This article is from History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, Volume 1, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, page 489.


After leaving the Monticello church, Rev. Rettig organized a short-lived church in Wayne Twp. The effort was abandoned by 1879.

The German Reformed church was organized May, 1870, under the direction of Rev. George Rettig. The first trustees were George Stuhler, Gerhard Eilers and Thomas Guyan. The congregation consisted of eight families.

The congregation held their services at first in Kinsella hall. Later the congregation began laying plans for the erection of a church building of their own. In 1875, committees were appointed, property was purchased and a building erected and dedicated October 3rd of that year.

In April, 1876, Rev. Rettig resigned and Rev. Andrew Kern took his place. He having served a year, resigned also. His successor was Rev. Graff. During the pastorate of Rev. Graff, the parsonage was built, about 1880. After four years of service this pastor resigned and was succeeded by Rev. Wittenwiler. About this time, there was quite an immigration of people from Switzerland, and many of these joining the church, the congregation grew rapidly. After serving four years, Rev. Wittenwiler resigned, and the congregation then sent a call to the present pastor, E. E. Gruenstein from Sharon, Pennsylvania. The call was accepted and the new pastor came September 1, 1888.

The congregation now increased so rapidly, it was found necessary in April, 1890, to enlarge the church building. In the reconstruction of the building, provision was made for the installing of a pipe organ. In August, 1890, the church was rededicated and every member felt proud to know that theirs was the first pipe organ in the county. The thirteen-year-old son of the pastor was the organist until he went away to school, when his sister, Mrs. George Guyan took his place.

The present number of communicant members is two hundred and eighty-four. The congregation is very liberal for benevolent purposes and the church attendance is always very good. The pastor, Rev. E. E. Gruenstein, is also superintendent of the Sunday school. The elders of the church are: N. Baer, Peter Egger and John Sieber; the deacons are: Rudolph Bohren, William Burricliter and Rudolph Winkler. The affairs of the church are in a prosperous condition, and the pastor, after twenty-one years of service is yet a general favorite with the entire congregation, and a power for good in the community.

(NOTE: In 1934 the German Reformed Church united with the Evangelical Synod and the church was known as Monticello Evangelical Church. In 1957, after another merger with the Congregational Church, the church became Peace United Church of Christ.)