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IA. Confidential: Rev. Hummer 2008

Brothers and sisters! It is time once again to visit that dark pit of crimes historical and transgressions allegorical; to trespass back in time to uncover the original (and the not so original) sins of Iowa's forefather's and mothers. Can I get an amen? Our sermon comes from the gospel of Iowa City's first (and most scandalous) Presbyterian minister: Michael Hummer.

Part two of three: In Late summer, 1848, only weeks after his mystic mumbo-jumbo got him fired from hist post as Iowa City's first Presbyterian Minister, Michael Hummer returned with a ladder, a horse, a wagon, and his friend, Dr. J.W. Margrave. Together they planned to steel the bell from the Presbyterian Church. Hummer figured it belonged to him--after all, he'd raised the bell fund...

Part three of three. OK, a quick recap: After being fired fro his post as Iowa City's First Presbyterian Minister, Michael Hummer moved to Keokuk to start a spiritualistic temple. Then, to spite his former congregation (who still owed him $650 in back pay), Hummer returned to Iowa City in the late summer 1848 to steal the bell from his old church to install in his new one. A crowd halted the theft and hid the bell in the waters of the Iowa River--but when they returned, the bell had disappeared!


Witte, Adam, “IA. Confidential: Rev. Hummer 2008,” Iowa City Public Library DHP, accessed June 24, 2024,