IAGenWeb Project - Clayton co.
updated 09/13/2011

German Lutheran Church
St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church
Monona, Clayton co. Iowa


German Lutheran church, Monona, ca1890's
The original church building, ca1890's

Interior of the German Lutheran Church, Monona, ca1909
Interior of the German Lutheran Church, Monona, ca 1909
original photo-postcard, postmarked 1909
~contributed by Errin Wilker

St. Paul's Lutheran church & school, 1916
St. Paul's Lutheran church & school after the 1916 remodeling

St. Paul's Lutheran church, 1934
St. Paul's Lutheran church, 1934 Addition & annex

1934 Building Committee
1934 Building Committee

St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran church dedication, 1966

Interior of church, 1966


St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church Dedication, June 12, 1966


St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized in July 1884 by the Reverend C. Ide, at that time Pastor at West Union, Iowa. The first services were held in the Congregational Church, now the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The Reverend Fred Zimmerman was the first resident Pastor. At that time there were 34 voting members. The first officers were: W. Kregel, Chr. Taake, and F. Nevermann.

In 1886, the Reverend Johannes Graening was called and served until 1905. The Reverend Otto Wappler served from 1905-1918. Until 1915, the Pastors of St. Paul Church, Monona, also served the St. Peter congregation at National, Iowa. During the ministry of Pastor Wappler in 1916, the church building was remodeled and enlarged.

Pastor Albert Daugs accepted the call to Monona in 1918. During his ministry, English was introduced into the worship of the congregation. In 1934, the church building was again enlarged with a basement and annex providing much-needed space.

In 1935, Pastor Daugs was succeeded by the Reverend Herman Siefkes. He served until 1943 when he left to become the first full-time president of the Iowa District of the American Lutheran Church. The Reverend Roland Schlueter accepted the call to Monona in 1943 and served until 1962.

Top L-R
Pastor Fred Zimmerman, 1884 -1886
Pastor Johannes Graening, 1886 -1905
Pastor Otto Wappler, 1905 -1918

Middle L-R
Pastor Albert Daugs, 1918 – 1935
Dr. Herman Siefkes, 1935 – 1943
Pastor R. C. Schlueter, 1943 – 1962

Bottom L-R
Pastor Arthur Baalson, 1963 – 1966 (Visitation Pastor)
Pastor Fred Darnauer, 1966 - (Visitation Pastor)

It was during the ministry of Pastor Schlueter that planning began for an entirely new church unit. A building fund was begun and contributions were received for many years. In January 1962, a Building Committee was appointed.

In June 1962, the Reverend R. E. Langholz was installed as Pastor of the congregation.

Pastor Langholz
Pastor Langholz

In December, 1962, at a special congregational meeting, it was decided to use the Capital Fund Raising Service of the American Lutheran Church to assist in studying Christian Stewardship and to guide the congregation in a Building Fund Canvass. In April 1963 over $100,000 in pledges were received for the Building Fund. In August 1963, it was decided to erect the new building at the present location. At a special meeting on September 9, 1964, the congregation adopted building and financial plans. Bids were received in March 1965. The following low bidders were awarded contracts: Stolz Construction Co. of New Hampton, Iowa, general contract; Peterson Brothers, Garnavillo, Iowa, mechanical; and Milton Wolf of Elkader, Iowa, electrical. The great day for Ground Breaking came on Easter, April 18, 1965. Work had progressed well enough so that on September 19, 1965, Cornerstone-Laying ceremonies could be held.

In November 1963, The Reverend Arthur Baalson was installed as the first Visitation Pastor to serve the congregation. Upon his retirement in June 1966, the Reverend Fred Darnauer succeeded him. The parsonage for the Visitiation Pastor was relocated during 1965 under the supervision of Mr. Leslie Seeland, who was then the chairman of the congregation.

Chairmen who have served the congregation during these important years of building are: Mr. Arthur Seeland (1957-1959), Mr. Willis Lamker (1960-1962), Mr. Otmar Bruns (1963-1964), Mr. Leslie Seeland (1965) and Mr. Alvin Baumbach (1966). Committees which served are listed elsewhere.

Sons of the congregation serving in the ministry are: Herold Daugs, Arnold Schlueter, Gary Bruns, and James Hughes.

L-R: Herold Daugs, Arnold Schlueter, Gary Bruns & James Hughes

Many hours of joyful service were given by members and friends of the congregation in painting, laying of tile, carpenter work, yard work, and in many other ways.

Cornerstone laying ceremony, September 9, 1965

Church council, 1966

Front row (l to r): Glenn Melcher, Robert Kiesau (Vice President), Raymond De Sotel, DeLos Martins (Deacon) & Alvin Baumbach (President). Second row: Pastor R. E. Langholz, Ronald Blumhagen (Deacon), Myron Ihde (Treasurer), Foster Koth & Pastor Arthur Baalson (Visitation Pastor).
Third Row: Harold Jarms, J. Starr Baade, Everett Drahn, Dean Schultz & Warren Wilke (Financial Secretary)
Absent (not in photo): David Thronson, Secretary.

Building committee, 1966

L-R: Gordon Schultz (chairman), Mrs. Donald Tayek, George Heins (Secretary), Mrs. Oswald Goettler & Selmer Hellen

Building finance committee, 1966

L-R: J. Edward Kruse, Selmer Hellen (chairman), Fred Miene, Arthur Seeland (secretary) & Marvin Zittergruen (treasurer)

Memorials committee, 1966

L-R: Marion Olson (treasurer), Mrs. Myron Dettmann (chairman) & Dean Schultz
Absent (not in photo) Ploma Blaha, secretary

Planning committee for Corner-stone Laying and the Dedication Services

L-R Front: Mrs. Otmar Bruns (secretary) & Mrs. Harlan Krambeer
Back: Willis Lamker (chairman) & DeLois Martins

Ex-officio member of all committees, Pastor R. E. Langholz


June 12, 1966

10:00 a.m. SPEAKER:
The Reverend H.W. Siefkes, D.D., President of the Iowa District of the American
Lutheran Church, and Pastor of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church from 1935-1943.

LESSON READERS: Rev. Gary O. Bruns, Student James Hughes, Rev. Fred Darnauer

12:00 Noon:
Fellowship Dinner

Reverend Gary O. Bruns, Sagerton, Texas and former member of the congregation.

LESSON READERS: Rev. Richard Steege, Rev. Luther Meyer, Rev. Arthur Baalson

VOCAL SOLOIST: Don Sabbann, former member of the Congregation

GREETINGS: Rev. Arthur Baalson, Rev. Paul Clements, Father William Menster,
Rev. Walter Pfeffer, representing the Decorah Conference
Rev. J. Wesley Peterson
Dr. D. R. Fields, Mayor of Monona, Iowa
Robert Broshar, Architect introducing Norbert Stolz, Heinz Engel, Hans Peterson, and Milton Wolf

7:30 p.m. ORGAN CONCERT on the rebuilt Kimball Organ:
Reverend Gerhardt Bunge, Oelwein, Iowa, chairman of the Iowa Chapter of
the American Guild of Organists, organist

Student James Hughes of Monona, Speaker, Graduate of Wartburg Seminary
The Reverend Fred Darnauer will be consecrated as Visitation Pastor.

VOCAL SOLOIST: Connie Halvorson, member of the congregation and Choir Director

June 19, 1966

Reverend W. A. Poovey, Professor of Homiletics at Wartburg Seminary, Speaker
2:00 – 4:00 Open House honoring the Reverend James Hughes and Reverend and Mrs. Fred
Community Open House and tours through the new building

June 26, 1966


July 3, 1966


Our sincere appreciation to:
Organists: Mrs. George Heins and Mrs. Robert Evans
Soloists: Don Sabbann and Connie (Mrs. Roger) Halvorson
Choir Directors: Mrs. Irwin Hamann and Mrs. Roger Halverson
Senior and Chancel Choirs, Martin Luther Choir, Junior Choir
Secretary: Mrs. Vernon Doom
Custodians: Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Russell

To all who assisted in any way to make the Dedication of Our new Church a memorable day.

Thorson–Brom–Bronshar, A.I.A., Waterloo, Iowa, Architect
Employees Mutual Insurance Company, Roger Halvorson, Monona, Iowa
Freeport Organ Company, Freeport, Illinois
Seedorf Masonry, Incorporated, Strawberry Point, Iowa
Carl Fitzgerald Roofing, Waukon, Iowa
Calmar Milling & Manufacturing Company, millwork, Calmar, Iowa
Krensky's, Kitchen equipment, Waterloo, Iowa
Lyle Sacquitine, Lath and Plaster, Decorah, Iowa
Swanson Gentleman, Incorporated, Doors, Aluminum Windows, Des Moines, Iowa
Reinarts Art Glass Studios, Art glass, Winona, Minnesota
Evans Hardward, Paint, Monona, Iowa
Schultz's Furniture Store, Floor covering, Monona, Iowa
Sumner Block Company, Sumner, Iowa
H. Leslie Leas Concrete Industries, Monona, Iowa

Thanks to the above firms and individuals who helped make our dreams become a reality.

Gloria in Excelsis Deo


~source: Booklet - Dedication of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church Monona, Iowa June 12, 1966, transcribed by Connie Ellis

~unless otherwise credited, the photos are from the dedication booklet & were contributed by Connie Ellis


Return to Church Index

Return to Clayton County Index