TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH
Efforts to establish a congregation at Brewster drift back to the missionary days. The first pastor to visit this part of the country in 1874 was Rev. G.E. AHNER from Blue Earth, followed by H.F. SCHULZE and Rev. H.J. MUELLER of Willow Creek.
Services were first held in the martin HERSER’S store and the public school. Because of the grasshopper plague, great hardships were endured and the Village did not recover until 1890.
The first minister was the Rev. J.A. DAESCHLEIN, but because of an injury on a sick visit, he resigned in 1881. He died in 1883. C.W. NICKELS from Delafield serviced from 1882 to 1884. He was followed by J.F. RUBEL.
The congregation was organized in 1886. Pastors HANNEMAN and MALZE served Brewster from Fulda. In 1890 Robert GAISER of Springfield, Illinois, came every two weeks, he resided in Rost. During his pastorate the first church was built. It was dedicated in 1893. The successor to GAISER was Pastor C.F. MALKOW in 1894. The first resident pastor was Pastor F. BROSCH. The parsonage was built in 1895 which served as school and pastorate, the upstairs was used for a school. In 1899 Rev. BROSCH went to Fulda to be followed by Rev. H.J. MUELLER of Lester Prairie who remained here 17 ˝ years.
In 1916 Rev. KRIEGER came to Brewster. He held services in English for his congregation.
A new church was erected in 1925. It was a brick edifice 80 ft. long and 36 ft. wide, the total seating capacity about 400. A rest room for mothers, lavatories and a social hall were provided. The corner stone was laid May 24, 1925. Rev. E. TRAPP of Okabena delivered the address.
Rev. KRIEGER remained in Brewster for 17 years, then went to Ironton, Iowa in 1934. Rev. William SUTTERER of McGrath, Minnesota came to Brewster, where he stayed until 1949. He then went to Anoka. Rev. E.A. FRIEDRICH, who took his place, was here until 1953, when he went to Rushford, Minn. Rev. R.W. ROTTMAN came to Brewster in 1954 and he is still here at the present writing.
The present parsonage was built in 1940. The old parsonage is the present home of Zane BRUNK.
The first Board of Trustees were Charles MORTENSON, Charles LEISTICO and Albert LIESTICO.
In 1950 the congregation held a special celebration of the 25th anniversary of the present church building it being constructed in 1925. The 65th anniversary of the Trinity Lutheran church was celebrated on July 15, 1951. Although the church was 65 years old, Lutheran services had been conducted ever since the R.R. came through in 1871. An interesting sidelight 10 years before the church was built and was organized, 12 members who met in the homes, the president, Mr. John AHRENS; vice president, Mrs. Ed GEYERMAN; secretary, Mrs. Peter DOEDEN and treasurer, Mrs. Martin REISTROFFER.
Rev. Wm. SUTTERER and Edwin FRIEDRICH gave most interesting accounts of the anniversaries in the ‘Tribune.’ Booklets of the church’s history were also made.
The Methodist church was erected in Brewster in 1902. It stood near the present home of Mrs. George LUECK. The pastor here in 1903 was Rev. W.H. BARKULOO. He remained here one year. Rev. Irving B. HOLMAN was another early pastor. It was in 1906, shortly before Rev. HOLMAN left, that the church was rededicated, as all debts had been paid on it. Rev. H.V. GIVLER of Redwood Falls preached the sermon and performed the dedication ceremony. An address was also given by Rev. F.B. COWGILL. The building of the church and it’s maintenance required a great deal of effort and sacrifice. After Rev. HOLMAN left, a Rev. HUCHINS was to come, but did not arrive. Rev. COWGILL decided to find a pastor and obtained Rev. Samuel WALLACE from Balaton, Minn.
In 1907 the Rev. Bruce CAMPBELL served Brewster; in 1910 Irwin R. STEVENS; 1911 and 1912, Rev. Lester J. DAVIS; and 1913 Rev. SCKOB. The year of 1915 saw three pastors, Rev. ARKLE, Rev. A.B. GEYDE and Rev. A.B. EARLE. The latter had charge of both Brewster and Bigelow. In 1923 the Methodist church was advertised for sale, applications were to be made to John THOMAS.
In 1927 the church was torn down.
In 1891 there was no available place to hold services, and money was raised to build a new church. John D. WEAVER, given the contract for construction, the amount of the bid being $104.80 and the entire building was not to exceed a cost of $1,000. In 1892 the church was completed and ready for services in 1893 with Duncan MCNAB, Roscoe WILLIAMS and John MOFFAT as trustees. The corner stone for a new church was laid in 1926. Rev. J.H. FRARERY of Worthington gave the address. The congregation had 84 members.
The old contract from 1891-92 was a simple piece of writing paper and an extra sheet with a few important items on. Quite a difference from the yard long qualifications and blue prints of today. This old contract was laid beside the other documents in the corner stone. The land for the new church was donated by A.C. SEVERSON.
The present new parsonage was built in 1937. It was a two-story colonial home with a built on garage.
Some of the ministers were: Reverends POTTSMITH, HUNTER, J.C. MAPSON, A. HEATHERCOTE, PINNEY, H. BRADFORD, C.M. JACOBSON, A.B. KIELER, UPTON, O.C. GROSS, J.S. GOEHRING, PRENTICE, CORY, F.J. PETERSEN, C.R. KRUSE, GEORGE SAUNDERS, and the present minister, Rev. Daniel W. REID. Rev. HADDAD of Round Lake also served here.
In 1936 George WEILER purchased the old parsonage. It is presently owned by Fred WEY.
On February 13, 1937 the new Presbyterian church was dedicated. The dedication committee consisted of: Jas. A. GARDNER, chairman; A.L. WELLS, Sec.; D.D. BLACK, Chas. WING, L.E. JOHNSON, Mrs. E.S. STARNER, Mrs. L.E. JOHNSON, Mrs. A.L. WELLS and Chas. CROSS. Three services were conducted, one at 10:30 a.m., an afternoon service and an evening service at 7:30. Mrs. A.L. WELLS arranged special music for the choir. The ladies served a dinner and supper, serving over 600 meals combined. This was the first service for Rev. O.L. PRENTICE, new pastor here at the time.
An interesting sidelight was at the laying of the corner stone, when Mr. Frank L. HAGERMAN assisted. Mr. HAGERMAN was a member of the building committee also, when the first church was built in 1892, now again assisting in 1926 for the second edifice.
As early as 1876, Catholics living in the area of Brewster parish were attended by Rev. Herman RICHARDS of Mankato. In 1887 Rev. Christian J. KNAUF was pastor at Adrian and was given charge of the settlers around Hersey. This arrangement lasted until the appointment of Rev. Anthony OGULIN to the Heron Lake pastorate in 1884. Rev. OGULIN was succeeded by Rev. Frederich REICHL in 1889. In 1894 Rev. Henry VAN DEN BERG became pastor at Heron Lake, also serving Brewster. He was succeeded by Rev. Joseph SAND in 1901. Rev. Joseph SCHNEIDER was at this time assistant pastor at Heron Lake and is remembered by many for his faithful service at Brewster.
Prior to the establishment of a mission church at Brewster, Mass was said in the BEATON Hotel and in the Auditorium (over EVERSON’S Hardware.) The parents of Mrs. F.P. HABERMAN were married in the BEATON Hotel. Rudy BERREAU, local contractor, was one of the many who were baptized in the Auditorium.
As early as 1898 the pioneer leaders met to start raising money to organize a parish. Roderick BEATON donated the land for the church and cemetery.
The first church was built in 1901. The following year, 1902, Rev. John BARTHOLOME became pastor at Worthington with Sacred Heart church at Brewster as a mission. Rev. John SHERMAN succeeded him in 1904 and remained until 1913. Father SHERLOCK served Brewster next, and Rev. Patrick M. MCTEAGUE came here and remained until 1916. Rev. J. Laurence O’CONNER was appointed and stayed until 1929. Father O’CONNER became very well known during the war years. He was a “minute man” and was called upon to give speeches at War Bond and Red Cross rallies throughout the area. He was succeeded by Rev. Michael GLYNN, who stayed at Worthington until 1943. Father James A. HARTE was assistant pastor and also served Brewster.
After Rev. GLYNN left, Brewster was made a mission of the Dundee parish. From there we were served by Rev. Alphonse DIEKMAN, and Rev. George FOFFEL. Father FOFFEL had been a missionary in China and at various meetings in our locality described the odd and varied characteristics of the people of this land. He also was a war prisoner.
In 1946 Brewster was removed from the mission list and made a parish with a resident pastor, Rev. Warren J. RYAN. A new rectory was almost completed that year. Before its completion disaster struck on November 7, 1947. The sky was colored by a brilliant red light, amidst the raging of a blizzard, and the edifice was burned to the ground. Firemen worked in the cold of the night to protect nearby building from the fire. All of the furnishings were burned, including a dining room set stored there for the rectory. The large electric organ, purchased during the last years of Father GLYNN’S service, fell into the roaring flames, as the balcony and front end of the church collapsed. The only portion not burned was the cross that was on the top of the building. It was removed unharmed by the blaze.
Mass was held in the Public school Auditorium until the present new church was built. The church was dedicated by His Excellency, Archbishop BINZ on May 24, 1949.
In 1952 Father RYAN was transferred to Mazeppa. Father Paul BRITZ came and stayed for almost a year, but because of ill health left. He was succeeded by Rev. John P. BERGMAN. In December of 1954, Rev. BERGMAN was transferred to Simpson and Rev. Patrick J. FARRELL is the present pastor.
The trustees of the church in their order of service were: Terry MCCALL and Chris LIEN; John MCNAB and John MCCARVEL, James TIGHE and John NAU and the present trustees, Rudolph BERREAU and James MCNAB.
The Norwegian Lutheran church was built in the year 1900. The land was purchased from R.J. BEATON and the building was done by a Mr. TEDLAND. The first officers were Tom OLSON (GRIMSTAD), Ole NORLAND, Helick ANDERSON and Ole ANDERSON Sr. The first minister was Rev. MEHRE. He used to come from Heron Lake on the train to hold services. The other ministers who came to Brewster were: Rev. HOLTE, NORMAN, MALMIN, RIETAN and MALMIN, a second time as pastor, Albert E. IVERSON, I.R. GRONLID, GARLID and the last minister Walter C. GRAVROCK. Services have not been held, except for funerals, since he left in 1947. The first child to be baptized in the church was Amur AMUNDSON, son of Mr. and Mrs. Chris AMUNDSON, and brother of Mrs. Carl TORGERSON of Brewster.
The first marriage was than of Josephine GRIMSTAD to a Mr. C.E. JOHNSON.
A new bell was put in the church in 1912, and rang for the first time on May 9, 1912.
In 1933 a Sunday School was established, having services each Sunday morning at 10:30. Miss Tillie GRIMSTAD was superintendent; other teachers were Angeline NETTLAND, Viola TORBLAA, Mrs. Ed HEIN and Mrs. Wm. HILL.
The present officers are CARL TORGERSON, Herman FINSTUEN and Tillie T. GRIMSTAD.