Milton History

a pictorial history of Milton, PA

Trinity Lutheran Church

Trinity Lutheran Church 100 Mahoning Street

This church is at the southeast corner of Mahoning and Garfield Streets.

From Bell’s History of Northumberland County 1891:

Among the first Lutherans at Milton were the families of Angstadt, Bastian, Beckley, Beidleman, Bright, Burrman, Kreitzer, Dressier, Egner, Eckbert, Fidler, Follmer, Freed, Gehrig, Goodman, Haller, Hartman, Hill, Kohr, Leib, Markle, Morrison, Noriconk, Overpeck, Peeler, Peterman, Robins, Schreyer, Stine, Strine, Swenk, Trout, Wilhelm, Wolfinger, etc. The first clergy of this denomination who held services at Milton were traveling preachers who visited this part of the State at irregular and infrequent intervals, and their first place of worship was the school house erected on Lower Market street in 1796. After the Broadway school house was built it became the meeting place. In 1807, uniting with the Reformed congregation, a small one-story log house on the south side of Mahoning street was purchased for school and church purposes; but the school was not a success, although occasional worship was conducted here by the Reverends Eyer, Stock, and Engle. In 1817 the Lutherans were represented by Adam Follmer in the building committee of Harmony church, and at its dedication, May 23, 1819, they were regularly organized as a church with Philip H. Shreyer as elder, John Hill as deacon, and Rev. Philip Repass as pastor. When the interest of the Presbyterians in Harmony church was sold it was purchased by Adam Follmer, a member of this church, for the Lutheran and Reformed congregations, who worshiped there until 1850, when the former disposed of their interest and erected a two-story brick edifice on the south side of Mahoning street near the central part of the town. It was dedicated, May 4, 1851. In 1868 this was sold to the Evangelical church. On Sunday, August 25, 1867, the corner-stone of a new church had been laid at the southeast corner of Mahoning and Second streets,and on the 1st of November, 1868, the lecture room of this edifice was dedicated. It was a brick building, erected at a cost of thirty thousand dollars, and was justly regarded as one of the most commodious churches in central Pennsylvania.

The fire of May 14, 1880, having destroyed this building, the pastor, Rev. W. H. Gotwald, called a meeting of the council three days later, at which it was resolved to undertake at once the work of rebuilding. Assistance from the church at large was generously given in the sum of five thousand five hundred thirty-three dollars, twenty-two cents; the Lower Market Street and Center Street school buildings were occupied until May 13, 1881, when the first service was held in the lecture room of the new church. The architect was C. G. Wetzel, the contractor, Charles Krug, and the cost, ten thousand dollars.

Trinity Lutheran Church inside

The lecture room was dedicated, May 15, 1881; the first service was held in the audience room, March 19, 1882, and on the 26th of that month it also was dedicated.

Inside picture from the book “Chronicles and Legends of Milton II” by George Venios

The first regular pastor was Rev. Philip Repass, who resided in Union county and preached at Milton only at long intervals. His successor, Rev. F. Waage, was the first resident pastor at Milton; his field of labor included also Williamsport, Turbutville, Follmer's, Muncy, Chillisquaque, Strawberry Ridge, and Hall's. He had charge three years, 1826-29, and from that date the pastoral succession has been as follows: William Garman, 1829-30; C. P. Miller, 1831-33; J. G. Anspach, June 19, 1836, to June, 1837; C. F. Stoever, September 2, 1837, to 1842; Eli Swartz, 1842-44; Frederick Ruthrauf, April 1, 1845, to November, 1850; J. J Reimensnyder, April 17, 1851, to April 1, 1854; C. C. Culler, June 30,1854, until death, August 19, 1860; T. T. Titus, March, 1861, to April, 1863; S. P. Spreecher, May, 1863, to April, 1865; George Parsons, July 1, 1865, to October 1, 1868; U. Graves, October 2, 1868, to September 24, 1870; A. Buhrman, April, 1871, to 1873; W. H. Gotwald, May 1, 1878, to 1887; J. M. Reimensnyder, present pastor, assumed charge in 1887.

Trinity Lutheran Church 1858

The drawing at left shows the church that was built in 1851. It was on the south side of Mahoning Street, halfway between the alley and Second Street (now Arch), across from the Baker Brewery. In 1867 it was replaced by a new church on the SE corner of Second and Mahoning, the site of the present church.

Lutheran Church map