Memories of Zion Chatt’s Choir

Today, an old photo of the choir at Zion Lutheran, Chatt, taken sometime between 1947-1960. I apologize for the quality of the photo. It is a copy of a copy but I think you can still make out the people. The nice thing is that nearly everyone is identified, thanks to my mom.  

Choir, Zion Lutheran, Chatt, 1947-1960.

Left to right in the photo: Fern (Caffee) Stetler, Marcella Schroeder, Dale Caffee, Norma Lee (Smith) Luginbill, Don Caffee, Maxine (Smith) Caffee, Ralph Bollenbacher, Mrs. Elsie Byers, Dale DeArmond, Donna (Johns) Caffee, Vernon Caffee, and Florence (Reynolds) Wilson. The last person, a man, is not identified.

I do not know the exact year the photo was taken but Mrs. Byers is among the choir members and her husband, Rev. Waldo Byers, was Zion Chatt’s minister from 1947-1960. Rev. Byers is the first minister that I remember.

There were many talented singers in our congregation and Zion Chatt had a very good choir. Several were soloists. That was years ago and we have not had a choir for quite a few years.

I was in the Zion’s choir during my teen years, when Marcella Schroeder, and later Connie Brigner, directed the choir. My two favorite songs to sing were Whispering Hope and The Holy City. We often still play The Holy City, as a piano/organ duet, on Palm Sunday and we even have a Whispering Hope duet.

As I recall, the choir sang from the balcony. I also remember these black choir robes with the white collar, which were stored up in the balcony years later. 

Before this choir, Zion Chatt had a quartet in the 1930s. The quartet consisted of Howard Caffee, Stubby Bollenbacher, Rev. Carl Yahl, and Paul McGough. Paul’s twin sister Pauline (McGough) DeArmond was the pianist. Pauline was also Zion’s organist for many years. Rev. Yahl was Zion’s minister from 1931-1942, which helps to date this photo.

Quartet at Zion Lutheran, Chatt

These photos bring back good memories of dedicated church members, now gone, who served and helped shape our congregation.   

4 comments

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    • Janet James on January 14, 2022 at 10:29 am
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    Mrs Schroeder was my favorite teacher, first and 3rd grade. She was an artist and drew lovely colored chalk pictures on the blackboard for every holiday!

    1. So Mrs. Schroeder was your teacher for two grades. She was my 2nd grade teacher but I don’t remember her drawing pictures on the blackboard. She was a good teacher and I liked her a lot. Thanks for writing!

    • Mary Goodwin Haddad on January 14, 2022 at 8:47 pm
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    Because I grew up in Willshire, I remember most of the people in the choir and I would guess that the photo is from the early’50’s.
    Mrs. Byers was my high school teacher in Spanish, Speech, and English, and her son David graduated with me in 1959.

    1. Thank you! I forgot that Mrs. Byers was also a teacher. Good information. Thanks for writing.

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