All Saints Episcopal Church
100 North Drew Street • Appleton, Wisconsin 54911 • (920) 734-3656
Appleton, Wisconsin, saw its first house built in 1848, its first mail delivery in 1849, its first bridge over the Fox River in 1851, its first county court session in 1852, its first paper mill in 1854 - and its first Episcopal parish in 1856.
It is recorded that the Rt. Rev. Jackson Kemper, missionary bishop of practically everywhere in the upper Midwest (pictured), held the first Episcopal service in Appleton in 1854 or 1855 - and most accounts say it exactly that way: 1854 or 1855 - but the parish as such was officially organized in 1856, making 2006 the sesquicentennial year (150th anniversary) of All Saints Church.
Appleton's first "regular" rector was the Rev. Simeon Palmer, who lived in and also served as rector in Menasha. The Rev. Mr. Palmer started the process of constructing the first permanent church building, although he died of typhoid fever, brought on, we are told, by overwork, before it was completed.
That building, named Grace Episcopal Church (pictured), was located at the northwest corner of Appleton and Edwards Streets, now Appleton and Washington Streets, on land given by Boston philanthropist Amos Lawrence. Bishop Kemper laid the cornerstone in 1864.
In 1883, Grace Church's wooden building was moved to the present church site, the northeast corner of College Avenue and Drew Street, with the entrance facing Drew.
In 1905, the wooden church was moved again, across Drew Street to the present site of the Outagamie Museum, formerly the Masonic Temple, to make way for the construction of the stone church whose centennial was observed with a special service and reception on October 2, 2005. An estimated 1,500 to 2,000 people attended the cornerstone-laying service, presided over by Bishop C. C. Grafton, on October 1, 1905.
1905 was also the year when the name of the parish was changed from Grace Church to All Saints Church, although not without a bit of grumbling.
The first service in the completed building was celebrated on Easter Sunday, April 15, 1906. Bishop Reginald H. Weller preached; the Rev. S. P. Delany was rector.
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