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St. Paul's Lutheran Church
also known as:
German Lutheran Church
Little Scioto Lutheran Church
Sunshine Lutheran Church

St Paul Cover Updated

St. Paul's Lutheran Church was located across the road from Sunshine School on State Route 335 in Harrison Township.  There was no cemetery beside the church.  The church used the Batterson Cemetery for some of its members' interments.  The church was a wooden frame building, painted white.  The church was 30 feet by 40 feet in size, and was erected at a cost of $1,250.97.

In the 1860's many emigrants from Germany arrived in Scioto County, Ohio.  In the fall of 1878 or the spring of 1879 a Lutheran gentleman named Mr. Henry Knoeper, a member of the Missouri Lutheran congregation in York, Pennsylvania, came to the Little Scioto to visit his sister, Mrs. Ernest Marsch.  He discovered that among the many German settlers was a large group of Lutherans.  The settlers had no regular preacher or services.  They were occasionally served by a Reformed preacher from Waverly, Ohio.  Upon his return to Pennsylvania, Mr. Knoeper spoke to his pastor about the need for Home Mission work in Scioto County.  The pastor wrote to Rev. J. C. Schulze in Ironton, Ohio, who in turn referred the matter to Rev. William Niebuhr in Powellsville, Ohio.  Mr. Niebuhr visited the people and conducted the first Lutheran services in this part of the country.  At the meeting of the Western District in 1879, he submitted a favorable report from the mission field; the people desired a Lutheran pastor of their own.  The Mission Board appropriated $200 per year for the field.

In the later part of November of 1879, Reverend Theodore H. Jeager of Manchester, Indiana was called by the Mission Board to work in Southern Ohio.  Rev. Jeager made his home in South Webster.  He served Iron Furnace (South Webster), Little Scioto, Bloom Furnace, Monroe Furnace, Washington Furnace, and Jackson.  He worked for each location one day of the week.

Rev Jeager

According to "The History of the Lower Scioto Valley," and "The Fortieth Anniversary of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church" brochure, St. Paul's Lutheran Church was organized in Harrison Township in early 1880.  The exact is unknown.  
According to church records, Rev. Jeager baptized two children on March 29, 1880.  These are the first ministerial acts recorded.  Rev. Jeager left the church  In January of 1883 to become the pastor in Middletown, Ohio

Early members of the German Lutheran Church were:

George Beiner
Henry Brisker
William Clinganberry
George Daum
Allen Duvendeck
A. Gampp
John Gampp
W. Hockenheimer
John Janetsky
Henry Knore
Mr. Lorcamp
A. Marsh
John Miller - Trustee
John Reese
John Rigrish
William Seiling
Frederick Spring
William Wayman - Trustee
Gottleib Weble 

John Yanetzky

Trustees in 1884:
George Beiner
John Rigrish
William Seiling 

The second pastor of the church was Rev. H. B. Kuhn who served the congregation from 1883 to 1886.  Preaching was held every two weeks.  The Sunday school superintendent was William Seiling.   

In January of 1887 Reverend Henry L. Schenk began his work in Little Scioto, and he served the congregation until 1909 when he accepted a call from a Lutheran congregation in Minnesota.  During his pastorship, there were about 25 people who attend St. Paul's.

Rev. Schenk 

One of the early records of church activity in the newspaper was an obituary for Charlotte Hossman who died on May 17, 1902.  (The obituary misspelled her last name as Hortsman.)  Her obituary was published in The Portsmouth Times on May 24, 1902.  She was the widow of Christian Hossman and the mother of Charlotte Hossman Seiling who married William Sieling.

Charlotte Hoetsman Obit 

After the departure of Rev. Schenk, Rev. Pflueger from Shelbyville, Illinois accepted the call to move to Scioto County to serve the St. John's congregation at Powellsville, and the St. Paul's congregation at Sunshine.   Rev. Pflueger was installed on February 13, 1910 by Rev. S. A. Stein.  Rev. Stein served the congregation until October of 1916 when he accepted a call from Sunman, Indiana.

Rev L Pflueger 

Article from The Portsmouth Times, March 12, 1910:

Services at Little Scioto 

When Rev. Pflueger left for Indiana, a new pastor arrived at the church.  His name was Rev. N. Rasmussen.  He was from Michigan City, Indiana.  Rev. Rasmussen was installed on November 26, 1919 by Rev. D. R. Honn.

Rev Rasmussen 

The church had a Sunday School for the children that was called The Little Scioto Sunday School.  The Sunday School was later renamed St. Paul's Evangelical Sunday School.  The Sunday School records began on March 5, 1911, and they ended on November 17, 1921.  A ledger from those years was saved from a fire in the John Sieling home by Jim Phillips and Dianne Bussler Rutherford.  A link to the information in the ledger can be accessed at the bottom of this page.

The congregation split in 1922.  Names of former congregation members were found in a reorganized church which held services in the basement of the Carnegie Library in Portsmouth.  Their new name was the First Lutheran Church.  This congregation built a new church which still stands on the corner of Grant Street and Grandview Avenue in Portsmouth.

We know that the church was no longer being used in the early 1940's.  Sometime between the years 1941 and 1945 the altar, pulpit and baptismal font were donated to the St. John Lutheran Church in Powellsville by the First Lutheran Church in Portsmouth. 

The last newspaper records that could be located about activity in St. Paul's Lutheran Church were in obituaries for John H. Reese & Cora Sieling in 1934. 

John H. Reese died on September 6, 1934.  His obituary was found in The Portsmouth Times on September 7, 1934, p. 18:

John Reese Obituary 

Cora Sieling died on December 23, 1934.  Her obituary was printed in The Portsmouth Times on December 27, 1934:

Cora Sieling Obituary 

When services were no longer held in the church, it was used as a private home.  An upstairs was added to the home with new lumber.  The Jackson family lived in the house around 1949/1950, and the Broughton family lived in the house right before it was torn down.

In the first part of 1964, the church was torn down by Roy Willis and Delmar Cook.  Delmar took the new lumber with him to use in a project, and Roy tood the old beams to use in a new house he was building in South Webster.  Bob Sieling who lived nearby was helpful in removing and burning the remainder of the waste.    When Roy and Delmar got the building down to the cornerstone, a small metal box was found.  A man by the name of Duvendeck, from Sciotoville, came by and asked it he could have the box because his family had been members of the church.  When Mr. Duvendeck opened the box, there were papers written in German and a few coins.  The papers had drawn dampness over the years 1880 to 1924.

Homer Miller purchased the land and built two houses where the church once stood. 



Article from the Portsmouth Correspondent, May 13, 1904:

Wiliam Sieling died at his home near Dixon's Mill on Thursday of the previous week, 66 years old; he was born in Liensburg in the former Kingdom of Hannover, and came to America at the age of 12 years old; his first marriage was to Mary Asche, who was the youngest sister of William Asche, here, and leaves behind three children; he was married a second time to Charlotte Hortsman, and leaves behind four children; the funeral was on Sunday morning from the Lutheran Church near Sciotoville by Rev. Schenck. 


Article in The Portsmouth Times, March 11, 1911, p. 5:

Death early Tuesday claimed a good woman when Mrs. Rose Clingberry passed away at her home at Wait's Station at the age of 68 years, after a brief illness with pnuemonia.

She resided with her son and daughter, John and Callie Clingberry, who survive, besides two daughters Mrs. Dora Oberling of Harrisonville and Mrs. Tillie Fremont of New Boston.  Mrs. Brisker and Mrs. Sieling, of Harrisonville are sisters.  The funeral was held at the Sunshine Lutheran church on Wednesday at 10 a.m. and was conducted by Rev. Pflueger of Powesville. 


Article in The Portsmouth Daily Times, February 28, 1913, p. 10:


A beautifully and unusually interesting ceremony took place on Wednesday, at St. Paul's church beyond Sciotoville, when the double wedding of Mr. Roscoe MaHaffey and Miss Laura Sieling, daughter of Mrs. William Sieling of Dixon's Mills and Mr. Otto Sieling, son of Mrs. Sieling and Miss Cora Graff of Haverhill took place.  Rev. L. Pflueger, pastor of the church officiated and Miss Pearl Rigrish presided at the organ, playing a triumphal church as the procession passed up the aisle.  Miss Sieling was lovely in a gown of silk embroidered net over white satin and Miss Graff was equally charming in a costume of exquistely embroidered silk mull.  Each bride carried a bouquet of white carnations and  bride's roses in their hair.

The church was crowded with relatives and friends of the contracting parties.  Following the ceremony a bountiful dinner was served at the home of Mrs. Sieling.  The following guests partaking:  Mrs. Smith Graff, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Mahaffey and family of Wheelersburg; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Duvendeck and family and Mr. and Mrs. Harry Asche and family of Sciotoville; Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Peach, George and Elsie Shumway, Mrs. Caroline Brisker, Mr. Harry Graff, Mr. Fred Brisker, Misses Julia Graff and Pearl Rigrish.  The guests lingered far into the afternoon and were during the course of it served with a delectable luncheon.

Mr. and Mrs. McHaffey will go in housekeeping in the cozy home at Sciotoville which the groom purchased for the coming of his bride, while Mr. and Mrs. Sieling will make their home with the mother.  Numerous presents will find use and ornament in their homes and be a constant reminder of the goodwill and generosity of friends and relatives.

Sieling Double Wedding 

 Left to right:  
Otto Sieling & Cora Graff, Rev. L. Pflueger, Roscoe Mahaffey & Laura Sieling
February 26, 1913 


Article in The Portsmouth Daily Times, March 1, 1913, p. 2:
Minnie Reese, her brother and sister, of Tick Ridge, passed through Harrisonville here Sunday on their way to the Lutheran church at Sunshine. 


Article in The Portsmouth Daily Times, July 8, 1915, p. 17:


Rev. H. L. Schenk, formerly pastor of the German Lutheran Church at Sunshine  near Harrisonville, has sent word to friends near Sciotoville that he would return to his property back of Sciotoville in a short time.  Rev. Schenk left this county five years ago and had been pastor of a church at Mankatn, Minnesota.  One of his daughters died since he went to the northern state.  Rev. Schenk is having trouble with his eyes.  He had one daughter, who will return with him. 


Article in The Portsmouth Daily Times, September 15, 1916, p. 3:

Next Sunday afternoon at two o'clock confirmation services will be held at St. Paul's Lutheran church, Little Scioto, O., near Sciotoville.  The following young people will be confirmed:  Albert Asche, Freidoline Hockenheimer, Mabel Duvendeck, Edith Reese, Evelene Reese, Adaline Rigrish.  L. Pflneger, Pastor  


Article in The Portsmouth Daily Times, January 15, 1917, p. 2:
Obituary:  Rev. Henry Shenk

Death at six o'clock Sunday evening claimed Rev. Henry Shenk, retired Lutheran minister, who lived at Sunshine, near Harrisonville.  He was 69 years old.

The deceased was born in Germany.  He first lived at Powellsville and then moved to Sunshine.  From Sunshine he went to MInnesota, where he did his last preaching.  For several years he had been ill with cancer of the stomach, but only the last two weeks was his condition serious.

His wife died a number of years ago.  Rev. Shenk is survived by one daughter, Mary Shenk, at home.  The funeral will be held from the Sunshine Lutheran church, Wednesday morning at 10 o'clock.  Interment will be at South Webster.


Article in The Portsmouth Daily Times, July 6, 1923, p. 3:

Children's Day Missionary Services will be held at St. Paul's church, Little Scioto, July 8, at 1:30 p.m.  The program follows:

Opening Song - There Comes a Wail of Anguish - School
Responsive Reading - Supt. William Sieling and School
Scripture Lesson and Prayer - Rev. L. L. Loehr
Opening Address - The Church's Vision, Carl Rase
Recitation - The Good Shepherd, Dorothy Cole 
Recitation - I'll Tell You Something, Leroy Schomburg
Recitation - A Great Big Speech, Evelyn Dever
Song - O Zion Haste Thy Mission High Fulfilling, School
Recitation - Wishing, Luther Sieling
Recitation - Kindness, Minnie Cole
Recitation - Lift Up Your Eyes, Irene Schomburg
Recitation - The Waif and Children's Day, Cora Sieling
Recitation - The Other Boy, Wilbur Cole
Recitation - The Little Missionary, Paul Rase
Song - We Are Little Gleaners, School Children
Recitation - Little Gleaners, Naomi Rase
Recitation - Little Offerings, Harold Schomburg
Recitation - Scattering Love, Wanda Dever
Recitation - All For Thee, Naomi Rase
Song - O Christ Thou True and Only Light, School
Recitation - Your Mission, Ruth Cole
Song - Little Hearts to Worship, Two Children
Recitation - Is it Nothing to You?, Gertrude Reese
Recitation - The Field are White to Harvest, Irene Schomburg
Song - Savior Sprinkle Many Nations, School
Recitation - The Lord Hath Need of Us, Roena Brisker
Recitation - Song of the Pennies, Luther Sieling
Recitation - Prayer for a Blessing, Catherine Rase
Remarks by Superintendent and Pastor
Reading of the Letters from our Missionaires, Earnest Reese, Earl Rase


Article in The Portsmouth Daily Times August 10, 1923, p. 13:

John Rigrish, son of Jacob Rigrish and wife, was born August 26, 1834 in Hesse Darmstadt, Germany.  In the year 1840 at the age of six years, his parents left their native land with their family and all their earthly possessions to make America their home.  They came directly from their native land to Portsmouth, Ohio, and after six months moved out to what in known at Little Scioto and became the pioneers of that neighborhood.  It was in this place that the deceased grew to manhood and lived all of his lifetime.

In the year 1850 he was united in marriage to Miss Selma Wiehle, and to this union three sons and two daughters were born.  One son and one daughter having died in early life.  In his youth he united with the Lutheran church and remained faithful to his confession until his death.  At the time of his death he was a member of the First Lutheran church of Portsmouth.  After the death of his beloved wife about 13 years ago he has made his home with his son, Wiley, at whose house in Sciotoville he departed this life, August 9, 1923 at the good old age of 88 years, 11 months and 13 days.

There is left to mourn their hour, two sons, Wiley of Sciotoville and Dr. George of Charleston and one grandson, four granddaughters and two great granddaughters and also a number of other relatives and friends.

Funeral services will be conducted by his pastor at the home of his son in Sciotoville, Saturday afternoon August 10 at 1:30 and at the Lutheran church on the Little Scioto at 2 p.m.  Burial in the Batterson cemetery. 


Article in The Portsmouth Daily Times, December 24, 1924, p. 5: 

December Church Events 

Article in The Portsmouth Daily Times, October 1, 1925, p. 3:

The annual mission festival St. Paul's Lutheran church, Little Scioto, Rev. L. L. Lochr, pastor, will be held Sunday, October 4,  Services at 10 a.m. and at 2 p.m.  The mission sermons will be delivered by E. J. Mellnauer of Columbus.  Dinner will be served in the church yard.  All are cordially invited to attend these services.


Article in The Portsmouth Daily Times, September 29, 1926, p. 6:
An Annual mission festival will be held Sunday, October 3, at St. Paul's Lutheran church on the Little Scioto near Sciotoville.  There will be services at 10 a.m. and at 2 p.m.  J. J. Lippoldt of Columbus will deliver both sermons.  Dinner will be served at noon on the church lawn.  Everyone is cordially invited to attend. 


Article in The Portsmouth Daily Times, February 5, 1927, p. 8:

Death early Saturday claimed another highly esteemed resident of Scioto County when Mrs. Johanna Amelia Knore, 75, passed away at the home of her daughter, Mrs. George Shope of the Minford community.  Her death was caused by infirmities.  Two years ago her faithful husband Henry Knore died.  The following children survive; Charles and Frank of Sciotoville, William of South Webster, Louis of Dogwood Ridge, Mrs. R. F. Schomberg of Sciotoville, Mrs. Charles Snodgrass of Villa Grove, Illinois and Mrs. William Weeks of Sciotoville.  Mrs. Knore who was well known in Portsmouth and a member of the Lutheran church at Sunshine.  The last rites for this estimable woman will be held some time Monday.


Article in The Portsmouth Daily Times, September 24, 1927, p. 8:


An annual Mission Festival will be held at the Little Scioto Lutheran church near Dixon's Mill on Sunday, September 25.

There will be services at 10 a.m. and at 2 p.m.  William F. Fritz from Columbus will deliver both sermons.  Dinner will be served on the church lawn.  Everyone is invited to attend these services. 


Article in The Portsmouth Daily Times, July 7, 1928, p. 6:

July 4th Picnic 


Article in The Portsmouth Daily Times, August 25, 1929, p. 10:

Charlotte Sieling Obit 


Barbara Chamberlin Gampp donated the brochure from the Fortieth Anniversary of the church.
Click here to view the complete brochure. 

Dianne Bussler Rutherford and Jim Phillips provided the ledger for The Little Scioto Sunday School, the hymnal, and a prayer book.  The books  had been rescued from a fire, so some of the pages were charred.

Click here to read information from the ledger. 

Click here to read information about the congregational split forming the First Lutheran Church at Grant Street & Grandview Avenue in Portsmouth. 

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