P. Thomson, Miss Addie Thomson. George
L. Warner, Shield R. Smith and O. J. Vandyke were chosen elders and Henry Fieldgrove, Philip Smith and A. A. Burrows
trustees. A church building was erected in 1887 and since improved at a total cost of $5,000. The manse was built
in 1904. and since made modern at a total cost of $2,000.
The membership of the church in 1905 was seventy two and in 1915 sixty five.
During the pastorate of Rev. F. A. Mitchell a pipe organ was installed in the church at an expense of $1,200.
The pastors who have served this church in their order have been: J. G. Tate, George Bray, John Gilmore, James
Griffis, C. F. Graves, L. W. Scudder, F. L. Higdon, J. M. Skinner, F. A. Mitchell, George McNab, John R. Bennett,
George F. Williams.
The Presbyterian Social Circle was organized in 1884. In the year 1915 the membership was fifty. The officers were:
Mrs. M. G. Lee president; Mrs. A. L. Strand, vice president; Mrs. F. H. Redington, secretary; Mrs. O. R. Crumley,
UNITED EVANGELICAL CHURCH
Shelton Mission was organzed by the annual conference held at Athelstan, Iowa, March 16, 1896. The hoard of
trustees for the church were elected and organized April 7, 1898, and were incorporated the following day. Services
were held in the Advent Church for some time and in the month of November, 1899, under the pastorate of Rev. E.
W. Brooker, a subscription paper was circulated for the purpose of securing funds to erect a church building in
This church was dedicated by Bishop R. Dubs, May 30, 1900, under the pastorate of Rev. M. B. Young.
The church building was built at an expense of $2,700 and a parsonage at an expense of $1,300.
The pastors who have served in this field have been: Revs. I. B. Wolford, E. W. Brooker, M. B. Young, C. F. Beller,
B. A. Shively, Con Hewett, H. C. Farley, H. Wood, W. T. Randolph.
The cornerstone of the Catholic Church at Shelton was laid in May. 1908, the building completed the following
year The structure is of brick and cost $11,000. It was largely through the efforts of George Meisner that the
work of building was accomplished, he donating the first $1,000 towards the building fund. Non Catholics of Shelton
and vicinity were most liberal in their donations toward the church building. Edward B. McDermott, a law student
at Creighton College, Omaha - a resident of Shelton and a graduate of Shelton High School - delivered the address
of the day when the church was dedicated.
Rev. P. J. Daly, the first pastor of the church, was active in securing the building of the church.
The church at present (1915) has a membership of forty families. The pastors of the church have been: Rev. P. J.
Daly, Rev. H. Alberts, Rev. H. Muenstermann.
THE SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH
The Seventh Day Adventist Church at Shelton was started through the efforts of Elders George Langdon and A.
L. Hooper, who held a course of lectures here in 1885.
The church was organized with a charter membership of thirteen.
A church building was erected in 1893 at a cost of about twelve hundred dollars.
It has a seating capacity of 125.
The church was dedicated August 5, 1893, by Elder Daniel Nettleton, assisted by Elders G. Smith and W. B. White.
In the year 1905 the membership was twenty eight and in 1915 fifteen.
The pastors or elders in charge of the church have been: Simon Mosser, Lorenzo Plumb, Albert Danman.
The First Baptist Church, Shelton, was organized January 30, 1904.
The charter members were: Sarah L. Wilkenson, Benjamin Wilkenson, M. P. Cleveland, Daniel Stonebarger, Hannah Stonebarger,
Thomas Dlakeley, Sarah Blakeley, Mary Keefauver.
A church building was erected in 1904. at an approximate cost of two thousand dollars. The membership in 1915,
The first pastor was Rev. J. W. Groves, the others in order: B. F. Farrer, Edwin Hardcastle, C. F. Deuholm, Joseph
James, M. C. Powers.
UNITED BRETHREN CHURCH
In School District No. 22, in Shelton Township, was organized the United Brethren Church in Christ on November
The church was organized by Rev. W. S. Spooner, in the house on the homestead farm of George Stearley. The charter
members were: A. W. Zimmerman, Louisa E. Zimmerman, husband and wife; George Stearley, Barbery Stearley, husband
The name given the organization at the time was "The Zimmerman Class." In the year 1897 a church was
built at a cost of approximately twelve hundred dollars. In the year 1915 the membership of the church was fifty
As near as can be recalled the pastors who have served this church and people, in their order, are as follows:
W. S. Spooner, O. Knepper, J. M. Witters, John Green, H. S. Munger, J. J. Smith, J. M. Witters, J. Brewer, W. S.
Fields, Mr. Fowler, W. Thompson, T. B. Cannon, C. W. Bohart, A. Boyd, A. L. Zimmerman, Wm. Tooley, A. Boyd, W.
C. Miller, L. L. Epley, G. W. Arnold, Walter Smith, W. G. Rooker, F. Grow.
The church was built during the pastorate of Rev. A. L. Zimmerman.
LADIES' AID SOCIETY
The first ladies' aid society in Shelton was organized in the year 1882. The meeting was held in the unfinished
building of the M. E. Church, the ladies sitting, meantime, on piles of lumber. Mrs. Max A. Hostetler was. elected
president; Mrs. James Steven, secretary; Mrs. M. L. Phelps, treasurer. A bazar was held soon after in a corner
of the church building. The Methodist Church was the first church erected in the village and everyone interested
in churches assisted with labor and finance. When the church was completed it was painted a white color. The painter,
being something of an artist, conceived the idea of an oil painting high above the front windows. Accordingly,
he painted a woodland scene - a stream, some fallen logs, a man with an ax and a cow. An elderly gentleman, being
asked later what he thought of the painting, replied: "Well, I guess the painting is all right but it seems
a funny place for a cow pasture."
W. C. T. U.
The first county organization of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union appears to have been in Kearney in 1890,
Mrs. Cooley organizer. The officers were: Mrs. Louise M. Collins, president; Mrs. A. H. Connor, Kearney, corresponding
secretary; Mrs. Max A. Hostetler, of Shelton, recording secretary; Mrs. James H. Davis, Gibbon, treasurer.
It is recalled that Miss Mary Ripley, of Kearney, was greatly interested in this work, especially along the line
of scientific instruction in the public schools.
Miss Frances Willard, national president of the W. C. T. U., spoke on two occasions in Kearney in the interests
of the work of the Union. On both occasions there was a large attendance, both Shelton and Gibbon being well represented.
The records of the organization of the W. C. T. U. in Shelton disclose Mrs. C. F. Graves, president; Mrs. H. H.
Stedman, treasurer; Miss Elizabeth Richardson, secretary. In the year 1915 there were twenty one members: Miss
Elizabeth Richardson, president; Mrs. Charles Soderstrum, vice president; Mrs. R. A. Mears, secretary; Mrs. H.
H. Stonebarger, treasurer.
P. E. O.
A P. E. O. society was organized in February, 1914, with a membership of twelve persons. The officers in 1915
were: Mrs. H. H. Stedman, president; Mrs. E. C. Emigh, vice president; Mrs. Leroy Barrett, corresponding secretary;
Mrs. F. H. Redington, recording secretary; Mrs. H. C. Hansen, treasurer.
Joe Hooker Post No. 28, Grand Army of the Republic, was organized at Shelton December 6, 1879. Its first officers
and charter members were: C. S. Bailey, Com.; J. R. George, S. V. C.; Patrick Walsh, J. V. C.; D. B. Allen, Q.
M.; S. A. Banks, O. D.; J. H. Barrett, O. G.; Rev. J. N. Alien, Chap.; A. D. Burrows, Surg.; H. S. Colby, Ad.;
J. H. Heatherington, Sergt. Ma.; W. H. Barnes, Q. M. Sergt.; C. H. Horth, S. R. Blois, T. Carrol, W. W. Dubbs,
B. F. Sammons, L. Waldron, Rufus Mitchell, H. Willey, W. McCracken, James McCreary, J. R. George, J. H. Smith,
J. P. Smith, George L. Gardner. In 1915 the Post had a membership of seventeen. The officers were: R. A. Mears,
Corn.; Aug. Meyer, S. V. Corn.; W. S. Allison, O. M.; J. A. Light, O. D.; W. H. Barnes, Adj.; D. Stonebarger, Chap.;
J. H. Bliss, P. I. Forty seven soldiers of the Civil war are buried in Shelton cemetery.
Joe Hooker Woman's Relief Corps No. 136, of Shelton, was organized April 17, 1891. The charter members and officers
were: President, Amelia H. Sterrett; S. V., Lottie Murphy; J. V., Eunice Mitchell; Treas., Kate McCreary; Chap.,
Mary E. Smith; Condo., Mary Bolding; G., Ollie Armbus; Secy., Maude L. Beecher; Bertha L. Hedges, Mary B. Town,
Hannah Stonebarger, Emma Childs, Lide Waters, Angelina Hortb, Polly E. Marble, Olive Armbus, Emretta Fisher, Jane
Lippincott, Lettie M. Hedges, Della Beecher.
In the year 1915 the membership of the corps was seventeen. Pres., Mary Light; Secy., Jessie Meyer Lawson; Treas.,
Banner Lodge No. 48, Degree of Honor, A. O. U. W., was organized at Shelton April 3, 1893. The officers were:
Mrs. Ella White, P. C. H.; Mrs. Laurene Hostetler, C. H.; Mrs. Edith Bailey, L. H.; Mrs. Max A. Hostetler, Rec.;
Mrs. Sarah Barrett, Fin.; Mrs. Sarah Blakely, receiver; Mrs. James Stevens, C. C.; Miss Gertrude Graffius, usher;
Miss Nancy Bastian, I. W.; George Smith, O. W. In 1915 the officers of the lodge were: Mrs. Mary Bills, P. C.;
Mrs. Maggie Corrigan, C. H.; Mrs. Maggie Fieldgrove, L. H.; Mrs. Sarah Vandyke, C. C.; Mrs. Max A. Hostetler, Rec.;
Mrs. L. Anna Adams. Fin.; Mrs. Hazel Templin, receiver; Mrs. Hattie Reed, usher; Mrs. Sarah Meusch, I. W.
Dewey Lodge No. 598, Modern Brotherhood of America, was organized in August, 5899, with Max A. Hostetler as president;
C. A. Washburn, secretary. The charter membership was left open for some time and when closed the lodge had a membership
of 151. In 1915 the lodge had a membership of 503. Officers: G. W. Dawson, Pres.; C. A. Washburn, Secy.
Anchor Lodge No. 14, A. O. U. W., located at Shelton, was organized August 23, 1883, the charter members being:
H. J. Fleck, J. P. Bastian, A. A. Burrows, E. Oliver, James Steven, H. E. Jones, A. E. Rice, Rev. J. G. Tate, D.
W. Understood, Henry Fletcher, T. E. Mundle, II. C. McNew, Dr. R. M. Beecher, Rev. J. M. Harman, J. H. Waters,
J. M. Hawk, D. W. Smith, J. W. Kearn, Paul Kalmuk, John Gutherless.
The present (1915) membership of the lodge is 137. M. W., James Buck; Rec., F. Carpenter; Fin., V. S. Pierce; receiver,
R. R. Mathieson.
Phoenix Lodge No. 158, A. O. U. W., was organized February 27, 1893. The charter members were: C. F. Graves, P.
M. W.; A. D. Graham, M. W.; James W. White, Rec.; John Heatherington, Fin.; J. W. Weaver, Erford Wescoatt, J. P.
Moore, James Waters, Thomas Blakeley, O. P. Gulley.
The present (1915) membership of the lodge is thirty five. M. W., Barney Wiest; Rec., Jeff Devall; Fin., M. A.
Hostetler; receiver, J. P. Moore.
Buffalo Camp No. 1190, M. W. A., of Shelton, organized October 10, 1889. The records of the camp were destroyed
by fire in 1903, making it not possible to give the number of charter members. The first officers were: Coun.,
C. M. Wallace; W. A., E. O. Hostetler; banker, James McCreary; clerk, J. W. Wharton; escort, F. A. Bailey; watchman,
Wm. P. Harmon; sentry, Robert Beekman; managers; C. S. Bailey, J. S. Hedges, M. G. Lee; physician, Dr. E. L. Smith.
In 1913 the camp had a membership of sixty. The officers: Count., R. Kesterson; advisor, Frank Webbin; banker,
J. B. Hodge; clerk, C. M. Wallace; escort, W. FL Lute; watchman, H. G. Grumprecht; sentry, Leo Kesterson; trustees,
A. H. Morris, John Mullen, M. G. Lee; physician, Dr. Charles Lucas.
Shelton Lodge No. 141, I. O. O. F., was instituted February 26, 1886, by Grand Master Arthur Gibson, assisted by
members of the order from Gibbon and Kearney. The charter members were: James Steven, F. J. Taylor, D. P. Crable,
W. V. Fox, Edward Oliver, J. M. Harman, E. V. Bush, Joseph Owen. H. C. Bull, A. N. Murphy, W. E. Bull, W. W. Watters,
J. II. Watters, James Vanwey, Eli Campbell, L. D. Bile. Joseph Owen, N. G.; James FL Batters, R. S. In the year
1915 the lodge bad a membership of seventy nine. Officers: Samuel Druse, N. G.; Fred Haug, V. G.; Joseph Owen,
Sr., R. S.; H. J. Dugdale, Treas.
Ellen Rebekah Lodge No. 306, I. O. O. F., was instituted at Shelton February 5, 1913, with sixteen charter members.
The officers were: Ella Grafts, N. G.; Clam A. Smith, V. G.; Bertha E. Kunkle, Secy.; C. C. Grafts, Treas. In 1915
the lodge had forty seven members. The officers were: Melissa E. Kunkle, N. G.; Lillian F. Webbing, V. G.; Bertha
E. Kunkle, Secy.; Maggie Webbin, Treas.
Shelton Lodge No. 99, A. F. & A. M., was organized July 28, 1882, with a charter membership of fifteen. George
L. Gardner, W. M.; Rodney Beecher, S. W.; Moses L. Phelps, J. W.; B. F. Sammons, Secy.; M. G. Lee, Treas.; John
A. Hogg, S. D.; Joseph Smith, J. D.; George L. Thomas, Tyler. In the year 1915 the lodge had fifty two members.
Lawrence E. Treat, W. M.; Vernon S. Pierce, Secy.; M. G. Lee, Treas.
FRATERNAL AID UNION OF AMERICA
On January 19, 1909, there was organized at Shelton a lodge of American Order of Protection, with a charter
membership of thirty seven. The instituting officer was ex-Governor W. A. Poynter.
At a later date the name wads changed to Fraternal Aid Union of America.
In 1915 the lodge had a membership of sixty. Pres., J. R. Johnson; V. Pres., John Oliver; Secy., E. L. Light; Treas.,
Castle Hall, Shelton Lodge No. 92, Knights of Pythias, was instituted at Shelton December I, 1887, with a charter
membership of forty four. Officers: F. E. Ellis, P. C.; J. S. Hedges, C. C.; C. A. Kinney, V. C.; David Neely,
M. of Ex.; F. D. More, M. of F.; F. H. More, prelate; J. H. Heatherington, M. of A.; S. H. Graves, K. of R. &
S.; C. S. Bailey, I. W.; J. W. White, O. G.
In 1915 the castle had a membership of seventy four. Officers: Joseph Owen, Jr., C. C.; V. S. Pierce, V. C.; Joseph
Owen, Sr., M. of Ex.; Lee Roberts, prelate; F. T. Turney, M. of A.; W. H. Barnes, K. of R. & S.; Paul More,
I. G.; Carl Carlson, O. G.
[Return to Shelton History Part 1.]