History of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, New Market, Va.

The following is excerpted from Our Church Paper, New Market, Virginia, Volume 32, Number 30, 26 July 1904.

History of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, New Market, Va.

by Rev. E. L. Wessinger.

The writer acknowledges his indebtedness to Dr. C. O. Miller who has in his possession the records of the facts presented in connection with the early history of the Lutheran church in New Market.

The history of Emmanuel congregation is closely connected and interwoven with that of the Davidsburg church from which it grew. Emmanuel is one of the two branches which grew from the original tree planted by Rev. Paul Henkel in 1790, and which was known as the Davidsburg church. On the 30th of March in that year Rev. Paul Henkel with his family located at New Market, Va., where at that time there was no organized Lutheran congregation. There were in the vicinity a few German settlers who were said still to have held to the regular church (ordentliche kirche.) These the Rev. Paul Henkel gathered together and organized into a congregation. In the beginning of the year 1791 a location for the church was selected on the lands of Lewis Zirkle and a half acre of ground was purchased. The deed for the church lot is dated Sept. 9, 1794, and was recorded, and was given for a consideration of ten pounds by Lewis Sircle (Zirkle) to George Adam Sircle, John Bare, and Andrew Bird for the use of the Presbytertan (Calvinist) and Lutheran congregation of New Market. The records show that by the term Presbyterian (Calvinist) was meant what we now know as the Reformed church.

In June of 1791 the first timber for the church building was cut on the lands of Lewis Zirkle by those, some German and some English, who were interested in the building of a church. In the beginning of February, 1792, the logs were taken to the site selected, and during the spring of that year the first church building, a log house, was erected, and was known as the Davidsburg church. The lay promoters and builders of the church were: George Adam Zirkle, Lewis Zirkle, John Rausch, Michael Rader, Abraham Peter, Andrew Bord (Bird), Jacob Kipps, Jacob Olinger, John Bar (Bare), and David O’Roark. Of these George Adam Zirkle, Lewis Zirkle, and John Bar were selected as the deacons or council (vorsteher), the two former representing the Lutherans and the latter the Reforms. The first service in the church building was held in the latter part of April, 1792, by Rev. Paul Henkel who became the first pastor and preached in both German and English, holding services about once in every four weeks until 1794 when he and his family moved to Staunton, Va.

Zirkel family crest

zirkel family crest

The record indicates that a Konrad Zirkel in Bavaria had the coat of arms in 1603. In 1955, the late Wilhelm Zirkel (see Wilhelm’s booklets) of Ravensburg, Germany sent historian and author, Gordon Zirkle, Roanoke, Va., a copy and description of the coat of arms. The inscription over the crest is in German, “Wapper Der Familie,” translated in English, “Coat of Arms of the Family.” The spelling of the name under the crest is “ZIRKEL”, thus we maintain this spelling when using the coat of arms.

The description: “A vertically divided shield, split into black-gold, on which a man with a bandana (the ends of which are flying sideways) is standing on a mountain in changed over colour (immediately changed over), who is holding a golden compass (golden Zirkel) downward in his right hand, the compass enclosing a golden star. On top of the shield is resting a steel coloured tournament or piercing helmet; as helmet decoration is the grown man holding a compass and star in his raised right hand. The helmet covers are black-gold on both sides.

Meaning of Symbols in Coats of Arms: “The divided shield shows that a division (branching out of the blood line) had already taken place m early times, however, the carriers of this coat of arms remained aware of their former union in their family tree. The mountain is a sign of freedom and steadfastness, possibly pointing out the ‘mountainous home’ of their forefathers. The man is the symbol of energy and willpower. In this case the compass is to be considered a hint as to the name. As a symbol the compass stands for art appreciation and a reminder of clever calculation of the hours, while time itself is a circle, and the circles of the compass are getting lost within themselves. “The star stands for good fortune and brightly shining fame. The tournament helmet means good and honest parentage, as well as bravery in wartimes. The growing man is symbolic of courageous ambition for higher goals, and for upholding of the honest name. Black is the colour of humbleness and devotion, comparable to the diamond, which shines the brighter the blacker it is.”

(This information from Zane Zirkle’s genealogy page, 2008.)

A letter from the Civil War camps

jacob-willHere is a transcription of a letter written from Jacob Will (pictured at right) to his father while Jacob serving in the Confederacy during the Civil War. This comes to us courtesy of Martha Lytton Van Trees.

12th July 1861

Dear Father

Having promised to write to you I now comply by imparting a few lines to you to inform you that I am well at present.  We are now encamped on the fair-ground about nine miles below Winchester called Camp Carson.  I can’t tell exactly how many soldiers are here.  The reports vary from 25 to 50 thousand including Militias and all.  All seem to be lively, faring well, and well satisfied.  We have plenty to eat here though it is a little rough.  The retreat of Col. Jackson’s Brigade from Bunker Hill, created considerable excitement.  It presented a very sublime scene, and was performed with great military skill.

They have about 75 Yankee prisoners in Winchester.  It was rumored here today that there will be 8000 volunteers in on tomorrow from Georgia.  This is just the report, we don’t know whether it is so or not.  I must close for the present, but will ever remain, your dutiful son,

Jacob Will

I will write soon.  Direct your letter to Care of Capt. Peters, 2nd Regiment, Virginia Militia

References and Notes

  1. Jacob Will was born in Shenandoah County, Virginia on March 16, 1820, the son of Jonathan (John) Will (1786-1864) and Hanna Byrd (1788-1864).  Jacob married Elizabeth Jones (1843-1890) about 1863. Jacob was 23 years older than Elizabeth.
  2. Jacob and Elizabeth were farmers and lived about two miles west of Moore’s Store, Shenandoah County, Virginia. (Harpine, p. 194).
  3. Jacob and Elizabeth are buried in Saint Lukes United Church of Christ (County Line) Cemetery, Moores Store, Shenandoah County, Virginia.
  4. In Klaus Wust’s Old Pine Church Baptisms, there is an entry for Jacob, son of Georg Will and Catharina, born March 14, 1820, and baptized April 8, 1820, by Rev. Paul Henkel. In Burruss’ The Rinkers of Virginia, it is noted that Jacob Will married Mary Rinker (born July 13, 1820), daughter of George Rinker (1792-1829) and Elizabeth Moore (born 1800), on November 19, 1841. This is another Jacob Will. He was the son of George Will (1781-1844) and Catherine Byrd (1783-1870) from Mount Clifton and was the first cousin of Jacob Will from Moore’s Store. The two Jacobs were born two days apart. Jacob, son of George, moved west; in 1850 he is living in Illinois and eventually settled in Texas. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War in Co. D, 16th Texas Infantry. In 1899, he was living in Waco, Texas, and he applied for a pension under the Confederate Pension Law.

The Zirkle Reunion

This is from the Harrisonburg Rockingham Register, Friday, August 18, 1893. 

The Shenendoah Valley says: “On Thursday, August 10, 1893, the Zirkles and their connections and friends, to whom a most cordial invitation had been extended, held a Family Reunion and General Picnic in Miss Nannie Quick’s woods, one mile west of Quicksburg, Va.

“Preparations were made on a grand scale, in anticipation of the coming together of a vast concourse of people, and in nowise was the committee disappointed.

“At an early hour people began to pour in from all directions, in carriages and wagons, horse and ‘foot-back,’ and free hacks ran back and forth from the railroad station to the grounds, conveying many from the trains.

“Brass bands from Hamburg and Cabin Hill, and a string band from New Market with an organ, furnished music, to add to the interest of the occasion, and all went ‘merry as a marriage bell.’

“There were over 2000 persons present, about one-half of whom were Zirkles, their relatives and connections.”

Speeches were made by Prof. J. Milton Zirkle, Dr. F. E. Rice, and Mr. Elon O. Henkel; and historical sketches of the different branches of the Zirkle family were read, together with several poems composed for the occasion.

Family records

The following is from Casper Branner and his descendants, by John Casper Branner. Privately printed, Stanford University, California, 1913.

Family records. The difficulties of gathering the data given so briefly in this book lead me to suggest and urge that efforts be made for the better preservation of family records in the future. Formerly our ancestors kept their family records religiously set down in their family bibles, while the churches kept records of births, baptisms, and marriages. The people were anchored to the soil and had a fixed abiding place. For this reason one formerly knew where to look for information of this character. But every passing year makes it more difficult to keep track of families. People have cut loose, as it were, from the soil, transportation facilities have made migration easier, and individuals are quickly lost in our denser and less stable population. This difficulty of keeping track of families and of individuals must therefore increase unless some sort of effort is made to prevent it.

Mrs. Will’s Christmas Fruit Cookies

Fron Joyce Rahe via Bob Wignall.

But there is a story, which we thought you would find interesting. One December Virginia was at Reba’s house and they were rehearsing for a Christmas program.  A wonderful aroma came wafting through the house and Virginia asked, “What is that I smell”.  Reba told her it was just her mother baking cookies in the kitchen.  When the rehearsal was over, Reba gave Virginia some cookies and also the recipe.  We have no idea where the recipe came from, but it’s possible it was a “family” recipe.  Here goes:


2 pounds good candied fruit (mixed)
1/4 pound red candied cherries (but in half)
4 tablespoons brandy (to give it a little kick!)
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 pound pecans
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons honey
2 eggs

Cream the butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, flour, brandy, honey and eggs.

Add fruit and nuts and mix well.  It will be stiff, with just enough dough (it seems skimpy) to hold the nuts and fruit together.

Use parchment paper and drop the mixture by small spoonfulls, with room to spread to about 2 1/2 inches

Bake at 350 degrees until nice and brown……about 10-12 minutes (it takes us longer at high altitude…..6800 feet)

It looks much like fruitcake, but has a much more pleasing flavor.  Virginia doesn’t like fruitcake, but she loves these!  I manage to snatch a couple every morning with my breakfast!

We hope you will enjoy this recipe and, like us, think of Reba while you eat them.

Narrow Passage railway disaster, March 6, 1876

Rockingham Register, Harrisonburg, Virginia, March 16, 1876. See also the account of the disaster from the Shenandoah Valley, March 10, 1876, as recounted by John Walter Wayland in “A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia.”

The Railroad Disaster

Further Particulars!

Shocking details.

The details of the fearful Railroad disaster at Narrow Passage, on the night of the 6th of March, do not mitigate the horrors of the accident. We follow up the account of last week, of the particulars, as far as they have reached us in an authenticated form.

The train was in charge of Conductor James Russell, Florence Dunnavan, Engineer; T. Cunning, fireman, and J. Chapman and T. Jefferson, Brakemen. There were eleven loaded cattle cars, five freight cars and one passenger coach.

The accident occurred about 12 o’clock at night. It is impossible to ascertain certainly the particulars of the breaking through of the train. From the information given by those who escaped as well as from the position of the engine in the creek, it is believed that the break first occurred under the two freight cars immediately behind the tender, and that in their descent they dragged down with them the engine and tender. The rear cars followed the others, one after another, down the terrible chasm, until the last one of the train was mingled in the horrible wreck of cars, bridge timbers, iron rods, flesh, blood, flour, cattle, sheep and hogs.

Continue reading “Narrow Passage railway disaster, March 6, 1876”

St. Luke’s Church is observing its 85th anniversary (1933)

st. lukesDaily News-Record, Wednesday, October 11, 1933.

St. Luke’s Church is observing its 85th anniversary

County Line congregation is holding special services this week

Church has long led in spiritual work

Congregation takes pledge for “Spiritual Recovery Act” to increase usefulness

St. Luke’s Reformed Church, often called the County Line Church, is holding services this week to commemorate the 85th anniversary of its establishment. These services are called “S. R. A. — Spiritual Recovery Act.”

The schedule of services for the remainder of the week are as follows.

Wednesday 7:30 p.m. — Address, Rev. O. B. Michael. Reformed Church, Edinburg.

Thursday 7:30 p.m. — Addresses, Rev. A. W. Ballantine, Rev. G. S. Derrick, Lutheran Church.

Friday, 7:30 p.m. — Address, Rev. H. R. Lequear, Reformed Church, Bridgewater.

Sunday, 9:30 a.m. — Sunday School; 10:30 a.m. — Holy Communion; 2:30 p.m. — Sermon, Rev. J. Galor Garrison, Reformed Church.

Members are requested to bring basket lunches to the church. A special offering will be taken; members are urged to make a liberal contribution.

Spiritual Recovery Act

So that St. Luke’s Reformed Church may better serve its day and its community, members of the congregation have pledged themselves as follows:

1. To partake of the Lord’s Supper at least twice a year.

2. To attend Church worship services regularly.

3. To support the Sunday School by personal attendance and the bringing of the children.

4. To seek to win others to Christ.

5. To so live in daily life that others may see our good works and thus bring honor to the church.

6. To give generously to the support of all Church work.

Organized in 1848

Early in his pastorate of the Mill Creek charge, the Rev. H. St. John Rinker organized the Trinity congregation at the county line. This congregation is now called St. Luke’s. This organization was effected on the third Sunday in October, 1848, the following being charter members:

William Orebaugh, Samuel Orebaugh, William Will, George Rolls, Samuel Gordon, John Ritchie, Noah Orebaugh, Lydia Good, Sarah Fansler, Rebecca Will, Elizabeth Will, Sarah Orebaugh, Hannah Orebaugh, Polly Gordon, Catherine Fansler, and Anna Rolls. The elders were Elders John Orebaugh and Andrew Orebaugh and Deacon George Andes.

Associated with Raders Church

From the beginning of this congregation has been associated with Rader’s Church and later with its successor, Trinity Reformed Church at Timberville. Records do not show when the church was built but the probability was that it was erected shortly after the organization. From the start this congregation has prospered and frequent mention is made in the records of the large congregations in attendance at services.

The following pastors have served:

Rev. H. St. John Rinker — 1848-1874;
Rev. A. J. Bowers — 1875-1876;
Rev. B. R. Carnahan — 1877-1882;
Rev. C. W. Summey — 1883-1885;
Rev. G. H. Martin — 1885-1887;
Rev. T. P. Ballet — 1889-1892;
Rev. J. P. Harner — 1893-1900;
Rev. M. A. Kieffer — 1901-1908;
Rev. Milton Whitmer — 1908-1912;
Rev. N. R. Fravel — 1916-1921;
Rev. S. C. Baker — 1922-1925;
Rev. H. A. Behrens — 1929-

Present officers

The present officers are:

Trustees — G. J. Tusing, G. L. Will, S. P. Jones.

Elders – S. C. Gordon, E. E. Jones, G. J. Tusing.

Deacons – P. A. Jenkins, B. H. Golliday, C. M. Gordon, Mark S. Jones, O. B. Wine, C. W. Jones.

Timberville’s peach yield will double any previous crop (1929)

This is from The Daily News Record, Harrisonburg, Virginia, Friday, June 21, 1929.

Timberville’s peach yield will double any previous crop

George H. Crist places yield for this year at 170,800 bushels

“Mayflower,” an early variety, goes to market

Failure of southern crop indicates a profitable price this season

The largest peach crop in Timberville’s fruit history — 170,800 bushels of approximately 450 carloads — will be harvested this year, according to estimates compiled by George H. Crist, veteran fruit grower of that section of Rockingham.

The first shipment of Timberville peaches are now on their way to market. They are the “Mayflower” variety and are grown by W. E. Propst. They were sold for $2.25 per bushel. Mr. Propst has 200 bushels of this early variety, and the failure of the Southern crop enables him to get a good price for them this year.

Big crop this year

“The peach crop this season will be Timberville’s largest, in fact twice the size of any crop the Timberville area has ever put on the market,” said Mr. Crist. “Not only will there be lots of peaches, but the quality will be splendid and the size will be huge. The peach growers are expecting good prices this year on account of the failure of the Southern peach crop.

The rush of picking, packing and shippng peaches from Timberville will start about July 20 this year. The Carmens, the early variety, will then be ready to harvest. There are about ten carloads of this variety. On about August 5th the Hila Belles and the Georgia Belles will be ready for picking and shipping, and when this crop is exhausted the Elbertas, the best of all, will be ready for the harvester. Timberville is looking forward to the biggest peach season of its history, and it is not improbable that it will lead the state in production this year.

Shipping a problem

Shipping the big peach crop to market is now developing into a problem. The Southern Railway has been handling the bulk of the crop, and this year it is expected that the Southern will be compelled to augment its express shipments with a truck service. At the height of the season this year it is expected that at least shipments will go forward at the rate of from 20 to 25 carloads a day.

Mr. Crist’s Estimates

Mr. Crist’s estimates for this year’s peach yield are as follows:

  • H. F. and T. B. Byrd, 27,000 bushels.
  • H. S. Zigler, 20,000 bushels.
  • H. J. Garber, 20,000 bushels.
  • F. H. Driver, 16,000 bushels.
  • Bowers & Garber, 13,000 bushels.
  • George H. C. Crist & Son, 11,000 bushels.
  • R. L. Miller, 8,000 bushels.
  • S. F. Hoover, 7,000 bushels.
  • J. H. Andes, 5,000 bushels.
  • O. B. Kelley, 5,000 bushels.
  • W. E. Propst, 4,000 bushels.
  • J. A. and E. E. Jones, 3,500 bushels.
  • Wm. Jones & Son, 3,000 bushels.
  • C. A. Sourwine, 2,000 bushels.
  • J. W. Calhoun, 3,500 bushels.
  • J. T. Will & Son, 2,000 bushels.
  • T. J. Hefner, 2,000 bushels.
  • J. D. Moore, 2,000 bushels.
  • Geo. D. Sager, 1,300 bushels.
  • O. B. Wine, 1,200 bushels.
  • Elmer Kipps, 2,000 bushels.
  • G. M. Getz, 800 bushels.
  • W. H. Will, 800 bushels.
  • S. P. Jones & Son, 800 bushels.
  • William C. Wean, 1,000 bushels.
  • P. A. Miller, 250 bushels.
  • George W. Campbell, 400 bushels.
  • R. G. Biller, 350 bushels.
  • O. W. Summers, 1,500 bushels.
  • J. W. Rinker, 500 bushels.
  • Mrs. B. F. Coffman, 1,300 bushels.
  • W. T. Fahrney, 1,200 bushels.
  • Nair & Bowman, 1,200 bushels.
  • J. C. Will & Bros., 500 bushels.
  • H. Z. Holler, 600 bushels.
  • W. S. Ritchie, 1,200 bushels.
  • J. M. Vetter, 200 bushels.
  • B. F. Golladay, 600 bushels.

Total, 170,800 bushels.