In August 1851, the religious body known as St. Jacobi Evangelical Lutheran Church was formed in the old school building on Fifth Street between York and Kentucky, and a parochial school was soon afterward organized. The first house of worship was erected at Seventh and Jersey, and in 1866 the building of today (1919) was occupied at Eighth and Washington streets.
St. Jacobi church is noted for the long pastorates of those who have ministered to its wants. Rev. August Schmieding, the first pastor served from 1851 to 1875. He then resigned and was succeeded by Rev. William Hallerberg. In 1904 the latter, owing to age and infirmity, was succeeded in the active duties of his charge by his son, Rev. William Hallerberg, Jr. The church is prosperous and strong, being now in charge of Rev. G. D. Hamm.
Excerpt from QUINCY AND ADAMS COUNTY HISTORY AND REPRESENTATIVE MEN by David F. Wilcox. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1919. pp.276-277
- St James (Jacobi) Early Members — contains some birth dates and places!
Biography of August Henry Schmieding, Rev. pastor 1851-1873
Rev. August Henry Schmieding deserves especial mention in the history of the German pioneers of Quincy, as it was due to his influence that many emigrants from Westphalia located in this city.
August Henry Schmieding was born March 16, 1804, in Bielsfeld, Westphalia. In 1816, when twelve years of age, he entered the college of his home town, which he attended for seven years, graduating in 1823. Then he matriculated in the University of Halle, from which he graduated in 1826. In the same year he was appointed as assistant pastor in Loehne, and in 1829 as pastor in Valdorf, near the Weser. There he married Clara Margaret Schroeder, born in Detmold, who died twelve years later.
In 1851 Rev. Schmieding emigrated and came to America with five children, one son and four daughters, locating in St. Louis, where a brother and a sister had settled in 1835. While not intending to accept a pastorate so soon, as he wanted first to acquaint himself with this country and its people, yet there was such an urgent need of ministers of the gospel, that he was induced to follow a call from Quincy, after a delegation from this city had visited him personally. It was in August, 1851, when Rev. August Schmieding organized St. Jacobi congregation, and became its pastor, a position he held for twenty-two years, being compelled to resign in 1873, on account of his advanced age. He departed this life October 13, 1879.
As stated in the beginning of this narrative, it was due to the influence of Rev. August Schmieding that many emigrants from Westphalia came to Quincy, the greater part of the south side being settled by them and their descendants. Often he received inquiries from friends and acquaintances in the fatherland about the condition of things; he always gave them a fair statement, assuring them that, with strong hearts and willing hands, they would find this the land of opportunities and possibilities. And so they came and made their mark in the City of Quincy and Adams County, contributing their share in the upbuilding of this community.
Of the four daughters of Rev. August H. Schmieding only one is among the living, Mrs. Mina Ringier, widow of Oscar Ringier, the latter a native of Switzerland, who for many years was prominent in business in this city; Miss Margaret Ringier, librarian of Quincy’s public library, is a daughter of Mrs. Mina Ringier.
Source: Quincy and Adams County History and Representative Men, pp 399-400; by David Wilcox. Chicago: Lewis Publishing, 1919.