NOBLES COUNTY, MINNESOTA

 

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Word and Picture Story of Trinity Lutheran Church 

on the occasion of its fiftieth anniversary 

Sunday June 28, A. D. 1936 

Brewster, Nobles, County, Minnesota

The First Missionary

As early as 1874 these scattered Lutherans were visited by missionaries of the Lutheran Missouri Synod. The first German Lutheran pastor to visit this part of the county was the Rev. G. E. Ahner who came all the way from Blue Earth, Minnesota. He was followed by the Rev. K. F. Schulze and the Rev. K. J. Mueller of Willow Creek, Minnesota. These intrepid pioneer missionaries spared neither time nor labor but undertook the difficult and often dangerous journeys over the trackless waste of the prairie in search of their bretheren of the faith, to bring them the Bread of Life. They willingly shared the hardships and privations of the pioneers they served. It is to be regretted that no definite record of their labors and experiences has been preserved for us. Not only was their work of inestimable value for our church and congregation but they likewise contributed their part in the building of an empire. Under God, and due to the untiring efforts of these early missionaries the work of the church began to flourish and prosper. The original missions of Rost, Delafield, and neighborhood enjoyed a speedy development and everything seemed very promising. But evil days came upon the new settlers.  Hardly had the new settlers built themselves makeshift shelters and begun to till the virgin soil when a most dreadful calamity visited them in the form of hordes of destructive grasshoppers. For from four to five years they ruined all crops, causing many settlers to leave and impoverishing others so that they were in need of aid and relief. The territory about Hersey or Brewster was especially hard hit and the village did not fully recover until the 1890’s.  This, quite naturally affected the work of the church. Rost town, which had been planning to call her own pastor, we as forced to postpone this plan and the remaining missions dwindled down to seven stations strongly decreased in numbers. During all these years the Pastors Ahner, Schulze and Mueller faithfully served this territory to the best of their ability. In these days services were generally conducted in the homes of members, in Martin Heiser’s store in Hersey and also in the public school. The old public school which was frequently used by our members, after several alterations, is still in use today as the creamery.  However the care and supervision of so vast a mission territory in Southwestern Minnesota became too great a task for the above mentioned pastors, who had their own parishes to serve. Besides the youth in these mission stations grew up without religous instruction. For that reason it was resolved to place a missionary in Rost, sustained by the “Minnesota Mission Endeavor.” We qopte from Pastor H. Meyer’s history of St. Paul’s congregation, Rost township, whose early history is closely identifies with that of Trinity. “The pastor assigned to them was A. Baeschlein, a graduate of the theological seminary in Springfield, Illinois.  He was ordained and installed in his mission field in August 1877 by Pastor K. F. Schulze. At first the new missionary established his residence in Rost from where he tirelessly traversed southwestern Minnesota, building up the shattered mission stations anew. Soon thereafter the newly found Northwestern District took charge of this mission, which, with renewed influx of immigration, developed vigorously and soundly, especially westward , so that pastor Daeschlein repeatedly removed his residence more to the center of the field, first to Brewster, and later to Fulda.”  It will be seen that Pastor D aeschlein was the first Lutheran pastor to reside in Brewster. He is still remebered by several of the old settlers. Pastor Daeschlein’s activity was cut short by an unfortunate accident.  Pastor Meyer inferms with us: “While riding horseback to Fulda to Delafield for a sick visit, his horse stumbled by stepping into a coyote hole in the prairie, throwing Pastor Daeschlein out of the saddle and fracturing his hip bone. He never recovered from his injury. On account of failing health he was compelled to resign in 1881, and departed from this life on July 13, 1883, giving up his life in the cause of our missions.” May we ever keep his name in grateful remeberance.  With the departure of Pastor Daeschlein, Brewster was served by Pastor C. W. Nickels who had been called by the newly formed Rost-Delafield-Rosehill parish. Pastor Nickels lived at Delafield and served our congregation from 1882-1884 when he transferred to Rochester, Minnesota. Pastor Nickel’s successor was J. F. Rubel, a ministerial canidate from our St. Louis Seminary. He was installed in Delafiels and Rost townships on August 17, 1884.

Organization

During Pastor Rubel’s asministration the congregation was organized. This was done July 15, 1886. According to available information the following were the officers at the time of incorporation: Mr. H. Pinz, Chairman, Mr. Chris Schmidt, Secretary, Mr. Carl Leistico, Albert Leistico, and Charles Mortensen, trustees. Some of the members of the congregation at that time were the following: John Kaufman, Herman Pinz, Albert Leistico, Carl Leistico, Carl Scharping, Charles Mortensen, Peter Vogt, Martin Tobolt, Chris Schmidt, Carl Harthun, Henry Tomford, Wm. Tomford. It is not possible to state just how many of these were among the charter members of the congregation, but all of them were communicant members of the church according to information given the writer, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Vogt remain as the only charter members of our congregaton, all others having entered into their reward or moved away. All honor onto these pioneers, who under God, founded the congregation and bore the burden of its early struggles! Pastor Ruebel served the brewster congregation for several years until the latter 1880’s when Pastors Hanneman and Maechse served it from Fulda, Minnesota. During these years several families moved into this community who contributed greatly towards the progress of the congregation, Phillipp Kraft, Anton Schmidt and others. The records of the congregation reveal a continuing faithful activity over a long span of years on the part of two men, Mr. Herman Pinz and Mr. Philipp Kraft.  The year 1890 is especially worthy of note in the annals of the congregation. In this yeat our congregation together with Rost township formed a new parish and called a pastor of their own. The candidate assigned to them was Pastor Robert Gaiser from the seminary at Springfield, Illinois. He was ordained and installed at both places on August 31st, 1890 by the Rev. J, F, Rubel.  The new pastor, who lived at Rost town, served Brewster every two weeks and in addition to taking care of the many tasks of his parish found time to explore the mission possibilities of Worthington and to found a congregation at Ewington, which he served until he accepted a call to Elmore, Minnesota. The First Church During Rev. Gaiser’s pastorate the congregation at Brewster built its first church. This was quite an undertaking for the congregation which then numbered but ten voting members. But with great faith and trust in the goodness of God and with the help of brethren in Carver County, Minnesota and Cleveland, Ohio, the task was undertaken. Messers H. Pinz and J. Kaufman were authorized to solicit funds for the new church from the Lutheran brethren in Carver County. The records reveal the sum of $250 received from the town of Benton and neighborhood in Carver County and $65.00 from Cleveland. A debt of $300.00 remained when the building was completed. This, however, could not dampen the joy of the congregation when on August 13, 1893 it was permitted to enter its new church (24x40) and dedicate it to the service of the Truine God. Pastor Schulze of Mankato, a former missionary to this community, delivered the dedicatory sermon on Psalm 26 in the morning, while Pastor P. Brinkmann of Luverne, Minnesota, preached on Psalm 84 in the afternoon. Our reporter remarks that the sum $26.85 was collected at the services. As was to be expected the new church gave new impetus and life to the congregational activities. Our chronicler informs us that the church attendance, which had been quite unsatisfactory, due to lack of a suitable place of worship, visibly improved and soon the congregation numbered 15 voting members. Pastor Gaiser faithfully served his large parish taking special pains with the instruction of the children and youth until he was called to Elmore, Minnesota. His successor was Pastor C. F> Malkow, of Acton, North Dakota, who was installed in Rost, Brewster and Ewington, February 11, 1894. But the ever increasing field simply became too much for one man and a year later, 1895, Brewster and Ewington branched off and formed a new parish. Candidate F. Brasch was installed as pastor of this parish in 1895. Pastor Brasch resided in Brewster. During his pastorate the present parsonage was built, which served the dual purpose of school and dwelling place. The upstairs was used for school purposes. Here quite a number of our members recieved thier instructions in the three R’s and also in the “one thing needful” and many, no doubt, recall with pleasure the memories of these days.  Rev. H. J. Mueller In 1899 Pastor Brasch accepted a call to Fulda, Minnesota, and the Rev. H. J. Mueller of Lester Prairied, Minnnesota was called and installed May 11, 1899. Pastor Mueller had served the congregation in the early 1870’s as one of the three missionaried who came to this part of the country. He thus now returned to the scene of his early labors. Pastor Mueller faithfully ministered unto his flock for 17 1/2 years until old age forced him to resign the office he loved. His pastorate was marked by a steady and sound development both internally and externally. In the year 1902 the debt of the congregation was paid off and the following year, 1903, the church was renovated and a new school house, 16 x 30, erected. The school was dedicated in September, 1903. All this was done with a comparitively small membership. Our fathers showed a warm interest in their church. May we, their children, emulate their example! The year 1908 marks another important milestone in the history of the congregation. Up to this time throughout the years the congregation had recieved aid in the form of a subsidy from the Minnesota District of the Missouri Syned, but in 1908 the congregation decided with God’s help, to become self supporting. Thus the year 1908 marks the date when the congregation became independent and bore her own burdens. Let us at this time of the jubilee take grateful recognitionof the unselfish help given our congregation during its early days by the brethren in our church. Surely we owe hem our sincere gratitude in this our jubilee year.  August 7, 1910 was a red letter day for the congregation. On this day the members of the congregation, friends, relatives and brother pastors of Rev. Mueller gathered in the church to celebrate the 40th anniversaryof his entry into the ministry. Pastor O. Cloeter, a life-long friend of the jubilarian, preached the anniversary sermon, and Pastor Ristau, a son-in-law, composed a poem in honor of the occasion. One year later on July 16, 1911 the congregation celebratedits twenty-fifth anniversairy. Pastor F. Brasch of Fulda preached the sermon in Germanin the morning and P. H. Bauman of Luverne, Minnesota and G. S. Schmidt of Rushmore preached in the afternoon.  God willing, F. Brasch will also preach at the fifteenth anniversairy of the congregation to be celebrated June 28 this year. At the twenty-fifth anniversary the congregation numbered: souls, 263; communicants, 145; voting members, 26. Official acts as recorded by Pastor Mueller: Baptized, 248; confirmed, 135; marriages, 37; burials, 40; communed, 3,289.  In the fall of 1916 Pastor H. J. Mueller resigned due to advanced age and retired to Lakefield, Minnesota where he entered his eternal rest in 1919. Rev. Mueller gave unstintingly of his gifts and talents to the congregation, and his faithful, yet unobtrusive service, has under God’s gracious guidance, played an important part in the growth and development of our congregation. His life has been closely identified with that of our beloved church. May his memory ever be cherished among us! Two sons of Pastor Mueller, Henry, now pastor at Missouri Valley, Iowa, and Martin, now pastor at Council Bluffs, Iowa are the only two members of Trinity to have entered the ranks of ministry during the 50 years of its existence.  After Rev. Mueller’s resignation Pastor H. W. Krieger of Virginia, Minnesota was called. Rev. Krieger was installed January 28, 1917 by the Rev. H. Meyer of Rost township. An echo of the recent severe winter is found in the new pastor’s comment: “Da die Witterung gar stuermisch war, konnte der neueingefuehrte Pastor erst am liten Februar seine Eintrittspredigt halten.”  Pastor Krieger’s activities reflect the changing trend of the times. The English language was introduced as the medium of instruction in the confirmation classes. English services were likewise now begun and slowly, but surely the congregation made the oftimes hazardous transition from the German into the English language. Happily, and all thanks to God, this transition period passed without serious misshap and now the congregation has the faith of the fathers and the founders in the language of this children. Truely another manifestation of the goodness of our God whish He has shown to our congregation and for which we owe Him undying thanks and praise! Needless to say German services are still mantained for those in our midst who prefer to worship in a language that best suited to their needs.  During Pastor Krieger’s able administration the congregation grew to its present size and expanded its activities. The Young Peoples Society was oirganized in 1925 and the religous instruction of the children and youth of the congregation shaped accoerding to present day needs and circumstances.  The missionary activity of the pastor and the change in language resulted in a large number of adult confirmands being recieved into the church during these years.

Build New Church

The steady growth of the congregation made a new place of worship imperative and on November 9, 1924 the congregation decided to build a new church. A building committee was elected consisting of the following members: Messers John Kraft, Wm. Gilomen, R. J. Meier, Frank Besser, Wm. Kraft, Otto Knuth, Henry Pinz, Adam Ruckelshausen and the Rev. H. W. Krieger. Mr. E. Schimdt of Mankato was the architect and Mohler Bros. of Mankato were awarded the building contract. The total cost of the church complete with equipment was about $19,000.oo. In the fall of 1825 the beatiful new church was completer. On Sunday, October 18, of that year the happy congregation opened the doors of its new house of worship and amid hymns of thanksgiving and praise dedicated it to the services of the Triune God. The programs of this noteable day reveal the following interest facts: Three services were conducted. In the morning the Rev. R. Krenzien of Rushmore preached in the German language, in the afternoon the pastors C. W. Malkow, of Webster City, Minnesotaand the Rev. H. Meyer, President of Minnesota District preached in the English language, in the evening a special song service was held in which the well know Mass Chorus sang and the Pastor Martin Mueller of Council Bluffs, Iowa, a son of the former pastor, occupied the pulpit. All services were attended by large congregations. We are informed that the ladies of the congregation were hosts to nearly a thousand people on that day. Truly, a remarkable day, one that will live long in the memory of all present!  After 17 years of devoted service, Pastor Krieger accepteed a call to Ireton, Iowa. He preached his farewell sermon on January 28, 1934, exactly 17 years after he had been installed as pastor. During his pastorate he performed the following official acts: Baptized 254 (8 adults); Confirmed 169 (35adults); Buried 72 and performed 64 marriages.  On January 21, 1934 the congregation called the Rev. Wm. H. Sutterer of McGrath, Minnesota who was installed into his sacred office on March 4, 1934 by the Rev. A. A. Schulz of Round Lake, Minnesota.  Thus we have followed the beginning, growth and development of our beloved Trinity up to the present day. Throughout it all we find visible marks of divine blessings which have ever attended our congregation. As we look back over the past years and consider the humble beginning, the early struggles,  the oftimes seemingly unsurmountable obstacles and difficultieswhich have besetthe path of the congregation and then note how wondrously all these have been overcome, we cannot help but exclaim with the Psalmist “It is all the Lord’s doing. It is marvelous in our eyes. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Indeed, let us “ Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves: we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good: His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations.” --Psalm 100.

Sunday School

Realizing that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” and that the congregation’s future is the responsibility of today the congregation has provided for the religous instruction of the children and youth through various agancies. The Sunday school with an enrollment of over 90 is taught by seven teachers who prepare themselves for their important task by attending teacher’s meetings conducted by a pastor. Names of teachers: Allan Laistico, Erwin Gordon, Emma Gordon, Richard Schipull, Hilda Beerman, Lida Beerman, and Clara Baumgard.  The Confirmation classes, Saturday school and summer school are so arranged as to supplement one another. The minimum requirement for confirmation is two years of instruction, while the confirmed youth is provided for in Sunday Bible Class and the Topic and Bible studies, conducted in the meetings of the Walther League. In this way oppurtunity is given for a thorough indoctrination in the fundamentals of the Christian faith. May “Trinity” ever zealously persue her educational endeavors and strive for ever greater standards and higher ideals in the fiels of Christian education!

Ladies Aid Society

Members: Mrs. Arthur Anderson, Mrs. William Bauchle, Mrs. August Becker, Mrs. Fred Besser, Mrs. Joe Bisch, Mrs. Amelia Brunk, Mrs. John Brunk, Mrs. Sam Casper, Mrs. Frank Darling, Mrs. P. W. Doeden, Mrs. Arnold Duge, Mrs. Ed Edson, Mrs. Otto Gilomen, Mrs. Olga Kaufman, Mrs. Otto Knuth, Mrs. John Kraft, Mrs. Henry Leistico, Mrs. George Lueek, Mrs. Herman Lueek, Mrs. Peter Obermoller, Mrs. Molly Obermoller, Mrs. Herb Pinz, Mrs. Gust Posorski, Mrs. Henry Rosenboom, Mrs. ella Scharping, Mrs. Louis Schipull, Mrs. Chas Stude, Mrs. R. J. Meier, Mrs. Rudy Baumgard, Mrs. Fred Ahrens, Mrs. William Stutterer, Mrs. Calvin Williams, Mrs. Chas Habeck, Mrs. Herman Beerman, Mrs. Louis Obermoller.  An organization which, indeed, deserves favorable mention in any history of our congregation is the Ladie’s Aid Society. The Ladies Aid was organized in 1915 during Rev. Mueller’s pastorate and last year was priviledged to observe its twentieth anniversairy. Since the early records of the Ladie’s Aid were destroyed it is impossible to give reliuable information concerning its early days. At present its numbers some 34 members. The society has loyally served the church at home and abroad in many ways. It is ever willing to lend a helping hand to the various charitable endeavors of our church, The Children’s Friend Society of Minneapolis, and the Indigent Students Fund of the Southwestern Pastoral Conference being among its chief interests. The Society’s contribution to the Fiftieth Anniversairy endeavor of the congregation consisted in having the interior of the churchpainted and redecorated. The present officers are: President, Mrs. H. Leistico; Vice President, Mrs. A. Becker; Secretary, Mrs. G. Lueck; Treasurer, Mrs. P. Doeden.

Walther League

Officers: President, Richard Schipull Vice President, Herman Leu Secretary-Treasurer, Grace Gorgon Secretary of Christian Service, Emma Gordon Secretary of Christian Knowledge, the Pastor   Members: Alice Baumgard, Hazel Baumgard, Raymond Baumgard, Lester Baumgard, Berdina, Baumgard, Alvin Baumgard, Clara Baumgard, Lida Beerman, Wilbert Beerman, Hilda Beerman, Zane Brunk, Lucille Besswe, Leroy Besser, Ardella Casper, Dorothy Casper, Merril Duge, Erwin Gordon, Emma Gordon, Grace Gordon, Luella Gordon, Emily Kaufman, Leone Knuth, Vernelda Knuth, William Knorr, Walter Knorr, Eral Knorr, Allan Leistico, Arlene Ludtke, Lloyd Ludke, Herman Leu, Verena Lutzens, Vera Mittelstadt, Eleanor Mittelstadt, Lucille Nelson, Amos Obermoller, Raymond Obermoller, Gilbert Obermoller, Maxine Obermoller, Leroy Gunther, Edward Posorske, Barbara Posorske, Edward Rosenboom, Elmer Rosenboom, Theodore Hill, Richard Schipull, Walter Schipull, Edward Scharping Evelyn Scharping.  The organization of vital importance to the congregation’s future is the Walther League Society wherein the youth of the congregation is provided for. The Walther League Society was organized November 18, 1925 with Mr. C. L. Williams, President and Emil Knuth, Secretary-Treasurer. Meetings are heldregularly twice a month. The meetings are opened with a devotion led by the pastor. The first hour is always devoted to Bible study upon which the Walther League lays great stress, or to one of the Topic Studies now offered by the International Walther League. Thus the “Christian Knowledge” of the members is furthered and the foundation laid for true “Christian Service.” After Bible or Topic Study an informal entertainment is usually enjoyed. In the present day there are so many places of amusement for our young people, many of which contribute much toward the detriment of growing boys and girls. Here in the Walther League every effort is made to provide interesting, enjoyable, educational study and recreation for its members.  This surely deserves the wholehearted cooperation of all members of the congregation.  The national organization of the Walther League publishes one of the finest magazines available for young people, The Walther League Messenger. Sections of this paper are regularly devoted to the study of Christian Knowledge and Christian Service. As with amusements, there is a great deal of degrading printed matter and the young people of our church are fortunate in having this fine magazine.  The present officers of the Walther League Society are: President, Richard Schipull; Vice-President, Herman Leu; Secretary-treasurer, Grace Gorden Secretary of Christian Knowledge, the Pastor. The purpous of the Walther League is manyfold: To assist in keeping our young people within the Church; To promote Bible study; To assist in training its members for a life of Christian service; To foster Christian love and fellowship and provide wholesome recreation; To encourage support of charitable endeavors within the Church and to promote loyalty to the Christian home.  More than 50,000 young people in the Synod are members of the Walther League in all parts of the United States in Canada. In the local Walther League, activities have been many and varied. Its members have taken care of Christmas Festival funds, promotedvarious kinds of social events, bought folding chairs and a piano for the church parlors, sold Wheatridge Christmas Seals, promoted regional rallies, bought stage curtains for entertainments, presented plays, planted trees and shrubs on church grounds, bought furnace fans, provided banquets for all young people of the congregation, sent delegates to State Walther League Conventions, gave funds to local ministry students sponsered many picnics parties and the like, bought song books for the choir, entertained other Walther League Societies, and contributed to the support of Twin City Missions and the Lutheran Radio Hour.  Present Officers of the Congregation Pastor: Wm. H. Sutterer Chairman of Board: P. W. Doeden trustees and Elders: R. J. Meier, Frank Besser and Louis Schipull Secretary-Treasurer: Otto Knuth Financial Secretary: George Lueck Cemetery Custodian: Henry Leistico Ushers: Calvin Williams, chairman; Alan Leistico, Wilbert Beerman, Alvin Baumgard and Amos Cbermoller. 

General Arrangements Committee for Fiftieth Anniversary 

Members of the Church Board: P. W. Doeden, chairman; R. J. Meier, Frank Besser, Lois Schipull, Otto Knuth and George Lueck. Officers of the Ladies Aid: Mrs. Henry Leistico, Mrs. George Lueck, Mrs. August Becker and Mrs. P. W. Doeden.

Statistics 

Present voting membership of the congregation--60; souls, 405; communicants, 280; pupils enrolled in Sunday School, 95. Official acts during the history of the congregation according to available records--Baptisma, 562; confirmations, 402; burials, 142; marriages, 143. “I love Thy Zion, Lord, the house of Thine abode, The Church our blest Redeemer saved with His own precious blood.” Our Alter “So will I compass thine altar, O Lord: That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wonderous workd. Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.” --Psalm 26:6h-8

Transcribed for Nobles County GenWeb by Erin Andrews June 27, 2003

 

 

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