St. John's Episcopal Church (Keokuk, Iowa)

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St. John’s Episcopal Church and Parish Hall
Keokuk St Johns.JPG
St. John's Episcopal Church (Keokuk, Iowa) is located in Iowa
St. John's Episcopal Church (Keokuk, Iowa)
St. John's Episcopal Church (Keokuk, Iowa) is located in USA
St. John's Episcopal Church (Keokuk, Iowa)
Location 4th and Concert Streets
Keokuk, Iowa
Coordinates 40°23′48″N 91°22′50″W / 40.39667°N 91.38056°W / 40.39667; -91.38056Coordinates: 40°23′48″N 91°22′50″W / 40.39667°N 91.38056°W / 40.39667; -91.38056
Built 1884-1888
Architect Daniel Appleton,
H.M. Stephenson
Architectural style Gothic Revival
NRHP Reference # 89000806 [1]
Added to NRHP July 11, 1989

St. John’s Episcopal Church is a parish church in the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa. It is located in Keokuk, Iowa, United States, at Fourth and Concert Streets, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


St. John’s Church was begun by the Rt. Rev. Jackson Kemper, Missionary Bishop of the Northwest, on April 20, 1850. The Rev Otis Hackett served as the first rector of the church from 1850-1853. The first church for the parish was built under his direction in 1851. Services were held in the parishioners’ homes until it was completed.


The present church building was designed by Boston architects Daniel Appleton and H.M. Stephenson. It was built when the Rev. Robert C. McIlwain was rector. Work was begun on the structure on June 5, 1884 and the first services were held in the church on February 12, 1888. The church was consecrated on January 4, 1891. The parish hall was constructed in 1895.[2] Both buildings are built of limestone and have a slate roof. The rectory, located next to the church, was completed in 1913. It was completed by the Rev. John C. Sage, who would become the bishop of the Diocese of Western Kansas.

The church is a combination of Gothic Revival in its style and Richardsonian Romanesque in its form and massing. The building measures 118 feet long and 48 feet high. The nave is 54 feet wide with a transept that measure 82 feet in total width. The corner bell tower is 75 feet high and contains the bell from the original church.[2]

The interior of the church contains hand carved furnishings by William Bartels of Carthage, Illinois. He carved the reredos, altar, altar rail, chancel screen and the ends of the pews. The three panels on the front of the altar depict grapes and wheat to represent the Eucharist and a bas relief of Christ carrying the cross. The baptismal font, carved by William Bawden in limestone, is the only item in the interior from the original church.

The church has more than forty stained glass windows. Most of the windows were installed at the time of construction while others have been added over the years. The most recent window was installed in the 1970s. Seven different company’s provided windows for the church, including Franz Mayer & Co. of Munich, Germany, Tiffany Studios of New York City, and the J. Wippell & Company of Exeter, England.

The pipe organ was built in 1965 by the Temple Organ Company of Lamoni, Iowa. It contains 22 registers, 27 ranks and 1,520 pipes.[2] There is a processional organ in the rear of the nave.


  1. ^ Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c "History". Retrieved 2010-07-31. 

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