The Community Methodist Church

Ione, California









A Foreword


Dr. Anthony in his Fifty Years of Methodism in California, 1847-1897, says that any church which was organized or a church building erected before the first Annual Conference of February 1853 should be considered a Pioneer Church. Ione can make the claim to be Pioneer on both counts, for the church was organized in 1852 and the building of a place of worship was almost complete at the time the first conference was held. Thomas Rickey and family were largely responsible for this and we are glad to honor their memory on this occasion.


A fine picture of Mr. Samuel D. Mandell, architect of our present church, presented by Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Sibole, is being unveiled tonight.


Dr. Tully C. Knoles, President of the College of the Pacific, is speaker of the evening. Mr. O. H. Close, Superintendent of the Preston School of Industry, presiding.


We are indebted to the late Mrs. Martha (Gregory) Courtright for having preserved a photograph of Mr. Mandell and she expressed the hope that he would be remembered in this way. We are glad to fulfill her wishes and we thank Mr. and Mrs. Sibole her grandchildren for their generous gift.






Having been asked for further information covering the early days of Ione we present the following:


Page 1, Paragraph 3. Oats grew 8 feet 4 inches tall and turnips grown by James Clark were 3 feet 5 inches in circumference.


Page 1, Paragraph 5. The Calaveras Chronicle published in Mokelumne Hill, in the early days, reported a double hanging which took place in Ione one Wednesday evening in September 1852. Numerous stealings had been committed against stock farmers in Ione Valley and finally Messrs Loyd and Vander missed two of their horses. Two Mexicans, named Jesus Brlsana and Antonio Duartes, hiding the horses in the brush near Clinton, walked into the town and tried to sell the concealed animals to a man there at $200 each. Suspicions being aroused the thieves were arrested and the owners of the horses having been sent for, identified them as being theirs.


The sheriff, with the thieves tied on the horses, deputized the owners to take them to Mokelumne Hill. However, they galloped off with their prisoners to Ione where, the Chronicle says, a large number of excited citizens soon assembled and decreed that the thieves should be hung, which was done that very day.


Page 2, Paragraph 2. S. H. Marlette became Surveyor General for California. He was recognized as California’s first road builder.


Page 2, Paragraph 4. Three items.

When Amador County was established it was expected it would be called “Washington” and documents at first were so drawn up, but “Amador” was the name finally selected in honor of Don Jose’ Maria Amador. He is reported by Hittell to have mined in this region in 1848. He was a son of Sergeant Pedro Amador of the Spanish Army who came to California in 1771.


Susan Mitchell Hall in her diary tells of a trip which she made with her father, Frederick Channing Hall, from Ione to Nevada beginning September 17, 1859. She says, “I left home with my father in our own conveyance---comfortable, large buggy, and two fine horses. Left at 7:10 a. m. and arrived at Drytown 11 a. m. After a dusty, warm drive, arrived at Placerville at 5:15 p. m. Met here Mr. Samuel Hyatt, Mr. Upson and Mr. Choate. Mr. Hyatt presented me with a basket of fruit.” Mr. Upson’s christian name was Lauren and he was a twin brother of Warren Upson of Pony Express fame. Miss Hall married Dr. Obed Harvey, the founder of Galt.


One of the first schools in Ione was built on grounds now mostly occupied by the Catholic parsonage. The Baptist church, which later was an academy, stood east of the old school house. To this school went the children of pioneer families such as the Gregories and Courtrights and the Crusens rode into town on horseback from their home located in what is now known as the Preston School orchard.


Page 3,  Paragraph 4. Mrs. Mitch Hammer is a daughter of James McCauley.


Page 6, Paragraph 1, under Mother Church. One Ionite who signed himself “Pachette” writing in the vein of an enterprising land agent in the Calaveras Chronicle of June 28th, 1853 says in part, “Ione, Calaveras County, is a “Moral vineyard” with neat dwellings, tidy inclosures, good schools and a convenient church, always well attended.”


Page 13. The man on the top of the church steps is said to be Rev. E. I. Jones, pastor.


Page 15, Paragraph 1. The Woodward church was north, west of Ione on the brow of the hill about 200 yards west of Mr. Lewis Winter’s barn.


Page 26, Paragraph 2, under The Choir. Dr. Elias B. Harris arrived in San Francisco in 1850 and soon afterwards settled in Ione. He ran a hotel and store.


Page 37, bottom. Henry Asbury and Mary Crusen were married in Muletown in 1859.


Page 38,  2nd line. When George Haverstick and Rebecca Crusen were married so many self invited guests arrived from all directions, the ceremony could not be held in the Cunningham Hall and so the marriage vows were exchanged under a large oak tree nearby.




Page 2, bottom line should read, Booth, whose brother assassinated Abraham Lincoln.


Page 3, Paragraph 6 should read Miss Haverstick was one of the first operators.


Page 4, Paragraph 4 should read, sixteen saloons in Ione and vicinity.


Page 7, Paragraph 1. Aubrey Drury says that Jenny Lind was never in California.


Page 10, Paragraph 4. Mt. Echo should be included among the possible eight points where Urmy preached.


Page 24, Paragraph 2, under Stony Creek. The toll charge on the Jackson road should read .75 and $1.50











Ione and the church grew up side by side and the one has had an elevating influence over the other. Early visitors here say, “Ione is located in a beautiful valley with massive oaks, luxurious grass, man high, and acres of poppies.” James McCauley, writing thirty years after the event describes the rare beauty around Ione in 1849 as he stood on the eminence east of town and looking west saw nature at her very best and herds of antelope grazing. “Ione is a beautiful town in a beautiful valley,” says Rev. Isaac Owen; and Rev. Isaac B. Fish was “astonished at the enormous growth of all kinds of vegetation in Ion (sic) Valley.”


“The beautiful valley of Ione,” says Dr. Anthony in his history of California Methodism, “was early prized by settlers many of whom were Methodists.”


The gulches around Ione were mined in 1848 and within five years the town flourished by the sale of grain and vegetables.


The town began with such names as “Dead Dog,” “Freeze Out,” and “Bed Bug.” A meeting was called to give the place a name and Tom Brown suggested that it be called “Ione” in honor of one of the heroines in Lytton’s “Last days of Pompeii” which he was then reading. The idea was accepted and the town was named Ione City. Our church records give this as the name of the place for the next forty years.


Ione City was the headquarters of thieves. It scheduled it bull and bear fights, prize fights, etc. Black Bart worked here and Joaquin Maruetta is said to have begun banditry in this vicinity. The jail, located on the present Boy Scout cabin site, was seldom without generous patronage.


Thomas Rickey laid out the town in 1852. According to a map of that time it was surveyed for “T. Rickey, Esq., by S. H. Marelette, C. E., County Surveyor, Mokelomne Hill, Calaveras County, September 13, 14, 16, 1853.” With the exception of a small portion of the south-east corner credited to a man named Cline, Rickey owned all the town site.


The ground, according to this map, on which the present church stands was bought by one named Bonner; and the Presbyterians owned lots on the south-west corner of town near to the present Shell Oil station at the Southern Pacific depot.


The block in the center of town was called “Washington Square.” It is known today as the Woolsey block. There was no survey made north of Sutter Creek


The Sacramento-Jackson six horse stage coach traveled over the hill on east Main Street twice daily. Many a lathered horse has stopped at the water trough at Prouty’s Service Station where the cover over the well is still to be seen. The fare was $10.00 for the day’s round trip.


Ione City in 1855 was a prosperous trading center for thousands of miners working round about, who came for their bacon and beans, 500 of whom were Chinamen. They came from almost every civilized country in the world and Ione was a city of many tongues. There were also 5,000 Indians in the vicinity. The town at this time had high hopes of becoming the new county seat of Amador County, just then being organized.


The Ione Weekly which made its appearance in 1861 contributed to the culture and development of the city. Like the proverbial cat it has had many lives. At the present time it is quite dead.


Ione’s water supply came from wells scattered all over town. There were at least twelve of them on the three business blocks of Main Street.


Notable men like Joaquin Miller, Bret Harte, Edwin Markham, Horace Greeley, Kit Carson, John Muir and others were not unacquainted with Ione City, while Captain Kidd had property in our town and his descendents live nearby. “Death Valley Scotty” says he lived in Ione when he was three years old. Edwin Booth and other theatricals, some of them local people, made regular tours among the mining towns along the Mother Lode. Booth, who assassinated Abraham Lincoln, married a daughter of Rev. B. F. Meyers, who was a Methodist pastor in Jackson in 1859.


A fire in Ione in 1865 destroyed an entire block of property.


Notable stage coach robberies took place around Ione in 1867, 1870, 1875 and 1880.


The town had its pavillion (sic), theatre and other places of entertainment and the circus never failed to make its annual visit.


Ione and community has produced its share of people of fair poetic ability. Miss Marie Brussie, Hon. Judge C. B. Swift, Miss M. Clark, Gordon Brackett, R. E. Johnson, Jackson Gregory, and Mrs. Fred Whitmore. John Vance Cheney won the New York Sun prize poem in reply to Markham’s “Man With The Hoe.” James McCauley was a gifted prose writer and J. D. Mason’s history of Amador County is one of the very best of county histories.


During the U. S. Centennial year the railroad from Galt to Ione City was completed. One of its enthusiasts said, “A ride over the abominated stage road was sure to convert one to the railroad idea.” We wonder if at a later date, this was one of those persons who, during heavy rains and flood was compelled to stay on the train all night in the open country between here and Galt? For years the most popular Ione diversion on a pleasant Sunday afternoon was to go to the depot to see what interesting celebrities the train was bringing in.


Telephone communication was established with Jackson in 1879. Miss Sadie Haverstick (Mrs. Gillum) was the first operator.


Kay’s Ione Cornet Band was much in demand sixty-five years ago for celebrations around the county. At a later date the Ione Silver Cornet Band of nearly fifty pieces made its appearance with William Burris, conductor. He was the first white boy born in Ione Valley.


“Ione Big Four Minstrels” performed in 1883, in the interest of the public library. At the same time there was an “Ione Cursing Club,” a “Mother Goose Lancer Club,” an “Ione Social and Literary Society,” and the Ione May Day Picnic was an institution. It was during this same year that Ione City became quite modern and respectable: “Pigs have disappeared from our streets thanks to the energy of Constable Heffron.”


One man was fined $25.00 in our local police court for smoking opium. Paying his fine he immediately left town in disgust at our Puritanical ideas of propriety.


Ione was the seat of the Amador and Calaveras Association Fair, the first one being held in 1887. According to the newspapers of that date it was a very creditable exposition. The first Amador County fair was held in 1862.


A race track lay to the west of town and there was another one to the south.


The variety of business conducted in Ione gives us some idea of its prestige and importance. When eggs were $1.00 each and sugar was selling at a fabulous price a sugar refinery sprang up north-west of town. There was a broom factory, brickyard, cigar factory, watchmaker and jeweler, clay pit, cheese factory, millinery, lime kiln, tailor shop, brewery, sixteen saloons, bridge builders, blacksmith shop, bank, flour mills, lumber yard, coal mine, copper mine, gold digging, feed barn, variety store, creamery, cabinet shop, photographer, hardware, powder house, clothing store, livery stable, undertakers, hotel, dressmakers, drug store, groceries, harness shop, bakery, real estate, lawyers, meat market, restaurant, art gallery, paint shop, tin shop, dentist, shoe shop, and Chinese laundry.


“To lead to a better condition of morals,” the Sunday closing of business houses was agreed upon; Messrs. Woolsey, Stewart, Isaacs, Dosch, Wangrein, Evans, Harrison, and Atkinson participating.


With the turn of the century the Ione Development Association was organized with E. G. Woolsey, president. It soon made way for the Board of Trade with 46 members. W. H. Prouty was president. This Board was responsible for the installation of electric lights on the streets of Ione in 1910.


W. H. Prounty (sic) was a member of the Convention which formed the new Constitution for the State of California.


Ione Cemetary (sic) was laid out in 1852. Lucinda Rickey, a child, was the first person buried here. There was also a cemetary (sic) on Mule Creek just below the bridge of the Ione highway, on the elevation on the north side. It is on the original Phillips place and here the Phillips, Cruson, Beroth and other families were buried in the early sixties according to the headstones to be seen there today.


Early pioneers tell of the Indians placing their dead on tree tops. Sometimes they cremated them.




It is very important that a new town get a good start and there is every reason to believe that Ione was fortunate in this. Into the growing town came a good number of church people who exercised a steadying influence upon the City, the most prominent among them being the Rickey family which came here in 1852. They were one of the seven families found here when the Gregories arrived in August of the next year.


After mining at Fort John, on Dry Creek, in 1850 and at Amador City a year later, Thomas and Mary Rickey settled with their family in Ione. Thomas Rickey and James his son together with Rev. P. Y. Cool had built the first church and a school house in the county at Fort John.


In Ione Mr. Rickey kept the Irene Hotel, a store and had an interest in a flour mill. He built a brick house for a residence on the right side of the old Stockton road, just below the present church. The family was large there being six sons and five daughters:

Charles William

Thomas Jefferson

Josephus Hoffman

James Allen

Daniel Boone

Elbridge Doan

Sarah Elizabeth Langhery

Mary Francis

Cordelia Ann

Priscilla Jane

Lucinda Carson.



All the sons, except the last named, who died at the age of 17, were official members of the church. The first three were local preachers and held other offices. James was a Steward and his daughter, Mrs. S. R. Greenhalgh teaches school in Plymouth. Daniel B. is the first Sunday School Superintendent on record in the old books. Sarah L. (Mrs. Nims) became a woman of note in the church.


Isaac Owen, our first Presiding Elder, generally known as “Father” Owen says, “Rickey is a very religious man.” Owen often took “Uncle” Rickey, as he was affectionately called, with him, partly for Owen’s protection when visiting these parts of his district. He further adds, “Sister Nims is a close Bible student and a very pious woman.”


Miss Cordelia Rickey and Mr. Grear, school teachers put on a Christmas program in 1859 which was long remembered by those who attended.


The Rickeys were very influential in the promotion of the church in Ione and all things good. Other families credited with having elevated the moral standard of the town were Reeds, Styles, Preators, Gregories, Phillips and McMurrys.




The Methodist Church paid to Thomas Rickey $1,000 for one-third of a block on Church Street and extending from Main to Jackson Streets and “east to Daniel Stewart’s brick wall.” The mother church of Ione was built here in 1852-53 and opened for public worship on Sunday, March 6, 1853. The building, thirty feet long and twenty feet wide was valued at $1,500. Church services, Sunday School, temperance meetings and other programs were held here for nearly ten years.


Across the street, where the Ione Food Center is now located, was a saloon and the vociferous oratory proved to be a very annoying and disturbing factor to devout worshipers and Sunday School attendants.


With an expanding church and city it was decided to erect a new building in a new location and in 1862 the property was sold to Alfred Preater for $3,000.


When the soldiers moved in they made the old church their army headquarters. It later became a paint shop and several other things by turn. Finally after standing 89 years the building in which Jenny Lind had sung was dismantled.


A finely made sugar pine library cupboard which was part of the equipment of the old church is all that is left of its furnishings and is still in use in the present church. The rules for the Sunday School which a pastor drew up are to be seen inside one of the doors.


There has come into our possession a piece of one of the sills of the church eight inches square and thirty inches long. The material is Ponderosa mountain pine and there are three dowls in it for uprights. A fitting place has been found for it in the present church to preserve this interesting souvenir.


We wonder why an earnest attempt was not made to save this pioneer place of worship, an ancient landmark, a sacred shrine. The Mother Church of Ione!




With the establishment of Ione City the Methodist Circuit rider made his never-failing appearance. Such a man as the preacher of the Stockton Circuit who supervised the religious work in the mining towns of many counties could scarcely miss Ione.


Rev. F. C. Camp came here regularly in 1852, holding services every two weeks. He reported at our first annual conference, held in February 1853 that there were seventeen church members in Ione City. Nearly all of these people must have been charter members of the organization.


Ione City was made the head of a circuit at this conference, Rev. George B. Taylor, pastor. He had five preaching points including Drytown and Wilson’s, opposite Cosumnes.


Rev’s. G. B. Taylor and I. B. Fish of Mokelumne Hill had married two sisters and the former still suffering from Panama fever contracted while crossing the Isthmus went from Conference, held in San Francisco, to the home of his brother-in-law at Mokelumne Hill. Fish had partitioned off a part of a storage room and made it into a parsonage.


Taylor being too ill to proceed to Ione, sixteen miles away, made an exchange of pulpits with Fish for the following Sunday. Brother Fish says in his journals he left home on horseback at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning during a heavy rain, wearing waterproof overclothes. At noon he took dinner in Jackson and was advised to wait for company on account of robbers. However, he went on alone. He says, “In rain and storm trust in God. I went through wild forest infested by desperadoes, and at ½ past 3 p. m. arrived at Rickey’s, my stopping place in Ion Ville. I was kindly received and welcomed. His is an excellent and Christian family.” On the 27th at 10 o’clock he heard the Rev. Mr. Lyon of the South Methodist church preach. “I tried to preach at Rickey’s at 2 p.m. Had a pleasant congregation. I trust the preaching was not in vain, though I did not have much liberty. Here are many noble hearts and they are building a beautiful church. The valley is a paradise. After preaching I went home with Bro. Nims a cattle man with a big soul who lives in Jackson Valley six miles from Ion Ville.”


Two weeks later Fish and Taylor again exchanged pulpits. The former says, “At ½ past 10 a. m. I preached in the New Methodist Church to a fine congregation. Had very good liberty in preaching from Prov. 4:18.”


From this item and that given by him two weeks earlier it seems clear that Rev. Geo. B. Taylor had opening services in the New Church on Sunday, March 6th, 1853 and I. B. Fish preached the following Sunday. He continues his journal the same day saying: “At 3 p. m. I preached at Drytown, dry in more ways than one; and again there at night. I stayed over night at Burt Co’s store. Had a good rest. Felt no fleas.” This last statement was a most unusual circumstance as the flea was man’s constant companion. It is said that the louse took possession of the entire country until the flea made its appearance in 1851 and fought its way into every home by eating up all the lice. One newspaper commenting upon the activities of the flea continued by saying, “Even the sanctuary is invaded by them; in fact, the church flea is the most ravenous of all. Starved during the week, he has an extra-ordinary appetite when the Sabbath comes. No bells calling a laboring man to his dinner ever brought such joy as the Sunday chimes do to the fasting flea. How he rushes to the attack as the people take their seats! How the victims writhe and squirm as the flea plunges his jaws into them! Preachers unaccustomed to the phenomenon, imagine it to be the sword of the spirit bringing sinners to a lively sense of their condition, and they lay on and spare not. Fleas, reverend sir; nothing more.”


“Those who have studied phlebotony (sic) think they can distinguish the bites of the different denominations. There is the flea of the gushing Methodist, that is gentle and affectionate; of the iron-bound Presbyterian, that bounces you like a bull-dog; but for downright, hard work, take the flea of the hard-shell Baptist. Raised amidst difficulties, like the Scotsman among his crags, and the New Englander among his granite boulders, he is fitted for every possible emergency in a race for life.”


People with such experiences as the early pioneers would find their counterpart in the Greek comedy written by Aristophanes, 400 B. C. when Bacch writes to Xanth: “and communicate any information relative to the country, the roads, - the streets, -the bridges, the fountains, -aqueducts,-and inns, and lodging, -free from bugs and fleas, if possible, if you know any such.”


On the evening of July 3, 1853, I. B. Fish again preached in Ione. He continues, “Monday, July 4th a celebration came off which reminded all of other times. Had a fine oration in the forenoon and several temperance speeches in the afternoon. The music was excellent.”


August 21st the same preacher reports, “I rode to Ion Ville and preached in the woods at night. I stayed with Judge Carter.” The Carter home built in 1850 was the first frame house in the county.


In October following, Revs. Fish and Taylor each bought from Thomas Rickey a three acre lot in Ione City side by side. Fish says he “spent two days with two hired hands board fencing the lot at a total cost of $600 for the homesteads.


Taylor reported to the Christian Advocate the following November that the church and parsonage were “all paid for. Thank God.”


It is not surprising to learn that the next year Rev. I. B. Fish succeeded G. B. Taylor at Ione.


He found five preaching points on the circuit and with the aid of a good horse and buggy soon added two others which required him to travel up to 60 miles every week. He says it was the hardest field he had ever worked in. In May 1855 he tells of preaching at Cook’s Bar and Michigan Bar. It was “very rainy. Unusually so for the time of year.” He reported to conference 65 members, ten preparatory members and three local preachers.


Rev. William S. Urmy succeeded Fish in 1855. He had eight preaching points and five Sunday Schools. Where did he preach? Ione, Drytown, Sutter Creek, Muletown, Michigan Bar, Cook’s Bar, and it is almost anyone’s guess to select the remaining two from the following places where the Ione preachers at about this time served: Forest Home, Jackson Valley, Buena Vista, Lancha Plana, Buckeye Valley, Live Oak and Cosumnes. He reported at conference 90 members and 27 preparatory members.


By this time the circuit was so large that in 1857 three ministers were appointed to Ione City and Cosumnes Circuit, with Rev. John Sharp in charge assisted by Rev. J. W. Ricks and Rev. P. Y. Cool. Because of ill health Cool had been an inactive minister for some time and mined with the Rickeys at Fort John. At the time of this appointment he was farming at Buena Vista and continued to make that place his headquarters.


The following year the appointees were Rev’s H. J. Bland, Warren Nims and P. Y. Cool. Nims bought a ranch in Jackson Valley in 1850, married Miss Sarah Rickey and in 1858 entered the Methodist Ministry. With this appointment the Nim’s went to live at Cosumnes where they were greatly beloved by all. There were 128 members and 17 preparatory members on the circuit.





For many years the California Conference had looked upon Ione City as being one of its first-class appointments and one of the best to which a man could be sent, and it was steadily increasing in importance. The population was now over 2,000. The membership had multiplied many times over, they were prosperous and encouraged the building of a new church.


At a quarterly conference held in 1861 it was resolved, “As soon as possible to build a new church edifice in Ione City.” A committee of seven, appointed to select a new location, secure plans and estimate the cost, was composed of: Thomas Rickey, H. S. Woodward, J. H. Stevens, W. H. Scudder, I. B. Gregory, W. C. Pratt and C. H. Lawton, pastor. The following day the committee reported that “it is advisable to build a brick edifice 70’ x 42’ with basement story. The lots on Marelette and Sacramento streets were the most suitable.” The project which was to cost $8,000 was accepted.


Samuel D. Mandell, architect for the new courthouse in Jackson, was authorized to draw plans for the new church. The style of architecture was to be Gothic.




Bishop Matthew Simpson laid the corner-stone at 2 p.m. Friday, July 4, 1862 in the presence of a vast crowd of people, assisted by Dr.’s Peck, Owen and C. H. Lawton, pastor.


Mrs. Lawton was a neice (sic) of Bishop Simpson and no doubt she was happy to entertain her episcopal uncle.


The corner-stone is on the north-east corner of the church on the left of the basement door. In the tin box were placed newspapers, coins, the names of church members, the amount each person subscribed to the building, gold nuggets, small bags of seeds, peas, beans, etc. Mrs. E. Surface, dressmaker, donated a piece of dress material, and Mrs. Mattie Edwards placed a dinner plate in the box. Mr. William Martin is the only living person in Ione today who was present on that occasion and added his contribution to the corner-stone.


Unusually large patriotic celebrations were held in Ione City that day.


The heat was so intense seats had to be placed under the large oak tree, which is still standing, on the north-east corner of the block, to afford shelter to the many visitors.


S. D. Mandell, assisted by I. B. Gregory, L. C. Churchill, R. S. McMurry and Henry Bliss, supervised the construction of the building.


The great blocks of hard foundation stone which go down to bedrock were taken from the hillside back of the church.


George Haverstick made the iron work. The brick was made near the present high school, J. H. Stevens superintending the work. The walls are four brick wide and there are approximately 255,000 bricks in the building. James H. Bonham burned the lime at his place in Mt. Echo and donated it to the church.


The high roof with its hewn open rafters is a remarkable piece of skill. There are no bolts stretched across the building to hold it together.


The earthquake of 1906 may have shaken down the chimney, but to this day there is scarcely a crack to be seen in the walls.


The red granite inscribed heart above the entrance doors was donated by J. P. Martin and taken from Dutschke Hill, west of town. Martin came to Ione in 1848.


Dr. Jesse T. Peck, San Francisco, headed the finance campaign. Thomas Rickey was a most enthusiastic worker in the raising of funds. On (sic) negro gave him all the money he had for the new church.


There were big floods in 1852, 1861 and the following year. This explains why we have to step up into the basement of the church.


Scarcely had the work on the church begun when a dark cloud fell upon the enterprise. Until about this time people had always hoped for a settlement with the Mexican Grant. The disappointment was keenly felt and building operations were suspended. A title was given for the ground on which the church stood but one for the parsonage was withheld.


Methodists like Rickey, Black and Fithian were dispossessed and many others went elsewhere to find a home. A large number of pledges on the new church went by default. Some people who were able to rebuy their homes were not able to assist with the church building.


In the meantime, the old church having been sold, I. B. Gregory and young men of the church erected a frame of poles far out in the country and covered the roof with brush, built a platform for a pulpit and arranged seats for the congregation. Then H. S. Woodward built a neat and beautiful church near his home two miles west of Ione. An eye witness says the soldiers tore it down.


After serving as Presiding Elder, Rev. I. B. Fish was returned to Ione in 1864. He says he found the church building program in an unsatisfactory condition. The church was in debt and the people unable to support him.


His wife’s health was too poor to take another appointment and at the end of the year, having been offered charge of the Ione Public School, temporarily withdrew from the ministry and accepted the school at $90.00 per month. He continued to live in the parsonage, which was rented from the Grant, and teach a Sunday School class. Rev. N. R. Peck, pastor, boarded with the Fish family. When Mrs. Naomi Fish passed away Mrs. Lydia E. Maltby became housekeeper. Fish wound up his school work in Ione at the end of the year; took part in a very successful Camp Meeting and then, having moved away, married his housekeeper.


Other pastors came to Ione and departed each leaving the church building unfinished.




Not until 1866 was the church plastered, furnished with pews and considered ready for dedication. It was Camp Meeting time, an event which lasted two or three weeks. The arrangements were for Bishop Osmond C. Baker to come on September 9th and conduct the Dedicatory Service and speak at the Camp Meeting. Great disappointment was expressed when it became known that the Bishop was too ill to make the visit. However, the following Sunday, September 16, 1866, Bishop Calvin Kingsley came and carried out the plans as previously arranged. The church was dedicated as the IONE CITY CENTENARY CHURCH. Methodism came to America in 1766, hence the name of the church. Thus, the delay of four years in building the church terminated by giving it a very unique name. One writer describes the Dedicatory Service as being “a great day in the history of our church.” Soon afterwards Bishop Kingsley died in Beirut, Syria.


After the dedicatory service the next large gathering in the church took place a few months afterwards when a Memorial Service was held on the day of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral. Feeling ran high and a capacity audience being anticipated, I. B. Gregory placed supports in the room below, there being no columns there at the time, in case the floor should collapse.




Who were the officials of the church who were responsible for carrying on the church work up to 1866? They were: Thomas Rickey, Trustee, Steward.


Wm. C. Pratt, Chairman of Trustees, Steward, Justice of Peace. Elected to Assembly in 1853, he was our first representative. To create a favorable impression when addressing the House, he loved to mix Spanish with his English. Isaac Owen was often in his home.


Wm. H. Scudder, Trustee, Steward, Secretary of Church Boards, Postmaster. He was the first Class Leader of I. B. Fish when they lived together in Ohio. He came to Ione in 1854 and had an interest in the flour mill. The Fish and Scudder families lived together in the Parsonage for some time.


Henry S. Woodward, Trustee, Steward.

James H. Stevens, Trustee, Steward.


Others holding office were Hon. I. B. Gregory, Assemblyman; Wm. H. Stevens, G. W. Reed, Francis McMurry, William Rickey, J. H. Tanis, Melvin Martin, John Mimford, Alex. Gillis, L. M. Hall, D. S. Tallman, S. Rogers, Chas. H. Walker, J. E. Evans, Isaac Hoyt, M. L. Winans, Joseph Rickey, John James, Ozias Teeter, Wm. I. Sanger, Robert S. McMurry, Buena Vista; Wm. C. Thompson, C. S. Black, Jackson Valley; E. Sherman, Buckeye Valley; George Setzer, Lancha Plana, Buena Vista and finally Ione; and Bro. Nye, Drytown.


Between 1866 and 1885 new official families moved into the church. (Lack of space does not allow us to name official families of the past sixty years.) Some of the names were: Louther, Sylan, Sibole, Trethaway, Holden, Ferris, Winter, Violett, Fassett, Swift, Marchant, Scott, Cooper, O’Haver, Henley, Fithian, Surface, J. D. Perkins, Kern, Kingsley, Muir, Button, Ford, E. W. Perkins, G. W. Williams, C. F. Williams, Mack, Lillie, Draper, Taylor, Carpenter, Earle and Richards.




Those who remained following the Grant episode were brave souls. They borrowed money for themselves and kept the church going. Many lectures, festivals and fairs were held to reduce the debt. For twenty years this most promising of fields became one of the hardest in the conference to which a minister could go.


The year after dedication interest due amounted to a total of $974.00 and the taxes were $103.00 Senator Rose of Amador City loaned the church $3000 and the California Conference made a generous contribution toward the reduction of the debt. The Board of Church Extension in Philadelphia also gave assistance. So bad was the situation that the pastor had permission to solicit funds wherever he pleased within the bounds of the conference and every minister was pledged to give him all the aid and encouragement possible.


For fifteen years conference considered the Ione situation hopeless. People kept moving out and few moved in until the church membership was about one forth of its former number. One minister reported, “We have lost fifteen members this year and have only thirty-three left.” Even that small figure finally came down to thirty. So, what had been the strongest point on the Stockton District, including that city itself, became one of the weakest.


There was great rejoicing in 1880 when the debt was finally wiped out. P. G. Buchanan was pastor.  The church which was estimated to cost $8,000 reached a total cost, including interest, mortgage, etc., of $25,000. A local authority on building says the church could not be built today for less than $40,000.


Ripley, in “Believe it or not,” speaking of our church, says it is as near a perfect type of Gothic structure as can be found anywhere in the Western United States. A local lady says, “It is architecturally perfect, both inside and outside; a perfect symbol of what a church should be. Its atmosphere is very inspirational.”


The church was erected by men of faith and vision who believed Ione City had a great future and so they built a “City” church in a village. The years brought only disappointment. If their dreams failed it may not be through faulty hopes on their part. The church with its 150 foot steeple stands, after more than four score years as a tribute to their heroism, faith, enthusiasm and endeavor; and will bear testimony to their loyalty and courage for generations to come.




Before we proceed with the story of our local church it might well to say something about the other preaching points of the Ione Circuit. There are at least twenty-one of them which we know of and if all the records were available there would probably be more.


One of the first places was Drytown which is the oldest of any size in the county. In 1848 fifty people lived here. It had 26 saloons and 8 stores. Rev. Isaac Owen tells of Wm. O. Clark, the famous temperance orator and family who in 1849 were very active in church affairs. He also speaks of staying in the home of Judge D. W. Seaton.


Drytown was part of the Ione Circuit in 1853, having previously been on the Volcano Circuit. A hall was built that year which served as church and school.


The town was incorporated in 1856 and two years later the first brick church in the county was built.


In 1859 Drytown was made the head of a circuit which included Fiddletown. There were eight members in the two places. A church at Fiddletown 12 by 20 feet was built in 1852 by Rev. J. D. Blain and a new one in 1855. The Gilpins, Farnums, and Tylors were prominent church leaders. In 1863 Drytown was again with Ione. Ten years later the appointment was Latrobe and Drytown and shortly afterward, Plymouth and Drytown were a circuit. Before Drytown disappeared from our records in the nineties, it and Shenandoah Valley made up a circuit.




South west of the present Cosumnes school house the Sacramento-Mokelumne Hill trail went over the Cosumnes River wire suspension bridge at W. D. Wilson’s exchange on the south side of the river. It then went through Sebastopol and on to the Q Ranch near Ione, the next stopping place. Wilson built the wire bridge in 1851. The next year it was swept away by flood. Rebuilt, it was swept away again ten years later. Rev. Geo. B. Taylor of Ione City held services regularly in 1853 at Wilson’s, in the school house or hotel.


The trail was changed and the school house was moved to Cosumnes on the north side of the river where it stands today.


The place was famous for its horse and cattle stealing and self-appointed juries often gave their decisions to hang culprits.


Reverends I. B. Fish, J. W. Brier and W. S. Urmy, all of Ione carried on the work at Cosumnes.


In 1856 Cosumnes was head of a circuit with Israel S. Diehl, pastor. He was a man of considerable excentricity (sic). As a Temperance advocate he went all over the state organizing the Sons of Temperance. The following year Cosumnes was once more placed with Ione. Rev. Warren Nims, who was in charge, as one of the three pastors that year, made his home in the neighborhood.


In 1859 Cosumnes was again the head of a circuit with George W. Heath, pastor. He reported at conference 50 church members, four Sunday Schools and 525 books in the Sunday School libraries. It was the third largest point on the Sacramento District outside of the capital city.


The next year Rev. Wilson Pitner was in charge. He built a parsonage valued at $200.00 Pitner was said to be modeled after the famous Peter Cartwright.


Rev. Isaac Owen reports he held a Quarterly Conference for Pitner at the wire bridge, while a guest of Digory Hobbs. “It was a very stormy night and a few people were at the Love Feast.” “The support of Pitner is very limited. We had a good prayer meeting and Bro. Pitner gave a good talk.” On other occasions, when visiting Cosumnes, Owen spent the night with Bro. Zumwalt.


In 1861 Cosumnes was in Clarksville circuit with Jesse Green, pastor. Some time after that the appointment was Cosumnes and Latrobe.


During all these years the Camp Meeting here, as elsewhere, was an outstanding feature of church activity. Rev. W. Pitner had one on French Creek near Latrobe, with Presiding Elder Owen and Rev. I. M. Leihy, Ione; Rev. G. W. Heath, Michigan Bar, and Rev. William Rickey, Exhorter, Ione, assisting with the preaching.


Local people remember the Camp Meeting being held at Cosumnes under a grove of oak trees. Cosumnes, with its one time wild life and religious impulse is a very quiet spot on the roadside today, and one can almost pass through without realizing it.




Another Methodist Center was Michigan Bar. Gold was discovered here in 1849 and soon there was a population of nearly 2,000. Cosumnes California Hamrick, mother of Mrs. Laura Prouty was born here November 1, 1850. The early Methodist preachers at Ione gave attention to the town. It was under the care of Rev. I. B. Fish in 1854. It was then placed on the Cosumnes circuit and some time afterwards was back on the Ione Circuit with Rev. Warren Nims, co-pastor with Revs. Bland and Cool, in charge.


Wilson Pitner was pastor at Michigan Bar in 1861. Isaac Owen, P. E. says he “preached for Pitner at Michigan Bar and Live Oak, a small town. I stayed with Heath. He has rather a pretty place.” This latter “town” was on the highway and about all that is left of it is Michigan Bar Store.


Michigan Bar in the days of Pitner had 20 members and two Sunday Schools.


In 1873 Michigan Bar Circuit included Clarksville and shortly afterwards Latrobe was added.


Ione Circuit again included Michigan Bar in 1875 together with Mt. Echo and Jackson Valley. In 1878 Rev. Geo. W. Heath was pastor of Michigan Bar Circuit. He also preached at Grape Vine School House, Forest Home and Buckeye Valley.


Services at Michigan Bar were held in the school house. When the building was moved to the hilltop, by the side of the highway, it continued to be used for religious purposes. Priscilla Simmons was a very active church worker.




Closely connected with the above named places was Cook’s Bar which was settled by Dennis Cook in 1849. It was located one mile and three-fourths below Michigan Bar. Chenault and Hall had a hotel here in 1854 and Rev. I. B. Fish of Ione was preaching here that year. At a later date pastors stationed along the banks of the Cosumnes River took care of the spiritual needs of the miners and their families who lived here, and Sebastopol nearby, was not neglected by them.




Another hotel town which was in the picture in 1860 is Forest Home. Rev. I. M. Leihy of Ione was instructed by the Quarterly Conference to give this town spiritual oversight. When Cosumnes and Michigan Bar Circuits were separate from Ione one of these places generally took care of Forest Home. It was a Methodist center for many years.




Along the banks of Mule Creek, north of Ione, was Muletown and it came in for its share of spiritual oversight. Services were held in Cunningham Hall, the gift of a peculiar and well-to-do philanthropic gentleman of the town who delighted in bestowing patronage. The building was used for church, school, dance hall and every social gathering.


When Mrs. Cunningham passed away she was buried without the regular obsequies which were postponed until a more convenient date.


Finally Cunningham called in the services of Rev. John Sharp, Ione, and he was given explicit instructions as to the form of memorial service desired. As part of the service he was to preach two sermons at $20 each, and there was to be a free feed for all who attended. The Reverend gentleman, somewhat acquainted with the peculiarities and coarse manner of the chief mourner took with him “Uncle” Rickey and a number of other local saints from Ione to keep the atmosphere of the gathering on the highest possible level. Subsequent incidents during the service proved that Sharp was a very shrewd and farseeing man. He may have been rather hesitant in his delivery of this occasion, for more than once during the first sermon the bereaved gentleman kept assuring the congregation that the next sermon would be a better one.




Preaching services were first held here in 1852 by Rev. William Hurlbut in Harding’s bar room. Rev. I. B. Fish of Mokelumne Hill held services in the same building the following year as well as in Jackson. Rev. P. Y. Cool also interested himself in Sutter Creek. Reverends Urmy, Brair, Sharp, and Bland all of Ione took care of the town from 1855 until 1859 when Rev. Benjamin F. Myers of Jackson included Sutter Creek in his circuit. It was during this year that the church in Sutter Creek was organized with eleven charter members. Abram Norton of Gate City was their Class Leader and very active in forming the organization. Rev. I. B. Fish, Jackson, built the church in 1862 and Dr. E. Thomas dedicated it the following year. Finally, in 1867 Sutter Creek became the head of a circuit with George Clifford, pastor. He opened work in Amador City and built a church there.  Mr. Barlow, Drytown, was the first Superintendent and Bible Class teacher of the Sutter Creek Sunday School organized by Mrs. E. B. McIntyre in 1852 with three or four scholars in the carpenter’s shop back of Tibbetts Foundry.


Mrs. Julia Wildman of the store was also an active worker in the early days of Sutter Creek. Descendents of these people are still residents here.




Our church records give a prominent place to Jackson Valley where services and Sunday School were carried on in the school house. Warren Nims was very influential here before he entered the ministry in 1858. Other active church workers were the Hoffmans, Clarks, Thompsons, Fithians, Blacks and R. D. Mason, historian. Mr. Mason also lived in Ione and Volcano.




The same can be said of Buena Vista. Charles Stone built a house on his ranch here in 1850 and services were held in his home before the school house was in use. The Setzers’, Tubbs, Pickards, McMurrys, and Davenports were church workers and R. H. Ford, before coming to Ione, was a Local Preacher, Class Leader and Public School Teacher in Buena Vista.


Between Ione and Buena Vista a gate stood across the road which was little more than a trail. It was a favorite spot for highwaymen to hold up people passing between the two places on horseback. In fact, as we have implied in other parts of this Souvenir, almost any bush along any roadside was likely to conceal a desperado.


Rev. P. Y. Cool was in charge of this part of the Ione Circuit in the fifties. The work at Buena Vista was maintained by Ione for a longer period than that of any other place.




Thomas Jones settled on the north bank of Jackson Creek, four miles due west of Buena Vista and one mile south of the present school house in Jackson Valley. According to our church records of 1861 Rev. C. H. Lawton, Ione, held services in the Jones School House.




A church for general purposes was built in Lancha Plana in 1855.  It is said that slavery was first introduced in the West around here.  George and John Setzer were here in early days and were quite influential in church work.  One day these two young men were blasting at their mine.  The charge had not exploded and it was the turn of George to go and examine it.  John said he would go himself as he was a Christian and George was not and no sooner did he reach the spot than the mine exploded and he was killed.  This event proved to be the turning point of the bereaved brother.  He gave his entire life to the service of the church afterwards.  Mrs. Rose Freeland was a devout worshiper at Lancha Plana.




Rev. I. J. Ross, who came to Ione in 1873 had Jackson and Stoney Creek added to his work the following year and continued to live in Ione. Stony Creek services were held just over the hill from Half Way House. A number of church members also lived around Copper Mine, Half Way House and Mountain Springs.


There was a toll gate here. The rates were: horse and buggy, $1.50. Double team $3.00


Courtright Hall at Mountain Springs was used in the early eighties for church, temperance meetings, etc.


The stage coach was often held up and robbed on Morrow Grade. The monument on top of the hill tells its own tale.


The post office was Ranlett.




The first sermon preached in Jackson was in Henry Mann’s saloon, in 1850 by a South Methodist minister named Lyon. Rev. I. B. Fish of Mokelumne Hill organized the church in 1851 with Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Clark and one other person as charter members. A church was built in 1853. Dr. Pitt was the first Methodist to live in Jackson. Ione and Jackson were a charge together in 1874-75.




The preachers of Ione Circuit took care of Buckeye Valley at an early date and, as we have already seen, sometimes the preachers stationed along the banks of the Cosumnes supervised the work here. Regular services began in the valley in the 50’s. E. Sherman was a prominent officer in the church here.


In 1871 the people could not agree as to the location of the school house in which the services were held. Some were in favor of moving it to a new location and others strongly insisted it should stay where it was. A compromise was finally effected when the former group secretly burned it to the ground.


Rev. F. K. Baker held services and Sunday School in Buckeye School House in the early nineties and pastors have held services at various times since then in Carbondale School House.


When the Alabama House, at the Carbondale corner, was operated by the Staceys they were credited with serving excellent meals and giving comfortable lodgings.




Church people lived at the Q Ranch. There was a post office and race track there. Services were held at Union Church School House adjacent to Dutschke’s. When this school district and the one at Muletown were consolidated services and Sunday School were held in the new building, Union School House. The Cunninghams were actively interested in church work in the new school house.




Services were held at Mt. Echo for many years. James H. Bonham was an early settler and leader in the church which was built on his land. He was grandfather of Judge Gebhardt. Peter Fenwick another ancestor, had a eight piece bagpipe band. They used to come to Ione attired in kilts and provide unusual entertainment by screwing up their pipes and “gart (make) them skirl.”


The church, which stood at the corner of the road disappeared many years ago. Sunday School was conducted in the church by local people under the direction of the Ione pastors; The Siboles, Gebhardts, Fassetts, and others taking an active part. It was quite a popular place for weddings. The annual Camp Meeting generally lasted three or four weeks.




Plymouth was a part of the Volcano Circuit in 1872 and was associated with other places before it became the head of a circuit in 1874.


A church was built that year. James A. Rickey took an active interest in the project and a parsonage was built three years later. In 1879 it was a part of Ione Circuit. Fairplay was added to Plymouth in 1903 and in 1925 the appointment was Ione and Plymouth. Shortly afterwards the trustees of Ione sold all the Plymouth church property and our work there ceased.




We will now return to Ione and devote most of the remaining space to our own church.


Choirs are as old as time. Dr. E. B. Harris, the first doctor in Ione City, who afterwards became an assistant surgeon general in the Civil War, had a singing school here.


There was a choir in the old church. James H. Stevens was choir leader. He was known as “Stuttering Stevens” and was considered a very good singer. Miss Martha Gregory was a member of the choir.


When the new church was built the choir loft was placed in the balcony above the narthex. It extended about ten feet into the church and was supported by large ornamental wall brackets designed in harmony with the rest of the building. It afforded sufficient space for both choir and organ.


The front of the balcony, with its beautiful pannel (sic), now stands back of the pulpit in front of the chancel. New architectural plans call for the opening of the chancel and finding a new location for this adornment.


At the dedicatory service Mrs. Martha (Gregory) Courtright tells of singing in the choir that day. At a later date she led a choir of thirty voices. She wrote and sang “The Old Oak Tree,” dedicated to the famous old oak tree at the Gregory home on Church Street.


There is scarcely any such thing as choir records to inform one of the past. We know that many of Ione’s old families were singers and musicians. We may not be able to arrange them in their proper order but some of them to be added to those already mentioned were the Braddys, Isaacs, Forbes, Marchants, Cunninghams, Gebhardts, Loves, Kingsleys, Brashiers, Haversticks, Perkins, McMurrys, Fords, Preaters, Wangreins, Whites, Muirs, Flemmings, Merkels, Drapers, Scotts, Heffrens, Macks, Crabtrees, Sherwoods, Bennetts, Woods and Bageleys.


Judge Gebhardt’s father was choir leader and his uncles and brothers as well as he all sang in the choir.


Mrs. Jessie Perkins was organist for almost a quarter of a century and E. W. Perkins, led the choir for an equally long period.


A grand concert was given by the choir in 1895 and $42 was received. The choir was credited with “being earnest supporters of the pulpit,” and it was resolved. “That we procure more music for the choir in the way of instruments.”


There was at this period a famous men’s double quartette composed of David Mason; Will Fithian, Hood Brashier, Fred Yager, Will Brashier, Tom Reid, J. H. Cunningham, and Charles Draper. E. W. Perkins was organist.


There was also, at a later date, the Gebhardt quartette composed of Theodore Gebhardt and his three sons, J. Wesley, Luther P. and Guy.




The Sunday School has been a source of religious training to the people of Ione from earliest times, meeting as it did in the old church for the singing of sacred songs and the study of the Bible.  There were no lesson helps in those days and the Bible was the only text book used.


Rev. I. B. Fish in 1855 wrote “We had a Sabbath School May Festival. It was indeed a pleasant time for 60 children with parents and teachers, spent in the woods singing, swinging, playing and eating. We had addresses from Rev’s N. Reasoner, Mokelumne Hill and I. S. Deihl, Placerville. At night we had a very interesting temperance meeting. Addresses were given by the above named brethren.”


The first Sunday School superintendents on record are D. B. Rickey, Isaac Hoyt, W. H. Scudder, James Louther, James O’Haver, J. W. Violett, and A. C. Fassett.


One pastor in the early days reported, “The Sabbath School is in good condition and improving in the spirit of subordination.” “The average attendance of officers and teachers is: teachers, 9 4/5; scholars, 58 ½ ; average, 67 2/5.”


On another occasion he reported the attendance of teachers and scholars is, “teachers 9 11/13 per Sabbath; scholars, 60 2/13 an increase of 2 3/5 over the last quarter.” He made complaints about the irregularity of teachers.


Another minister didn’t like it because he failed in his attempt to hold a monthly business meeting and a weekly Bible study class for teachers so as the better to instruct their classes. Scarlet fever, mumps, whooping cough and measles played havoc with the attendance. There was no Sunday School in 1883.




With the coming of the gold diggers to California there came books but not the public library. Just as the school, theatre and hospital came out of the church so did the library and it is almost impossible to find its origin except in the Sunday School. Everywhere the story is the same in our California settlements. In the old church there were 250 books in the Sunday School library. At a later date there were 400 and at the time the new church was dedicated there were 600 books in the library and $90 had just been raised for the purchase of more books. Of this one time Sunday School library there is only one book left in the church today, No. 353.


Cosumnes reported in 1859 that it had 525 books in its Sunday School library. In 1861 Michigan Bar reported 440 books. The next year Buena Vista reported 150 books in its Sunday School library and Buckeye Valley reported 180 volumes.


In 1852 Mrs. E. B. MacIntire of Sutter Creek Sunday School received up to $5.00 subscriptions which totaled $53.00 for the purchase of books and “Dick’s Works” was among those bought.


There was a total of 2,450,000 volumes in all our Methodist Sunday Schools in America.




Early Methodism had its testimony meetings which served a useful purpose in the life of the church. The Class Meeting was everywhere. The same might be said of the Love Feast and Prayer Meeting. Among the Class Leaders on the Ione Circuit were Thomas Rickey, S. Rogers, John James, Ozias Teeter, George Setzer, Wm. H. Scudder, J. E. Evans, W. C. Pratt, James O’Haver and R. Hiram Ford. A great revival swept over Ione in 1868 and a young converts Class Meeting was organized. There was also a young ladies Class Meeting and one for those under 14 years of age.


Rev. Isaac Owen, P. E. seems to have conducted Love Feasts every time he paid his quarterly visits to Ione and our meeting places round about. He held them early in the morning and late at night as convenience suited.


Prayer meetings were considered to be an essential part of the spiritual life of the church. As late as 1901 sixty people attended the Wednesday evening prayer meeting.


In 1866 there was a six weeks prayer meeting, held every day at noon, the Baptist and Presbyterian churches participating.





The Camp Meeting was an established institution of the whole church. In some sections of the country it was a society event; a place for business men to take a month’s vacation with their families and where the State empowered the Camp Meeting Committee with police authority to keep order. Board was provided for man and feed for horse. Several Camp Meetings were held every year on the Ione Circuit along the banks of the Cosumnes, Ione and Mt. Echo. In fact it was through the inspiration of the Camp Meeting held in Ione in 1853 that the Gregory family located here and thus established several generations of good citizens in Ione. James A. Rickey was one of those converted at the Camp Meeting this particular year.


Rev. I. B. Fish writing in August 1855 says, “We have had a glorious Camp Meeting in Ione where sixteen souls were converted.”


The Camp Meeting committee for 1861 was Thomas Rickey, Francis McMurry, William Rickey, J. H. Stevens, and I. M. Leihy, pastor. There were 19 conversions.


Dr. Eleazer Thomas, Church Editor, Scholar, Church Financier, Diplomat, was the preacher at the Camp Meeting held here in 1863. Dr. Thomas was slain by the Modoc Indians while in the discharge of his duties as one of the “Peace Commissioners, under Government appointment.”


These outdoor gatherings at Ione were held on Sutter Creek near Hall’s Mill, where the lumber yard is today, and also near the present High School.


In harmony with the Church Dedicatory Services in 1866 the annual event for that year was called “The Ione City Centenial (sic) Camp Meeting.”


The Camp Meeting often called for an Episcopal visit as happened on the occasion just mentioned and again the following year when Bishop Edward Thompson was the principal speaker.


There was a three weeks revival in 1871; the Baptists and Presbyterians uniting with the Methodists.


A six weeks revival in 1892 “stirred the town from centre to circumference” and there were upwards of seventy conversions.




Like the poor the temperance question has been an enigma since the beginning of man. Rev. I. B. Fish did not hesitate to denounce the popular vices of the day. He was a fearless man of great force of character. While in Ione in 1854 he had trouble with the saloon keepers and gamblers. So enraged were they at his pulpit utterances that they held an indignation meeting in which they decided never again to go and hear him preach and withdrew their support. But remarks Fish, “After that took place my congregations were larger and my support better.”


An incident happened with I. B. Fish in 1852 at Mokelumne Hill which will bear telling. Just before service one Sunday evening an Indian entered the church with a very anxious, urgent look on his face and handed Fish a piece of paper. The minister thinking the paper was some kind of trick laid it down and without reading it proceeded with the service; the Indian all the while waiting and looking as though he wanted to go. After the service the preacher opened the paper and was somewhat puzzled and annoyed to learn he was being instructed to give the Indian six bottles of beer and charge them to the Post Office. The note was signed by the postmaster.


Fish, knowing full well that everyone looked upon him as being a strong temperance advocate immediately sought an interview with the postmaster and demanded an explanation.


The latter somewhat embarrassed, explained the circumstance by saying he had sent the Indian to the brewery for the beer which was three doors beyond the Methodist church, and the Indian had entered the wrong building. The writer of the incident says he was never quite sure whether the joke was on him or the postmaster.


The Sons of Temperance was organized by I. S. Diehl all over the state and Ione was not overlooked. There was also a Band of Hope in 1867 sponsored by the church.


A pastor at this time warned church members against the frequent practice of using wine at the table on the grounds it was a medicine. “Satan,” he continues, “has been making some inroads among our young people as we learn some have been dancing – the cure for which will be a little tightening of the reins of discipline – there is another evil as dangerous to piety as the open work of dancing and more indecorous – I refer to kissing parties which seem to be a staple amusement among the young people – the influence of this conference should be set against such; and if the young have not intelligence nor grace enough to spend an evening without such acts – they should be discouraged from social gatherings; and by all means the members of the church among our young people should be prevented both by a reasonable statement of the impropriety and results of such a course.”


A local option vote was conducted in Ione in 1874 which resulted: For, 107; Against, 109. Shortly after this the W. C. T. U. put in its appearance. At the Amador-Calaveras Fair held here in 1887 the W. C. T. U. has a prettily arranged booth with lace curtains, flowers, paintings, fancy work, etc. and a good supply of Temperance literature. Mrs. W. T. Lincoln, wife of the pastor organized the Young Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and it was known as “The Lincoln Y. W. C. T. U.”


When Clara Grover won the Silver medal in Isaacs hall, the papers said, “Music rendered by the orchestra under adverse circumstances was delightful even though the ‘minor strain’ moaned through it like the lost chord.”




It was said that The Ladies Aid were good planners and good workers. They began at an early date as The Ladies Mite Society. When Dr. M. C. Briggs lectured in 1866 in the interest of the reduction of the church debt “The Mites” as they were called, served an excellent supper at two for 75 cents and received $170 that night. The following year The Ladies Festival cleared $99.60. Proceeds were used for the reduction of the church debt.


The same year “The Mites” papered the parsonage, i.e. the house east of the church.


The Ladies Aid Society drafted a constitution with thirteen articles and several sections under each article, and this document had to read to the meeting once a quarter.  One article said. “Gentlemen of good character may become honorary members of this society upon the payment of ten cents initiation fee. They may be called upon to assist the ladies in preparing apparatus for social occasions.” Eight men accepted the offer.


The ladies held all kinds of socials, did a lot of sewing and quilting and kept up a lively pace, making 300 calls a year. Here is their schedule for July 1896, a hot weather month:

July 1st, Business meeting

July 8th, Sewing

July 15th, Sewing

July 22nd, Sewing

July 29th, Sewing


When a certain quilt was finished in the lecture room, (down stairs) the news was received with such joyous satisfaction that a sister danced a hornpipe, while another beat the drum of the Boy’s Brigade and a third lady kept time.


Mr. Jake Newman allowed the Ladies to sell his merchandise for one day and they to receive ten per cent of all goods sold. No wonder that in the gay nineties it was considered the best Aid in the county.


Mrs. Julia Perkins was elected president more than twenty times. Others elected to the office were Mrs. D. W. Chilson, Mrs. Charles Bonner, Mrs. Sadie Gillum, Mrs. Harriet Marchant, Mrs. Bertha Mace, and Mrs. George Yager.


When the Preston School of Industry was opened in 1894, seven boys were admitted and the Ladies Aid Societies of the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches of Ione made their uniforms.




While the Epworth Leagues may be more modern than our story of the church, we find a place for them on these pages. Sixty years ago the young peoples “Bible Reading and Praise Service” met every Sunday evening before church service with an attendance of 75 to 100.


The Epworth league was organized in 1893. E. W. Perkins was the first President. There were fifty members in the Senior League and thirty in the Junior League. G. W. Waddell was president in 1894. Because of these brilliant accounts we would not say that the young of that day, who had no cars to ride in nor picture shows to visit, went to church because they were pious, for we read that at the Sunday evening services the elders of the church were scattered here and there throughout the congregation to keep order. And “a meeting was called to instruct the young in decorum, etiquette, vocal culture and parliamentary rules.”




Before the 20th century came there was a Boy’s Brigade in the church with 36 members, equipped with over twenty rifles, belts, swords, snare drums, fifes, bass drum, etc. E. W. Perkins was captain.


The Dorcas Society had eighteen members. Miss Susie Muir was president of “The Busy Workers.”




The first lay delegate elected to an annual Conference was Isaac Hoyt in 1871. Others elected in later years were George Setzer, Mrs. A. C. Fassett, Mrs. Warren Nims and Miss Annie Johnson.




There was a Brother Turner in Ione in 1853 who had a license to preach. Ten years later J.  H. Rickey, John James an inactive minister, Rev. Kirkland, George Setzer, William Rickey, Jefferson Rickey were local preachers and at a later date R. H. Ford, Karl Seamans, Frank Dunlap, and E. A. Freeland performed the same duties. Good work was done by these men in Camp Meeting, Class Meeting, School House services etc.




The Bell. It is said that we have the finest toned church bell in the county. It came to us from the old Baptist church and was installed in 1919 to its present elevated position. It was cast in Philadelphia, Pa. in 1856. The original bell of our church came off a steamboat. It was too poor in tone to give satisfaction and finally found its way to Carbondale to call the children there to school.


Lights.  Acetylene gas took the place of the old oil lamps in the church in 1899. Repairs at that time cost $500. A repair bill eight years earlier amounted to $675.00. Electricity was installed in 1909, the Preston School boys doing the wiring.


How many people remember the long handled collection plates? They were in use in the days when gold nuggets were picked up on the streets of Ione after a flood and placed in the collection box. The church seems to have been willing to adopt modern ideas for the envelope system was introduced in 1876.


Twenty-nine subscriptions were made in 1867 to the California Christian Advocate.


Ione church began its history on the California District. It was then placed on the Sacramento District. From there it went on to the Stockton District, then to the Oakland District. At present it is again on the Sacramento District.


W. H. Scudder was janitor in 1869. J. W. Sibole then performed this needful task. Ben Dodge had his regular pew in the church and was janitor for any years. He was the only colored man in town and was highly esteemed.


Thomas Richards was janitor and one William Clark was paid $22.00 for eleven months work.


Ione Methodists took an active part in the organization of the Masonic Order, the I. O. O. F., and Good Templars.




Sarah E. L. Rickey and Warren Nims were married in Ione, March 3, 1853; Rev. J. D. Blain, Presiding Elder, performing the ceremony.


Mary F. Rickey and John A. Perrin were united in marriage in Ione City, September 11, 1855, Rev. Geo. S. Phillips Presiding Elder, officiating with William Rickey, Dr. Kibbie and Lady witnesses.


J. H. Rickey married Mary J. Lithgow, August 17, 1857.


George Haverstick and Rebecca Crusen were united in marriage at Muletown, October 18, 1860. Rev. I. M. Leihy, Ione, performing the ceremony.


Cordelia Ann Rickey married C. H. Bradley of Folsom, March 28, 1861. Rev. Isaac Owen, P. E. who performed the ceremony says: “The rains were so heavy the streets of Ione were flooded. The bridge was washed out and in order to reach Folsom, my next appointment, I was compelled to go by Sutter Creek, Drytown and over the wire bridge at Cosumnes.”


Mrs. Bradley became greatly interested in the religious education of the Chinese and also Indian girls.


A daughter of this union became the wife of Dr. Geo. F. Bovard, President of the University of Southern California for nearly twenty years.


Daniel B. Rickey married Louisa Leninger at Ione City, May 22, 1861.


Thomas J. Rickey of Ione City and Mary M. Farmer of Mountain Springs were united in marriage in 1865, Rev. J. W. Stump officiating.


J. A. Rickey married Charity Alspaugh at Ione, December 24, 1867.


Ella Sutherland of Ione was united in marriage to William Fritz of Sutter Creek, March 3, 1873. Rev. Elisha Jacka performing the ceremony.


Sarah Carpenter, Ione and A. S. Cooper, Galt, were united in marriage October 17, 1883. Rev. E. I. Jones officiating.


The occupation of some of the grooms are listed in the church records as follows: Horseman, Farmer, Jeweler, Miner, Druggist, Painter, Merchant, Clerk, Blacksmith, Laborer, Minister, Barber, Saloon-keeper, Machinist, R. R. Engineer, Butcher, Gambler, Station Agent, Good for Nothing, Lives on his Money, Manufacturer, Lumberman, Educator, Harness Maker, State Police.




Rev. G. B. Taylor built the first parsonage in Ione in 1853 valued at $700. When moving to the present location the parsonage was built first, east of the church where it stands today. The Grant gave us a title to the church but retained the parsonage. The Grant then rented the house to the church at $5.00 per month for parsonage purposes and in 1880 we paid them $10.00 per month.


For many years the rear of the church basement was used as a parsonage and babies were born there.


Even private families used it as a home. There are yet four thicknesses of wallpaper on the furnace room walls.


A new parsonage was built at the rear of the church in 1893 at a cost of $1,350 and was said to surpass all other houses in town for beauty, convenience and quality. This is really the fourth parsonage we have owned in Ione.




While we were worshipping in the old church down town, the Baptists organized here in 1859 and built a church the following year between the present Catholic parsonage and the Stockton highway. In 1901 it became our first Academy. The High School, the first in the county, took its place a year or two later. Students traveled by train from Sutter Creek and Jackson to attend these institutions of learning.


“The first Presbyterian Church of Ione City” was organized May 1861 and after using the Town Hall, built in 1859, finally built a church in 1877 and a Manse shortly afterward. With a Methodist-Presbyterian exchange of properties in Live Oak and Ione, a few years ago, the Methodist acquired the Presbyterian property here.


Rev. Samuel H. Weller one of our Presbyterian Ministers here was largely responsible for the establishment of Occidental College, Los Angeles, and was its first president.


The Free Methodists organized in the Baptist Church and built a church in 1890 and parsonage adjoining.


The Seventh Day Adventists held services in the Baptist Church for five years.


The Episcopalians held services in the Presbyterian church.


The Catholics were organized at a very early date, and they built a church about 75 years ago.




In the early days of Ione City the Bishops looked upon it as being an appointment for the most outstanding men. The year the new church building began the annual conference was invited to hold its next session here. Though the invitation was not accepted it shows the high prestige which Ione held in the minds of church leaders in the early sixties.


Some of the ministers sent to Ione were of the highest scholastic standing and exceptional ability.


Taylor, our first stationed pastor, was described as a man of talent and witty, an uncommonly fine looking man with an intellectual face.


Urmy was conference secretary for many years and one of our delegates to the General Conference.


Leihy often presided over the Annual Conference during the temporary absence of the Bishop.


Fish, Bland, Leihy, N. R. Peck, Starrett, Nims, Van Anda, Trefren, Nelson, Baker, and Flegel became Presiding Elders or later known as District Superintendents.


Henning was considered scholarly and gifted.


Crawford was Professor of Belles-Lettres, Santa Clara College.


Mayne, who finally found his way to California, was one of the “illustrious eleven” sent from England to Australia. His three equally illustrious daughters graced the parsonage in Ione, Miss Lulu being considered the most proficient scholar in Latin and Greek to finish a classical course in the University of the Pacific.


Nims and his wife, nee Rickey, were remembered with great love wherever they had lived and worked. He was eminently a church extensionist (sic), building four churches and six parsonages. When Nevada Methodism was separated from that of California the Nims’ went to Nevada and he was secretary of the conference there during its entire history and was one of its Presiding Elders. Mrs. Nims gave herself unsparingly to the cause of the church and was affectionately called “The Mother of Nevada Methodism.”


Ricks was a famous foot athlete.


Nelson was “In the World’s gallery of Preachers.”


Cool was one of our most valued ministers serving churches like Santa Cruz and Los Angeles.


J. W. Stump was also pastor in Los Angeles. It may be of interest to say here that Ione had a pastor before Los Angeles.


Buchanan was an educator.


E. I. Jones became a San Joaquin Superior Judge.


T. W. Lincoln, a tall man, was a relative of the great President of that name. People who remember him say there was a striking resemblance.


One or two other preachers were authors of books on religious themes.


The most illustrious preacher, according to the appraisal of local old time residents, and the one who is spoken of by more people and more frequently than any other is Frank K. Baker.


He is said to have attracted people from near and far. From remote cabins in the hills came people who had never attended church and many a comfortable fireside in Ione was forsaken so that they might listen to his fighting sermons upon every form of popular vice. Even the saloon keepers closed their places of business on Sunday evenings and flocked to hear him. They thoroughly enjoyed his lively discourses as he smote them and the gamblers from hip to stern and they always came back for more.



Pastors, District, Superintendents and Bishops serving Ione.




 District Supt.


1852 to 53

 J. F. Camp

Isaac Owen


1852 to 54

G. B. Taylor

J. D. Blain


1854 to 55

I. B. Fish

G. S. Phillips


1855 to 56

W. S. Urmy

G. S. Phillips


1856 to 57

J. W. Brier

M. C. Briggs


*1857 to 58

John Sharp, J. W. Ricks, P. Y. Cool

J. D. Blain,


*1858 to 59

H. J. Bland, Warren Nims, P. Y. Cool

Adam Bland


1859 to 60

John Sharp

Adam Bland


1860 to 61

I. M. Leihy

Isaac Owen


1861 to 62

C. H. Lawton

Isaac Owen


1862 to 63

C. H. Lawton

H. C. Benson


*1863 to 64

I. B. Fish, G. W. Henning

H. C. Benson


1864 to 65

N. R. Peck

Nelson Reasoner


1865 to 66

J. W. Stump

Nelson Reasoner


1866 to 67

C. H. Lawton

J. R Tansey


1867 to 68

Wesley Peck

J. R. Tansey


1868 to 69

Wesley Peck

J. R. Tansey


1869 to 70

Wesley Peck

J. R. Tansey


1870 to 71

Thomas Cookson

J. A. Bruner


1871 to 72

Theop. Beaizley

J. A. Bruner


1872 to 73

W. T. Mayne

J. A. Bruner


1873 to 74

I. J. Ross

J. A. Bruner


1874 to 75

I. J. Ross

Wesley Dennett


1875 to 76

A. K. Crawford

Wesley Dennett


1876 to 77

A. K. Crawford

Wesley Dennett


1877 to 78

Elias Jacka

Wesley Dennett


1878 to 79

Wm. McPheeters

T. W. Sinex


1879 to 80

S. T. Starrett

T. H. Sinex


1880 to 81

P. G. Buchanan

T. H. Sinex


1881 to 82

George Larkin

T. H. Sinex


1882 to 83,

B. F. Rhoads

C. V. Anthony


1883 to 84

E. I. Jones

C. V. Anthony


1884 to 85

E. I. Jones

C. V. Anthony


1885 to 86

E. I. Jones

C. V. Anthony


1886 to 87

J. A. Van Anda

Robert Bentley


1887 to 88

T. W. Lincoln

Robert Bentley


1888 to 89

T. W. Lincoln

Robert Bentley


1889 to 90

T. W. Lincoln

Robert Bentley


1890 to 91

J. L. Trefren

Robert Bentley


1891 to 92

F. K. Baker

Robert Bentley


1892 to 93

F. K. Baker

F. F. Jewell


1893 to 94

F. K. Baker

F. F. Jewell


1894 to 95

D. W. Chilson

John Kirby


1895 to 96

D. W. Chilson

John Kirby


1896 to 97

A. J. Nelson

John Kirby



George Clifford



1897 to 98

Hugh Copeland

John Kirby


1898 to 99

Hugh Copeland

John Kirby


1899 to 1900

E. B. Winning

John Kirby



 L. R. Fulmer



1900 to 01

E. M. Hill

W. S. Matthews


1901 to 02

W. C. Howard

W. S. Matthews


1902 to 03

W. C. Howard

W. S. Matthews


1903 to 04

W. C. Howard

S. D. McCreary


1904 to 05

C. E. Pettis

E. D. McCreary


1905 to 06

C. E. Pettis

E. D. McCreary



F. P. Flegel



1906 to 07

F. P. Flegel

E. D. McCreary


1907 to 08

F. P. Flegel

E. D. McCreary


1908 to 09

F. P. Flegel

E. D. McCreary


1909 to 10

H. S. Jackson

H. E. Beeks


1910 to 11

L. P. Walker

G. L. Pearson


1911 to 12

L. P. Walker

G. L. Pearson


1912 to 13

J. W. Winkley

G. L. Pearson


1913 to 14

J. W. Winkley

G. L. Pearson


1914 to 15

A. F. Lacy

G. L. Pearson


1915 to 16

A. F. Lacy

C. M. Warner


1916 to 17

A. F. Lacy

C. M. Warner,


1917 to 18

S. E. Crowe

C. A. Richardson


1918 to 19

S. E. Crowe

C. A. Richardson


1919 to 20

S. E. Crowe

C. A. Richardson


1920 to 21

S. E. Crowe

C. A. Richardson


1921 to 22

P. C. Knudsen

C. A. Richardson


1922 to 23

P. C. Knudsen

C. A. Richardson


1923 to 24

F. C. Schmidt

C. A. Richardson


1924 to 25

F. C. Schmidt

F. K. Baker


1925 to 26

F. C. Schmidt

F. K. Baker


1926 to 27

D. W. Throckmorten

F. K. Baker


1927 to 28

D. W. Throckmorten

F. K. Baker


1928 to 29

D. W. Throckmorten

F. K. Baker


1929 to 30

R. C. Ritter

F. K. Baker


1930 to 31

A. A. Chapman

H. K. Hamilton


1931 to 32

C. N. Bertels

H. K. Hamilton


1932 to 33

G. C. Pearson

H. K. Hamilton


1933 to 34

G. C. Pearson

H. K. Hamilton


1934 to 35

G. C. Pearson

H. K. Hamilton


1935 to 36

G. C. Pearson

H. K. Hamilton


1936 to 37

A. L. Anderson

H. K. Hamilton


1937 to 38

A. L. Anderson

H. K. Hamilton


1938 to 39

A. L. Anderson

V. C. Brown


1939 to 40

W. T. Methvin

V. C. Brown


1940 to 41

W. T. Methvin

V. C. Brown


1941 to 42

W. T. Methvin

V. C. Brown


1942 to 43

Thomas Miller

V. C. Brown


1943 to 44

Thomas Miller

V. C. Brown


1944 to 45

Thomas Miller

E. L. Fisher





N B.

Richard Hiram Ford, Ione, local preacher, served as pastor here from December 1896 to September 1897, under the direction of Rev. Geo. Clifford, Jackson, who took over the work in Ione after Rev. A. J. Nelson was compelled to leave of ill health.




The church in Ione is fortunate in having the official records from 1860 to the present time and they gave the writer of this booklet much valuable information.


The California Conference Minutes, Anthony’s Fifty Years of Methodism and the contents of the archives of the Historical Society of the Conference are mines of information.


The histories of Amador and Sacramento Counties are also helpful in research concerning the early days of settlement in this section of the State.


We appreciate the cooperation of Mr. S. J. Bonneau, County Recorder; Mr. W. A. Wilson, County Superintendent of Schools; Miss Francis Schacht, County Librarian; The State Librarian; and Miss Marie Schmidt, Librarian, Ione.


We wish to thank Mr. Marion Sibole, Mrs. S. R. Greenhalgh and Mr. A. J. Woods for the loan of old photographs; also William Martin, William Haverstick, Mrs. Sadie Gillum, Mrs. A. Tonzi, Mr. and Mrs. B. G. Prouty, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Merkle, Charles Draper, Judge Gebhardt, Mrs. George Heath, R. E. Woolsey, all of Ione, and others who may have given any information or extended any courtesies.





Secretary of the California Conference Historical Society of The Methodist Church.





We wish to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the following firms and individuals for making this Jubilee Souvenir possible.




Compliments of D. STEWART COMPANY, “Since 1852”




BANK OF AMERICA, Ione Branch, National Trust and Savings Association


ELLARD WINTER, Ione Food Center


ASSOCIATED PRODUCTS, Certified Lubrication and Goodrich Tires, Lyle J. Ribordy, Prop.


BARBER SHOP, George E. Merkle


ELIZABETH IVEY BRUBECK, Brubeck Studios, Bank Bldg., Ione


COLBURN’S DRUG STORE, 5-10-15 cent Store, Harold E. Colburn, Ione


F. W. YARRINGTON, Welding, Auto Repairing




IONE LUMBER COMPANY, Henry F. Uhlinger, Manager & Owner, Phone 77, Ione


ERIC SCHMIDT’S, Harness & Saddle Shop


IONE MEAT MARKET, Stanley D. Hughes, Prop., Phone 15


MILLER’S DAIRY, A. M. Delivery






ERLING H. SCHMIDT, General Insurance


Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Woolsey

M. R. Bacon Family

Mr. and Mrs. H. P. Brubeck

Mr. and Mrs. John Orr

Miss Jean Orr

The Thomas Family

Mr. and Mrs. Irwin K. Sibole

Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Allread

Judge and Mrs. L. P. Gebhardt

William Martin

Mr. and Mrs. L. E. Wakefield

A. J. Wood

Mr. and Mrs. George Heath

C. L. Clifford

Dorothy M. Stewart

Mr. and Mrs. O. H. Close

Mrs. Mary Gregory

Mrs. Laura McMurry Prouty

Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Robinson

Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Phillips

Mary Elizabeth Haverstick


William Haverstick

Mr. and Mrs. F. C. Merkle

Herbert W. Carpenter

Mr. and Mrs. William (Gillis) Brown

Mr. and Mrs. Fayette Mace

Mr. and Mrs. Richard P. Harris

Mr. and Mrs. David S. Mason, Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Albert (Gebhardt) Tonzi

Mr. and Mrs. B. Grant Prouty

Mrs. Ellsworth S. Hopper






BANK OF AMADOR COUNTY, Commercial and Savings, Jackson, California, Branches: Sutter Creek and Plymouth


TAMM, Men and Boy’s Wear


J. J. DANERI AND SON, Jackson, Phone 298 or 378


F. H. ESBACH, Manager, Pac. Tel. and Tel. Co.


A. L. PIEROVICH, Judge of the Superior Court, County of Amador, Jackson, California


CHRIS A. MEISS, County Assessor, Amador County


LEOTTA M. HUBERTY, County Clerk, Auditor




ELMER M. EVANS, County Treasurer, Amador County


S. J. BONNEAU, County Recorder, Jackson, California


W. A. WILSON, County Superintendent of Schools, Jackson, California


GEORGE W. LUCOT, Sheriff, Tax Collector, Jackson






BAILEY INSURANCE AGENCY, We insure the Church Property, Jackson


JACKSON LUMBER YARD, Lumber-Building Materials-Mill Work-Coal,

J. Podesta, W. W. Steele, Telephone 81, Jackson, Calif.


Mrs. Sabra Rickey Greenhaigh


Mrs. Lillian I. Riley




CAMPINI & GARIBALDI, General Merchandise, Drytown, Since 1913, California




Compliments of: DR. CHARLES A. DePAOLI, Dentist, Sutter Creek, California


Mr. and Mrs. B. C. Clark

Mrs. W. E. Downs

Mrs. Ralph McGee




MICHIGAN BAR STORE, General Merchandise, Cold Drinks, Gas and Oil

Larry Larsen, Johnnie Larsen


LOUIE’S MARKET, General Merchandise, Slough House, Telephone 12F2


Phillip S. Brown

Fred M. Grimshaw






In reply to a letter sent to Mr. Robert E. McCall, a native of Ione, telling him of a Junior League Concert held here fifty years ago this month, he sent the following with a request that it be included in this Souvenir:






5429 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif., Phone Granite 7200


March 10, 1945


Thomas Miller, Minister,

Community Methodist Church,

Ione, California


Dear Friend:


Thanks for your letter about the Methodist Church and the following Jubilee celebration. Please accept the enclosed check for twenty-five dollars in support of your program.


Greatly enjoyed reading the account of the Junior League Concert and Ice Cream party which you enclosed. My, my, that was long ago, but I remember that very night because Louis Coombs sang Alice Ben Bolt in his fine tenor voice and the folks just loved it. Always envied the George Mack family on such occasions because they lived right next door. Miss Mayme and Miss Gila Mack were usually escorted by Billie McClosky and James Chambers. Folks suspected they were engaged and it turned out they were right.


Most pleasant memories of our Sunday School Class and our lovely teacher, Miss Mary Brusie. One Sunday morning she pinned a cute little Brownie pin on each of our coats, and, unfortunately I lost mine on the way down the lane home. What a loss for a small boy, who still believes that no Dicken’s character ever suffered greater agony of mind, blighted thoughts, or unavailing sorrow.


On New Years Eve we used to always go to the Methodist Church and sit the Old Year out and the New Year in and we sat near the rear of the Church on the left hand side. In this connection there are many things I want to do and one is to go to Ione some New Year’s Eve and watch the Old Year out in the Methodist Church in that very same seat where we sat long, long ago.


Kindest regards,






Transcribed by: Jeanne Sturgis Taylor. 

© 2010 Jeanne Sturgis Taylor. 





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