Le Mars Daily Sentinel: Friday, October 1, 1926
OUST PASTOR FROM CHURCH
Rev. John Hill Charged With Bigamy, Perjury and Wrongful Divorce
VIOLATED MORAL LAW
Former Minister of Merrill Church is Unfrocked
Official ejection of Rev. John E. Hill, former Merrill, Ia.,
pastor, who is charged with bigamy and violation of the moral law of the
church, was ordered Wednesday afternoon in a motion passed by the select
committee, composed of 15 ministers from the Northwest Iowa Methodist
Episcopal conference. The surrender of Rev. Mr. Hill's parchments also was
The final motion, which was passed unanimously by the select
committee, follows: "We hereby expel said John E. Hill from the ministry
and membership of the Methodist Episcopal church and instruct the secretary
of our conference to notify him of this action and demand the surrender of
Ousted on Three Counts
The action of the 15 ministers from the conference was based on
the following charges and specifications, each of which was sustained
unanimously by the select committee:
"We hereby charge John E. Hill with violation of the moral law,
said charge based on the following specifications:
"1. That said John E. Hill, divorced his wife, Anna E. Hill, on
grounds not recognized as lawful by the Bible nor the discipline of the
Methodist Episcopal church.
"2. That in the light of the decision of the supreme court of
the state of Iowa, John E. Hill has continued to live in bigamous relations
with Lillian E. Stinton.
"3. That said John E. Hill morally perjured himself on
September 26, 1925, in his sworn statement to the county clerk of Charles
Mix county, S.D., in that he declared that he could lawfully be joined in
marriage to Lillian E. Stinton."
Represented by Counsel
The select committee, appointed by the conference, was
authorized by the discipline of the church, with full power to consider and
determine the case. Ministers who were appointed on the committee were:
Rev. Mark (one full line is unable to be read; it continues two lines down)
Correctionville, Ia.; Rev. D.M. Watson, Schaller, Ia.; Rev. B.L. Weaver,
Rock Branch, Ia.; Rev. Joseph Pickersgill, Alden, Ia.; Rev. J.G. Waterman,
Manson, Ia.; Rev. W.A. Wilkinson, Dayton, Ia.; Rev. C.H. VanMetre, Garner,
Ia.; Rev. G.M. Squires, Titonka, Ia.; Rev. R.T. Chipperfield, Estherville,
Ia.; Rev. M.L. Sunderlin, Emmetsburg, Ia.; Rev. J.W. LaGrone, Hawarden, Ia.;
Rev. J.H. Edge, Spirit Lake, Ia.; Rev. W.L. Breaw, Primghar, Ia.; and Rev.
O.M. Bond, Storm Lake, Ia.
Counsel for the church and for John Hill also was appointed by
the conference for the trial. Rev. C.H. Kamphoefner, pastor of Whitfield
Methodist Episcopal church, was appointed counsel for the church. G.T.
Notson, also of Sioux City, was appointed counsel for the accused pastor.
CHURCH ACTION PLEASES
Mrs. John Hill Would Have Her Husband Arrested
Warmly commending the action of the northwest Iowa Methodist
church conference in ousting Rev. John E. Hill, the much married parson,
from the ministry Wednesday afternoon, Mrs. Hill, his wife, stated that
action should have been taken long ago, according to the Sioux City Journal.
"It was a disgrace to the church to have my husband a member of
the ministry," declared Mrs. Hill. "The church, like myself, must bear the
shame of John while he travels around the country in company with a woman
not his wife and is, as far as I know, living a carefree and happy life."
Mrs. Hill stated that she had no idea where her husband was at
the present time. She declared that if she did know she would have him
arrested for bigamy, perjury, and contempt of court.
The former pastor of the Merrill Methodist Episcopal church
married Mrs. Lillian Stinton, pretty Merrill widow, shortly after he had
been granted a divorce in district court on a cross petition. His marriage
took place in less than the year, which by law is required to elapse before
a second marriage, in order to make sure that there will be no reversal of
the case in the supreme court. Mrs. Hill appealed her case and obtained
such a reversal.
By that time the former pastor with two wives had left the
country with his second wife and has not been seen since. Before starting a
divorce action, Mrs. Hill had brought suit against Mrs. Lillian Stinton for
alienation of her husband's affection, but lost her case.
SENEY: (Special Correspondence)
Harvey Buss is the proud possessor of a new Chevrolet sedan car.
A number of our people attended the fair at Sioux City last week.
The Ladies Aid society will meet at the home of Mrs. R. A. Hawkins on
Henry Conner, of Moville, visited with his mother, Mrs. Wm. Conner, here
Mrs. Iona Clark spent the day Friday with her sister, Mrs. A. Witt, in
Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Osborn and children and Stephen Osborn motored to Hawarden
Mr. and Mrs. James Cronin are the proud parents of a baby girl born
Thursday, September 23.
Mr. and Mrs. J. F. March, son George, of Akron, were guests at the home of
Mrs. E. March Sunday.
Mrs. Otto Knop was taken to the Community hospital in LeMars on Wednesday
Miss Myrtle Holster, of Vermillion, S.D., was called home by the death of
her grandmother, Mrs. A. Holster in LeMars.
Mr. and Mrs. Jay Donlin, daughters, Elaine and Esther, of Merrill, were
Sunday dinner guests at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bert Criswell.
Earl Buss, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Buss, had the misfortune to break his
arm at school one day last week. He is recovering from the effects.
The Elgin Farm Bureau met at the hall on Tuesday evening. A talk was given
by Agent Coddington and a short program and lunch was given.
The W.H.M.S. will have a pantry sale at Long's Grocery store on Saturday,
October 2. All members are requested to supply something to be sold. Those
wishing to send have it at Mrs. Clark's by 10 o'clock.
Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Reeves had for Sunday dinner guests Mr. and Mrs. Arthur
Reeves, Mr. and Mrs. John Lancaster, daughter, Ina and grandson, Vernon
Mrs. A. Jeffers accompanied Mr. and Mrs. C. Hendrickson, of Alton, to LeMars
to visit Lois, who is taking training in the Sacred Heart hospital.
Rev. and Mrs. L. E. Wardle left Tuesday for Sioux City to attend the
Methodist annual conference which is in session this week.
Axel Petersen had two cars of cattle on the Sioux City market Tuesday.
W. J. Reeves lost a valuable horse by blood poisoning as a result of being
cut in the fence during the high water. John Lancaster, Jr., lost a horse
Tuesday in a similar way.
MERRILL: (Special Correspondence)
Clarence Kale motored to Spencer, Tuesday.
Marie Weidauer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. Weidauer, living north of
Merrill, was struck by an Orange City car last Saturday evening and was
thrown about twenty feet. Two of her teeth were knocked out and her face
was somewhat bruised.
A birthday party was given last Friday night in honor of Miss Frieda Schmidt
at her home. About fifty were present. The evening was spent by playing
games. At the close of the evening a delicious luncheon was served by Mrs.
Henry Schmid and Mrs. Will Tullis. The party closed at a late hour,
everyone reporting a good time.
Misses Clara Gardner and Bessie Easton gave a birthday dinner Sunday in
honor of Miss Freda Schmidt's sixteenth birthday at the home of Miss Clara
Gardner. Those present were Freda Schmid, Bessie Easton, Clara Gardner,
Mearl Lake, Jim Tucker, Floyd Eidel and Clarence Tucker.
LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
October 12, 1926
JACOB RITER DEAD
Passed Away at Home in Rock Rapids Saturday
Jacob Riter died at his home in Rock Rapids Saturday morning. Had he lived
until next March he would have been 92 years of age. Mr. Riter lived at
Schaller for a number of years and then moved to Rock Rapids where he
resided until he death, except for a few years he spent in the home of his,
E. H. Riter, near Seney.
Mr. Riter is survived by six sons: John and Lester, in Rock Rapids; E. H. of
Seney; J. P. of Ireton; Charles F. of Sioux Falls; and John, of Brookings,
South Dakota; and one daughter, Mrs. John Kern, of Rock Rapids.
The funeral will be held Tuesday at the Methodist Episcopal church in Rock
Rapids, of which he was a member and will be conducted by Rev. F. E.
Le Mars Globe-Post, October 18, 1926
[very few words unreadable] few from this locality attended the funeral of
six month old son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Rohlfs called to his reward, Saturday
evening. The cause of his death was pneumonia.
~Transcriber’s Note: According to the tombstone, his name is VERNON.
LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel
October 19, 1926
John Jacob Riter, aged 91, passed away at the home of his son, Lester A.
Riter, in Rock Rapids, at 8:40 o’clock Saturday morning. He had been bedfast
since February 28. He began to grow noticeably weaker Thursday, and it
became apparent that the end was at hand. The funeral was held Tuesday
afternoon at the Methodist church, Rev. F. E. Burgess, former pastor of the
Methodist church, conducting the services. Six grandsons acted as
pallbearers. Interment was in Riverview Cemetery.
John Jacob Riter was born in Koenrich-Reich Mittle Schonthal, Province of
Wurtemburg, Germany, March 22, 1835, and so was 91 years, 6 months and 18
days old. He came to America in 1854 and lived at Warren, O., for two years.
Thereafter he took up a residence at Guttenburg, Clayton county, Iowa, and
remained a resident of the state continuously until his death.
On April 20, 1862, at Dubuque he was united in marriage to Maria Elizabeth
Walker, who survives him. To this union eleven children were born. Four,
Emma, Mary, Elizabeth and Alice preceded the father in death.
Besides his widow, he leaves one daughter, Louise (Mrs. Kerns), of Rock
Rapids, and six sons, as follows: J. P., of Ireton, Ia.; G. J., of
Brookings, S.D.; E. H., of LeMars, Ia; C. F., of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and John
J. Jr., and L. A., of Rock Rapids. He had 29 grandchildren and one great
In early manhood he was converted to the Methodist Episcopal faith, to which
he adhered strictly and firmly until his death, having been a member of the
church for about 70 years. Through his boyhood and early educational
training, he was an ardent student of the Bible, and upon coming to America
he utilized his first earning in attending a theological college at Quincy,
Ill., for about one year. Thereafter, and until age and health prevented, he
labored actively and diligently in the church, and for many years he
officiated as local pastor in his church in various places of residence. He
was a fine gentleman, admired by all who knew him. He was proud of the fact
that he had cast his first presidential vote for Abraham Lincoln.
He had lived in Rock Rapids since 1911. Among those attending from out of
town were: Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Wilson, Hartford, S.D.; Mr. and Mrs. L.
Oloff, Ireton, Ia.; Mrs. Pauline Detloff, LeMars, Ia.; Mr. and Mrs. Will
Henrich, Seney, Ia.; Mrs. H. R. Dealy and son, Rob, Sioux City, Ia.; and
Mrs. Sam Uthe, of LeMars, Ia. All the immediate relatives except one
grandson, who was unable to attend, were present at the obsequies.