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Church uncovers box in cornerstone
Stewart and Christie Strait join George Cromwell to open a copper box from the cornerstone of St. Johns Church outside Cromwells home Friday, Aug. 24
MONROE - On Friday, Aug. 24, the metal box that was placed in the cornerstone of St. John's United Church of Christ (previously called St. John's Evangelical Church) on June 25, 1922 was finally found by church member Dennis Stuckey.

Christie Strait, a member of the church's 150th anniversary celebration committee, said she thought that, after reading old articles in church scrapbooks, it would be interesting to find the metal box. She read articles and saw a picture in an album that showed the laying of the cornerstone.

David L. Deininger, current custodian of the church, determined the picture was taken looking south so he knew that the box had to be somewhere by the cornerstone. However, one article said the box was placed beneath the cornerstone, while another article said the box was placed within it, and the church building plans showed the box on the west side of the building.

Stuckey tried different ways to find the box and the city checked with a metal detector, but when some bricks were removed the box was not to be found. Stuckey, however, did not give up and after removing more bricks, the box was found Friday, Strait said.

The box was soldered closed, so church member George Cromwell took the box home to open it. Moisture had damaged the papers in the box, and the church is in the process of deciding how to preserve these papers.

The cornerstone was placed by Rev. Schuh, assisted by Mr. Hauser, architect, and Mr. Barth, builder of the present church.

In the old newspapers from 1922, there was a list of items that were placed in the metal box: the first deed of record executed on behalf of the congregation in Monroe in the early 1860s - the deed was a transfer of ground on Racine Street by a Mrs. Rockford to Rev. Hagemann, who later transferred it to trustees consisting of J. J. Tschudy, Samuel Schuler, John Kadderly and Peter Sparr; the specifications of the present church bearing dates of 1873 and all the minutes of the meetings of the trustees and congregation action for the previous four years regarding preparations for building the new church; names of the officers; names of the societies in the church; names of trustees, building committee, the architect and builder; a history of the church from 1862-1912 compiled by Schuh; publications of the Evangelical Synod; and copies of the three local papers and the New Glarus Post.

One of the important papers in the box was the Roll of Honor of the congregation's 128 men and two nurses serving in World War I.