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Rev. Mathre Confirms 21

Conducts Services On Sunday at Estherville Lutheran Church

A class of 21 young people was confirmed Sunday morning at the Estherville Lutheran church by the Rey. L. A. Mathre. This was followed in the evening by communion for the confirments and others. The catechism service was held on Friday night at the church.

Included in the class were:

Roland Arthur Ellen Marie Knutson Betty Cecelia Sampson
Betty Beryl Bixby Janice Elna Lilland Frances Virginia Schultz
Oliver Fagre Sewell Jerome Mathre Opal Jean Schultz
Muriel Grace Hanson Lorraine Mortenson Emma Geneva Severeide
Wanda Arlone Hanson Oscar B. Myhre Lloyd Bertin Skog
Harold Lloyd Kaltved Edgar Carlton Nau Donald Vernon Sunde
Willis Mulre Kaltved Arnold Russell Rasmussen Helen Ann Refsell
Dale Orlyn Knutson

CC Note: although newspaper article title states 21 were confirmed, 22 names are listed.

Source: Vindicator and Republican, Estherville, Emmet County, Iowa; June 22, 1937

Wallingford Lutheran Church

Wallingford Lutheran


Wallingford Lutheran


Copied from photos held at the Emmet County Historical Society Museum Complex.

Palestine Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1888-1988

Palestine Lutheran church

Palestine Lutheran Church
Ellsworth Township
Circa 1930s

Palestine Lutheran church

Palestine Lutheran Church restored.
Relocated to the Emmet County Historical Society Museum Complex.

The Palestine Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran church was organized on February 6, 1888 in Ellsworth Township on County Road, A-13, rural Dolliver. Articles of incorporation were adopted on December 3, 1888 and signed by J.N. Bange, Thorald K. Twedt, O. Walson, K.M. Thompson and George O. Rugtiv. George Rugtiv, A.L. Daabbe and Oscar P. Wathre, were trustees. Church services and summer Bible school were held in schoolhouses until the church building was constructed in 1904.

Due to dwindling membership the church held final worship services on February 6, 1988, exactly 100 years after formation.

The original building, pews, pulpit, baptismal font, piano and woodworkings were donated and restored by the Emmet County Historical Museum Complex in Estherville. They can be seen by visiting the Museum.

Source: Estherville Daily News, Estherville, Emmet County, Iowa; June 6, 1988.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church
Ringsted, Iowa

St. Paul's Lutheran church

Contributed by: Fran Jensen.

St. Patrick's Church & Rectory
Estherville, Iowa

St. Patrick's Lutheran church

Located at 740 S. 9th Street, Estherville. The church building was torn down in 1966 and the rectory is now a private residence.

Copied from photo held at the Emmet County Historical Society Museum Complex.

Presbyterian Church, Estherville

Estherville Presbyterian

The Presbyterians were first organized on December 11, 1881 by Rev. George N. Luccock. The society first met in the state bank. In 1882 a parsonage was built on South 7th Street, however, the members continued meeting in the courthouse or Baptist Church until 1888. In 1888 a small frame building was built which was used until 1902. The new church was built at this time and was dedicated on February 15, 1903.

The Society was incorporated in November 28, 1888 with the following trustees: L.M. Culver, C.H. Bryant, David Weir, Howard Graves and John Woods

Photo copied from postcard held at the Emmet County Historical Society Museum Complex.

First Presbyterian Church Ministers

George N. Luccock 1882-1884
J.H. Carpenter 1884-1885
J.G. Touzean 1885-1886
Daniel Williams 1887-1889
Samuel Steel 1889-1894
William Evans 1894-1900
William McLeod 1900-1905
Edward Campbell 1906-1910
R.C. Mitchell 1910-1918
Gilbert Voorhies 1918-1925
P.A. Davies 1935-1930
Arthur G. Bailey 1930-1936
Claude Fausnaugh 1936-1942
Joseph Kennedy 1942-1946
Frielie E. Conaway 1946-1951
Thomas G. Melton, Jr. 1951-1958
James K. Lyon 1958-1963
H. Allen Wirtz 1964-1973
Bruce Calbreath (Assistant) 1964-1969
Richard Headen (Assistant) 1969-1973
Mac Patterson (Interim) 1973
Harvey G. Throop 1973-1979
Henry DeGraaff (Assistant) 1976-1976
Harold Stepanek (Interim) 1979-1980
John Bowe 1980-1986
Dr. John P. Besore, III 1986-1995
Rev. W. Willis Longer (Interim) 1995-1996
Rev. Mark Gabbard 1996-2010
Rev. Chad Ensz 2012-
Rev. Kennen Barber-Ensz 2012-

Baptist Church, Estherville

Baptist Church, Estherville

Copied from photo held at the Emmet County Historical Society Museum Complex.

Methodist Episcopal Church, Estherville

Methodist Episcopal Church, Estherville

Copied from photo held at the Emmet County Historical Society Museum Complex.

Hoprig Presbyterian Church, circa 1903

Hoprig Presbyterian

The Hoprig Presbyterian church filed articles of incorporation on August 6, 1896. The first trustees were Arthur Kitchen, George I. Doughty and Isaac L. Soper.

Copied from photo held at the Emmet County Historical Society Museum Complex.

Dolliver United Methodist Church, year unknown

Dolliver United Methodist

Copied from photo held at the Emmet County Historical Society Museum Complex.

Dolliver Lutheran church closes after 65 years

Dolliver Lutheran churchDolliver--After 65 years of ministry in the Dolliver community, the Dolliver Lutheran Church will have their final services at 8:15 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2000. Pastor Mathew Boedecker and Western Iowa Synod Bishop Curtis Miller will be in charge of services. There will be coffee and rolls following for a time for fellowship.

The beginning of this congregation goes back as far as 1930 when a minister from Ringsted came to conduct confirmation classes and the next year the Ladies Aid was formed. The Constitution of the Dolliver Lutheran Church was adopted on March 23, 1934 at which time it joined the Synod of the United Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. There were 24 charter members. After seven years of meeting in the Oddfellows Hall and the schoolhouse the faithful congregation dedicated their new church building on March 23, 1941. Dolliver Lutheran has always been too small to support their own pastor. A supply pastor came from St. Paul's of Ringsted until 1959 when arrangements were made with St. Peter Lutheran of Ceylon to supply us with a pastor.

It was decided a year ago that Jan. 30, 2000 would be closing day. Low attendance in all areas of the church is the main reason. Rural depopulation has been hard on small churches with Dolliver Lutheran only averaging 11 or so members a service.

In the 65 years of ministry there have been 156 baptisms, 157 confirmed, 35 marriages and 37 funerals. That is an excellent record for a church of this size in this small of a community. So despite it being a day of sadness, it will also be a day of celebration for the years of ministry that they did have.

Source: Estherville Daily News, Estherville, Emmet County, Iowa, January 15, 2000.

First Presbyterian Church
Armstrong, Iowa

First Presbyterian, Armstrong

First Presbyterian Church of Armstrong, Iowa, taken before the steeple of the church was removed. This image was taken from a photo collection of the late Grace Eleanor Clark Richmond, i.e., Mrs. Walter Adam Richmond. Made available by her granddaughter Grace Eleanor (Richmond) {Plath} Tyler.

The articles of incorporation of the First Presbyterian Church of Armstrong were adopted on August 1, 1891. The first trustees were: Matthew Richmond, Robert I. Cratty and E.B. Campbell.

Contributed by: James Richmond.

Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Gruver

Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran, Gruver

Presbyterian Church, Halfa

Presbyterian church, Halfa

Presbyterian church, Halfa

Presbyterian church, Halfa

Halfa church with school in background, 1965

The first Presbyterian Church was organized October 30, 1901 and incorporated February 13, 1902, with George W. Holmes, Peter Tornell and Lewis H. Harris as trustees. The church building was erected about 1902.

Submitted by: Doreene Hansen, Emmet County Museum volunteer, photo held at the Emmet County Historical Society Museum Complex.


Frame Building Is Destroyed

Firemen fought a blaze at the Estherville Lutheran church on South Tenth street from 9:30 yesterday morning until 4 p.m. but the blaze destroyed the building and left only the belfry and front of the structure standing.

An overheated furnace is thought to have caused the fire, which started in the east end of the basement near the furnace. The janitor, Lan Center, had gone downstairs in the church to ring the bell, he told the firemen, when a Sunday school teacher opened the kitchen door of the church and discovered the floor ablaze. She called Center who ran across the street to the Harry Cox residence to turn in a fire alarm. When he returned to the church, the fire was raging so that he could not enter to recover his overcoat.

The fire was reported by four different persons, a telephone operator said.

Difficult To Fight

As the fire was burning between the outside walls and plaster of the building when firemen arrived, they had no way to reach the blaze with water until the flames broke through. Firemen concentrated on the, bell by keeping a steady stream of water pouring over the belfry and keeping the bell coated with ice most of the time.

Only furnishings saved beside the bell were a few pews, a baptismal fount, and the silver from the kitchen, which was stored in steel cabinet and was not badly damaged. The fount and the pews are marred by smoke and water and will have to be refinished.

There were no services in the church at the time the fire was discovered, but had the fire occurred half an hour later, children would have been there for Sunday school. The Rev. L. A. Mathre was conducting services at the State Line church yesterday morning, and had planned only Sunday school and an evening church service for the church here.

Save Church Bell

When firemen arrived at the church, the basement already was so full of smoke that they could not enter. When the flames had burned the top of the tower they turned a stream of water over the bell in an attempt to save it. The Lutherans were planning to move the bell to a new church being constructed. Although it had not been tested today, the Rev. Mathre said he is quite sure the bell is undamaged.

Erection of the new Estherville Lutheran church, started during the last year, will be speeded up to provide a meeting place for the congregation. Until a furnace can be installed in the new church and the basement finished, the congregation will meet in the city hall auditorium.

Both the church and its furnishings were insured, but an adjuster has not yet appraised the loss.

The church was built in 1888 during the time that the Rev. H. Engh, now living at Spring Valley, Minn., was pastor.

Among the furniture that was ruined was a piano and an organ on the second floor, pews and kitchen equipment. A piano on the first floor of the church was not burned but probably ruined, the Rev. Mathre says, by the two feet of water in which it stood nearly all day yesterday.

An annual meeting of the congregation of the Estherville Lutheran church will be held in the city hall auditorium at 7:30 tomorrow night. Immediate plans for work on the new church building probably will be made then. The new structure has been built only as fast as the money for materials has been raised. It had been hoped to keep the building debt-free.

To Meet in City Hall

For the next few Sundays' services will be held in the city hall auditorium at the regular hours. The pastor's confirmation class will meet in the city hall at 9:30 on Saturday.

Many of the Estherville churches offered their buildings to the Estherville Lutheran church for services, the Rev. Mathre said, but he decided to have the services at the city hall so that the time of services may remain unchanged.

At present no interior work has been completed on the new $40,000 Estherville Lutheran church. The Rev. Mathre said, however, that the basement interior could be finished probably within five or six weeks. As the basement is large, it can be used for services

Source: Estherville Daily News, Estherville, Emmet County, Iowa; January 6, 1941.

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