The Story of the Stained-Glass
Windows in the Ipswich United Church of Christ
The beautiful stained-glass windows in our church were installed during the ministry of the Revered Godfrey Matthews in 1917. The following year Revered Matthews was called as a Y.M.C.A. Secretary to Fort Sill in Oklahoma.
The beautiful window, in the east, was given by Mr. and Mrs. George Meadows in memory of their young son, Earle, who graduated from High School in 1911, and as a special gift his folks gave him a trip to Wisconsin and Illinois to visit cousins. While swimming across a lake in Illinois with a YMCA group, Earle drowned. Mr. and Mrs. Meadows were the parents of Mrs. Beth Crissman and the grandparents of Earle Crissman. The Meadows and Crissmans were among the prominent pioneers of Ipswich.
“The Christian Endeavor” donated the northeast window. This was the name of the church youth group at that time. Each member was to use $1.00, probably gotten from his or her parents, and see how much it could be increased in a certain length of time. The idea was probably borrowed from the parable of the 10 talents in the Bible.
Emily Roberts recalled being praised for bringing the first $5.00. Elizabeth Jenson took orders for baked goods which she baked herself and she brought in $16.00. Elizabeth Jensen was Bonnie Hodson’s mother and Clyde and Glen Hodson’s grandmother. Emily and Elizabeth were sisters.
Mr. and Mrs. Ed Barron gave the northwest window in memory of Mrs. Barron’s mother, Mrs. J. C. Simmons. Ed Barron was also from a pioneer family. His mother was the church organist for many years.
Dr. and Mrs. Robert Hill donated the round window above the altar, the Hoffman head of Christ. Dr. Hill was the Country Doctor here in Ipswich from 1895 until his death in 1938. His funeral was held in the High school gym as it was felt that no local church would hold the crowds who would want to show their love and respect for this dedicated country doctor. Mrs. Hill was a diligent worker in both the Ladies Aid and the church.
The Southwest window was given as a memorial for the Reverend Harry Evans who died during the flu epidemic. Until he was taken ill himself, he visited the sick and did what he could to help. This window was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Beebe, members of the Baptist Church.
In a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Meadows from Reverend Godfrey Matthews, he stated that if they didn’t care to buy a window, they might like to contribute toward the purchase of one. The conclusion of that idea produced the window depicting Christ’s Ascension in the southeast corner of our building. The idea of several contributions put together was so good there was enough money left over for another small window. So, that window went in the south wall of the Vestibule.
In 1950 it was discovered that the windows needed re-leading and Merrill and Edna Bebermeyer went to Minneapolis and located the firm from which the windows were ordered. The firm sent two men out to do the re-leading.