Transcribed by Linda Suarez
The Past and Present of Hardin County Iowa
ed. by William J. Moir. Indianapolis: B. F. Bowen & Company, 1911.
The Evangelical Lutheran St. Paul's congregation of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, at Eldora, was formed away back in the seventies, and services were held in private houses and at the old court house until their present church edifice was erected about 1885. This denomination has churches at Hubbard and Eldora and includes in its parish a work at the village of Owasa. The total number of the Eldora and Owasa congregation is five hundred and ten. Of this number, sixty-six are voting members; two hundred and eighty-nine are entitled to communion; four hundred and fifty communed during 1910; twenty were in attendance at the parochial school, twenty-four were baptized; and thirteen were confirmed; five marriages occurred in the congregation and eight deaths were recorded during the year.
The pastors who have served since 1882 are: Rev. C. W. Diederich, one year; Rev. G. Haar, from 1885 to April, 1890, then came the present pastor, Rev. C. E. Guenther, who came from Missouri and has greatly sustained the work at this point.
A good frame church was erected under Rev. Diederich and a parochial school soon added, which has been faithfully taught by the pastor. The church property is located on the corner of Polk and Hardin streets, and has now installed a fine nine-stop pipe organ, completed in January, 1910, at an expense of one thousand four hundred dollars.
This congregation has donated to the various funds, including home and foreign missions, the last year the sum of three hundred and three dollars. This shows a devoted, self-sacrificing people. The present pastor is the oldest pastor in point of years in Eldora today, having served his congregation almost twenty-one years. He also cares for the work at Owasa and preaches once a month at Garvin, where he has twenty-eight souls under his charge.
The Petri Lutheran church at Radcliffe was organized in 1896 by a goodly number of that faith. It now has a membership of one hundred and fifty and is in a prosperous condition. The first church building is being rebuilt at a cost of about seven thousand dollars, and will easily seat three hundred and fifty. The pastors have been Revs. S. O. Heidal and T. J. Knutson, present pastor.