|Size:||2 linear feet in 4 boxes, including 57 photographs, plus 7 oversize folders|
|Repository:||Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605|
|Immediate Source of Acquisition:||The Kircher Family Papers were donated by the Kalamazoo Public Museum in 1974.|
|Conditions Governing Access:||Materials are open without restrictions.|
|Conditions Governing Use:||Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection.|
|Preferred Citation:||When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Kircher Family Papers [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections, Chicago Public Library.|
|Finding aid author:||Galen R. Wilson, December 22, 1988. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Johanna Russ, 2021.|
Johannes Kircher was the founding pastor of Bethlehem Evangelical Church. The collection includes materials relating to Kircher family history and the history of the church.
The two men central to this collection are Kircher (pronounced KEER-kur) brothers Johannes Gerhard (1857-1915) and Julius (1859-1940). Both born near Vincennes, Indiana, they migrated to Chicago and became pastors of the (German) Evangelical Synod of North America. This denomination continued to hold services in German during and after the first World War. Eventually, it merged with two similar denominations and is today known as the United Church of Christ.
As a recent seminary graduate, Johannes Kircher founded the Bethlehem Evangelical Church in December 1883, in what was then the town of Lake View. He remained pastor of Bethlehem until his death in 1915. The first organist of the young congregation was his brother Julius, then a student at Elmhurst College. Julius was succeeded by Miss Louise C. Niemann who eventually married Rev. Johannes. In 1884-85, a Church building was erected at the southwest corner of Diversey and Magnolia Avenue, an opulent testimony to the upper-middle-class lifestyle of the Lake View German population.
Johannes and Louise Kircher became the parents of two children, both documented in this collection: Paul (1890-1927) and Elsa Louise (1895-1967). Mrs. Kircher survived her husband by 28 years and remained active in the work of Bethlehem Church. She died in 1943 and was buried beside her husband in Eden Cemetery, Schiller Park.
Julius Kircher graduated from Elmhurst College, Elmhurst, Illinois, and from Eden Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. In 1889, he married Emma Bandow (1867-1910) and was installed as pastor of Trinity Evangelical Church at W. 22nd Place and S. Damen Avenue, in the Lower West Side neighborhood. He spent a 50-year pastoral career at Trinity, continuing after official retirement in conducting a monthly service in German.
Julius and Emma Kircher were parents of three sons, all of whom fought in World War I. Edward (d. 1958) became a professor at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Helmut (1893-1973) married his cousin Elsa and moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan. Armin (1894-1951) remained in the Chicago area. After the death of Emma Kircher, Julius married in 1913 her younger sister Lovesta, who died ten years later. After that, Julius made his home in Oak Park with his sisters Emma Kircher and Amalia, widow of Rev. William Grotefeld who founded Bethany Evangelical Church at Cullom and Paulina Streets in the Lake View neighborhood. Julius died in 1940 and was buried with his wives in Eden Cemetery.
For a Kircher Family tree, please see the front of box 1.
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of an initial accession and one supplement. Its strengths lie in church history (Evangelical Synod of North America) and family history. It consists of manuscript material, oversize materials and photographs. Supplement 1 is held in Box 1, Folders 13-16.
The collection is divided into two series:
- Series 1: Documents, 1873-1958
- Series 2: Photographs, 1874-1946
|Chicago. View book, 14 pp., no publisher, undated [circa 1893]||Chicago City-Wide Collection, Box 41, Folder 26|
|Chicago. View book, 13 pp. First view has in lower right corner, “Ward Brothers Ph.-V. Columbus, Ohio, U. S. A. 1893”||Chicago City-Wide Collection, Box 41, Folder 10|
|The New Chicago Album. View book, 12 pp. Chicago: L. Schick, 1892||Chicago City-Wide Collection, Box 41, Folder 9|
|“A Yard of the National Game,” photo-poster of Chicago Cubs baseball team. Chicago: Collection E.T. Johnson & Co., 1908. 14.5” x 48”||Photograph|
|Two stereoscope pictures: World’s Columbian Exposition||World’s Columbian Exposition, Photographs 2.65, 2.66|
|Report of the Commissioners and a History of Lincoln Park. Chicago: Published by the Commissioners, 1899.||F548.65.L7A1 1899|
|The Story of Chicago Told in Pictures: From the Log Cabin to the World’s Fair. Chicago: F. P. Kenkel, 1893. Bound with: A Week in Chicago. Chicago: Rand McNally & Co., 1893||F548.3.S8 FOLIO|
- Kirchner family — Archives.
- Kircher, Johannes Gerhard, 1857-1915 — Archives.
- Kircher, Julius, 1859-1940 — Archives.
- Bethlehem Evangelical Church (Chicago, Ill.) — Archives.
- Trinity Evangelical Church (Chicago, Ill.) — Archives.
- German Evangelical Synod of North America — History — Sources.
- Clergy — Illinois — Chicago — History — Sources.
Series 1: Documents, 1873-1958
Scope and Contents
Of note in the documents include biographical information about various members of the Kircher family, and booklets on the history of churches with which the Kircher family was affiliated.
The series is arranged alphabetically by topic. Topics include Biographical, Businesses, Religious Institutions, and Schools.
|Box 1||Folder 1||Biographical - Bismarck, Otto von (1815-1898), memorial service program, Chicago, 1898|
|Box 1||Folder 2||Biographical - Kircher, Elsa Louise (1895-1967), diary, 1913|
|Box 1||Folder 3||Biographical - Kircher, Johannes Gerhard (1857-1915), autograph album, 1879-1883|
|Box 1||Folder 4||Biographical - Kircher, Johannes Gerhard (1857-1915), funeral program, 1915|
|Box 1||Folder 5||Biographical - Kircher, Julius (1859-1940), newspaper sketch, 1939|
|Box 1||Folder 6||Biographical - Kircher, Louise C. Nieman (1864-1943), choir ribbons, undated|
|Oversize Folder 1||Biographical - Kircher, Helmuth Julius, baptismal certificate, Chicago, Ill., 1893 March 21|
|Oversize Folder 2||Biographical - Kircher, Helmuth Julius, confirmation certificate, Trinity Evangelical Church, Chicago, Ill., 1907 March 24|
|Oversize Folder 3||Biographical - Kircher, Johannes Gerhard, confirmation certificate. Bethel Church, Freelandsville, Knox Co., Indiana, 1873 April 6|
|Oversize Folder 4||Biographical - Kircher, Johannes Gerhard, photograph as member of Chicago Vice Commission. The Chicago Daily Tribune, p. 17 (first page of section 2), 1910 March 16|
|Box 1||Folder 14||Biographical - Kircher, Julius, Emma (2 copies, also shelved at PS3521 .I637 E4 1911), 1911|
|Box 1||Folder 15||Biographical - Kircher, Julius, Evening Echoes (also shelved at PS3521 .I637 E8 1930), 1930|
|Box 1||Folder 15||Biographical - Kircher, Julius, Stille Stunden (also shelved at PS3521 .I637 S7 1914), 1925|
|Box 1||Folder 16||Biographical - Block, E. F., signed letter (in German) to Julius Kircher, Sidney, Ill, 1892 October 24|
|Box 1||Folder 7||Businesses - Eden Cemetery (Schiller Park), advertisement, program, rule book, 1939-1941, undated|
|Box 1||Folder 8||Religious Institutions - Bethlehem Evangelical, 50th Anniversary booklet, 1933|
|Box 1||Folder 9||Religious Institutions - Bethlehem Evangelical, 65th Anniversary booklet, 1948|
|Box 1||Folder 10||Religious Institutions - Bethlehem United Church of Christ, 75th Anniversary booklet, 1958|
|Box 1||Folder 11||Religious Institutions - Bethlehem Evangelical, memorabilia: ribbon, 1903; tray, 1906|
|Oversize Folder 5||Religious Institutions - Bethany Church, Chicago, Ill. Cullom Avenue and Paulina Street. Engraving by Max Miller, 16” x 12.75”, 1945|
|Box 1||Folder 13||Religious Institutions - Bethany Evangelical Church, bulletin, 1914|
|Box 18||Folder 12||Schools - Francis W. Parker School, The Recorder, vol. 8, no. 5, 1912|
Series 2: Photographs, 1874-1946
Scope and Contents
Of note in the Photographs series are images of various members of the Kircher family and of the churches with which the Kircher family was affiliated.
The series is arranged alphabetically by topic. Topics include Businesses, Portraits, Religious Institutions, Street Scenes, and Schools.
|Businesses - Berkshire Papers Inc., 1946|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.6||Portraits - Bandow, Mr. and Mrs., circa 1875|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.7||Portraits - Bandow, Helen E., undated|
|Box 3||Photograph 1.8||Portraits - Fife, Robert and Joan, 1933|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.9||Portraits - Kircher family, 1897|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.10||Portraits - Kircher, Helmuth Julius, 1911|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.11||Portraits - Kircher, Joanne Louise, 1919|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.12||Portraits - Kircher, Joanne Louise, circa 1922-1923|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.13||Portraits - Kircher, Joanne Louise, circa 1922-1923|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.14||Portraits - Kircher, Joanne Louise, circa 1922-1923|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.15||Portraits - Kircher, Joanne Louise, circa 1922-1923|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.16||Portraits - Kircher, Joanne Louise, circa 1922-1923|
|Box 3||Photograph 1.17||Portraits - Kircher, Joanne Louise, circa 1922-1923|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.18||Portraits - Kircher, Joanne Louise, pencil drawing, 1931|
|Box 3||Photograph 1.19||Portraits - Kircher, Johannes Gerhard, undated|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.20||Portraits - Kircher, Johannes Gerhard, circa 1880|
|Box 3||Photograph 1.21||Portraits - Kircher, Johannes, Gerhard, 1905|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.22||Portraits - Kircher, Johannes Gerhard and Louise Niemann, circa 1910|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.23||Portraits - Kircher, Julius, circa 1906|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.24||Portraits - Kircher, Julius, undated|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.25||Portraits - Kircher, Julius, undated|
|Box 3||Photograph 1.26||Portraits - Kircher, Julius, undated|
|Box 3||Photograph 1.27||Portraits - Kircher, Julius, 1935|
|Box 3||Photograph 1.28||Portraits - Kircher, Julius, 1935|
|Box 3||Photograph 1.29||Portraits - Kircher, Julius; Emma Bandow; Edward Kircher; Helmuth Julius Kircher, Armin Kircher, undated|
|Portraits - Kircher, Louise Christine Niemann, circa 1874|
|Box 3||Photograph 1.31||Portraits - Kircher, Louise Christine Niemann with 12 children [Sunday School?] (2 copies), undated|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.32||Portraits - Kircher, Naomi Jane, 1939|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.33||Portraits - Kircher, Naomi Jane and Charlotte, circa 1920|
|Box 4||Photograph 1.34||Portraits - Kircher, Paul Sr., 1926|
|Box 4||Photograph 1.35||Portraits - Kircher, Paul Sr. and family, 1924-1925|
|Box 4||Photograph 1.36||Portraits - Kircher, Paul Jr., Joanne and Robert E., 1928|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.37||Portraits - Kircher, Robert Emerson, 1921|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.38||Portraits - Kircher, Robert Emerson, 1939|
|Box 4||Photograph 1.39||Portraits - Grotefeld, William and Amalia and family, circa 1912|
|Box 4||Photograph 1.40||Portraits - Grotefeld family, circa 1912|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.41||Portraits - Kircher, [?], undated|
|Box 4||Photograph 1.42||Portraits - Kircher family [?], undated|
|Box 4||Photograph 1.43||Portraits - Kircher family [?] Johannes G. Kircher (identifiable), undated|
|Box 4||Photograph 1.44||Portraits - Kircher family [?], undated|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.45||Portraits - Unidentified man, undated|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.46||Portraits - Unidentified man, undated|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.47||Portraits - Unidentified man, undated|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.48||Portraits - Unidentified women, undated|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.49||Portraits - Unidentified women, undated|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.50||Portraits - Kircher, Elsa Louise, undated|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.51||Portraits - Kircher, Elsa Louise, undated|
|Box 4||Photograph 1.52||Portraits - Unidentified elderly couple, undated|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.53||Portraits - Molinari, Grace Radtke, undated|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.54||Portraits - Niemann, Cord Henry, 1912|
|Box 4||Photograph 1.55||Portraits - Niemann, Cord Henry and Elizabeth, 1913|
|Box 4||Photograph 1.56||Portraits - Niemann, Cord Henry and Elizabeth, 1913|
|Box 3||Photograph 1.2||Religious Institutions - Bethlehem Evangelical Church, interior, 1905|
|Box 3||Photograph 1.3||Religious Institutions - Bethlehem Evangelical Church, interior, 1905|
|Box 3||Photograph 1.4||Religious Institutions - Bethlehem Evangelical Church, interior (2 copies), 1905|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.57||Schools - Francis W. Parker School, students in grounds, undated|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.58||Schools - University of Illinois [fraternity?], undated|
|Box 4||Photograph 1.59||Schools - Unidentified athletic team, wearing “C” on jerseys, 1911|
|Box 2||Photograph 1.5||Street scenes - Mettmann, Germany, street scene, 1910|