Source: These articles were written by Kermit Hildahl in a booklet he published in 2001, reproduced here with his permission.
THE NORTH SAUDE CHURCH. Norwegians began arriving in the Saude area in about the 1850's. In 1853 the overall church body, the Synod for the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church was formed. The objective of this Synod was to continue the form of worship of the State Church of Norway among the Norwegians settling here.
Probably the earliest Lutheran pastor in the area was U. V. Koren. He had been born and educated in Norway and here served a very large area of northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota. Soon other pastors came to fill the needs of congregation's further east in Iowa and in Minnesota. Pastor Koren organized two congregations in this area: The Little Turkey (Saude Area) and Crane Creek (Jerico Area). Pastor Koren conducted the first services in the Little Turkey area in 1855. There is a record of services conducted in the home of Gregor Vaala in November 1856. Twenty-four people attended Communion and one child was baptized.
This congregation was organized in 1857 and was called the Dale Congregation; officially the Dale Norsk Evangelisk Lutherske Menighed. The name Dale came from a town on the coast of Norway, north of Sognefjord. The name Dale ceased to be used for the Church about 1870. The congregation worshipped in homes large enough to hold it.
Records show that burials were first made in a plot of ground one and one half miles north of the present church location. There may have been a church building here also. Those interred there were exhumed and reburied in the present cemetery in 1862.
Apparently, the congregation was organized before it officially had a pastor. Apparently Pastor U. V. Koren had been serving this congregation on a sort of missionary or circuit rider basis. On June 1, 1858, a call letter went to U. V. Koren signed by nineteen members of the congregation, including three women who were listed as being widows. I'm guessing that this group consisting of sixteen men, their wives and children plus these three widows probably made up this congregation. The letter of call was signed by: Sivert Olson, Alf Olson, John Swennungson, John Johnson, Tobias Jacobson, Kittil Kittleson, Anders Olson, John Sall, Ole Thorstenson, Knut Olson, Svennungson, Kittil Olson, Aslog Thorvildson, Anders Lars, Gregor Olson, Ole Kittleson, Gregor Olson Vaala, Widow Anna Larsdatter, Widow Ragnild Johnsdatter, Widow Johanna Oldsdatter (Mrs. Johanna Halvorson).
A log church was built on the present church site in the early 1860's. The Church was spartan, as one would expect, homemade benches for seats, but it was their house of worship and that was the important thing. There was no organ. A hymn leader called a "Klokker" conducted the singing.
The minister's salary was often partially paid in food from gardens or preserved food, and in food for his horses: oats and hay. Monetary offerings were done using homemade baskets or men's hats. Pastor Koren still served a large area, he lived some thirty miles away, so there would be perhaps one service per month or less. He would catch up on special services while he remained for a few days. Weddings would be planned for these times. Burials could not be postponed, but memorial services were held. Baptisms would be performed.
The first Confirmation was held in the Church in 1862. Previously the confirmands had been taught and confirmed at Washington Prairie Church, where the pastor lived.
The following is taken mainly from Craig Ferkmstad's 1975 Luther College Paper. Life was hard among these settlers. The death rate among them, at a relatively young age, was high. In 1877 there were thirty funerals in the Little Turkey Church - nine percent of its membership. Craig Ferkinstad searched out funeral procedures probably used when there was no minister nearby. A guess is being made here that bodies were not likely embalmed. "For funerals - people had to be invited. There were always two meals: one before they went to the grave yard and one after they got back. Simple black handmade coffins were used with nails driven half way into the lid. The service opened with a hymn. Someone would give a talk in remembrance of the departed and give thanks for his or her life. People would file around the coffin for one last look, the lid would be put on and the nails driven. The coffin was carried out of the Church or the home while the congregation sang a hymn.
The coffin was put on a wagon and driven to the graveyard with the mourners walking behind. The grave was dug by men, taking turns doing so. When finished the spades were laid across the grave and a hymn sung. The service would close with the Lord's Prayer and the coffin would be lowered to its final resting-place. The mourners would depart while men filled the grave." It was a solemn and dignified service that would have been appropriate for almost anyone. The actual funeral sermon was preached by the minister the next time he visited the community. A guess is being made here that words and actions by friends of the deceased were probably more meaningful than the more formal ceremony. The ceremony was, however, necessary for it was performed by a minister of God's word and that was important to the relatives of the departed and to the congregation.
As more Lutheran ministers came into the Midwest, parishes became smaller and pastors were available on a full-time basis. The first resident Lutheran minister in this area was John Moses. He accepted a call to serve the Little Turkey and Crane Creek congregations. This was in 1869. A parsonage was built. As the congregation grew, a real church was desired. The log church building was sold and moved away. The new church was built on the site of the log church, on the present Church property but higher on the hill west of the present Church. The new church faced west. It cost four thousand dollars to erect - a considerable sum. Likely, the congregates scrimped and saved to be able to afford this fine edifice, in comparison to their old house of worship.
The new church was dedicated in 1875. U. V. Koren and Stener Svennungsen were present for the dedication. Pastor Svennugsen was from Sauda, Norway and probably knew some of the people in the congregation. Placed in the cornerstone of the Church was a document written by Rev. John Moses. What follows is a portion of that document. "Among the first to settle here, who called as their pastor and shepherd of souls the Rev. V. Koren of Washington Prairie, and together with him organized 'this congregation, and who are present here today, are the following: John Johnson Landsverk, Tollef Olsen Haugen, Aslak Torvildson, Knut Olsen Kultan, Kittel Kittelson Stordalen, Halvor Eivindson, Ola Tostenson, all of Upper Telemarken in Norway. Knut Tostenson Einang from Slidre, Valders.
The congregation was organized in the Spring of 1857 by the men named above and several others." Trustees at the time were Ole P. Dybevik, Halvor Halvorson and Nils H. Offerdal. Dated August 15th 1875.
The services at the Church were very much as they had been in Norway. Men sat on the right side of the church, women on the left. The minister wore a long black robe and a ruff, a fluted collar that was three inches wide and an inch thick. He also wore a narrow black satin stole. On Festival Sunday's and at other important services he wore a white surplice over the robe. Communicants came to the altar rail, men on the right, women on the left to receive absolution and again later in the service to receive Communion.
In the 1880's a theological dispute began in the entire Norwegian Synod. The furor revolved around: ""Whether sinful man can, in any measure, contribute toward his salvation by his faith or whether Faith itself is a wholly divine gift." One Saude history contributor says the theological dispute began during Civil War times. It began with discussions about slavery and evolved to discussions of predestination and this evolved into the theological argument that split the Church. Acrimonious debates resulted, real hatreds resulted. Both sides were guilty of spiteful and petty actions.
Many stories were still in the local history and folklore as this writer was growing up. These will not be enumerated here since, likely, both sides exaggerated unpleasant incidents. Early in 1889 this dispute came to a head and seven families left the Church to form the Immanuel Lutheran congregation and built a church in Saude the next year. In 1898, the parsonage was razed and a new one built in the same location. In 1903, The Little Turkey Church was destroyed by fire resulting from a lightning strike. A new church was built down the hill a bit from where the old one stood. It cost six thousand dollars and was dedicated in 1904.
Early in the twentieth century there was a movement to unite all Lutherans into one body. Much discussion, pro and con, went on, which is too lengthy and involved to include here. Most congregations in the Synod approved of the merger, but a small minority opposed it. The merger took place in 1917. The minority could not agree with the majority on doctrinal issues. The minority reorganized into the Synod for the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. The Little Turkey Church and the Crane Creek Church (now the Jerico Lutheran Church) were a part of the newly organized Synod. The Little Turkey Church now became "The Saude Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of Chickasaw and Howard Counties".
From the time of its founding, services were held in the Norwegian language. About 1920 or so some English language services began to be worked into the schedule. The practice of a few services in English continued until about 1945. In 1946, a German pastor was called who could not speak Norwegian so all services were in English.
Previously services would be held at the North Saude Church one Sunday and at the Jerico Church the next Sunday. In 1941, the pastor began conducting services in both Churches each Sunday. Although the language in church gradually changed from Norwegian to English and frequency of services increased, other traditions remained virtually the same. There were offerings placed on the altar by each member of the three major Church Festivals, and occasionally at other times.
The "Christmas Tree Program" was continued. It was held either Christmas Day evening or the following evening: the "Second Christmas Day". A large Christmas tree, cut from somewhere nearby was placed in the front of the Church, decorated and lighted with candles. Because of the fear of fire there were men standing by with pails of water, just in case. One Saude history contributor remembers the tree catching fire once and men carrying the blazing tree outside.
During this program, the children of Saturday School or Christian Day School would present a program. People brought gifts to be given to family members and neighbors. These would be put under the tree and distributed at the end of the program.
A Missions Festival was held every Fall. The regular Church service was held in the morning with a missionary or someone involved in the Churches' Missionary efforts giving the sermon. There would then be a noon meal, prepared by the ladies of the congregation. In the afternoon there would be a less formal service with the guest speaker telling of his experiences in the Mission Fields or the overall work of the Churches' Mission Program. Anna Borlaug remembers Missions Festival as being indeed about missions, but also as a sort of social Harvest Festival. She remembers the noon meal as being absolutely fabulous. Farmers and their wives, who were hard workers, would revel in the abundance of fantastic food. Most farm wives were great cooks.
Another day that was always important was Barnefest. This was held after the school year had ended. There were morning services as usual and a noon meal, at which, the children got to eat first. In the afternoon the children presented a program. The religious instruction of children has always been important in this church; it was as early as 1877 when the congregation discussed the matter of providing such instruction to the children. Pastor Moses was a firm believer in Christian Education and then spoke of the desirability of the congregation having its own school. But these days were hard and people had enough to do keeping their own families, farms, and their Church.
Some Christian Education was done within the congregation by the Pastor and some lay people. In the late 1800's, shortly after the organization of the congregation, some Christian instruction would be done by lay men. This instruction was usually held in homes, sometimes in a school building. The instruction was done at times in Spring and Fall when there was a little lull in field work - for the instructors were, of course, farmers. The teacher would sometimes walk five or six miles to teach a cluster of children from that neighborhood. The announcement of the coming religion school would be done by note to one family in the neighborhood and it would be passed on from family to family. The teacher would arrive by foot and stay with the family where the school was being held for the duration of the school.
Paper was a fairly scarce commodity. What was used was plain coarse, unruled paper. Usually only the teacher had a copy of Luther's Small Catechism and the Explanation of the Catechism, which he copied from, for the students to copy. Stories from the Bible were also part of the instruction as were hymns from HymnBooks which families usually had.
In the earlier part of the twentieth century, Norwegian School, as it was called, was held in public school buildings during the Summer months. The school curriculum consisted of the Norwegian language, Luther's Catechism, Bible History, and Hymns. Young men studying for the ministry usually served as teachers. During the 1930's this instruction was replaced by Saturday School, held every week during the school year and sometimes all year around. One pastor much concerned about Christian Education was H. M. Tjernagel. Mrs. Tjernagei had passed away in 1925 and a log building had been constructed on the parsonage grounds in her memory. It was called Strandebarm. This was the name of Mrs. Tjernagel's birthplace in Norway. A Christian Day School was held in the building with theological students as teachers from about 1928 until 1936. When Rev. Tjernagel's own children were no longer of school age and there weren't enough other children living nearby to justify a school, it closed. Pastor H. M. Tjernagel was stricken with a sudden illness and died in 1940. His son Neelak was called as the pastor. Neelak Tjernagel was very interested in having a Church School. A rented public school building was used for one year (1943). Then an unused public school house was purchased and moved to a location south of the Saude Creamery approximately across from the County Maintenance Garage.
Teachers at the Christian Day School were generally people who were in students at a Lutheran College or students at a Lutheran Seminary. The Saude Christian Day School continued until 1979 when children from the entire parish began attending the Jerico School. This operated until 1982 when a lack of interest, transportation problems and other matters brought the Christian Day School in the parish to an end.
The following is information from the 125th Anniversary booklet and supplied by Anna Borlaug. The Ladies Aid Society of the congregation began in January of 1889 when the Rev. and Mrs. Moses entertained ladies at the parsonage and organized the Society. During the first few years meetings were held twice a month in the homes of members. No meetings were held in the Summer months when farm women were very busy in the home and perhaps with field work. The meetings consisted of devotions, a Bible Study, a business meeting, and lunch. Until 1918 meetings were held in the Norwegian language. In 1918 there was a move by the State Government to get foreign language speaking people to speak English. It was mandatory in public meetings and strongly encouraged in meetings of Churches, organizations, etc. The efforts of the Ladies Aid supported the local Church, as well as the Mission work at home and abroad in the larger Church body. Anna Borlaug writes that the Aid in Ladies Aid meant aid to your neighbor. The ladies canned corn and other produce for a Church nursing home. The ladies would gather with picnic baskets in hand to do Spring or Fall cleaning for families or individuals who could not do so for themselves.
The Men's Club includes members of both Saude and Jerico congregations. They meet on alternate months in each congregation. Devotions and Bible Study are conducted at each meeting. The Club has as one of its goals, to give annual scholarships to students of Bethany Lutheran Seminary at Mankato, Minnesota. The Club also has outings and trips to athletic events occasionally.
The Bethany Auxiliary Group is a group of ladies from both Saude and Jerico congregations. Meetings are held four times a year. As indicated by the name, this group supports Bethany Lutheran College and attends some meetings there. The Young Peoples Society is active in the congregation. Devotions and Bible Study are conducted at meetings, as well as other program subject matter presented by the members. The Young Peoples Society has given support to Christian Education and Missions.
Anna Borlaug reported that the Church, the parsonage, and the Strandebarm (the log building used as a school), had electric lights before rural electrification. Carmen Borlaug erected a wind charger and the accompanying batteries and wiring was done. A guess is being made that this was in the late 1930's. Considering the Church has been in existence for one hundred forty-some years, a relatively few pastors have served the Church. The following is a list of these pastors:
1857-1869 U. V. Koren
1869-1889 John P. Moses
1889-1895 J. G. Ness
1895-1903 Karl Xavier
1903-1909 John Rugland
1909-1922 M. K. Bleken
1923-1940 H. M. Tjernagel
1940-1945 N. S. Tjernagel
1946-1957 M. H. Otto
1958-1971 M. E. Tweit
1972-1979 G. A. R. Gullixson
1979-1982 T. E. Erickson
1982-1983 M. E. Tweit
1983-1988 Glen Obenberger
1988-1995 Mark DeGarmeaux
1995-Present Kent Detlefson
In 1957 the congregation celebrated 100 years of being a body of worshipers in this community. Some of the information in this portion of this Saude history was taken from the Anniversary Booklet from that time. Twenty-five years later, in 1982, the congregation celebrated that anniversary. As of that time, as nearly as could be determined, there had been 987 baptisms, 826 confirmed, 213 marriages, and 380 funerals since the Church was organized.
The Immanuel Lutheran Church was located in the very northeast corner of Section 29 in Utica Township, Chickasaw County, Iowa. It was diagonally across the intersection from the Saude Store. The Church grounds were perhaps 1 to 2 acres. The Church building was located about three-fourths of the way south, from the north edge. The Church was on an east-west line with the front door on the east. The area just to the north of the Church was shaded by several oak trees. This area was where people used to gather and visit before and after church. The area north of the shaded area was open and used for parking. A short distance northwest of the Church stood a utility shed and men's toilet. The women's toilet was located in the very southwest corner of the Church property.
The Immanuel Lutheran Congregation was organized on May 11, 1889 by seven families who had left the Norwegian Synod Church. There was apparently a rather acrimonious split in the North Saude Church over the doctrinal issues of Call and Election. The seven families who organized Immanuel Congregation were Mr. and Mrs. Ole B. Berge and Family, Mr. and Mrs. Nils 0. Borlaug and Family, Mr. and Mrs. Ole 0. Borlaug and Family, Mr. and Mrs. Hans Jacobson and Family, Mr. Lars Sanderson, Mr. and Mrs. Ole L. Sanderson and Family, and Mr. and Mrs. William Sanderson and Family. The Reverend M. F. Lunde was present and was elected President. William Sanderson was elected Secretary. It was decided the name of the congregation would be the Immanuel Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation. Trustees elected were Ole 0. Borlaug and Hans Jacobson. Hans Jacobson, Ole Sanderson, and Nils Borlaug were appointed to draft a constitution. Ole K. Haugen and Stener Ellefson were received as advisory members of the congregation.
The first annual meeting was held November 9, 1889 at the Saude Schoolhouse. New members received included Mr. and Mrs. John T. Bjondalen and Family, Mr. and Mrs. John J. Sime and Family, Mr. and Mrs. John J. Landsverk and Family, Mr. Anders Landsverk, Mr. Amund Hansen, Mr. Thorkel J. Bjondalen, Mr. Baard Vikdal, Mr. and Mrs. Rollef Ellefson, Mr. Sondre Lee and Family. William Sanderson was elected Secretary and Rollef Ellefson, Treasurer.
At a meeting held December 14, 1889, it was decided to build a church and the dimensions of the building were agreed upon. Construction began in 1890 and the first services were held in the new church the latter part of 1890. In 1911 the Church was remodeled - the Sacristy was built, the bell tower and steeple were built, and a bell installed. In 1924 the balcony was remodeled and the basement dug and fitted. Assumption is being made here that the wood/coal-burning furnace was installed at this time. In 1935 acoustical tile paneling was installed on interior walls and ceiling of the nave to improve acoustics and appearances. An oil-fired furnace was installed in approximately 1949 or 1950. The basement was remodeled about the same time. The floor of the sanctuary was tiled in 1950. The Sacristy was remodeled in 1951. A new electronic organ was purchased in 1954. The previous organ was a foot pedal bellows operated Harmonium, probably purchased about the 1920's or so. Further improvements were made to the basement, especially the kitchen in 1964 or '65.
The congregation was first served by Reverend M. F. Lunde, who apparently served for a short time. He was followed briefly by Reverend J. L. Svanoe until the summer of 1891. A list of pastors serving the Church follows:
Rev. Martin P. Dommersnaes 1891 - 1901
Rev. Lars W. Boe 1901 - 1904
Rev: Otto Mostrom 1904 - 1908
Rev. Olaf M. Wangensteen 1908 - 1912
Rev. Christen Heltne 1912 - 1922
Rev. John Erickson 1922 - 1927
Rev. Hans M. Finstad 1927 - 1940
Rev. Thomas O. Torgeson 1940 - 1947
Rev. Leo O. Bjorlie 1948 - 1954
Rev. Lyle Inglebret 1954 - 1956
Rev. Jacob H. Preus 1957 - 1962
Rev. Norris Henson 1962 - 1963
Rev. David J. Stewart 1964 - 1974
By tradition the current pastor was the President of the Church Board.
Church Secretaries included William Sanderson, from the founding of the Church until 1906; Bultolf Dybevik from 1906 to 1946; Oliver Lee from 1946.
Treasurers included Rollef Ellefson 1889 -1896, John Haugen 1897 -1899, Board Vikdal 1900 - 1902, Rollef Ellefson 1903 - 1907, Bultolf F. Vikdal 1908 - 1942, Orville Nereid 1942 1943, Herbert Gilbert 1943 - 1962, Lowell Hereid 1962 - 1964, Elmer Boschult 1964 -1974.
In the early decades of the Church, hymn singing was led by a "Klokker". Ole Hereid was Klokker for several years.
Organists for the congregation include Anna Basteson, Lea Basteson, Margaret Sanderson, Gertrude Sanderson, Mrs. Clara Arnold, Mrs. Olena Hoffland, Mrs. Floma Boschult, and Mrs. Gertrude Borlaug.
For about 40 years the Norwegian language was used for services and for business meetings. As the language became less and less used in everyday life, a switch to English was begun. In 1930 it was decided all business meetings and some services be conducted in English. In the 30's approximately one service per month was conducted in Norwegian. The Constitution was translated into English in 1932. After the 30's a Norwegian service was held once in a while, for old folks and for nostalgia's sake.
In 1946 Victor Hoffland attended the convention of the entire Church. It was at this convention where, after heated discussion, the Church bodies name was changed from the Norwegian Lutheran Church in America to the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Several mergers with other Lutheran bodies since have led to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The Immanuel Ladies Aid was organized in early January of 1889 by a small group of churchwomen. It was likely an informal social and religious group until Rev. Dommersnaes helped them draw up a formal constitution and by-laws in 1906. The signers of the Constitution were Mrs. Cecelia Vikdal, Mrs. Henrietta Norison, Mrs. Aagot Gilbert, Mrs. Lena Haugen, Mrs. Clara Arnold, Mrs. Lena Sanderson, and Mrs. Aasta Ellefson. These were likely officers and Board members of the Ladies Aid. Also, members at the time were Mrs. John Haugen, Jrs. John Sime, Mrs. Ole Hereid, Mrs. Olaf Lee, Mrs. John Rinde, and Mrs. John Vikdal. The Ladies Aid met once a month in their homes during the Winter months and twice a month the rest of the year. Dues were 10 cents per meeting. A full meal was served at these meetings. The stated purpose of the Ladies Aid was, first, to serve the Church and its interests and needs, and second, to serve others that may need help. Devotions were conducted in the Norwegian language until 1937 when Rev. Finstad began using the English language. When the Church basement was dug and finished in 1924, the Ladies Aid began meeting there. These meetings were held in the afternoon with devotions, a program or a work project such as sewing for the poor or the war effort, followed by a lunch.
The Ladies Aid held bazaars and food sales money raising projects. Money earned was used to pay for Church improvements and appliances. The Aid also contributed money to foreign missions, orphans homes, homes for the aged, girls' homes, homes for the deaf and blind, Lutheran colleges, servicemen's missions, and others.
The Ladies Aid began sending delegates to Meetings of the Women's Missionary Federation in 1925 and continued to do so throughout its existence.
Sometime through the years, probably early 60's, the name was changed to the American Lutheran Church Women.
The young people of Immanuel Church formed their own organization called the Luther League in 1917. The Luther League was part of the larger organization composed of youth groups from all Lutheran Churches of the, then, N.L.C.A. In larger churches the Luther League was just young people with adult sponsors. At Immanuel, Luther League was a family organization. The officers and official members were young people, but whole families attended and adults took part in the programs, as well as the young people. The Luther League met on Sunday evening, once a month. Victor Hoffland vividly remembers one Sunday evening when he was starting the furnace in preparation of Luther League. Someone came into the Church basement and told him that Japanese airplanes had attacked Pearl Harbor.
The program likely started at eight o'clock. The program consisted of a reading of scripture and devotion by the Pastor, followed by readings, musical selections, quizzes, skits, etc. The program always closed with the singing of the Fifth Doxology. This was followed a little later by a meal served by one family. Delegates from the Immanuel League attended District Conventions at Luther College in Decorah and sometimes attended International Conventions.
Since the Luther League met in the evening, some sort of lighting was necessary. Sometime, probably in the 30's, the Church was wired for electric lights. The electricity was supplied from Carl Borlaugs' generator and bank of batteries. Sometimes the first person to the Church would flip the switches and no light appeared. Then it was necessary to go over to Carl Borlaugs' house and ask him to start his generator motor. Sometimes the motor wouldn't start and there would be no League that night. With the advent of rural electrification in 1948, that problem was solved.
In the early 50's there were too few young people to have a viable Luther League so Immanuel and Crane Creek young people got together to form the United Luther League of the Crane Creek and Immanuel Congregations.
Religious instruction of young people was done by the Pastor at Saturday School. Young people would begin religious instruction probably at about fifth grade level. The young person began with Luther's Small Catechism. The Catechism contains the Ten Commandments, the Apostle's Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the Sacrament of Baptism, and the Sacrament of the Altar. Each of these sections was broken up into its constituent parts and a meaning given for each part. These writings were rote memorized. In seventh grade, Confirmation instruction was begun. The book used was the Explanation to Luther's Small Catechism. This book had further explanations of these sections and Bible verses relating to the subjects. This, too, was rote memorized. There was also a Bible History book with major events of the Bible (such as the Flood) being condensed into one story covering less than a page. This was not memorized but a good knowledge of what the story told, was expected. During the tenure of Rev. Finstad, Confirmation classes were held on Thursday afternoon, as well as the regular Saturday school. Confirmation classes lead, logically to Confirmation, the rite whereby a young person became a full fledged Church member with voting privileges and could receive Communion.
Confirmation day was a very important milestone. The Confirmation ritual was held at a regular Church service in late Spring. The Confirmands would be in new clothes. They would sit in the front row of the Church. They would be questioned by the Pastor. The answers to those questions were responses one had memorized from the Catechism or the Explanation. When this was over the Confirmands would kneel at the altar ring for the ritual of Confirmation. The Confirmand might receive Communion then or later with the rest of the congregation. The Confirmands would receive the congratulations of friends and be honored at a family dinner.
In 1954 Pastor Inglebret instituted changes in the Christian Education program. He established a Saturday School held in the forenoon, with a Superintendent and teachers for many grades including pre-school children. The school consisted of about half an hour of opening exercises and an hour of class time. The Saturday School was held at the Crane Creek Bethany Hall with children and teachers from both Immanuel and Crane Creek Churches. The Pastor continued to teach Confirmation classes.
Sunday morning worship services followed the order of worship set down in the Lutheran Hymnal. Bulletins were not used until sometime in the late 40's. Everyone knew the order of service, there were seldom visitors, so there really wasn't a need for bulletins. For a time the Church bell was rung one-hour before the start of the worship. The bell was rung again at the appointed hour. At the end of the ring, the bell was rung three times with the tolling hammer - a trinity. At the end of the service a Trinity of Trinities was rung. At funeral times a watcher would be posted in the road in front of the Church. When the watcher spotted the funeral procession, he would signal the custodian who would begin tolling the bell. Tolling would continue until the procession had stopped and the casket was inside the Church. At the end of the funeral service, tolling began again when the casket left the Church and continued until the procession had started for the cemetery.
The custodian of the Church performed a variety of duties. During the days when the Church was heated with coal and wood, it meant starting fires in the furnace and in the heating stove in the Sacristy. During very cold weather, it meant starting these fires on Saturday night and banking them until the next morning. The custodian, of course, dusted the pews and swept the carpet. In the days after WWII there was one slightly eerie aspect to this task. In the back of the Church hung a photograph of the only Church member killed in WWII, Donald Gilbert. The photograph had been taken with the subject looking straight into the camera. So, no matter where one was in Church, the photograph would be "looking" at you.
On Communion Sunday's the custodian would get the Communion set from under the altar, where it was stored, and fill the cups. After Communion, the custodian washed the cups and the rest of the Communion set and returned it to storage. For Baptisms, the Font was moved and water put into the basin. The water was brought from home; there was no water at the Church. The custodian assisted the minister in whatever ways were required.
For most of its existence the congregation of Immanuel Church was segregated - sexwise. As one faced the altar, the men sat on the right side of the center aisle, the women on the left. It was this way until probably the late 40's to early 50's. No such segregation existed in the balcony of the Church.
During the Second World War, many young men from the congregation went into the Armed Forces. An Honor Roll honored the young men. The Honor Roll was a hardwood plaque with slots for the men's names, which were blue on gold colored cardboard. The Honor Roll plaque hung in the front of the Church, to the right of the Altar, as you faced it. During WWII a special hymn was sung at each service. The hymn was on a sheet of paper glued inside the back cover of the hymnbooks. The hymn was called (if memory serves) "God Bless Our Lads" sung to the tune of "Abide With Me".
Starting with the founding of the Church and continuing for most of its existence the Annual Meeting of the Church was held on a Monday in early December. The men gathered in the Sacristy about 10:00 a.m. to conduct the business of the Church. The women met in the basement to conduct the Annual Meeting of the Ladies Aid; they had no direct role in the business of the Church. Both groups would break at noon and the men would go to the basement to eat dinner prepared by the ladies. Both groups would finish business by 3:00 p.m. or so.
Church contributions in the 1930's were made once per year in the Fall. Likely this pattern had been in existence since the Church was founded. Likely, it was the way because this was strictly a farming community and much of the farm income came in in the Fall. The Church Treasurer would know how much money he had to work with by the time of the Annual Meeting. This gradually gave way to several offerings received per year, probably quarterly at first, then, likely, monthly, and finally envelope offerings came into being. When periodical offerings came into existence, offering was made by the congregation filing around the Altar and placing the offerings on the edge of the altar. Later offerings were made by passing the offering plate; this began, perhaps, in the early 1950's.
>Communion at Immanuel was held on what were termed Festival times - Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, Missions Festival, and Confirmation - perhaps one more time. The Communion Service was a long one in the early days. The communicants first went to the altar rail and knelt for the laying on of hands and absolution. They went back to their seats, likely sang a hymn, then went back to the altar rail for the bread and wine. Later ministers shortened the practice to one trip to the altar only. One minister instituted the practice of registering in the Sacristy for Communion. This practice was unpopular and it was dropped. Almost certainly Communion was done with the Common Cup from the founding of the Church to, perhaps, the early 30's. Individual cups were used from that time on.
Christmas was the first Festival in the Church Year. There was a Christmas program by the young people done in the evening. A large Christmas tree was cut from somewhere and nailed to a homemade tree stand. Children would receive some gifts from parents and friends at the Christmas program.
Easter was, of course, a special service. Usually the Easter service was held at the regular time. Sometimes sunrise services were held. At about the mid part of the service, sunlight would stream through the east window and light the altar. It was an inspirational sight.
Pentecost was considered a festive service, but no special festivities were held.
Each year about mid-Fall, perhaps early November, Missions Festival was held. A Missionary would preach the sermon. There would be dinner there and in early afternoon there would be an informal session in the Church. The Missionary would tell about the country, the people, the language, and the challenges of being a missionary in the particular mission field he served.
Occasionally the ladies of the church would hold a bazaar. This was a combination fundraiser and a chance for the community to get together and enjoy an evening of conversation. The bazaar would have the usual array of food to eat there - pies, cakes and cookies for sale, crafts for sale, and a "fish pond". A "fish pond" was a curtained-off corner of the basement. A person who wanted to fish would pay a nickel or a dime, pick up a pole with a line and hook attached and extend the line and hook over the curtain. Someone in the "pond" would attach a package to the hook. The "fish" might be a bag of popcorn, a small package of fudge, or some trinket.
A good fundraiser, but one that was a great deal of work for the ladies of the Church was the Lutefisk Supper. Lutefisk is strictly a Scandinavian food. There is almost no middle ground on ones opinion of lutefisk. Either you love it or you can't stand it. Lutefisk, in the days of the Saude Churches' Lutefisk Suppers was cod. Cod was caught in, probably, the Lofoten Islands of northern Norway. They were dried on drying racks there, shipped to the U.S. to processing plants in several places. The processing plant soaked the dry fish to rehydrate it, then into a lye solution for a few days and then back into plain water. The Church likely got its lutefisk through the Saude Store which carried Kildahl Iutefisk which was processed in the Twin Cities. A Lutefisk Supper meant, not only having the lutefisk ordered, but also baking lots of lefse before the supper. This was usually done by individual ladies in their own homes. The lefse was baked on top of a wood-burning cook stove. Sometimes women got together at someone's home to bake lefse. With two ladies rolling out the dough with lefse rolling pins and two ladies baking, a lot of lefse could be turned out in an afternoon. Besides lutefish and lefse, the supper would have mashed potatoes, gravy, various vegetables, and home baked bread and rolls. For those who couldn't get a piece of lutefisk past their noses there were Norwegian meatballs. The lutefisk would, of course, be virtually swimming in melted Saude Creamery butter. The kitchen was a virtual sauna at lutefish supper times with wood fired stoves going full blast on which stood big pots of boiling water containing the lutefisk. The rest of the hot food was heated there as well.
Along with the main course foods there were desserts of cakes, pies, and cookies. There was, of course, plenty of Norwegian gasoline: COFFEE.
The lutefisk suppers were well attended by folks of the Norwegian community, but people from Protivin (Bohemian), Lawler (Irish), New Hampton, and Cresco would come as well.
In the early 30's or perhaps earlier, a male chorus was formed. Hans Grimso was the leader; choir members included Buttolf Vikdal, Carl Vikdal, Ole Sanderson, Selmer Hildahl, Tony Sanderson, Glen Arnold, Oliver Lee, John Haugen, and perhaps others. Hans Grimso was killed when a bridge south of Cresco collapsed. Grimso was in Martin Borlaugs' truck. Martin Borlaug survived. This happened in perhaps the late 30's. The leader less choir broke up. About 1945 or '46 a male chorus started again under the leadership of Ole Sanderson. He and Selmer Hildahl were 1st tenors; Victor Hoffland and Kermit Hildahl, second tenors; Charles Ellingson and Burton Hoffland, baritones; Oliver Lee and Carl Vikdal, basses. Both male choirs sang in other churches for special occasions.
Immanuel had, from its beginning, been interested in music as a part of the worship experience. Years ago when Olena Hoffland was organist, the Luther College Choir performed on an outdoor stage, under the oak trees north of the Church, with Mrs. Hoffland as accompanist. It was with great trepidation that she did so. The Luther College Choir then, as now, was highly regarded as a fine chorus. Mrs. Hoffland was commended for a job well done.
In 1964 the congregation celebrated 75 years of preaching, teaching, hearing, and working according to God's word. In this time there had been 267 baptisms, 224 confirmations, 54 marriages, and 119 funerals at Immanuel.
The Immanuel Lutheran Church congregation grew smaller and smaller over the years. In 1974 the Church closed and its members, mainly, joined the Crane Creek Congregation. The combined congregation became the Immanuel Lutheran Church of Crane Creek. The Church building was taken down in, probably, the late 1980's.
On July 29, 1990 a Centennial Commemorative Service was held on the church site. The Churches' Baptismal Font and Communion Service were used in the worship service. The Church Bell, which stands on the grounds as a memorial, was also used. Pastor Rod Meyer officiated, the Immanuel/Crane Creek Folk Choir sang.
A brick and concrete monument stands on the Church property. The Bell which hung in the steeple is mounted on the base. The Churches' Cornerstone is part of the base. A bronze plaque is mounted on the base. It reads:
Site and Bell of Immanuel Lutheran Church
This Parish served the Norwegian Community of Saude, Iowa.
THE WEST SAUDE SCHOOL The West Saude School was in District #3, Utica Township, Chickasaw County, Iowa. The original school was likely built in 1859, somewhere west of the location known as the West Saude School. It was likely built in the Township called Obispo, later divided into Utica and Jacksonville townships. From a history piece called the School House on the Hill by Clara Arnold: The lumber and shingles were hauled by ox team from McGregor. George B. Arnold hewed the timbers for the foundation from oak logs with a broad ax. He also did carpentry work on the building and later taught in the School House. The building was moved three times, finally becoming Utica District #3 School; the West Saude School. A plat of 1892 shows a school there. The original building was likely quite small and at some time, perhaps when it was moved to that location, an addition was built.
Martha Steensland remembers that when the brick school was built and the original building sold, Butler Vikdal bought it. He moved a portion of it to his house and it became part of a now larger kitchen. The other part of the building was apparently moved to a foundation in the woods north of the Vikdal farm buildings. Carlyle Natvig remembers a building there. It is not known what that building was used for. The building, which most people now living remember, was a one and one-half story brick structure built in the late 20's or early 30's. It was a one-room school. There was a full basement which contained the furnace, a coal bin, indoor toilets that were in use for several years, a portable stage for use upstairs during school programs, a table, a kerosene stove for cooking and little else.
The main floor contained the teacher's desk, student desks, a cloak room, an old organ, lesson seats, probably two or three library tables, a long bench along side the front door, a little niche for the water cooler, a library behind glass doors on part of the south wall, and slate blackboards on the west wall. Student desks were usually facing west, with the teacher's desk and lesson seats near the blackboard, but some teachers had student desks facing south and the teacher's desk near the southeast corner of the room. The library area contained perhaps three or four shelves of books ranging from simple reading books to old classics, to exploration and adventure books, to Colliers Encyclopedias.
There were large drawers below the glassed door shelves which contained old play books (scripts) for community plays, a large make-up kit with grease paints, moustaches, strands of hair, curtains for the stage, and other miscellaneous items. The water cooler was a stoneware rather barrel shaped container that held perhaps three gallons. It had a push-button spigot at the bottom. Water was obtained from a farm about two hundred yards north of the school grounds. Two older boys (usually) were chosen to go get water. If the windmill was connected to the pump and the wind was blowing, the boys would start the windmill to pump the water. If the pump handle was connected, the boys would pump by arm muscles.
The furnace, located in the basement, had a galvanized metal jacket around it. The fuel door was the only hot part that pupils might run into. During the cold part of the school season, the teacher would come to the school early on Monday morning to build a fire. At the end of each school day the fire was banked and the furnace shut down. The next morning, it was a matter of shaking down the ashes, opening the damper and air inlet and throwing on some coal. On Monday's during cold weather, the school was cold until at least mid-morning for it took a while to warm everything that had been allowed to cool down over the weekend. While the teacher started the fire, adding more coal during the day and banking the fire was entrusted to one of the older boys.
There was a large grate, directly above the firebox, set in the floor of the school room where people would stand to get warm and where wet mittens and gloves were put at the end of the recess of throwing snowballs or making a snowman or snowfort. There were outdoor toilets located next to the north fence of the schoolyard Sometime, perhaps the mid-1930's indoor toilets were installed. These were not flush toilets, this was essentially a chemical toilet system. After it was in use a few years, someone forgot to add chemicals at the right time and the system became unusable. New outdoor toilets were built and installed over pits dug south of the school in the edge of the trees, near the west fence.
The playground equipment consisted of a set of three teeter-totters and a merry-go-round. The merry-go-round was a tall pointed structure. It was possible to get inside and push, going around in a circle while people standing up and holding on to vertical rods could "fly" by centrifugal force. Because of the complaints of one woman, the merry-go-round was taken down in about the mid-1940's because she thought it was dangerous.
Recreational activities during recess varied greatly. During the warm months of the school term, games might include Red Rover, Drop the Handkerchief, Last Couple Out, softball, cricket, and others. This cricket was not the British Cricket. The name was probably a corruption of the more correct name. The game was played with a stick perhaps two feet long, a stick perhaps nine inches long and a slit in the ground. The school ground had perhaps one-third acre of woods. "Buildings" of tree branches, old posts, anything else handy were made in the woods. These were called huts. All sorts of impromptu games; cops and robbers, cowboys, etc. were played in the trails through the woods and around the huts. In the wintertime, when snow was on the ground, Fox and Geese might be played; snowmen and snowforts would be built. When it was snowing or bitterly cold and pupils were confined indoors, girls would play jacks, boys would fly paper airplanes or play with the volley ball (in the basement) or any number of things children could invent.
The number of pupils at school in a given term varied greatly over the years. In the memory of this writer, the largest student body was twenty something. Sara Maher Dowd has sent copies of student rosters for 1905 and 1909 when the numbers of students were in the mid-thirties. Surely this meant all nine grades that one teacher taught the three R's plus history, geography, civics and singing, acting, etc. These teachers, who were almost certainly poorly paid, really earned their money.
The school had three main programs for parents of students during the school year. The first was the Demonstration Program usually held about six weeks after school started. The Demonstration Program had mini-classes for each grade level for the parents to observe, plus singing and any other activity the teacher or County school system wished to show parents; choral readings were the "in" thing for a couple of years. There was sometimes also a play, perhaps narrated action with few speaking lines that had to be memorized. The Christmas Program was the next one. The school was decorated with red and green paper chains, Santa Clauses with movable arms and legs, wreaths, etc. Usually the stage, stored in the basement, had been brought up by the older boys and set up. The stage was perhaps sixteen inches or so high.
The stage was put in the large open entrance area of the school. There was a wire strung across the front of the stage at picture molding height where the curtain was hung. Sara Jo Maher Dowd remembers the curtain falling down and men coming out of the audience to fix it. Pupils were assigned as curtain pullers just as they were to sing or be in a play. The program had recitations by pupils, singing by the whole group, solos and small groups singing; perhaps a skit and a play. After the program, gifts would be distributed. Names had been drawn for the gift exchange just after Thanksgiving. There were gifts from the teacher to each pupil and gifts from each pupil or family to the teacher. The gifts were placed under the Christmas tree when there was one and handed out by the teacher.
Sometimes Santa Claus would come and give each pupil a bag of hard candy. When Santa couldn't make it the teacher did this. A bushel basket of very cold, very crisp Delicious apples was passed around for everyone. Valentines Day was observed. Pupils would make Valentines or parents would buy them for pupils to give. Valentines were all put into a big box covered with wrapping paper. In the last hour of the day, Valentines were distributed. A pupil would probably give Valentines to those in his or her own class plus other friends and, or course, the teacher.
The Demonstration Program and Christmas Program were evening programs lit by kerosene lamps and Coleman lanterns. The third program was held in the Spring, on an afternoon, and was for mothers. There were again recitations, singing, choral readings (when these were in vogue), and plays. These were all pieces that had been prepared for Play Day held at Central School. Schools from Utica Township brought their talents to be judged there. This was apparently done only in Chickasaw County, a project conceived by the Superintendent, it is believed.
Central School was the central school of the Township. The Township spelling contest was held there and the winner went on to compete at the County level at the New Hampton School. There were twelve one-room rural schools in Utica Township shown on the plat of 1892. There were many less at the time of this writer's schooling. Occasionally, a school would challenge a neighboring school to a softball game. The teacher and a couple of parents would load up cars with pupils and take them to the neighboring school. Anyone, who wanted to, would play, including the teachers. The ball game was not exactly of professional quality, but students would make some new friends and a lot of fun was had.
The "Last Day of School" was not the last day of classes, it was a picnic of carry-in food for the pupils, .teacher, and parents.. It was held on the Sunday after the last day of classes. Mothers would heat up casseroles, etc., on the kerosene cook stove in the. basement. People would eat out doors or in the building - wherever they wished.. There was no formal program. People might play softball or just sit around and visit. For the first few years of this writer's schooling, the last day of school would have been in late April or about May 1st. There were eight-months school terms at that time and probably had been since the school started.
The school was, of course, supported by tax money and there was some volunteer labor contributed by parents to keep the school going. There were some things that tax money couldn't be used for, so the P.T.A. had a small amount in its treasury for miscellaneous expenses. Some of this money would come from gate receipts from a community play, done by the parents in the district and, probably, directed by the teacher. The plays were usually done at the auditorium of the school in Protivin. Rehearsals were probably done at West Saude.
Sara Jo Maher Dowd sent a program for a play called "Tiptoe Inn" presented in 1937, probably directed by teacher, Guinilda Treider. She was in the play; no director is listed. Noted earlier was the make-up kit in the drawers under the library at school. Also, there were scripts for "Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick" and other plays. In those days, being in a play was a big deal. Certainly everyone in the community who could, would go to watch their neighbors perform on stage. This was, of course, long before the days of TV, and radios were not terribly common, so a locally done was the real deal
The school had a hand-cranked phonograph and a relatively few records to play. There was one of Sousa Marches; one of religious music; some of folk songs; some of folk dances, which some teachers taught students; some exercise records; probably others. In about 1938 or so the school got rhythm band "instruments"; sticks, wood blocks,. triangles, etc., and the phonograph records to go with them. On Friday afternoons the teacher would assemble the rhythm band and they would play, some on the beat, others just close, but it was a learning experience.
Friday was a day different than the other four in the school week. On Friday, students would have art, music, health, other subjects not held other days. Some teachers had a student government and each Friday new officers would be elected. The person who was President would get volunteers for or appoint students to do certain jobs such as dust erasers, wash the blackboard, put up and take down the flag, empty the waste basket, etc., for the following week. Sometimes during the last hour on Friday pupils would be allowed to play games - they would be different games than played spontaneously - games chosen and directed by the teacher.
Some teachers ended each school day with a song - with the pupils singing "Now the Day is Over" or "Now All Good Night" or others. One teacher, Ledru Natvig, taught students to march. They would march in the schoolyard, up the steps, through the door, to their desks, halt, turn, and sit. Ledru was a very gentle teacher, but one for order. Teachers were, of course, all different. There were those who seemed casual and relaxed but who had good order in the school, others who were strict but who had more discipline problems. Teachers were addressed by their first names or as "teacher".
Some teachers had boyfriends. Once in a while a boyfriend would stop by to see the teacher. Sometimes pupils would get a glimpse at a hug or kiss. This was enough to keep student's tongues wagging for days. One visitor was always expected, but his visit would always be a surprise. He was the County Superintendent of Schools. He visited about twice a school term. When he arrived, everyone was on his or her best behavior. The class in session would go on to its time limit while the Superintendent observed. The Superintendent and the teacher would talk quietly about who knows what and he would be gone in, probably, less than an hour.
During World War II the school was the place where people in the district signed up for ration books. The teacher, who already had plenty to do, would be working with local folks, filling out forms, asking "How much sugar do you have on hand?", etc. During the late 1930's, probably, schools began getting commodities with which to provide a hot lunch. This responsibility also fell to the teacher. Commodities were mostly non-perishable: pinto beans, lima beans, canned tomatoes, canned milk, etc. There were also eggs. It's not known how old the eggs were when they arrived, but eggs that were almost a month at school were eaten. Their character had changed, but they were still edible. The teacher would begin a longer cooked food, like beans, at recess, then send one of the older girls to check on it as noon approached. The food was cooked on the kerosene stove in the basement.
Richard Maher remembers at a later time, students' mothers taking turns preparing a hot dish to be served to all the students for lunch. The dish was kept warm on the hot air furnace register in cold weather.
During World War II teachers were given the job of selling Defense Stamps. Defense Stamps cost $.10 each. They would get pasted into a book. When the book was full, you would take it to a bank or post office and with another nickel, get a Defense Bond, which cost $18.75 and would be worth $25.00 in ten years. School children also gathered milkweed pods to be turned into kapok for life preservers.
With most teachers, one of the first activities in the morning after the bell rang was current events. Pupils were expected to look at the daily newspapers at home and cut out an item that was of interest to them. They would bring the item to school and read it to the entire school. Some pupils would bring items of real newsworthy value, others would bring news paper fillers - basically trivia.
Richard Maher remembers the entire school, twelve at that time, walking a farmer's field picking up corn one Fall, likely on a Saturday. The money earned was used to buy a radio for the school. In late Spring pupils were asked to bring rakes to school. The pupils raked the whole schoolyard, probably on a Friday afternoon. Once as the accumulated dead grass was being burned, the fire got away, burned across cropland and threatened a building place about a half mile away. The fire was put out before it reached the farm buildings.
Teachers in early days did not have the where-with-all to reproduce a piece of material such as an exam. In perhaps the mid-1930's teachers got hectographs to do this job. A hectograph is a shallow box perhaps nine inches by twelve inches or so. The box is filled with a gelatin-like substance. To use the hectograph, an exam, for example, is written on a piece of paper with special ink. The paper is laid face down on the gelatin, smoothed down' removed. Then pieces of plain paper are laid down on the gelatin and smoothed down. When the paper is taken off the impression is on the paper. Several different masters could be applied and copies made before the gel would get all garbled with different impressions. Then the gel would be cut out of its frame, heated to liquefy, and poured back into the frame. It was now ready for more copies. Eventually the gel was so discolored with ink it was discarded and new gel installed.
Each rural school had an executive officer termed a Director. This was usually the father of a current, student or students, but not always. The Director oversaw the physical needs of the school. He was the person who ordered the coal to be put into the coal bin or got it himself. He was the person who replaced a windowpane, if one was broken. He was the person who procured the chemical for the toilets, when they were in operation. He was also the person who hired the teacher for the current term. Likely, this person was paid a small salary for doing this. Likely, the amount was quite small for there were seldom, if ever, people vying for this position. Usually it was a matter of the concerned parents of students finding someone who was willing to take on this task.
The West Saude School of the late twenties to the late fifties was a luxurious accommodation by comparison to most of the rural schools of that time. Most were rectangular wood frame buildings with no basement and considerably less space in the classroom. The interior walls of these frame schools were likely of wainscoting. The exterior of the West Saude School was brick; the interior walls were plastered. Likely, this made for a tighter and, therefore, warmer building than the wood frame schools
The West Saude School likely ceased operation in about 1958 or so. County School Systems reorganized about that time and rural school students were bussed to town schools. Part of the Utica Township #3 area went to the Cresco School System, part to New Hampton. The West Saude School building became a residence for some years and was finally razed.
THE SAUDE CITIZENS BOYS 4-H CLUB The Saude Citizens 4-H Club was organized in May 1948, too late to have an effective project program for that year. Boys who were in the Club in early days included Dean Boschult, Robert Dreckman, Neal Flatjord, Spencer Hildahl, Wallace Knutson, Richard Maher, Ronald Maher, David Munson, David Swenumson, Paul Swenumson, Charles Vikdal, Roger Johnson, and Jon Swenumson. Leaders over the years included Charles Ellingson, Victor Hoffland, Kermit Hildahl, Elmer Boschult, Burton Hoffland, and Charles Vikdal. The Saude Citizens was a very active 4-H Club. Meetings were held in member's homes.
Meetings consisted of talks, demonstrations, quizzes, discussions, a business meeting, recreation, and lunch. The subjects of the presentations centered around the State-chosen topic for the year. Topics rotated from Animal Science to Agronomy to Agricultural Engineering, then the series started over. Each member had a project to care for. Most projects were animals: beef calves, dairy calves, pigs, or chickens. Probably the most important experience for a 4-H'er was learning to prepare material and present it to an audience. This skill would be of help for a lifetime whether one was in a farm organization, on a Church committee, or any other situation where presenting information is important. Projects were also important. Teaching responsibility for the care and feeding of an animal; the building of some useful object from wood; the planting, care, and harvesting of a crop; etc. County Extension personnel giving leadership to the 4-H program included C.E.D. Chester Benson, C.Y.A. Dean Barnes, and C.E.D. Spencer Williams. Carl Vikdal served on the County 4-H Board.
During the late 40's the Saude Citizens were considered by County Extension personnel and the County 4-H Board as one of the two best clubs in the county, the other being the Fredericksburg boys. Spencer Hildahl and Charles Vikdal, and perhaps others, served as County 4-H Officers. Spencer Hildahl won a State Fair Trip in 1949. Neal Flatjord had the Grand Champion Beef Calf at the County Fair in 1950. Spencer Hildahl and Charles Vikdal took a demonstration to the State Fair in 1951. Spencer Hildahl was named outstanding 4-H Boy in Chickasaw County in 1952. Charles Vikdal was named Champion Beef Showman, County Secretary/Treasurer, and Outstanding Boy in 1954. Wallace Knutson went to the State Fair on the County Judging Team in 1954. The last year for the Saude Citizens was 1955.
THE EAST SAUDE SCHOOL Information on the East Saude School was exceedingly hard to come by. so this portion of Saude history is sketchy and incomplete. The East Saude School was last located one mile east of Saude and about one eighth mile south on the east side of the road. It was in District Number two. Utica Township. Chickasaw County. Iowa. It was likely built sometime in the 1840's or SO's. It was built in Saude on what became Church property. When the split in the North Saude Church came in 1889. the group that became Immanuel Lutheran Congregation met in the school house. The Church was built in 1890 and likely the school was moved that year to a location about three quarters of a mile east of Saude on the north side of the road. Later it was moved to its final location. as a school.
The building now stands in Carlyle Natvig's yard where it is used for storage. Carlyle Natvig. who knows the school as well as anyone. says there are 12" x 12" stringers under the floor of that school building. The school closed in 1941. likely due to low student members in the district. The school reopened in. probably 1944 and remained open until 1957. which was apparently its last year. Cora Borlaug (Mrs. Vilmer was teacher that year. Names of teachers in East Saude are hard to come by. John Anderson says his wife Doris taught there in 1945. Margaret Natvig Hereid. Etna Cochran. Florence Shepherd. and Guinilda Treider were teachers. according to history contributors. Carlyle Natvig relates that Esther Swenumson was the County Superintendent when he was attending school. She later moved to Minnesota.
SAUDE - TODAY. This year, 2000. Saude consists of about seven houses. What once was a thriving. sometimes bustling village is now essentially a bedroom village. The Saude Store property is now a flat grassy lawn. The Immanuel Lutheran Church property has grown up in tall grasses and weeds. The property had just been burned off when this writer visited in the Spring. When the Church as razed. The basement was filled in and is now a slightly raised area. The storage building is also gone. The property is plain except for the memorial monument and the oak trees which appear much the same as forty years ago. The garage building and house are gone. The area is now a lawn with a row of young evergreen trees on the back edge.
The Creamery building is still there with some slight modifications. The slight hill which took a vehicle up to the level of the cream receiving door has been leveled down. The Christian Day School is gone and the property has been reclaimed by nature. The County Maintenance Garage is still there and in daily use. The Hog Buying Station built by Lee Brothers is gone: a shed stands in its place. The house Lees' built remains. The baseball backstop in Carl Natvig's pasture is long gone.
Times change. Things come and things go. Saude slowly came into existence at a time when it was very necessary. With some changes. it remained a prosperous. flourishing village for some ninety or so years. Various changes. far too numerous and involved to be discussed here. caused its decline. It was a great little village. Kermit Hildahl