Tucked away in the church basement are several file cabinets containing historical documents and some fascinating memorabilia. Official church papers, minutes of all meetings, records of congregational events, and the history of various church groups were organized into precise archival order before Trinity’s 50th anniversary by Dorothy Mericle, a former member.
During Trinity’s centennial (2009), many members provided personal photos that were copied and added to an old notebook of church photographs. These and several journals kept by early pastors (written in German), and scrapbooks from different church organizations, provide a look at the early years of Trinity.
Somewhat hidden in all of this is a collection of Sunday bulletins dating back to May of 1935. Though the archives contain a few items older than these, the details these give are priceless.
The "Trinity Chimes," as the bulletins were called, were first distributed in May of 1934. These weren’t orders of worship, but a single page of announcements. Sounds routine, but now, 75 years later, some of the items are fascinating:
―Holy Communion will be celebrated in the German service was at 9:00 A.M., English at 11:00 A.M.) The Pastor will be in his study next Friday to receive your announcement.
5/12/1935 ―Duane Thompson is slowly recovering from an attack of Scarlet Fever.
6/30/1935 ―Pvt. Edgar Malchow, in a recent letter, sent greetings. He reports that war-time rations and machine guns are part of his training.
In the summer months, news from members on vacation were also included:
6/16/1935 ―The Jeskes report the loss of several pieces of luggage from the running board of their car somewhere in Iowa.
Occasionally engagements were announced; sometimes an invitation to the congregation to the wedding that afternoon.
As I read through this collection, I will continue to report items that will hopefully be of interest, and will also reveal a church moving steadily through history.
-Pauline Hiles, Fall 2010