far as we know, were not Lutherans. A Danish sailor,
Hansen, from Copenhagen, became a member of the Mormon
church in Boston about 1845. He was in the Mormon exodus to
the Great Salt Lake in 1847, and came through the Nebraska
out on this long trip the pastor was careful to provide
himself with a substantial lunch and oats or corn for the
mule, if such was available, which quite often it was not,
for these were the years of the grasshoppers. When the
minister and his mule had gone long enough to feel tired
they halted, the pastor eating part of his provision while
the mule did its best to get a lunch grazing on the road.
This had to be repeated several times before reaching their
destination. More than once they had to pass the night on
the road when the mud was deep and rivers swollen and
bridges gone. Happy were the travelers if they could find a
homestead not too far away, for that meant lodging under
cover for them both. Hotels and feed stables they had to
pass by, if such could be found, for money and pioneer
preachers but seldom were found together. Forty dollars a
year from each place was a big salary for a preacher in
those days, if not for him, certainly from the standpoint of
the poor homesteaders. But great was the joy when the
preacher came, even if two days too late. The narrow
schoolhouse was packed with eager listeners to his sermon,
and the preacher forgot all his troubles on the road, and
made announcement for the next meeting, so many weeks or
BY LUTHER M. KUHNS
In 1858, Rev. Henry W. Kuhns, D.D.,
left Pittsburgh, and after nineteen days of continuous
traveling, he arrived in Omaha, then an Indian trading post,
with a commission in his pocket from the Allegheny
H. W. KUHNS, D.D.
Synod, appointing him as "the representative of the
Evangelical Lutheran church to Nebraska and adjacent parts."
A glance at the old Mitchell geography, then in use, will
show the sweeping character of that commission. On horseback
he rode over the district assigned him, caring for the
twenty-six places where he had organized congregations or
established preaching stations. His work took him to
Yankton, Dakota, on the north, to. Leavenworth and Lawrence,
Kansas, on the south, and as far west as Laramie, Wyoming.
All through this region he cared for the varied interests of
the Lutheran church and in very many places
he secured church lots that are in use today by English,
German, or Scandinavian Lutheran churches. This was before
the day of church boards in the denomination, and Rev. A. W.
Lilly, D.D., president of the board of church extension,
recognized it as laying the foundation for the present work
of the church. It was the beginning of things, and pioneer
work in home missions.
he returned with him to Fontenelle and in Mr. Sprick's
log house, with the assistance of Dr. Augustus Roeder, of
Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Omaha, Dr. Kuhns organized this
German Lutheran church. Remains of the old log house are
still standing in the little village, while a splendid brick
church, a fine parochial school building, and an excellent
parsonage tell the story of progress.
part of the state, while Dr. Groenmiller labored in
southern Nebraska and northern Kansas. Some time later Rev.
Samuel Aughey, Ph.D., LL.D., at onetime professor of
sciences in the University of Nebraska, Rev. Josiah
Zimmerman, and Rev. Eli Huber, professor of biblical
literature in Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg,
Pennsylvania, were added to the force of workers.
REV. LUTHER M. KUHNS
English body to form the German Nebraska Synod.
the General Synod at Lebanon, Pennsylvania, this body was
received into its fellowship. In connection with the
Wartburg Synod and under the auspices of the General Synod
it supports a church publication society and a traveling
missionary. Its official organ is the Lutherischer
Zionsboti. It has ninety organizations and 5,536 members,
and is growing very rapidly.
GERMAN LUTHERAN SEMINARY
Luthersk Kirkeblad, Rev. A. M. Andersen, editor,
founded in 1898, a weekly; Danskern, weekly;
Boornebladet, and De Unges Blad, both
charitable institution was founded in 1893, and Rev. A.
Leuthaeuser is its superintendent. Its property is valued at
$15,500, its endowment is $5,000, and it has forty inmates.
Lately this synod has undertaken English work in this state.
Its strength in Nebraska is limited to about 175
organizations and 18,000 communicants. The joint Synod of
Ohio, the German Iowa, and Missouri synods are strictly
confessional, and exclusive in their church relations. They
are zealous missionary bodies.
BY JAMES M. WOOLWORTH
In 1856 several churchmen in Omaha
addressed to Bishop Lee of Iowa an earnest request to visit
them with reference to form-
ing a parish here. The bishop deputed the Rev. Edward W.
Peet, rector of St. Paul's, Des Moines, to this errand. Soon
after Easter in that year Dr. Peet undertook the journey
from his home, reaching Council Bluffs on Saturday, the 12th
of April. During the next week he came over the river and
visited the church people. On the evening of Saturday he met
eight or ten gentlemen, who, with his advice, organized a
parish under the name of Trinity Church, adopting articles
of parochial association and selecting a vestry. Plans were
discussed for the purchase of a lot for a church and for
securing a priest at an early day. On Sunday morning Dr.
Peet preached in the territorial government house on Ninth
street between Farnam and Douglas, but which has been
destroyed. The room was crowded and interest in the
enterprise was general.
of which was Nebraska and Dakota, to the episcopate of
which Bishop Clarkson was elected. He was consecrated in his
parish church of St. James, Chicago, on the 15th of November
and began his service the following spring. He purchased
Bishop Talbot's home, a tract of forty acres a little out of
Nebraska City, and lived there about a year. He then
converted the house and property into a school, under the
name of Talbot Hall, and removed to Omaha.