Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Reverend Philip Ried, of Castalia

Rev. Philip Ried (sometimes spelled Reid) was the first pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Castalia. Rev. Theodore Stellhorn had taught catechism to some of the young people in Margaretta Township in the early 1900’s, but in the summer of 1901, Rev. Ried was called to minister to three different parishes, those in Mustcash (an area of Western Erie County near Crystal Rock), Groton Township, and Castalia. Rev. Ried traveled between the congregations on horseback and taught catechism classes in his home.

A building fund was started in 1905, and the cornerstone for the Lutheran Church in Castalia was laid on October 2, 1910. Dedication of the new church building was held on August 27, 1911. In February of 1912, only five months after the church’s dedication, Rev. Philip Ried died. He had been attending a session of Luther League in Toledo, when he was suddenly was taken ill. Rev. Ried had been well respected in the community. His obituary, from the front page of the February 6, 1912 Sandusky Daily Register reported that Rev. Reid was “a faithful worker and an excellent preacher as well as a man whose advice and counsel was sought in affairs of citizenship as well as religion, the Rev. Mr. Reid had none but friends. There were many manifestations of sorrow when the announcement of his death was received at Castalia.”

Rev. Philip Ried’s parents outlived him by many years. At the Castalia Cemetery, there is a striking monument on the Ried family plot. The cross is inscribed with the words “Simply to thy cross I cling.”
At the base of the Ried monument is the Ried surname, formed in the shape of tree branches.
A booklet marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of Grace Lutheran Church provides a history of the church. It is found, along with many other church histories from Erie County, at the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library.

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