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The 1878 History of Benton County, Iowa
A History of the County, its Cities, Towns, Etc.
Chicago: Western Historical Company, 1878.

pages 463-465

Luzerne
This town owes its parentage to the Chicago & Northwestern Company, who desired to have their station midway between Blairstown and Belle Plaine. Accordingly, in October, 1867, the station was removed from Buckeye to the open prairie two miles farther west, on the line between Iowa and Le Roy Townships. The town built up very rapidly for two years, some of the houses being removed from Buckeye to the new town. In 1869, the town had about forty buildings of all descriptions, including a fine church and a school house. About twenty person were engaged in business.

December 20, 1870, Bartholomew Shay, living near Luzerne, took his son, a lad of 8 years old, and went to the vicinity of Fairfax to get two cows, the boy driving the horse they had bought. During the night, the horse ran away with the boy, the father going on home with the cattle. The next day the horse and sleigh were found near the stable of John Parr, three and a half miles south of Blairstown, and near by the boy was found frozen stiff, having perished and fallen out by the jar of stopping suddenly.

The shipments from Luzerne in 1870 were: 100,300 bushels wheat, 28,200 bushels corn, 1,250 bushels barley, 27,200 pounds pork, 30,000 pounds butter and eggs, 255 head of sheep, 860 live hogs.

The public school building was erected in 1870, and school was taught in the following Winter by George Folsom. The teacher, for the Spring term of 1878, was Mr. Mickey.

The population of the village is about three hundred (1878), mostly of German nativity.

An organization of the Christian Church existed here at one time, but was disbanded several years ago.

Religious
Evangelical Lutheran. - The first services according to this belief were conducted at Luzerne by Rev. Mr. Selle, in 1856. The society was organized in 1859 by Rev. J. F. Doescher, but the church became almost extinct soon after. It was reorganized March 29, 1866, by Rev. Philip Studt, who had come here in January. The society at its revival had only eight members.

The corner-stone of the church edifice was laid September 13, 1868, and the cost of the church was about $2,500. It was dedicated July 7, 1872. The bell was procured in November, 1875, and cost $215.

The first confirmation was that of a child of Mrs. Hammer's.

A day school was begun by Rev. Mr. Studt in January, 1866. The building was enlarged and rebuilt in 1870. There are fifty-two pupils enrolled. The school is still under the charge of Rev. Mr. Studt, but it is hoped soon to add another teacher.

There are about forty-five families connected with the church.

Societies
Luzerne Lodge, No. 275, I.O.O.F. - This lodge was organized in March, 1875. The charter members were I.C. Milhouse, H.L. Thiele, Dr. E. Robyn, Thomas Riley, L.D. Clay.

The present officers are: Henry Peters, N. G.; John Joens, V.G.; James C. White, Recording Secretary; August Hoek, Permanent Secretary; I. C. Milhous, Treasurer.

There are over twenty members. Lodge meets every Saturday evening.

German Society. - A Turnverein existed here for several years, but was disbanded in 1877. In its place the Association with the above title was formed October 23, 1877, with Henry Schroeder as President; Otto Schmidt, Secretary; Henry Peters, Treasurer; John Mundt, Steward.

The Society began with eight members, and now numbers about twenty-five. It meets every Tuesday evening. The objects are purely social, the amusements being musical and dancing.

The officers now are: John Timm, President; Joachim Schutt, Secretary; Rudolph Muller, Treasurer; Fred Hoepner, Steward.

Transcribed, 1998, by Sue Soden.



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