Bio: Van Gorden,
Archie (14 Jan. 1937)
Contact: Crystal Wendt
Surnames: Van Gorden, Pitts
----Sources: Neillsville Press (Neillsville, Clark County, Wis.) 14 Jan. 1937
Van Gorden Gives Talk on Little Brown Church
At Kiwanis club Monday evening one of the numbers sung by the members was "The Little Brown Church in the Vale" which brought back to Archie Van Gorden a trip made to this noted little church a few years ago, and by request he spoke for several minutes on the trip and the story of the church.
This church made famous by the song is situated in a grove about two miles out in the country from Fredericksburg, Iowa.
At one time a school known as the Bradford Academy was located near the church and was an educational institution of some renown.
Hers, S. H. Van Gorden, Archie’s grandfather was educated, and it was a trip which he took to visit his old home that Mr. and Mrs. Archie Van Gorden and Archie’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Van Gorden accompanied the old gentleman to the scenes of his childhood. On this trip they visited the church, the site of the old Bradford Academy, the cemetery where the forefathers of the community are buried, and where a monument is erected to the memory of Mr. Pitts who composed the world-famous song.
Some time after his marriage S. H. Van Gorden and his family came with a team and covered wagon into the Alma Center country-in the early seventies. Mr. Van Gorden taught school and engaged in various business enterprises-among them selling pumps and establishing creameries. In this work he traveled over all the settled part of Clark County and over into Marathon.
In his talk, however, Archie went into only the reminiscences of the days in Iowa.
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