In 1907 the family of David Jeffris presented our congregation with a carillon as a memorial to their father. The carillon was dedicated in September 1907.
Coverage in the Janesville Daily Gazette reported “It will take a week to raise the bells to the tower room which has been prepared for them, and fix them in the heavy ten foot square timber frame which supports them, and they will be ready for use by sunset on Saturday, the 28th. Mr. F.L. Speiden of Louisville, Kentucky, an expert chimer came to ring the bells at their inauguration.”
The ten bells are made of Lake Superior copper and East India block tin. The bells were cast by the McShane Bell Foundry Co. of Baltimore, Maryland. A representative of the company came to Janesville to direct the installation of the bells.
The total weight of the ten bells is 15,000 lbs. The largest bell measures 54 inches in diameter and weighs 3030 lbs. The smallest bell is 24 inches in diameter and weighs 323 lbs. Three of the bells are furnished with full mountings to swing so they may be used as a peal by themselves or played with the other bells. The remaining seven bells are suspended stationary in the the massive wooden frame. Songs can be played in the keys of D, G and C.
The dedication program indicates that the bells were played Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. then Monday and Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. and Wednesday at sunset. A dozen songs were played each time.
Through the years many members of our congregation have learned to play the bells. The bells are played for special occasions such as Christmas and Easter and occasionally on Sunday mornings. Whenever the bells ring we are reminded of the generosity of the Jeffris family.