Community Supported for Over 100 years - "Doing the Most Good" in the Fox Cities!

Official Historical Timeline
“The First One Hundred Years”
The Salvation Army Appleton, WI / Fox Cities
1917 ~ 2017

April 1917 ~ First corps officers march in.  Captain Griselda "Della" Rapson assisted by Captain Lilly Paul and later Lieutenant Schey (August 1917). First earliest address of the Corps (June 1918) was located at 1091 College Avenue.

April 6, 1917 ~ the United States Congress declared war upon the German Empire; on April 2, President Woodrow Wilson had asked a special joint session of Congress for this declaration.

February 10, 1918 ~ Captain Della Rapson is “farewelled” from Appleton, WI after being accepted for “War Service in France” to become one of the original “Doughnut Lassies” serving American troops and boards an ocean liner bound for Europe.

October 1, 1931 ~ after the Corps building on 325 College Avenue burns to the ground the Army purchases the structure at 503 N. Morrison from the Royal Order of Moose Lodge 367 formerly owned by John and Fred Bushey dba Bushey Business College in the middle of the Great Depression. “The Army provided food and lodging to unemployed “transients” until it created such a drain on funds for 1932 that in April of that year, transient services were discontinued and the hall was used only for Army meetings.”

May 20, 1933 ~ in the midst of the Great Depression the Appleton Corps Officer, Captain Henry Servais is recognized for enrolling 145 new soldiers during a service in the auditorium of The Salvation Army Temple on Morrison Street - the result of his evangelizing over the past several months.   Two original compositions of Captain Servais, were sung by the Temple chorus:  “The Burning Heart” and “Set Me Aside Lord.”  The music was written by John Goodrich, a soldier of the corps. “No Small Corps Need Despair!” was the gist of Commissioner W.A. McIntyre remarks at the historic ceremony.

April 1941 ~ Appleton corps officer, Captain Warren Johnson hosts a daily (except Sunday) radio broadcast on WHBY radio from 9:00 am to 9:30 am on 1200 kilocycles.

Christmas 1951 ~ Judson Simpson Senior Salvation Army soldier sells 2,800 “War Cry” magazines in Appleton area taverns. A volunteer since the age of 9 Judson logged more than 30,000 hours of volunteer time – equivalent to 14 years of full-time work.

As a Salvationist,  Judson typically sold $10,000 of “War Cry” magazine each year on his tavern rounds in addition to ringing bells on College Avenue in a kettle hut.

1961 ~ the old Bushey College building ( 503 N. Morrison Avenue, Appleton) is used for The Salvation Army Citadel until it is razed in March of 1961.  A building on Appleton Street is rented, to serve as a temporary place of worship.  With $87,000 on hand, the corps will fund raise until $125,000 is reached for the new single floor concrete structure.

April 1961 ~ the Oscar Boldt Company constructs a new 4,811 square foot building at the North Morrison site. A chapel, office space, lower level storage is added. The new building is dedicated November 5, 1961.

May 1965 – the Army is operating a Salvation Army Thrift Store at 1102 W. Wisconsin Ave in Appleton with Mrs. Myrtle Olson as the manager under the direction of Captain Jacob Bender. This serves as a revenue source while helping out clients and serving the community,

April 8, 1985 ~ 150 people are served a turkey dinner cooked and prepared by volunteers for the start of a feeding program in the lower level area of the 130 E. North Street corps circa 1961 building.

August 1985 ~ “The Caring Campaign” is underway as the Army announces plans to undertake a $650,000 capital campaign to expand its to the East North Street location in Appleton.   A 10,000 square foot structure would add kitchen facilities, expanded food pantry, multi-purpose gym room for roller skating and a new feeding program.

Spring 1986, ~ a ground breaking takes place for the new building “addition” at 130 East North Street in Appleton. Construction begins on the new building.

November 15, 1987 ~ building dedication for The Salvation Army Corps Community Center at 130 East North Street Appleton, WI.    The general contractor is P.G. Miron Company, Bassett Plumbing & Heating, Buss Electrical and Sauter Seaborne Architects/Engineers Ltd.

November 1987 ~ the Army begins offering a Noon Feeding program served from a new inustrial scaled kitchen on a scheduled basis - seven days a week - for area residents who are hungry at the 130 East North Street location in Appleton from the new kitchen and dining area. The program originally started April 8, 1985 where meals were prepared and served in the lower level of the corps building in Appleton.

April 1992 ~ the Army purchases for $1 from the City of Appleton the Fire Station #2 with hopes of converting the building into a facility to help area residents struggling with housing.  Fire Station #2 was operated from 1890-1920 as a volunteer fire department on the corners of State and Eighth Streets in Appleton.

September 1994 ~  “Project Home” a transitional case managed living facility featuring onsite case management with 11 apartments for single men and women is opened utilizing the former Appleton Fire station at 105 S. Badger Avenue in Appleton, WI.  With Oscar Boldt Company, serving as general contractor the property underwent a $300,000 renovation with services and materials donated from McMahon Associates.

May 2004 ~ the Army relocates its youth and family ministries from 130 E. North St, Appleton   to a temporary location at 1244 Midway Road in Menasha, WI.

May 2004 ~ Army closes its ‘wet shelter” located at 226 S. Morrison St. Appleton (owned by Housing Partnership of the Fox Valley).  After a $225,000 remodeling project by the Oscar Boldt Company on the lower level at 130 E. North Street a newly renovated 25 bed overnight 2,080 square foot “dry shelter” for men opens on May 15, 2014.

July 2004 – the Army does a purchase offer of the former Christ the Rock Church for over $1 million dollars. The former lumberyard of 25,000 square feet has been dormant for several years and sits on a four-acre site. Formal property possession/closing  takes place in October 20, 2004.

2004 ~ the Army undertakes the “silent phase” of a major capital campaign “Making a Difference – One Life at a Time” to renovate the Social Services building (kitchen/pantry/office space) at 130 E. North St. Appleton and also to renovate and build out the 25,000 square foot former Christ the Rock property for a Worship & Community Center at 1525 Appleton Rd in Menasha, WI.

November 2004 ~ during the 34th Annual Downtown Appleton Christmas parade the Army’s float entry wins the “Best Non-Commercial Float Trophy”  by Appleton Downtown Inc. panel of judges for a float featuring a giant Red Kettle ( over 1 – ½ tons) built by AZCO and driven down College Avenue on a AZCO tractor trailer.

December 10, 2004 ~ Thrivent Financial for Lutherans (fdba Aid Association for Lutherans aka A.A.L.) offers a $25,000 dollar-dollar corporate match day at for the Red Kettles in the Fox Valley.

April 2005 ~ the Army opens its state licensed Children’s Learning Center at 1525 Appleton Rd in Menasha, WI for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years.

June 2005 ~ the Official Gazette of Salvation Army notes the name change to “The Salvation Army – Fox Cities” recognizing the service area in the Fox Valley to include more than just the City  of Appleton.

September 2005 ~ in response to the Army’s disaster relief appeal a local donation drive exceeds $100,000 thanks in large part to a $45,000 donation from the J.J. Keller Foundation for Hurricane Katrina.

August 31, 2006 ~ The Army closes, it’s 25 bed men’s overnight homeless shelter at 130 E. North Street, Appleton due to concerns for funding and a decline in occupancy numbers for the 830 square foot dormitory.

June 16, 2007 ~ in conjunction with 90 years of “Doing the Most Good” anniversary in the Fox Valley the public portion of the “Making a Difference – One Life at a Time” capital campaign for improvements of its Appleton and Menasha locations begins.  The campaign is chaired by Rollie Stephenson (CEO Faith Technologies) Robert Puissant (VP School Specialties) and Dr. Richard Hilsabeck.  Over $2 million dollars raised to date.

September 3, 2008, ~ following a successful capital campaign, The Oscar Boldt Company, serving as general contractor begins a $2.5 million dollar renovation and upgrade to the Worship and Community Center located on Appleton Road in Menasha.  The construction project designed by Miller, Wagner, Cohen and McMahon Architects.

December 5, 2008 ~ “Double the Sharing, Double the Caring” Thrivent $250,000 community challenge is offered to the Fox Valley with a $125,000 kettle match challenge issued by Thrivent at the Red Kettles. 

December 2008 ~ Major George Hood, the Salvation Army's National Secretary for Community Relations and Development in Arlington, VA, sent his "Congratulations to the Salvation Army …Fox Cities…of the Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Division, for achieving the nation's highest one-day Christmas Red Kettle total.”   With match day monies and community gifts, the Thrivent Red Kettle Match day generates close to $500,000 in a single day in the Fox Cities.

May 9, 2009 ~ National Commander Commissioner Israel L. Gaither, bestows the honor of the coveted recognition  of The Salvation Army “Others Award”  to Thrivent Financial for Lutherans for setting a national single day Red Kettle record for a continuous community match for the Salvation Army in 2008 to help generate $497,923.00 in a single day in 2008.

October 24, 2009 ~ The Salvation Army Chicago Staff Band under the direction of bandmaster William Hines performs at the Lawrence University Memorial Chapel to a sold out audience along with The White Heron Chorale.

October 25, 2009 ~ The Ceremony of Dedication featuring the Chicago Staff Band is conducted at the Worship and Community Center located at 1525 Appleton Rd Menasha, WI.

April 2011 ~ At the Community Foundation of the Fox Valley Region civic “Celebrating Our Volunteers” annual event the “Business Partnership Award of the Year”  is bestowed upon Thrivent Financial and Salvation Army – Fox Cities for their innovative and successful partnering to help those in need the Fox Valley with the red kettle

May 2015 ~ The Salvation Army observes the 150th worldwide anniversary.   Originating in 1865 in London, England, the organization championed and provided to the most needy, continuing today to adapt to the needs of the communities in order to ‘Do The Most Good’.

July 14, 2016 ~ The Army takes possession of a former garage / warehouse located at 513 North Morrison St Appleton, WI.  The purchase price of the 2,972 square block structure built in 1952 is $88,000.  Plans call for connecting the building to the current Emergency Food Pantry located at 124 East North St Appleton and using the space for additional food storage. The property provides an additional 5,663 sq. ft. of parking to the east.

November 4, 2016 ~ at Festival Foods in Menasha WI the first historic  sUAS (small Unmanned Aircraft System) drone demonstration flight to deliver and pick up a full sized Salvation Army red kettle to a kettle donation site.  The event is broadcast live via regional television networks.

December 2016 ~ The Thrivent Red Kettle match day reaches the $3 million dollar mark after 13 years of helping families in need in the Fox Cities.  The total impact of this legacy is the impact to men, women and children in need that translates to in excess of hundreds’ of thousands lives helped by the community and the Salvation Army over that time span.

May 11, 2017 ~ the Army hosts a community dinner themed “Another 100 Years of Service in the Fox Cities” to commemorate the centennial of service in the Fox Valley.  In attendance are volunteers, donors and community leaders.

August 2017 ~ The Salvation Army – Fox Cities’ Children’s Learning Center, a six month -to six years is now rated as a top Five Star by the State of Wisconsin’s YoungStar rating program. The Salvation Army Children’s Learning Center located at 1525 N. Appleton Rd, Menasha, WI opened as a state-licensed childcare provide in April 2005. It offers a variety of character building programs including a day camp for school age children, music camp and summer camp opportunities,